Backpacking around the world

Planning to set around the world backpacking? Below, we have put together the basics to backpacking light and a list of essential items you may need during your trip.

Backpacking around the world

Key basics

* Be flexible in terms of where you’ll be staying for the night and where you’ll be eating.

* Set a budget and stick to it. This means, buying from street markets as much as possible and eating where locals do.

* Travel light and keep your backpack light (between a 35 and a 45 litre pack) as traveling light allows freedom of movement, especially when you are traveling in crowded places.

* When packing your essentials keep in mind you can always purchase most of these items during your backpacking trip.

List of clothing essentials

It is important to pack comfortable, breathable and quick drying clothing. For instance, moisture wicking type fabric does a better job of wicking moisture than traditional cotton.

The following list of essentials is intended to achieve a light backpack:

* Pack three to four moisture wicking type t-shirts and make sure you include a smart shirt and a long sleeved top.

* Pack at least a full zip fleece jacket for extra warmth and a light rain jacket.

* Pack a couple of comfortable trousers such as cotton ones rather than jeans as cotton washes and dries quicker than jean material.

* If you’re a female backpacker, when traveling in places such as Asia it is important to remember religious sensibilities. Therefore, it is advisable to pack long skirts and a sarong when visiting sacred areas such as the Hindu temples in Bali.

* Pack a couple of items of swimwear and be aware of local customs and sensibilities when bathing on touristy beaches.

* Pack a few items of synthetic-type underwear and a few pairs of socks (including water-proof socks), as small items such as socks and underwear can be washed when needed.

* Pack a set of sandals, a breathable-type pair of trainers with anti-bacterial shoe liners, and a set of flip-flops.

* Pack head gear such as a baseball hat and a bandanna.

* Pack a plastic cutlery set that include plates, forks and so on.

First Aid and Toiletries

A first aid kit and a toiletries bag are perhaps two of the most important essentials to pack as some of these items might be hard to get hold of abroad:

First aid kit

Lip balm/Antiseptic cream
Cold and flu tablets
Mosquito repellent
Diarrhea and pain killer tablets
A mini-sewing kit


Toothpaste and toothbrush
Sun block and tweezers
Female hygiene product
Nail clippers


* Hard-wearing backpacking clothing is more expensive to buy, but if you’re serious about backpacking around the world, investing in backpacking clothing such as moisture wicking type is worth the expense.

* If you are taking prescribed medication with you, it is important to carry a doctor’s note as proof.

* Don’t flash around valuable objects such as phones and cameras, and always be discreet when using them.

* Make sure your passport is not about to expire and that you have enough time left on it when setting up for backpacking around the world.

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