Making a great backpacking packing list for your trips can be a nightmare. There are many factors you need to consider like weather, kind of destination, your travel style, etc. All this makes you struggle on how to fit all you need in your bag.

So you ask yourself, what gear should I take backpacking?

After all our years traveling, we have collected the best tips and hacks we use to make the perfect backpacking packing list wherever you go. Regardless of the duration of your trip, we guarantee you, you’ll be packing for your next trip like a pro.

We’ll tell you what things you need and the ones you don’t to try to make it as light and functional as possible.

the best backpacking packing tips

12 Essential Items For Your Backpacking Packing List

As backpackers, we are have limited space and making good choices in our gear is essential.

In our case, and because we travel with photography gear, we even take fewer clothes than most of the people. But there are a couple of tricks so this is not an issue, which will tell you later down.

For now, we want to tell you the most essential gear you should consider packing.

Check this list with the essential items for your packing list, which you will need for any travel vacation. #travelitems #packing #packinglist #essentials

#1 A Great Backpack

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L
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To start making the perfect backpacking packing list, you have to start with the backpack.

To choose the best travel backpack, it will depend on your travel style and needs.

For us, the 45L travel backpack from Peak Design makes the trick perfectly. It has 45L, which is enough for us, can compress into 35L to use as a day pack, and the packing cubes options are simply perfect.

Patri uses the medium packing cubes and the tech pouch to have it all perfectly organized. They work so well and compress your clothes even more to reduce the space. The bag and the cubes could not work better together.

As for me, Sergio, I use the same backpack but with a different configuration. I use the medium camera cube to fit all my camera stuff and electronics, and a small packing cube for my clothes.

We used to travel with Osprey backpacks before, which also makes a great choice.

You can read our post to find the best travel backpack for you here

#2 A Goretex Jacket.

a goretex jacket is essential in a backpacking packing list.
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There is not a complete backpacking packing list without a good Goretex jacket. Regardless of where you go, it will keep you dry. Because you don’t want to start any journey soaking wet, do you? This can definitively spoil your trip.

So our recommendation and after years of experience, a good Goretex jacket is great for all situations. The investment is well worth it and this is not just for traveling. You can also use it in your day-to-day.

Try to go for one easy to pack not too bulky, like the ones we have recommended.

#3 Goretex Shoes.

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We just said that being wet sucks and is not a pleasant sensation. Especially if what it is wet, are your feet.

That’s why a good pair of Goretex shoes are always our favorite option for functionality and comfort.

We are adventure people, and we love getting into muddy places, adventure in dirt roads to look for nice photo spots and explore. So these shoes become really handy.

We reckon they are not very sexy, but hey, we are talking about being functional and versatile here, remember? If you travel with them on, you can carry a second pair or your favorite trainers in the back.

In most of the cases and for express trips, we only take these with us because are all purposes shoes for traveling.

#4 Microfiber Towel

microfiber towel
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Regular towels are heavy, inefficient, and take up a ton of space. Instead, use a micro-fiber dry towel.

Micro-fiber towels are made by travelers for travelers. They are super light, and most importantly dry very quickly.

#5 Travel Adaptor

travel adaptor
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There are simply too many countries with different kind of plugs and voltages.

That is why you need this travel adaptor. One adaptor to rule them all! And what is even better, it is equipped with 2 USB ports so you can plug-in even more stuff at once!

#6 Travel Belt

travel belt
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We all know how important our passport and money is when traveling. That is why we need something where to keep them safe.

With a travel belt, you can have access to them easily, while is hidden. This one, in particular, is waterproof and have enough place to store and hide your belongings like your iPhone, keys, money, credit cards, documents, passport and more.

It is definitively peace of mind and a great thing to have.

#7 Water Bottle With Filter

water filter bottle
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We bought this one for our year traveling around the world and it has been one of the best things we bought.

We used it to fill it with water from the tap in places where it was not recommended to drink, and thanks to the filter we never got ill or had an issue. And not only that, I took it with me for Annapurna trekking and filled it from rivers on the way and wherever I found running water.

The way it works is, once you fill the bottle, the straw filters the water as it goes through so that there is no risk of being ill.

Not only you can use it everywhere but also, it helps you save lots of money in plastic water bottles and it helps the planet.

#8 Power bank

power bank
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What would we do without this on our trips? Power banks can be a lifesaver on these long trips where you are unable to find a spot to charge your electronics and also when you travel to certain countries and you experience a power cut.

This can be the only way of resuscitating your phone or to get the hold of your electronics.

With this power bank, you can charge your phone full battery up to 3 times. Thanks to its compact and flat shape it doesn’t take much of your luggage space so you can always keep it in your bag.

For us, it is definitely one of the essentials for your backpacking packing list.

#9 Travel Friendly Laptop

macbook pro laptop
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On these times, most of us travel with a laptop.

Is a great tool for us to work remotely if needed, for photographers for transfer and edit the pictures and for bloggers to write good stuff.

A travel-friendly laptop should not weight much and should be fast. We don’t want to waste extra time because of the laptop when traveling.

We have been using the MacBook Pro for a while and it has been a great investment. The 13″ provides us with more than enough for blogging and is good enough for editing our pictures and videos.

We have tried many before, and we are aware that this is not the cheapest. But again, is well worth the investment if you ever need to work remotely.

#10 Travel Camera

gopro 7
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We all like to capture video and photos from our trips one way or another.

The good thing with GoPro, is that is affordable, and the auto mode makes a great job for both photo and video. This makes the GoPro 7 a great travel companion, together with its compact size and quality.

There is no camera out there like the GoPro for adventures. With the 7, you need to bring less stuff with you since is waterproof itself without the need of a housing, and the best of all? The new stabilizer. Now, that makes a difference in your footage!

You can also check here the best mirrorless cameras for travel

#11 Padlock

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Padlocks are a versatile tool in many ways.

You can lock your bag up when you need to. Simply connect the lock between the two zippers you have a thief proof bag.

They are also very handy for hostels. In some hostels they provide lockers, and in many cases, they either don’t have a lock or you need to pay for one. With a padlock, you can easily solve this issue and another thing less to worry.

#12 Headlamp

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A headlamp is one of those things you normally forget about. But let me tell you something, we have used this more than most of the other things on the list.

When sleeping in hostels and you don’t want to disturb people, when hiking after sunset, when leaving early for a sunrise shooting session, etc.

This takes really little space and can be an extremely useful tool.

Backpacking Packing List- Documents Checklist

Together with the essentials above, the documentation is of vital importance. That’s why we want to make sure you don’t leave anything behind. We like to keep all the important ones on our travel belt.

  • Valid passport
  • Copies of your passport x4
  • Passport photos for visas on arrival x6
  • Travel tickets (flight, hotels, train, etc)
  • Debit Cards x 2
  • Credit Card
  • Some dollars (internationally accepted)
  • Driver’s license
  • Personal ID
  • Vaccination card (if needed)
  • Travel Insurance

Essential In Your Backpacking Packing List- Travel Insurance.

Regardless of where you go, you should never leave without good travel insurance. If anything goes wrong in your trip, with baggage, damages, etc, is good to have insurance for peace of mind.

These days there are many good options and affordable options to cover your trips and gadgets.

In our case, we have been using World Nomads since we started travelin