Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Not going to lie, at the very start, backpacking was a challenge. Seeing that we were accustomed to travelling with a check-in luggage and unlimited amount of items, it took a really different approach to get minimal and pack what is essential. The first backpack trip is always going to be a challenge but once you realize we really don’t need as much we think it is pretty easy to get through. We are here to tell you it gets easier.
In the crunch, all we really need is enough clothing to pull us through a week until a laundromat or laundry service can be found. Enough toiletries, if you run out there are stores everywhere that will allow you to get whatever you need instantly and more often, better prices than what we found in Canada or the United States.The way we pack does not necessarily mean it will be the same for you since our trips are based on 2-3 weeks per destination. You can easily adjust to however long your trip may be. So, what do we have in our Packs?
1. Clothing/Towels (of course),
2. Toiletries (travel size),
3. Camera and Travel Gear and
4. Organizational Items
6. Medication and Vitamins
Depending on the length of the trip, we pack more shirts and dress shirts than jeans and shorts. We find that we tend to run through them much faster due to hikes and sweating in the heat of many of the tropical destinations we love to visit. We average .5x shirts/tops for each day on the trip. We find a laundromat around the corner from most hostels. One pair of jeans, a pair of joggers, and some dressy shorts with some active shorts. We work in 2x boxers/ underclothing per day and .5x to 1x ocks for the trip. Shoes vary for us based on region, we tend to pack flip flops, runners, dress and hiking shoes (yes this all tends to fit, on odd occasions we share space to make it all fit). And finally, a towel, the best is a traveler's microfiber towel which is quick drying and can fold up to save space. We know this will vary for women and in a future blog will be sure to cover that topic. That wraps up what we have under clothing in our backpacks
Toiletries, although available in every country, need depend on the traveler. We personally need, shower gels, body lotion and sunblock, deodorant and cologne as priority. (all Travel size) Everything else we can find at the destination. Key trick for cologne is to hit up your closest sephora before the trip and get a few sample cases or samples from your favorite collection. Believe it lasts the trip and saves you going over that TSA 100ml requirement. Target and Walmart are our favourites for toiletries as they have a wide variety of options for travel.
3. Camera Travel Gear
This is essential for our travels. While we take the time to enjoy the moment when we are travelling, nothing beats capturing the moment to look back on it for years to come. We travel with a couple of items for this. We carry a Camera in addition to our phones. A DJI osmo Mobile 2, and a waterproof action cam. On top of all that a portable charger is a must have! You never know when you'll run short on battery life and having it can save you, especially if you're in that picture perfect moment.
4. Organizational Items
Starting with the basics, trips extending a month you really want to be able to keep everything neat and clean so we opt for packing cubes. This really helps save time when it comes to getting the items when needed as they are easily accessible.
This is pretty much what we travel with everytime we take a trip. We fit these into our backpack and avoid paying for checked luggages on most of these trips since intercity flight is a must for most countries. This saves us 100’s on each trip.
At the end of day snacks are really dependent on your personal preference, but what we usually bring are protein bars. We don't know if it's the same for you, but being stuck on a flight that doesn't serve any food besides pretzels and water or even going on a hike in the country you are visiting, having those protein bars can be a life saver. They come in various flavours and you can find them at pretty much any grocery store.
The best thing you can do is ABP, Always Be Prepared! Whichever country you plan on visiting make sure to go to your local pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to see if there are any medications you should bring. Medications really depend on the country you are visiting so make sure to be well informed or do your research before getting on that plane. Most of the time you'll need tablets for travelers' diarrhea and for altitude sickness. If you are planning to climb mountains such as rainbow mountain in Peru with limited altitude exposure, it may be best to get pills prescribed for the days at high altitude.
Personally, we also travel with some additional supplements such as Vitamin C, Muti-Vitamins, and Omega-3’s. This is a preference as some days can get really long when traveling and your body nutrients can be depleted, especially after a night out drinking, you can feel very tired the next day which limits your ability to… explore. This really helps us keep going but if you aren't too interested in packing all that the go to recommended is Airborne tabs . It has gotten us out of quite a few exhausting days and potential hangovers when travelling.
A quick side tip for you, don't forget to make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations BEFORE leaving for your trip, regardless of the destination. Certain countries may require proof and leaving without it you might end up cutting your trip short.
So with all the items we listed above, where do you put all of this? What bag allows you to avoid those crazy checked-baggage fees? We travel with a 65L pack, Dueter backpack (which also comes with a day pack) or DB carryall 65. You can find similar packs on amazon as well with a wide search. Yes you are able to fit all you need in the pack with using the organization cubes and getting creative with the packing strategy. Also, we haven’t come across any trouble by taking these on the plane.
Have fun packing and travelling! More travel on the way!