All the gear you need for your backpacking adventure

If you are new to backpacking all the potential gear to buy can be a bit overwhelming. I did my own research before starting my first solo travel. Most items have been really helpful, some are not to miss and others are an unnecessary luxury. In this blog post, I will give you an overview of the key essential items for a convenient experience when traveling alone or with friends and family. I would definitely take all these items with me on my next adventure!

The Most important Item: Your Backpack

The first time I went on a backpacking trip I borrowed the backpack from a friend. Back then, I did not know if backpacking is something for me and I did not want to spend too much money on something which I will never use again. This is a recommendation I can give to all of you. 

The only downside: My friend has been much shorter than me and while this was ok for a 2-week vacation I can’t recommend you to chose the wrong size for a longer trip as it will do no good to your back. 

The fitting is the most important. Therefore, I also shopped my very own backpack in a store with an experienced salesperson who took the time to find the perfect backpack for my size and needs. 

Left you can see the Deuter Backpack I am using and for me, it’s the perfect fit. 

Most important

Organize your backpack

The longer you travel the more likely you will get annoyed by packing and unpacking every single day. Very often you will realize that the shirt you are looking for is deep down in your backpack and you have to unpack everything to find it. After my first vacation, I used plastic bags to categorize my clothes. While this helps to find stuff it is highly nerve-racking when sleeping in hostels. It is impossible to search for stuff without waking up other people and when you have wet clothes you will most likely don’t like the smell after a couple of days. 

Therefore, I can truly recommend some zipper bags to categorize your stuff. Your clothes can breathe, it is easy to get to every bag and you can be in hostels without ruining everyone’s sleep.  

Most important

Stay hydrated: Refillable bottles

These bottles are lifesavers! Not only are they great for the environment. They also make it so easy for you to stay hydrated throughout the day. I never have to buy ridiculous expensive water bottles at the airport anymore but just refill these bottles (come in different sizes). The good thing: If they are empty they won’t use any space in your luggage as you can fold them together. You can wash them in a normal washing machine. 

Most important

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Your mother will love it:
The travel money belt

Buying a money belt was one wish from my mum so that she can sleep well while I was traveling. I never liked those things but I bought it anyway for the sake of peace. However, I must say that these belts are much more convenient than in the past and that they can be quiet handy. Especially when I was mountain biking and hiking it was good to have your money and mobile close to you. Depending on the place you sleep it can also be a valuable option. Either way, it is always a good idea to distribute your money across your luggage so you always have a credit card or some cash in case you get robbed. 


Most important

Shoes that will support you in every situation

You want to pack light. Therefore every item should fulfill several purposes. Buying these shoes before my first solo travel was one of the best investment I ever did. They have a solid footbed which allows you to walk long hours. I had to get used to the footbed for a couple of days, but then it was just comfortable and supporting. They are great in sun, rain, dust an slippery ground. You can easily wash them and even after my long adventure they still look amazing. It’s just old-fashioned German quality that fulfills its purpose.

Most important

let there be light: why you need a headlight

I know it might sound stupid but you don’t need to be a night adventurer to need a headlight when traveling. Especially when you are traveling alone. I remember several nights in the jungle of Thailand when I would have been lucky to have a headlight. No matter if you have to find the privy or you have to pack your stuff in the middle of the night this headlight will be very handy. In the past, I always used my mobile phone – however by this already one hand is occupied and you most likely will disturb others.  


Most important

Lock it

As you are carrying along all the things you possess for the time of your adventure it makes sense to lock them away when sleeping in hostels and co. Although some hostels offer locks, they most of the times charge it. I recommend you a solid lock with a number code so you won’t need a key. And you can’t lose what you don’t have 🙂
I have good experience with this lock and can recommend it!

Most important

Enjoy your adventure

Last but not least I wish you a great adventure ahead. It will never be perfect in all ways and there might be some challenges on the way but with this basic gear, I promise you will have the most comfortable, rural adventure there could be 🙂 At the end it is still not glamorous. However, most importantly this is gear which is solid and well produced and you can rely on it. The adventures will come and I wish you many unforgettable memories for a lifetime. 

Let me know what you think and thanks for sharing this post if you know someone who might find this helpful for his preparation!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing the love

Kate from Share the Love, expat, expat wife, expat life

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