15 Backpacker Essentials Gift Guide | Travel Tips

backpacker essential gift guide

Top 15 Backpacker Essentials

Seeing as the holiday season is approaching I thought it would be a good idea to share my Top 15 Backpacker Essentials. While this list is geared towards backpackers it is a useful list for all travelers. These are items I have purchased with my money so I 100% stand behind them. These items have made traveling easier, safer and more comfortable. Having traveled to over 30 something countries in less than 5 years turns you into a packing mavin. All these items would make great stocking stuffers or gifts for a traveler you know is about to embark on a travel journey.

 Top 15 Backpacker Essentials

Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack

Backpack– This may seem obvious but I never realized how important it was to get a GOOD backpack. Ashley and I went to REI and got fitted to find our torso size. We also got to try a few different style of backpacks with weights to see the true feel. We both walked away with a pack that felt great on and was comfortable even with 40 pounds. I can’t stress how important it is to invest in a good pack, it will make or break your trip. We love our Osprey Fairpoint packs and the warranty that comes along with it.

Top 15 Backpacker Essentials | Travel Tips for Female Travel | Female Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Heavy Duty Waterproof Hanging Toiletry Bag

Hanging Toiletry Bag– I am the queen of the makeup bags. I thought I had my bases covered until my mom got me a hanging toiletry bag and I realized how much better it was. Not usually seen on our list I knew then I had to include it in our Top 15 Backpacker Essentials. The main perk of a hanging toiletry bag is that if you are low on counter space no problem, you hang this bad boy up and away you go. Plus it keeps everything way more organized than throwing it all in a big bag and your stuff never gets soggy or wet.

Top 15 Backpacker Essentials | Travel Tips for Female Travel | Female Travel & Lifestyle Blog Eagle Creek Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes– I am an avid believer in the rolling technique but coupled with packing cubes my packing skill level has reached expert. These cubes not only make packing easier but un-packing as well. When I want to pull out one thing I don’t have to destroy my whole pack. I just pull out that one cube and away I go. It makes life so much easier and more organized. Plus the slight compression means you can pack that extra little bit. I love these Eagle Creek ones they are very sturdy and lite so they won’t bulk your pack.

Microfiber Towel for Travel

Travel Towel w/Hook– Staying in Hostels means sometimes you don’t get a towel let alone two. This was the first item I thought of when creating our Top 15 Backpacker Essentials. I like to bring my own towel in case the hostel doesn’t provide one. I can’t stress how important the tiny hook is. I’m not even sure why anyone would make one without. I wouldn’t leave my towel on the floor of my bathroom let along a hostel bathroom. The hook ensures I never have to leave my towel on a dirt floor and lets it hang dry.

Osprey UltraLight Raincover

Backpack Waterproof Cover– If you’re caught in a storm or heading on a ferry you want to know your stuff will stay dry. A backpacker cover will protect your stuff from rain, snow or dirt. It’s small and gives you peace of mind. Be sure to get one that fits your pack, I like the osprey one that I attach to the outside of my pack for easy access.

Pacsafe 55L Backpack Protector

PacSafe Protector– Your backpack will contain all your essentials while traveling. So, you’ll want to protect it. While most hostels do and should provide a locker, as an added protection I wrap my pack in this pac-safe anti-theft wiring.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter with 2-Stage Integrated Filter

Lifestraw Go Water Filtering Bottle – When I travel I always make sure to use a filtering water bottle. Water can be a main source of travel sickness. I took one with me when traveling through southeast Asia. While I did get a stomach bug for one day, I avoided the parasite that left many of my friends sick for days. I love my Lifestraw bottle especially since every water bottle purchased gives a child in Africa an entire year of clean drinking water at school. Win-win.


Mini Umbrella– Now that your backpack is safe from the weather with you rain cover you can protect yourself. I love this umbrella because it’s a full-size umbrella but in a compact, mini travel size. I also like the bright colors because it makes spotting your friends in a crowd easy if you get separated.

Door Stop Alarm with Siren

Door Stopper– I am not a paranoid person but I like to err on the side of caution when traveling. So it’s no surprise I had to include this in our Top 15 Backpacker Essentials. Sometimes bathroom doors don’t lock or door locks in hostels can be flimsy. Having the door stopper makes it easier for me to feel safe in a space that is new and unknown. It’s lite and doesn’t take up a lot of room. I like this one because you can have it so it sets an alarm if someone tries to open the door.

TESSAN Surge Protector Power Strip

Power Strip/Adapter– You’ll need to bring an adapter when traveling. I’ve been using this Tessan one with surge protection. Not as small as a universal adapter, I prefer this over more compact options and it fits more snuggly in outlets. Besides protecting my expensive electronics, it has a ton of plugs and USB slots. I can charge everything at once which is great. Plus it makes sharing with hostel mates or roommates easy.

Sleep Mask with Ear Plugs

Ear-plugs/ Eye Mask– When traveling it’s hard for me to fall asleep at times. Having ear-plugs and an eye mask has been instrumental in me adjusting to a new time zone. Ear plugs are especially important if staying in a busy city or hostel. I love this eye mask because it doesn’t put that uncomfortable pressure on my eyes and fits nicely around my face.

Master Lock Padlock TSA Accepted

Combination Lock – The most basic item on our Top 15 Backpacker Essential is a lock. I prefer the combination option so you never have to worry about losing the key. Great for locking your hostel locker or locking up your backpack on the go or even you backpack while walking around.

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Third Edition: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter

How to Travel the World on $50 – I highly suggest bringing a book for train rides or when your hostel wifi dips out. Besides giving great money saving advice this book has a ton of info from an expert backpacker. So why not read up on how to travel more efficiently and cheaply?

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Top 15 Backpacker Essentials | Travel Tips for Female Travel | Female Travel & Lifestyle Blog


  • Reply
    Rachael Burow
    January 16, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    This is so perfect! My husband is planning a trip soon so I’ll have to print this out for him. That backpack looks dreamy by the way! We totally need to purchase that one!

  • Reply
    Amila Wickramarachchi
    January 12, 2018 at 12:58 am

    These are great suggestions.Though I am not a backpacker,most of these items are essential for family travel too.I like this mini umbrella much…

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    I stayed in hostels both time that I traveled to Amsterdam. I love the door stop idea, just to feel more secure.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    I love the idea of taking a doorstopper with you. I am going to go buy one before our next trip.Awesome post.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 6:59 am

    This is such a precise and useful list. I’ve never been backpacking so I didn’t realise you needed quite so much stuff.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 12:08 am

    I have actually never backpacked before so I wouldn’t even know where to begin with essentials but this sounds like a great start.

  • Reply
    Ophelia T
    January 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    I love hiking and traveling outdoors. Having a good backpack is definitely a must for any kind of travel. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Yona Williams
    January 8, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    That TESSAN Surge Protector Power Strip sure does provide a lot of features. I like how they have various adaptors for different countries. I am deff gonna pick one up!

  • Reply
    Angel Caronongan-Enero
    January 8, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Mu husband and I loves to travel and now that we travel as a family together with our daughter, that hanging toiletry bags and packing cubes are the best travel essentials to me. It is a lot more easier and more organized. Indeed a mama life-saver!

  • Reply
    Nazrin Miah
    January 8, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I know for a fact that I will go backpacking one day even if nobody believes I will and I know all if these tips and tricks will come in handy for me and then everyone will be sorry!

  • Reply
    Emmanuel Damian
    January 8, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Great essentials list. I always have the Hanging Toiletry Bag whenever I go and I always put a lot of wet wipes / tissue to it. I want to check the other products too. Maybe next time when I travel again.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2018 at 3:13 am

    I like this awesome list. bookmarking it for my summer backpacking trip to Palawan Philippines this coming march !

  • Reply
    Sudipta Dev Chakraborti
    January 8, 2018 at 1:43 am

    I am not much of a backpacker, but I do like your list for all traveling styles. Will pass it on to colleagues in my office who are keen backpackers as I know they will love this list.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    There is a lot of fun products here. I’m not a probably backer but would like to reach this professional level. Lots of interesting toys to play with when I reach this level!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I actually have most of these! (I’m backpacking Australia).. but I LOVE the tip about the door stop!! Would never have thought about that. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    claire Hall
    January 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    My sister is wanting to travel so this post is a must for her! she was asking me the other day about ideas on what she needs so this is great cheers x

  • Reply
    Patricia-Ann Que
    January 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    i would include a small medical kit and a back up phone charger, i found it most useful when i used to backpack! but great list u got there overall!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I just brought a few packing cubes and I am happy that I am abel to so much space. The toiletry bag is impossible to buy because I have to carry a huge laptop and a camera bag.

    • Reply
      Earth Below Girls
      January 7, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Packing cubes definitely up-ed my packing game too!!

  • Reply
    Liev Cruz
    January 6, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I am an outdoors person I hike with friends if we have spare time and I could definitely justify that the rolling technique is effective, saves space so much.

    • Reply
      Earth Below Girls
      January 7, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Hey Liev happy to have you on the rolling team 😉

  • Reply
    Marriah Tarango
    January 6, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Such a great list! I’ll be heading to Peru in May so I’ll definitely keep this in mind and grab some of those essentials!

    • Reply
      Earth Below Girls
      January 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Wow Peru is a dream have so much fun!!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Seeing your list of essentials, I think you’re ready for you backpacking this year. Happy travels!

    • Reply
      Earth Below Girls
      January 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you Laurence !!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Great list, Jay! I have to agree with everything on it, and really appreciate that it’s a functional list, filled with things backpackers and travelers in general really need.

    • Reply
      Earth Below Girls
      January 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Glad you liked !!

  • Reply
    Liz Hollman
    December 24, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Other than the Osprey what bag do you recommend, or do you think it is worth the 180? I am heading on a trip but have always used a suitcase but I am debating a backpack instead.

    • Reply
      Earth Below Girls
      January 7, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Hey Liz, if it is within your budget I would go with an Osprey bag, or a bag that fits comfortably on your body. Seeing as you are going to be wearing this pretty much every day you’ll want to make sure its comfortable. I did the whole Euro trip with a suitcase and while manageable it is very inconvenient so I wish I had my Osprey back then!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I love this list. bookmarking it for my summer backpacking trip to Europe !

    • Reply
      Earth Below Girls
      January 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Have an amazing time !!

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