Packing for a Backpacking Trip

Packing for a Backpacking Trip

Packing for a Backpacking Trip

Remember that you’ll be carrying everything wherever you go. Don’t pack too much!

Most people probably wonder, “How can you take everything you need for 5 months into a backpack?” The answer is simple. By necessity. It seems daunting at first; but once you travel for a bit with just a backpack, you realize how little you actually need. Travel has completely changed my view on “things” and “stuff”. When it all comes down to it, all you need are the basic necessities.

One may be inclined to buy the biggest backpack possible to ensure they have everything they need. But after just a few days, the size and weight of the backpack really limit your ability to move around and just makes you miserable. I once met a French girl in Peru who had two 80 liter backpacks, totaling probably 80 pounds in weight. We took a taxi together, and I did my best to help her; trying to move one of those bags around was horrendous. Needless to say, she dreaded having to move from one city to another.

My backpack of choice is the North Face Tierra 45 Liter, which I traded down for when I realized my 70 liter backpack was more than I needed. I also carry a 20-25 liter backpack along. I find this the best, as I can fit almost everything in my 45 liter backpack but can place all my valuables (camera, computer, etc.) in my smaller backpack for the bus rides in which the larger back needs to go either under or on top of the bus. I also have the smaller backpack for day-trips and for lugging my camera and water around.

What to take

Packing for a Backpacking Trip

Everything fits.

I’m usually pretty unorganized when packing for a trip, leaving that for the morning that I leave. This time around, though, I created a packing list and laid everything out beforehand.(I must say that this has reduced a lot of stress). The trick is to take enough where you don’t always need to be doing laundry but not so much that the bag is heavy. So here is what I’m taking with me:

4 t-shirts
1 Hiking shorts/pants
1 Merino wool long sleeve
1 long-sleeve “dressier” shirt
1 pair of mesh shorts
1 pair of jeans + belt
1 pair of shoes
1 pair of sandals
5 pairs of socks
5 pairs of underwear
1 DSLR camera, lens, charger
1 point and shoot camera + charger
1 laptop + charger
1 Speaker
1 toothbrush + toothpaste
1 electric razor + charger
1 deodorant
1 floss
1 towel
1 bar of soap + case
1 small bottle of shampoo
1 Kindle + charger
1 headlamp
1 water bottle
1 chess set
1 USB flash drive
1 bottle of sunscreen
1 outlet converter
1 pair of sunglasses
1 raincoat
1 small umbrella
1 passport
1 vaccination “passport”
1 bug spray
1 small lock

Everything I need plus a few fun things. Prepared enough but not overly prepared. You can usually find almost everything you’d need in other countries, as well, so there is no need to stress if you’re not sure if you want to carry it along. As long as you have your passport, you’ll be good to go!

Packing for a Backpacking Trip

Ready to go. This is my uniform for the next 5 months.



About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.


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