Whether it’s months on the road or just a short weekend away, Beck and I have packed our bags to go and travel countless times over the years. To make packing easier, we’ve put together a list of the travel essentials that we usually take on our backpacking and hiking trips. In this travel packing list, we’ll show you all of the essentials that we pack, wear and use when we travel and explore the great outdoors.
Table of Contents
Travel Packing List
This travel packing list will help you figure out what to pack and wear for your next adventure. Being hiking enthusiasts and natural wonder seekers, you’ll find our travel packing list is tailored to those exploring the great outdoors. Indeed, if you’re going on a long backpacking trip or a hiking trip of any length of time, this travel packing list will be more applicable and useful.
Over the years, our travel packing list has evolved through trial and error. Yes, we’ve gone through the heartache of having inadequate gear on long-distance hikes or forgetting essentials on backpacking adventures, so you don’t have to suffer! Simply read our travel packing list below and you’ll discover all of the quality gear and essentials you should pack to have a memorable and comfortable trip.
Bear in mind, that this is not an exhaustive list of every single item you should take on your trip. Rather, this travel packing list covers all of the big-ticket items and most important accessories, gadgets and gear.
FYI – we buy most of our gear on Amazon as it’s usually cheaper than buying directly from suppliers. Plus, Amazon provides a great service. For instance, returning and getting a refund for an item is simple and stress-free. Best of all, Amazon is reliable, trustworthy and transparent.
Travel Gear Essentials
Let’s start this travel packing list with all of the essentials that’ll put you in good stead for any backpacking trip.
Let’s start by talking about the backpack that you’ll use to store all of your travel gear! Osprey is one of the best at making comfortable and durable backpacking backpacks. For years, Beck and I have both used Osprey backpacks for both backpacking and multi-day hikes. Currently, the most popular Osprey backpacking backpack is the Osprey Rook for men and the Osprey Renn for women.
When you’re on the road, you’ll also want a smaller backpack to use during the day when you’re exploring. And, for those shorter trips, you’ll only need a smaller bag. The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to backpack for day trips, short trips abroad and day hiking. This well-designed backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack all of your travel gear without feeling the strain on your body.
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
On some occasions, you may actually need a waterproof dry bag to protect your gear. If you’re chasing waterfalls, on a boat trip or a snorkelling or diving tour, you may need to include a dry bag on your travel packing list. And, the best dry bag is the Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag.
Using packing cubes will help you to stay organised with your travel gear. Before we knew about the Osprey UL Packing Cube Set, our backpacks used to be a mess. If you’re unorganised with your gear, you’re more likely to lose things, especially if you’re visiting multiple places on a single trip.
Admittedly, most packing cubes you’ll find online are cheap and nasty, which means they’ll easily tear and break. Thankfully, the Osprey Ultralight Packing Cube Set is made of high-quality material, so they should last the entirety of your trip!
Yes, this travel packing list is all about helping you stay organised! By using a travel wallet, you’re less likely to lose important documents such as your passport. Using a travel wallet will also help keep your cards and documents stored safely and securely, reducing the chances of theft.
We use the Amazon Basics Travel Wallet, which is a budget-friendly yet high-quality travel wallet, that also has RFID anti-theft technology to help protect you against fraudsters!
Depending on where exactly you’re travelling, you may want to use a hidden money belt. Undoubtedly, the best money belt is the Pacsafe Coversafe X100. This money belt will help you safely store your money and cards, so it’s definitely important gear to have.
We use the Wise Multi-Currency Card when we travel overseas. It’s really easy to use and a lot cheaper than using bank cards as you’ll avoid hidden fees and exchange rate markups. To order a free card, click the button below.
So, where will you store all of your small electronic items and cables when you’re travelling? You won’t want your cables and cords getting tangled and misplaced all the time. The FYY Electronic Organiser is one of the most highly-rated and highly-reviewed organisers for electronics. Whether it’s cables, hard drives, memory cards, spare batteries or a spare phone, this electronic bag will help you keep your electronics organised and easily available.
Of course, you may want to take a laptop on your trip. Both Beck and I travel with the Dell New Inspiron 15 Laptop. It’s a powerful laptop that allows us to upload all of our photos, do all of our photo and video editing as well as blogging.
But, we understand that you may not need such a powerful laptop – just something to help you upload images, book flights and accommodation and search the web whilst travelling. In this case, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a highly-rated and popular laptop, that’s a more budget-friendly solution.
If you’re taking lots of photos and videos, you’ll definitely want to back them up. We all know that sometimes things go wrong when we’re travelling. If you’re camera breaks or gets stolen, you don’t want to lose all of your photos! Beck and I always travel with a couple of WD External Hard Drives (1TB or 2TB).
Don’t leave for your trip without booking travel insurance. We all know accidents can happen and having Heymondo travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. Click the button below to receive a 5% discount!
Keep all your electronics charged while you’re on the go with the Anker Portable Power Bank. We wouldn’t travel anywhere without this high-quality portable charger. Certainly, when it comes to travel gadgets, the Anker Portable Power Bank should be high on your travel packing list.
A Universal Travel Adapter is an important piece of travel gear, especially if you’re travelling to multiple continents during your trip. After all, it’s annoying to have to pack several power adapters. An all-in-one universal travel adapter is the answer!
If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly yet high-quality noise-cancelling headphones for travel, then look no further than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45. These are great for when you want some piece and quiet on a flight or on a bus.
Skyscanner is our go-to website for booking flights. If you’re looking to find the cheapest flights, we recommend getting the ball rolling with a Skyscanner search. It allows you to scan all airlines and platforms to find the cheapest airfares.
Taking an e-reader travelling is a great idea if you like to read and don’t want to pack books. I mean, books take up a lot of space in your bag! The Amazon Kindle is a popular e-reader and has served us well on our travels.
To protect your Amazon Kindle on the road, we suggest using an Amazon Kindle Cover. The Amazon Kindle Cover has stopped my Amazon Kindle from getting scratched and damaged on numerous occassions. So, the cover always ends up on our travel packing list.
The GRAYL GeoPress is a wonderful water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re adventuring, so it’s definitely important travel gear to have.
The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel is the best quick-dry microfibre towel. This compact, lightweight and super-absorbent towel is perfect for travel.
Hands down, the best travel pillow is the Trtl Neck Pillow. The unique design helps support the weight of your head whilst sleeping in a seated position. By using this travel pillow, you won’t have a sore neck after waking from those awkward seated sleeping positions on a bus or plane. Definitely, add the Trtl Neck Pillow to your travel gear list.
Busbud is one of the best online bus booking platforms. Wherever you’re travelling, you can easily compare bus tickets from different companies and book the best option for your trip. We highly recommend using Busbud to find the cheapest bus fares.
If you’re camping, exploring underground or going on a multi-day hike, you’ll need a good headlamp. The Petzl ACTIK CORE Headlamp is a reliable, lightweight and high-rated headlamp.
There have been so many times when Beck and I have benefitted from having aqua shoes on our travel packing list. If you’re exploring gorges, waterfalls or pebbly beaches, using the WateLves Aqua Shoes will help protect your feet.
Better yet, these aqua shoes are very compact and flexible, so they’re easy to store in your backpack and whip out whenever you need them.
Camera Gear Essentials
Next on this travel packing list is all of our beloved camera gear that we use to capture our adventures. Listed below, are all of our camera gear essentials that we take on most of our backpacking and hiking trips.
You may be surprised to know that Beck and I often use a simple compact camera when we’re hiking. But, we don’t recommend any old compact camera. By far, the best quality compact camera is the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. We love using this camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight, compact and durable, yet it still captures the most breathtaking photos and videos.
We like to have some different camera options depending on the situation and what type of adventure we’re going on. On shorter hikes or less demanding adventures to natural attractions, we’ll pack the Sony Alpha 7 IV, which is a high-quality mirrorless camera. Other than taking mind-blowing photos, it’s actually also one of the most lightweight mirrorless camera options.
Of course, this camera is only as good as its lens! The Sony Alpha 7 IV generally comes with a standard 28-70 mm lens. But, if you really want the best quality and versatility, we recommend the 24-105mm lens, which will take your photography to the next level!
You can capture stunning aerial photos and videos with the DJI Air 2S. Sure, a drone won’t form part of everyone’s travel packing list. But, if you want to take your photography or videography to the next level, you may want to consider the DJI Air 2S.
Of course, we always want to travel with the most lightweight camera gear. And, indeed, the popular DJI Mini 3 is much lighter. But, because we need something a bit more robust and sturdy when we’re flying high in the mountains, the DJI Air 2S is better for us.
If you’re new to the world of drones, you’ll want to buy the DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo. This package comes with all of the necessary accessories such as a remote controller, spare batteries and a battery charger. We’ve also heard good things about the newest model – the DJI Air 3, which has a better battery life and improved overall performance.
Hands down, the GoPro HERO12 Black is the best action camera on the market. Overall, the high specs of the GoPro HERO12 are super impressive considering it’s such a small unit. Specifically, the built-in stabilisation is great for capturing your friends, family or yourself doing adventure activities such as hiking, biking or underwater sports. Personally, we love using the GoPro HERO12 for hiking videography and snorkelling photography.
Beck and I enjoy using the GoPro El Grande Extension Pole when we explore the great outdoors. Using this camera gear is an excellent way to take selfies and capture videos of yourself during adventure activities. We use this selfie stick loads when we’re hiking to capture memorable footage of our experience.
Given the weight and bulkiness of a tripod, it can be hard to justify adding it to a travel packing list if you’re trying to keep your backpack light. But, a tripod is an absolute must for us as we often photograph waterfalls, which requires a still shot to use the slow shutter function. Thankfully, we found the Manfrotto Compact Action. This tripod is relatively lightweight but robust and durable.
Of course, if you want an even lighter option, you could consider the Manfrotto Compact Light. This tripod is lighter but less sturdy if you encounter windy conditions. Otherwise, the JOBY GorillaPod is an increasingly popular option as it’s even more lightweight, compact and versatile.
You’re going to need memory cards for all of your camera gear! We use a variety of SanDisk Extreme Pro SD cards. We use the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card (usually 64GB) for our cameras, but we also use the SanDisk Extreme Pro Micro SD Card 64GB for the DJI Air 2S and GoPro HERO12 Black. Of course, if you take tonnes of video, you may want to consider the 128GB or 256GB sizes.
Another great option is the SanDisk Extreme Pro Micro SD Card and Adapter. The adapter allows you to use the Micro SD Card as a normal-sized SD card. Essentially, it’s like getting two for one!
Hiking Gear Essentials
Next on this travel packing list, we’ll look at the gear essentials that you’ll want to take on hiking trips. Below, we’ve included hiking gear that you’ll use on day hikes, plus some extra gear that you’ll want for multi-day hikes.
Comfortable hiking boots are at the top of the travel packing list when it comes to hiking gear. And, they don’t come much more comfortable than the boots in the Merrell Moab series. Of course, there are many different options to choose from in the Merrell Moab Series. Some important specs to choose between are whether you want the low-cut or mid-cut length and whether you want the basic waterproof membrane or gore-tex.
Personally, I wear and can’t speak more highly of the Men’s Merrell Moab 2 Mid Goretex Hiking Boots. Bear in mind, that these aren’t winter boots, but perfect for hiking in all other seasons.
A waterproof jacket is another essential piece of gear for hiking and exploring outdoors. To see out the wet spells during a hike, you’ll want to have The North Face Venture Jacket 2 packed. This jacket also acts as a windbreaker, which has kept us warm on many a windy summit.
The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Trousers are a popular piece of hiking gear. The versatility of changing between trousers and shorts is useful, whilst they’re lightweight, breathable and comfortable. Indeed, I love wearing these three-season hiking trousers! Bear in mind, that these hiking trousers are only water-resistant. For winter, you may want more heavy-duty waterproof hiking trousers.
The CamelBak Crux 3L Water Reservoir is the best hydration bladder on the market. Certainly, there is nothing worse than having a leaky hydration bladder. Beck and I have learnt that lesson the hard way! Camelbaks are world-famous for their high-quality water reservoirs. I love using the larger 3L bladder, but if you want a smaller size, you’ll want to buy the CamelBak Crux 2L Water Reservoir.
There are many reasons why you might benefit from using trekking poles. Personally, Beck and I use trekking poles on long-distance and high-elevation day hikes as well as on multi-day hikes to reduce the stress on our knees. The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are some of the best trekking poles you’ll come across.
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. Personally, Beck and I use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and help us keep warm in cooler climates.
The North Face Etip Gloves are a great pair of hiking gloves. The Etip function allows you to continue to use your phone whilst wearing the gloves. This is really handy if you need to use your phone for trail navigation. Bear in mind, that these are not winter gloves – you’ll need something with more insulation for cold weather in the mountains.
The North Face Stormbreak 2 is a high-quality two-person backpacking tent that is much cheaper than top-range ultralightweight options. Sure, at 2.41kg, it isn’t the lightest option. But, you’ll pay a fraction of the price compared with the higher-end ultralight backpacking tents.
We know that every milligram counts when it comes to packing for a multi-day hike, but you shouldn’t compromise on hygiene or warmth. The Sea to Summit Reactor Sleeping Bag Liner gives you that extra layer of cleanliness and warmth. Best of all, it’s super compact and lightweight.
The Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Inflatable Travel Pillow is the best inflatable pillow to take on multi-day hikes. It’s incredibly lightweight and compact – when it’s deflated, it literally fits in your pocket!
If you don’t have a trip coming up, we understand that you might not need to use this travel packing list at the moment. But, it might come in handy down the line. So, we recommend bookmarking this page for future use.