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The Ultimate Packing List

Here's the ultimate packing list of everything you will need for a backpacking trip of 3 weeks or more, to make your packing as condensed as it can be, whilst being prepared for every scenario!

A few tips first...

- Consider how large a backpack you need. If you can't comfortably carry it, you need to get a smaller one!

- Unless your carrying camping gear and a load of other stuff for trekking, you really don't need a 60L bag. I saw so many backpackers around SE Asia lugging 60L with them, when your predominately in a hot weather climate and just staying in hostels there's no way you need to go that big.

- Don't pack too much, if you take what you need for 2 weeks you shouldn't need anything else - you can wash as you go for longer trips.

- Do a trial pack of your bag, so you know what to put where. This will normally take a few goes to work out where you like storing your things.

- Once you've worked out what you need, don't be tempted to stuff an extra few bits in right at the end - I've done this before and you never end up needing them!

Packing List

Important bits

- Passport

- Copies of your passport to keep separate in case it gets lost

- Credit cards / bank cards

- US dollars, so useful in many different countries as an 'emergency'

- Drivers license (depending on which country you go to you might need an IDP, link at the bottom of the blog)

- Travel insurance and any booking info on your phone


- Tops x 10

- Shorts x 2

- Jumper x 1

- Zip up hoodie for hiking

- Trousers x 2

- Base layers (for colder climates)

- Buff - so versatile (for colder climates)

- Underwear x 14

- PJ's, of course!

- Sunglasses

- Hat

- Swimwear

- Warm hat (for colder climates)

- Gloves (for colder climates)

- Socks and hiking socks


- Walking or hiking shoes / trainers

- Flip flops

- Sandals for smarter occasions


- Phone and charger

- Camera and charger

- Spare memory cards and batteries

- Battery charging pack

- Travel adapter


- Painkillers

- Diarrhea and re-hydration tablets

- Bug spray and bite relief

- Suncream and aftersun

- Alcohol hand gel - very useful for questionable hygiene standards when on the move

- Dr Lucas. Paw Paw - I don't go anywhere without this stuff!

- Plasters

- Nail clippers

- Mini sewing kit and safety pins

- Anti-malarials (if needed)

- Prescribed medicines and contact lenses (if needed)


- Toilet roll always makes it to the top of the list, and I carry it in my day bag, you never know what the toilet situation (or lack of) might entail...

- Shampoo

- Body wash

- Deodorant

- Toothbrush and toothpaste

- Face wash

- Hair brush

- Any make up items you need (I try to keep these to a minimum and take mini versions with me)


- Sleeping bag liner - a MUST for any dodgy hostels and questionable sheets

- Travel pillow - for me a MUST for dodgy hostels

- Quick dry microfibre towel, I personally love Dock & Bay (link below)

- Day bag for trekking / day trips

- Torch / head torch - this really is so useful for power cuts, dark roads at night etc

- Stuff sacks for packing down all of the above. Plus a few spares to hold dirty washing etc.

- Carabiners for attaching to your backpack and clipping things onto

- Water bottle to minimise your environmental impact

Things to consider...

Trusty backpacks and stuff sacks

I think it's well worth investing in a really good quality bag. It will last longer and you will thank yourself later. I have an Osprey Kyte 46L Women's bag (I'm quite small so found the standard unisex bags massively long on my torso) and I LOVE it.

Also stuff sacks are the best thing ever. I now use them even if I take a backpack on a weekend away! They help pack your stuff so small, saving precious space and help to compartmentalise too.

Buying on the road v's taking from home

The list above is quite extensive, but thats because I like to have everything with me. Sure, you can buy as you go but sometimes if you desperately need something, it's better to have it with you immediately available rather than have to go trekking around to find it in a foreign country!

I hope the packing list above is useful, comment below with what you just have to take with you on your trips!


Useful links:

Just my suggestions of things I love or find useful, no ads here!

Check if you need an IDP (International Driver's Permit) here:

Find out what medication you might need to take with you:

I'd highly recommend Osprey for your backpack, you get what you pay for here so I think its worth investing in a really good quality backpack:

For fun coloured travel towels that come with their own handy bag for small storing, check out Dock & Bay:

@dockandbay // @ospreypacks // @ospreyeurope

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