5 Essentials for Your Backpack

Things you Must Have in Your Backpack

An essential element to backpacking is having everything you need within easy reach while still being able to move around on your travels unencumbered by excessively heavy baggage. This may leave some in a dilemma about just what exactly is essential to place in their backpack. Below can be found a practical and straighforward guide to the 7 things you must have in your backpack.

1. Currency.

Having extra money kept in hard cash on you at all times is a must, and probably the most important item on this list; all the other items are basically replaceable so long as you have access to money in the local currency. If you’re going to be traveling across a number of countries in quick succession, it might be prudent to keep emergency cash in a couple of different currencies, say US dollars and Euros. Both are widely acceptable, and at worst, can be exchanged for other local currencies with relative ease should the need arise.

2. Rain Cover.

When you have to carry everything on your back, every inch of space and ounce of weight counts more than usual. It simply mightn’t be practical for you to fill up your backpack with bulky, conventional wet weather gear, particularly if travelling in warm or humid climates. Instead, lightweight plastic ponchos and rain anoraks offer a better solution- easy to fold away into a side pocket, allowing for quick access to cover you and your baggage. They’re also inexpensive, and can be easily replaced if they get lost or damaged.

3. Padlocks.

Why rely on a hostel’s own security when you can bring along your own for extra piece of mind? A small, medium and large padlock can allow you to ensure you don’t have to rely on the padlocks provided by hostels for their lockers.

4. First Aid.

The hustle and bustle of backpacking means the occasional cut or scrape is inevitable. Having a basic first aid kit will save the hassle of trying to track down pharmacies in foreign climes. Be sure to include some over the counter medication as well for cold/flu, headaches and stomach problems.

5. Smaller bag/rucksack.

It may seem silly to claim a second bag is an essential item when you’re already tight on space, but a day-trip/travel bag can save you a lot of effort for when you intend to leave your main bag locked up. In this bag you can keep your most important items, as well as the ones you’re likely to need on a more regular basis- passport, tickets/travel information, guidebook, sunglasses/hat, money, phone, camera and so on. These items will still take up room when placed in your main backpack anyway, so it makes a lot of sense to keep them all together in a small inner bag that you can access easily, rather than having to root through everything else that you have with you. In-keeping with this, items 6 and 7 shall feature under the smaller bag heading- 6. Pen and paper, for emergency contact numbers, directions, and any of the hundreds of reasons that you might need somewhere to write something down. 7. Entertainment- a book, tablet, journal, whatever you prefer to keep yourself occupied while waiting around in terminals or on long-haul flights.

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