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Backpacking Checklist: everything you need to know to pack your luggage

rucksack backpackWith our backpacking checklist you won't forget anything anymore when going on a trip! It is the result of years of experience travelling (and forgetting things before making this list!). It's a quite long list, it is meant to be a reminder of what could be useful to take with you: from this backpacking checklist you'll select maybe 10% of the items, and your selection will change every time according  to the different type of trip! It doesn't want to be minimalist or the lightest, the best or the cheapest, just to be complete, so you won't forget anything important anymore!

Packing tips!

We start by giving you some "secret" packing tips on how to select useful items from the backpacking checklist, that I'm sure you'll find useful:
  • Pack your clothes into transparent plastic bags: it will be much faster to pack and unpack the rucksack, to keep it tidy, to keep clean your gear, and you'll have an extra waterproof layer!
  • Try to take items that can have multiple usage: in example instead of carrying a pajama, take some light pants that you can wear indoor or some fleece pants that you can use as an extra layer if it's cold!
  • If it's cold wear several layers rather than bringing too many warm clothes that you'll never use!
  • Carry a Light cloth (we bought one in India for just a few $, and we call it Indian Blanket) that you can use as a sheet, as a beach towel, as a curtain, as a tablecloth in the park...
  • You can use a simple soap bar as a shampoo, as an intimate soap, as a shower gel, as a soap for clothes, you don't need to carry 10 different products! Choose it natural and biodegradable, so you reduce pollution and you can use it also outdoor.
  • Choose fast drying materials (in example synthetic or merino wool (if you are not vegan)) and avoid cotton in winter; you'll be able to reduce the number of items and the weight of the backpack.
  • Choose wisely your backpack, he will follow you everywhere: prefer a long-lasting lightweight rucksack with several compartiments.

 Backpacking Checklist


  • T-shirts
  • Pants
  • Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Sweater
  • Pullover
  • Light Jacket
  • Fleece
  • Thermal Underwear
  • Socks
  • Gore-Tex Socks
  • Underpants
  • Pajama
  • Swim Suit
  • Flip-Flops
  • Sandals
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking boots
  • Thin gloves
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Raincoat
  • Waterproof pants


  • Towel
  • Shampoo
  • Shower Gel
  • Intimate soap
  • Soap for clothes
  • Soap bar
  • Soap case
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Razor Blades
  • Shaving Foam
  • Nail cutter
  • Hair drier
  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Mirror
  • Net laundry bag 
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hair bands
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Foot Powder
  • Contraceptive devices (Condoms...)


  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Painkiller
  • Herpes cream
  • Antipyretic
  • Antibiotic
  • Probiotics
  • Supplements (Spirulina, B12...)
  • Plasters
  • Bandage
  • Disinfectant
  • Personal Medications (Allergies, Asthma...)


  • Backpack
  • Rucksack
  • Waist Bag
  • Money Belt
  • Recyclable Bag for grocery shopping


  • Food
  • Food containers
  • Fork
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Hard plastic cup
  • Water Bottle
  • Water
  • Drinks (Tea, beverages...)
  • Condiments (Oil, Salt, Pepper...)


  • Sewing kit
  • String
  • Clothespins
  • Lighter
  • Matches
  • Lock
  • Tape
  • Duct tape
  • Elastic bands
  • Multitool - Swiss Knife

Extra Female

  • Tampons
  • Make-up
  • Jewelry
  • .............................





  • Laptop
  • Laptop bag
  • External Hard Disk
  • Usb pen drive
  • Mobile phone
  • Phone charger
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Battery charger
  • Photo Camera
  • Camera case
  • Lenses
  • Cleaning kit (cloth, lenspen, etc.)
  • Memory storage
  • Remote control
  • Camera Batteries
  • Camera Charger
  • Battery grip
  • Video-camera
  • Tripod
  • Mp3 player - Ipod
  • Mp3 Charger
  • Earpieces
  • Alarm
  • Watch
  • Flashlight (Dynamo)
  • Headlamp
  • Universal adapter


  • Euros, Dollars
  • Foreign currency
  • Debit card
  • Credit Card
  • Atm card
  • Wallet
  • Train-Plane tickets
  • Boarding passes
  • ID
  • Passport
  • Health Insurance
  • Visas
  • International Certificate of Vaccination
  • On-line banking password tool
  • Passwords and Usernames
  • International Warranties of Electronics
  • Employment - Unemployment certificate
  • Hostel-Hotel bookings
  • Hospitality contacts
  • Medical History
  • Backpacking Checklist


  • Books
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Marker
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Guidebooks
  • Maps


  • Shelter (Tent, tarp, Bivy bag...)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Stove
  • Pots
  • Fuel
  • Fire Starter (Fire steel...)
  • Windshield
  • Candle
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • folding trowel

Extra Cold

  • Chemical Hand Warmers
  • Ski Suit
  • Mittens
  • Warm Jacket
  • After ski boots
  • Face mask
  • Warm Leggings
  • Warm Socks
  • Vacuum Bottle


  •  Plastic bags
  • Transparent plastic bags for clothes
  • Beach towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella
  • Inflatable Pillow
  • Mosquito net
  • Trekking poles
  • Presents
  • Personal equipment (Mine: Neti Pot, Juggling, Poi balls...)

Add Yours!

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Davide VadalàDavide Vadalà
I like to say that I'm a gypsy traveller. Some years ago I quit my job to chase my dream of exploring our wonderful planet in a sustainable way. Thanks to my itchy feet, I had a lot of incredible adventures, and I'm just back after an amazing travel of almost 3 years by land, mainly hitchhiking. I love nature, sustainability, outdoor and hiking, and my dream is to become a travel photographer. Content attribution on Google +

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Amy B
0 # Amy B 2014-01-09 15:16
It seems like a lot of stuff is on that list and there are a few items that you might be able to combine for several uses. How about using your Recyclable Bag for grocery shopping for your Net laundry bag also? Or what about ditching the Flashlight/torc h and use the Headlamp instead, even better yet if you are traveling a shorter time use the app on your smartphone. Flip flops and sandals? Your list is a good reference if you don't want to forget anything, but there is something to the old saying that "Your possessions actually own you." Personally for the long or short term travel that I do, it's better going light.
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Davide Vadalà
0 # Davide Vadalà 2014-01-09 15:47
You are totally right Amy, and in fact what you are saying it's already written in the introduction that you probably haven't read :)
It's a complete list to choose from, it doesn't mean you have to take everything! You would need a truck to carry all of that stuff
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+1 # Laurence 2013-08-10 07:05
If you are going to be camping away from civilisation and proper toilets then don't forget to pack a small folding trowel and a lighter. These can be kept in a small dry bag along with your toilet paper.
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Davide Vadalà
0 # Davide Vadalà 2013-08-18 12:07
Thanks for the suggestion! I just added the trowel in the camping equipment!
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0 # Barry 2013-07-11 16:35
Great list guys, we're the same when it comes to technology - we take a lot but we genuinely use it all! For us its worth the extra weight, but I can see why others dont bother with as much!

Our list if you have any feedback!


Thanks for sharing!
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0 # BradJill 2013-04-19 10:55
Didn't see these....

rubber bands
recyclable bag (to hold your grocery shopping)
couple spare plastic bags for rubbish
extra small lock (w/key)
plastic passport holder
line or small wire (for drying clothes, creating shade and even walls at times)
contact details for your national embassy/consola te
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Davide Vadalà
+1 # Davide Vadalà 2013-04-19 12:13
Thanks for the add! Most of them were already in the list with a different name (elastic bands, plastic bags, lock, string, clothespin etc.), but I'll definitely will add the recyclable bag! I actually have one that can be used also as an extra backpack and it's really useful!
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