What You Need For Your Backpacking Adventure



Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


This is a list of what I used for my 9 month stint in Latin America:



I used a Deuter’s Quantum 55-liter backpack with a detachable 10-liter day bag. 

I like it because it’s not your typical open top bag. It also had a front opening, and bottom compartment, so you could access things quickly. It also came with a waterproof cover to protect it from dirt and water. 


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  • Passport with the correct entry visas.
  • Extra passport pictures.
  • Proof of Vaccinations.
  • Insurance information.
  • Recent bank statements
  • Return airline tickets.
  • Emergency contacts.
  • Copies of all the above.

I used a zip lock bag to carry all my papers – it kept everything dry and secure.  Also consider making electronic copies of everything and emailing it to yourself so that if you lose everything, you’ll still have a backup.



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  • Laptop – Mine was light and perfect for completing my work on the CELTA course. Try and find a laptop which will hold well under travel.  Don’t get anything heavier than 3kgs or bigger than 13 inches – you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Music Player with earphones.
  • E-reader.
  • Camera.
  • Adapters and chargers.
  • Memory sticks.
  • Playing Cards.


  • A purse for your day’s cash and coins. 
  • A money belt to keep the majority of your cash on you. 
  • Credit and/or Debit card.


  • Quick-drying towel
  • Moisturizer and/or lotions
  • Wet wipes.
  • Nail clippers.
  • Tweezers.
  • Razor.
  • Lip balm.
  • Toothpaste/toothpaste/floss
  •  Hair brush.
  •  Shower gel.
  • Facial gel/wash
  •  Deodorant.
  • Shampoo and conditioner.
  •  Basic makeup.
  • Pocket mirror.
  • Laundry detergent.

Try and get travel sizes for all your liquids. You can always buy the stuff that runs out once you’re out there.


  • Insect repellant.
  • Painkillers.
  • Sunscreen.
  • First aid kit.
  • Motion Sickness tablets.
  • Anti-malarial tablets.
  • Imodium.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Band Aids.


  • 1 lightweight waterproof jacket with a hood
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  •  4 t-shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved top
  • Swimwear
  • 1 pair of chinos
  • A nice outfit for fancy nights out
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 10 pairs of underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  •  PJs
  • Accessories: 5 pairs of earrings, 2 necklaces, sunglasses, a watch
  • Comfortable, durable flip-flops – Don’t go for the cheap ones which you’ll end up replacing over and over and will ruin your feet. I took Chaco’s Flip EcoTrend Sandals which had arch support and held up well in all terrains.
  •  Walking shoes.
  • Formal Shoes – I took some foldable black flats. 


  • Toilet paper. DO NOT FORGET THIS!! It’ll make your unexpected bouts of diarrhea in the middle of nowhere a lot more manageable.
  • Lightweight  sleeping sheet or bag. If you’re planning on staying in cheap hostels, you’ll come across dodgy-looking beds.  A sleeping bag will help you feel comfortable and clean. I opted for a sleeping sheet because I was travelling to warm countries and it hardly took up any space in my bag.
  • Packing cubes. These are really great to keep yourself organized. They’re easily accessible and you don’t have to wade through your entire backpack like a madman to find something.  I got two on sale in REI. One to store all my electronic related items such as chargers, plug converters, and cables and the other to keep the health and other small items I didn’t use much.
  • Plastic bags to keep your dirty shoes/clothes in.
  • Extra zip lock bags
  • Guide book.
  • Mini flashlight. 
  • Travel alarm clock. 
  • Combination Padlocks.
  • Sewing kit.

Once you’ve collected everything, watch this video – it  shows you,  literally, how to pack like a pro.

What other items do you take with you?



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