I was on the road for three years living out of a backpack. Only recently have I “settled down.” Even now, I travel extensively throughout Nepal. Sometimes for an overnight trip and sometimes for month long treks. Over time, I’ve realized that there are things you can live without and things you can’t help but cling to. I wanted to compile a list of my absolute must have items. The things that have made the cut on every single trip I’ve taken in the last 3 years. These are the consistent things that never seem to change. My essentials.
The lists below are my travel kits. I wanted to make it easy to find everything in one place and break it down by category. Most of the items can easily be purchased on Amazon except the clothing. I prefer to shop at Eddie Bauer and REI for quality purposes, so my clothes are almost always from those two stores.
My Backpacking Essential
What you put inside your backpack will depend entirely on where you are headed. Regardless of where you are going, these storage items are a must. Below is the backpack I used for two years in nine different countries. Even after being chewed up by a Cambodian rat, it still holds up. I’ve also included some safety items and organizational items.
Liquid Free Travel Essentials
The first year I traveled, I didn’t check any luggage. Liquid free stuff was my best friend. It wasn’t always the easiest to use, but it was definitely the easiest to pack. Plus, most of these items are better for the environment. Some of them are organic and vegan as well. The bug balm is truly my favorite thing on this list. I swear by it.
On-the-Go First Aid
No matter where you are going or how you will get there, a first aid kit is a must. Some places sell pre-made kits, but I like specific things. In my travels I’ve gotten sick several times. One time I was hospitalized for two nights. Being sick in a foreign country sucks. It’s sad, you’re all alone, and you don’t understand the labels on medicine. I always carry my own stuff now because trying to find cold medicine in Myanmar, anti-diarrhea medicine in Nepal, and hydration tablets in the airport in Hong Kong are some of the worst memories I have while traveling.
My Trekking Must Haves
I’ve completed several long term high altitude treks at this point. There are a lot of things I’ve stopped taking with me, but the items listed below have stayed tried and true. Although I have a favorite pair of pants and t-shirts, I do think that you could probably buy those anywhere. The items below are the ones that I wouldn’t buy somewhere else or cheaper. A great pair of shoes, coat and backpack are so important when you are walking for 20 days straight at high altitudes.
There are certain items I always have on the road with me. My laptop is one, but I assume most people already have their own laptop. If you need a travel friendly one, I recommend my MacBook Pro 13″ which is super lightweight. Other than a laptop, I always have my power bank, camera, Kindle, power adapter, and head torch with me.
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