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Travel Gear for Backpackers

When it comes to my favourite travel gear for solo travellers and backpackers, I consider packing cubes to be right up there at the top.

Backpacking can be chaotic and messy at times, and not being able to find or access things quickly can cause a lot of stress and frustration (which you really don’t need during your trip!).

Packing cubes help you to organise your things by packing them into separate compartments within your backpack.

This gives you the ability to access certain items without destroying the order of everything else.

For me, feeling organised when I travel is really important. However, there’s a fine line between reaping the rewards of packing cubes and paying too much for little added benefit.

I personally own the blue and black set of Shacke Pak packing cubes (as shown in the image) and I love them!

If there’s one thing that you don’t want in your backpack, it’s a smelly, damp, space-consuming towel!

Rather than a standard bath towel, my greatest recommendation for travellers (based off my own personal experience) is to equip yourself with a microfiber travel towel.

Microfibre (or microfiber) towels:

  • Have antibacterial/antimicrobial properties which help to prevent the build up of bacteria, germs and other bad odours
  • Take up less space and prime real estate in your backpack
  • Are more absorbent, with some able to absorb around 4-5 times their weight in water
  • Are quick-drying, drying 5-10 times faster than a standard towel
  • Can be used multiple times before washing 
  • Are made from material is that is soft on sensitive skin 

NOTE: Micro-fibre towels do tend to be much smaller than normal towels, so ensure to check the measurements before purchasing to ensure it’s the right size for you.

Marchway dry bags are awesome for backpackers because they help protect your valuables / tech when expecting to get wet, and can be used as an extra highly convenient carry bag for dirty clothes or shoes.

The great thing about these dry sacks is that the opening rolls closed, allowing you to adjust the size of the bag and also keep it water-tigh, preventing any water from leaking in.

These dry bags also come with a shoulder strap and clip meaning you can clip it to the exterior of your backpack when not in use, or carry it separately as desired.

The only decision you need to make is – which size?

Personally, I own and use the 10L bag, as it is big enough to fit a pair of shoes/outfit, but is small enough that it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

A hidden money belt helps you to keep your passport and credit cards safe from digital thef, bag theft and pickpockets.  

With added RFID tech you can have more peace of mind when travelling.

However, some money belts can be realy uncomfortable – especially in hotter climates or if wearing for long periods of time.

This is why you want to ensure that you get one that is lightweight and high quality. Having in-built RFID protection can also be a handy feature to look for.

I also like to look for a belt that is big enough to fit my passport, alongside cash and other cards.

Padlocks for your luggage are a simple but important component of your travel gear.

They serve many functions including:

  • Securing your belongings in your room whilst you go out exploring the town 
  • Deterring pickpockets when travelling between destinations
  • Locking your backpack when checking it in at the airport 
  • Locking up personal items, valuables or technology in your hostel/hotel safe (At most places, you’re usually expected to BYO lock).

Personally, I like to carry one standard “lock and key” for my larger backpack and for the hostel safe and one code encrypted lock for my day bag/backpack.

If you want to save yourself from running around, this brand of combination locks seems pretty reliable.

Although at first glance you may think they look expensive for just “locks”, but it’s important to ensure thatthe oens you use are good solid locks, not cheap flimsy ones.

These locks are also very similar to the locks I use personally on my travels.

Travel Tech for Backpackers

If you’re a movie buff like I am, packing a portable hard drive can be an incredibly useful and convenient form of entertainment.

Portable hard drives allow you to watch movies or TV shows while you travel without needing a wi-fi source. They can also be used as extra storage for photos or videos helping you save space on your other devices.

They are perfect for those evenings you just want to snuggle up and have a movie night on your own, or when travelling between destinations for entertainment.

Both of the hard drives I own and use are Seagates

I find this brand to be reliable and compact – which is exactly what you want when backpacking overseas.

I own both a 1TB and 2TB hard drive. However, the amount of storage you need will really depend on how much you plan to store on your hardrive. 

If you have a smart phone, it’s likely that you’ll rely on it A LOT when travelling – whether it be for the internet, to access your camera, maps, weather or various other apps.

This heightened dependency means greater drainage of your battery throughout your day.

When travelling, a flat phone battery can be extremely inconvenient, and at times risky, given you’re unable to contact anyone or digitally locate where you are.

I’ve had some VERY close calls when travelling on my own, but luckily my power bank saved me on many occasions.

To save yourself from the hassle of a flat battery, ensure to check out the Anker PowerCore 1000 power bank.

It is one of the smallest and lightest 10,000mAh portable chargers available – with a total weight of only 178g!

This power bank provides almost three-and-a-half iPhone 8 charges or two-and-a-half Galaxy S8 charges. It also features high-speed charging.

I recently bought one mysef, and am so excited to try it on my next overseas adventure.

NOTE: If thinking of buying one for yourself, just ensure to check compatability with your device).

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