Backpack checklist


Everyone has his own opinion what to take and what not to take while backpacking. Of course, it also depends on what you are planning to do. Going from hostel to hostel asks for different stuff than sleeping in a tent every night.

This backpack checklist is what I find useful while backpacking from place to place.
Especially if this is your first time backpacking it is useful to get some tips on what to take and what not to take.
Below I give you my full list what to take on a backpacking trip, look through it, get inspired for your own list. Your own list will become more and more your own list, the more trips you make, the more you adjust this list to reality. After several trips where I took some essentials that other people wrote down with me but never used them, I crossed them off my list. So reality will teach you what your essentials are.
First I will tell you my essentials, through several experiences selected for this list.


My 8 backpacking essentials

  1. Travel adapter
  2. Universal sink plug
  3. Coat hanger
  4. Foldable bag
  5. Flip-flops
  6. Earplugs
  7. Sleeping mask
  8. Period cup

Little explanation

  1. This is clear, you want to be able to charge your stuff in every country. With an all-in-one adapter you don’t have to carry around a bunch of different ones.
  2. For a quick hand wash in a hostel or wherever you can find a sink. Really useful.
  3. To hang something to dry after your quick hand wash, outside, inside. Sometimes you have no good place to hang something wet so this can make it easier.
  4. To always have with you for groceries and so on.
  5. If the sun is out, to the beach, if you have blisters from other shoes or when the showers are very dirty.
  6. When people snore so loud in your dorm that even your pillow vibrates and I can tell you, this is more often than you can imagine.
  7. If there is a lot of light in the room I like to block that; but also in the plane it helps you to sleep if you wish so.
  8. This one is for the girls; in my opinion the best way to deal with your period, not conviced yet or not familiar with it? Here you can read more about the cup.


Backpack checklist
Hand luggage, essentials on the plane:

  • Chewing gum (if your ears close during take off and landing it helps to chew)
  • Information about the place you go first. Sometimes you have to write down for border control where you are staying. So you need an address of a hostel or something.
  • A pen (if you have to fill in this form mentioned above)
  • Wallet
  • Credit card
  • Passport
  • International Certificate of Vaccinations
  • Paper tissues
  • Phone
    Normal luggage

  • Mummy travel sheet with insect shield
  • Travel adapter
  • Universal plug for the sink (for hand wash)
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask (for sleeping if you don’t like light)
  • Rain cover for your backpack
  • Medicines you use
  • Copy of your passport (keep it somewhere different)
  • Information about your insurance
  • Whistle (hang it on your shoulder bands of your back-pack, for moments of need)
  • Waterproof pocket for phone
  • Coat hanger
  • Foldable bag
  • Notebook and pen
  • Camera
  • Charging cables phone, camera, and so on.
  • External battery
  • Padlock with numbers (so you can’t lose the key), for flying to some countries you need a special padlock that security can open, TSA friendly (you recognize it from the read diamond). Useful for luggage and in hostels on lockers.
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Good mood
    Clothes, this is for everyone different what they prefer but don’t take to much

  • Socks (Only for a few days, you can wash them easily)
  • Underwear (Only for a few days, you can wash them easily)
  • Bra
  • 1 jeans (and one jeans you wear when you start)
  • 1 short
  • 2 singlets
  • 1 jumper
  • 2 shirts
  • 1 dress or skirt
  • Pyjama

  • Hiking boots/ runners
  • ‘Normal’ shoes
  • Flip-flops

  • (Rain) jacket
  • Swimming wear
  • Micro towel (I honestly prefer a normal towel so sometimes I sacrifice some other things to make space for this)
  • Sunglasses
  • A thin scarf or sarong (useful if it is cold, can cover yourself if you are sunburned or cover your shoulders if you go in a religious building)
  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • Cap for the sun

  • Body soap
  • Shampoo
  • Sunscreen
  • After sun
  • Deodorant
  • Don’t take big bottles of liquid, you can always buy more and you don’t want to carry around all the weight.

  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Deet against mosquitoes
  • Razor
  • Hairbrush
  • Condoms
    For the girls

  • Anti conception pill
  • Period cup (so much easier then pads and tampons especially while travelling. Tampons and pads are not everywhere, more about the cup read here!)
    Small repair kit, to repair yourself and your stuff

  • 3 tie-wraps
  • Bit of duct-tape (easy to roll a bit around a pencil or so)
  • 3 safety pins
  • Piece of string
  • 1 needle and a bit of thread
  • Band-aids
  • Skin tape
  • Tweezers
  • ORS spoon (to make ORS if you have diarrhoea)
    Essentials that I still take with me but hardly use:

  • Headlight
  • Money belt (depends to which country I go if it’s needed)
  • Pocketknife
  • Hook with suction cap (to place in bathrooms if there is no hook at all).

    Most important:Maybe you think you should take more but in the end, you are happy if you take less. You have to carry everything around and most you don’t really miss if you leave it home. Take what you really need and make your own backpack checklist after your first trip.