What To Pack: The Ultimate Backpacking Checklist

You're taking the big leap and embarking on your first backpacking adventure. But what to pack? Before you hit the road, it's crucial to pack smart and efficiently. In this guide, we'll walk you through all the essentials so you're well-prepared for your journey. 

You'll learn:

girl holding a travel backpack

Choosing the Right Backpack

Your backpack will be your trusted companion throughout your adventure, so it's important to find the perfect fit. Consider factors like size, weight, durability, and comfort. Opt for a backpack with adjustable straps, plenty of compartments, and proper back support. 

When it comes to size, the ideal backpack is between 40-70 liters. Remember, the trick is not to stuff it full — choose a backpack that leaves extra space for comfort and any souvenirs you pick up along your journey. 

How To Pack Your Backpack

Maximizing space is key when backpacking. Roll your clothes tightly to save room, and consider using packing cubes for better organization. Place heavier items at the bottom and distribute weight evenly to prevent discomfort during long journeys. Don't go overboard with unnecessary items; only pack what you truly need. Remember, less is more when you're on the move!

traveler running across a bridge wearing a backpack

What To Pack: Backpacking Checklist

Now you've got the right bag and packing techniques. The next step is to pack the essentials for your trip.

Versatile Clothing and Gear 

When it comes to clothing, stick to the essentials. Pack lightweight, quick-drying items that are suitable for various weather conditions. Here's what you should include:

  • A few t-shirts and tops
  • Comfortable hiking pants or shorts
  • A lightweight jacket or fleece for cooler evenings
  • A rain jacket or poncho for unexpected showers
  • Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
  • Comfortable socks and underwear
  • A hat or cap for sun protection
  • Swimsuit (if your destination offers swimming opportunities)

Health Essentials and Toiletries

Remember to pack travel-sized toiletries and follow the 3-1-1 rule to save space in your backpack. Here's a checklist to follow:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, and soap
  • Sunscreen with a high SPF
  • Insect repellent
  • Wet wipes or hand sanitizer
  • Small towel
  • Personal medications (if needed)

You'll also want to pack a first-aid kit. But keep it simple — unless you're going somewhere really off the beaten path, you don't need to go all out. Here are a few essentials to include:

  • Bandaids
  • Blister patches
  • Painkillers
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Antihistamine
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Anti-diarrhea pills

Tech and Connectivity

In this digital age, staying connected while on the go is essential. Add these items to your packing list: 

  • An eSIM: Stay online during your backpacking trip with an eSIM from Airalo. An eSIM allows you to instantly connect to a mobile network wherever you travel. It's like having a local SIM card for your device without the headache of physical cards and the need to switch them out. Plus, you can rest easy knowing you aren't racking up expensive roaming charges while you're away!  
  • Power adapters: Depending on your destination, you may need different power adapters to keep your devices charged. A universal power adapter is the best way to go — it gives you an all-in-one way to charge your devices in different countries.
  • A portable charger: The last thing you want is for your phone to run out of juice while you're on the go. Pack a portable charger (power bank) in your backpack so you can charge your device from anywhere.

backpacker taking a photo with her phone

Additional Tips and Tricks to Avoid Overpacking

Here are a few additional tips before you zip up your backpack. Pack a travel towel, as it is compact, lightweight, and quick-drying. Skip the heavy guidebooks and use helpful travel apps on your smartphone instead. Avoid packing valuables or sentimental items that you can't afford to lose. And finally, always double-check your packing list before you set off on your adventure.

You're now equipped with the essentials for your backpacking adventure. Remember to pack light and prioritize the items you truly need. And don't forget to stay connected with an Airalo eSIM!

Need an eSIM for your adventure? Browse eSIMs for 200+ countries and regions worldwide on the Airalo website and app (App Store | Google Play Store). 

Ready to try eSIMs and change the way you stay connected?

Download the Airalo app to purchase, manage, and top up your eSIMs anytime, anywhere!

Airalo | Download mobile app
Airalo | Use your Free Credit

Use Your Free Credit.

You can earn USD $3.00 in Airmoney by sharing your referral code with friends.