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Carrying your life on your backFor our extended backpacking round the world trip, we deliberated long and hard about what items to take.

Here you will find a list of what we ended up taking. Not all these objects will be suitable for all travelers, nor will all the items be relevant for a trip done now (our trip was in 2005!). Hopefully, the list can be used as a guide, and will give you a starting point and other ideas too.

As everyone advises, pack as light as you can. So if you don't think you will need an item very often, and if you can buy it while traveling, it is probably a good idea to leave it behind and get it when you need it. Even a few grams can add up to a significant weight when you have to lug it around the world for months on end.

Also essential for the packing list is a medical kit. See also the ultimate packing list, and packing methods.


Calculator - If you are not too good at number crunching in your head, a calculator may be useful for converting currencies.

money belt

Money pouch - To avoid pick-pockets and keep your money and other valuables safe, a money pouch, which you can wear under your clothes, is a good idea. If it seems safe, you could leave some valuables back at your hotel in a safe box. In hot climates the money belt can be hard to hide under your flimsy but necessary cool clothing, and if you sweat a lot it can get damp and chafe.


Large backpack - The size of your backpack determines how much you take. Have a look at the backpack page for information on choosing a backpack.

Small backpack / daypack - Many large travel packs come with a detachable daypack. If not, you can take a small backpack. One which can be folded up and put inside the larger one can be handy so you do not always have to carry both packs.

combo padlock

Combination padlocks - Key lock padlocks are just asking for trouble if you lose the key. With combination locks, the only problem is if you forget your combination. You will find small ones of these handy for keeping your backpack secure, and larger ones for locking your room or security locker when you are out for the day.

wire lock

wire lock - A combination lock combined with a strong wire will enable you to secure your pack to other objects. It comes in handy on overnight trains and buses as you can sleep soundly with your belongings safely secured.


Getting Around:




Universal Sink Plug

sink plug - You will rarely find a sink with a plug, and one of these universal plugs are made to fit any water basin. It is better than using a sock to block the hole when you want to hand wash some clothes.

Peg Less Clothes Line

clothes line - A peg-less clothes line is very useful for hanging out your clothes to dry overnight in your hotel room. They usually come with hooks and suction cups on the ends to make it easier to find a place to hang. If you don't have one of these, some string or rope can be used, which can also come in handy at other times too.

Soap Holder

Soap Holder - You need a waterproof bag or container for your soap so that it does not get on your other toiletries or clothes.





Inflatable PillowOther


see also: choosing a backpack


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