While traveling, your backpack is your home. What will you carry around in your home depends on few things, mainly your experience, because after few trips you can see what you use and what can you go without.
But if you don’t have a lot of experience, here is what I bring with myself when I travel. Everyone has different way of traveling and needs different things – the only way you will know for yourself is that you try and then you will see for yourself.
So, here is my list:
1. A BACKPACK – the most important thing, of course. Try to buy a quality backpack, especially if you travel a lot and you walk a lot on your trips, your back will be grateful. Be careful of backpack that are too big – mine has 60+10 liters, no matter do I go for a week or for two months.
2. an extra, SMALLER BACKPACK – for around the city and day trips.
3. SLEEPING BAG – when you sleep in other people’s homes or outside, you have to have one. Be sure its not too big, and the temperature should be depending when and where you travel. Its best if you ask the seller in the specialized store, they will explain everything. Mine is for minimum temperature of around 18 Celsius.
4. A MATTRESS – sometimes you will sleep on the floor, it is good to have something to put underneath yourself. Some people bring big fat comfy mattresses; some have the cheapest one out there.
5. A TENT – I carry it only when I travel where its warm enough to be sleeping outside. Shouldn’t be too heavy or too big – also ask a seller where you buy one.
6. A PILLOW – I never carried it, but sometimes when I wake up with a pain in my neck, I wish I did.
7. TECHNOLOGY – mobile phone, mp3, camera, laptop + chargers for all of them. USB stick.
8. SWISS ARMY KNIFE – nowhere without it!
9. HEAD TORCH – comes in handy while camping.
10. A LIGHTER/MATCHES – and some papers, if you know what I mean…
11. TOILETRIES – toothbrush and paste, floss. Shampoo, soap, deodorant, cream, sun screen, something against mosquitoes, nail-clipper, massage oil (you never know), condoms (same as massage oil :p), wet tissues, towel, toilet paper.
12. STUFF FOR HITCHHIKING – map of the area you travel to, some carton board to write signs, something to write signs with, compass.
13. DIARY – try to write down so you don’t forget your adventures. Especially if you drink/smoke a lot.
14. SOUVENIRS for your hosts, if you have space in your backpack. Sometimes its a nice gesture.
15. CLOTHES – depends where you go, again. Jeans, trainers, shoes, Birkenstock’s, socks, T-shirts, shirts, underwear, swimming suit, rain coat, winter stuff if you’re going where its cold.
16. A BOOK – and when you read it, exchange it for some other book, that’s how travelers read. Unless you have a book called 1000 Days of Spring, that one is a keeper.
17. DOCUMENTS – passport, copy of the passport, money, credit/debit card.
18. WATER BOTTLE – saves your life.
19. MY SHEEP – Maria Juana del Campo. Best travel-buddy so far.
…there you go. Have I forgot something?