Could you imagine living off a backpack for several months? We wanted to write an article about the topic because when we leave on a trip around the world one of the big challenges is to make your house fit into your backpack. We personally decided to carry only the necessary stuff considering the different countries, seasons and climates we’ll experience, trying to feel comfortable in all kinds of situations. The aim was also to make our backpack as light as possible, since we’ll be carrying it quite often. It’s not easy!
What to carry in your backpack
Given that the choice of a good backpack is probably the most important point of all the equipment, we have decided to take:
- Rucksack (with integrated rain cover) Quechua Easyfit 60L for Anaïs and 70L for Alberto.
- Smaller backpacks Forclaz 20L (with rain cover) for each of us to be used daily and while trekking.
- Plane cover: before leaving on this trip, we had never heard of plane covers, but it’s simply great! It’s a bag where you put your rucksack so it’s protected during transportation, and it also allows to secure your baggage at the hotel and close it with a lock. You can fold it so it becomes a small pocket.
- Mini fold-away backpack to carry everywhere, it’s so light we don’t even realize we’re carrying it when its folded.
- Waterproof garment covers to organize our clothes.
- A little handbag for Anaïs
Choosing your clothes will mainly depend on your destinations and the time of the year you’re leaving. You wouldn’t take the same clothing for a summer trip to southern Thailand or for a winter weekend getaway in Normandy, right? We are mainly going to travel between the tropics, so the weather should be with us. If you want to know the best period to visit any country in the world and many other tips, we suggest visiting our French colleagues’ blog A Contresens.
Here you have the list of the clothes we’ll carry for our 6-month world trip:
- 6 pairs of socks
- underwear for 6 days
- 1 pyjamas
- Thermal tights
- 1 sweater
- 4 long-sleeve shirts
- 4 T-shirts
- 1 pair of comfortable sport trousers
- 1 pair of jeans
- 2 shorts
- 1 jacket
- 1 waterproof coat
- 1 swimsuit
- 6 pairs of socks
- 2 sports bra and 1 brassiere
- 6 panties
- 1 legging
- 1 sweater
- 3 long-sleeve shirts
- 2 T-shirts
- 2 tank tops
- 1 jogging trousers
- 1 thin sport trousers
- 1 jeans
- 1 shorts
- 1 dress
- 1 waterproof train jacket
- 2 bikinis
This is an important section, our feet must endure until the end of the trip! Take care of your feet and the road will be so much easier! See our choice:
- A pair of flip-flops for hostels and the beach (for him, for her)
- A pair of walking sandals (for him, for her)
- A pair of Columbia hiking boots for Alberto
- A pair of Salomon hiking boots for Anaïs
Here we’ll include all the little things that make our life easier while travelling:
- Hat or cap
- 1 Swiss knife
- 3 in 1 cutlery
- 2 snap hooks
- 2 safety whistles
- Several S hooks
- Laundry string and pliers
- Mini seaming kit
- 4 code padlocks (not with keys if you don’t want to lose them!)
- Several ziplock plastic bags
- Antitheft cable
- 2 mosquito nets with a hook
Hardware and photo equipment
Even if nothing in this section seems essential to us, we are both of us enthusiast about photography, music and reading, so:
- A smartphone for each of us
- A hybrid Asus Transformer and an Asus Zenbook ultrabook.
- 2 removable hard disks of 1Tb each.
- A compact camera
- A bridge Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 camera
- 3 SD cards
- Photography filters: UV, ND and polarizer
- A portable tripod
- 2 pairs of earphones
- 2 USB pendrives
- 1 multisocket
- 2 universal adaptors
- 1 extra battery for the camera
- 1 iPod each of us
- 1 e-Reader each of us (much lighter than guidebooks!)
The toilet bag
It’s probably the easiest of all the sections, since we’re used to travelling low cost 😉 We’re going to give priority to natural and solid products (yep, solid shampoo and soap exist too, and they work really well!).
- 2 microfibre towels
- 2 toilet bags
- Solid shampoo
- Solid soap (shower and laundry)
- 2 toothbrush
- Argan oil for skin moisturing
- Cotton buds
- Nail clipper and lime
- Alum stone as deodorant
- Contact lenses and cleaning liquid
- Electric epilator
- Elastic band
- Jojoba oil to remove your make and moisture your skin
- Little case with eyeliner, mascara, eye primer, shadow and blush
- Mentrual cup
- Silk hiking sleeper bag liner
- Several pairs of earplugs
- Sleeping mask
- Inflatable pillow
- Notebook and pen
- Deck of cards
The travel medical kit
The list of items to this section is quite long, so we’ve decided to write a specific article. You can check it out here.
It’s paramount that you keep your papers in a safe place! Some travellers prefer leaving them at the hotel, some others choose to carry them on themselves all day long. The choice is yours! Anyway, before leaving, make sur you scan all your documents and upload them to the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox or Mega are good solutions).
- Passport with all your visas
- Photocopy of your passport, plastified in two copies
- International driving license and your national license
- Insurance card or certificate
- Notebook with all the important contacts (family, friends, bank, insurance, all the embassies…)
- 3 credit cards (two for our common account plus one for each personal account)
- International vaccination certificate
- Flight reservations
The weight of your backpack
In hiking, we often say the weight of your backpack shouldn’t go over 20% of your own weight, so it’s usually between 13 and 15kg! Follow this guideline if you don’t want to get your back hurt!
That was all concerning our equipment for our trip around the world, all our possessions for the next 6 months! Even if the list looks long, we can assure you that once everything is in the backpack, we still have the feeling that we’re missing something!
What about you? What do you usually put in your bag? Have you already gone on a long-term trip? Would you be able to fit your home into a backpack?