Whether you’ve decided to go for a two week holiday or you’ve decided to drop everything to go trapezing from state to state or country to country, you’re sure to need a little more than your usual overnight bag if you’re planning to backpack around. Of course, your wallet, phone, and swiss army knife should be at the top of your checklist, but there are a few unusual backpacker essentials that people often (but shouldn’t) forget to bring:
Backpacker Essentials You Shouldn’t Forget
1. Toilet Paper
It sounds strange to carry a roll of toilet paper in your bag but believe me when I say not all public loos in the world have toilet paper. The last thing you want is to be sitting on that throne, doing number two, only to find out that there’s nothing to wipe with after. Yuck!
On a side note, if you plan on backpacking in places around Asia and Latin America, you might want to start training your legs for squats. Ever tried a squat toilet before? Great workout because you have nothing to sit on. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to them.
2. Wet Wipes
Not just for babies bottoms, wet wipes are a godsend for most situations. Whether it’s cleaning up scratches and scrapes, mopping off dust or sand from your slip ons and flip flops, wiping sweat and grime off your face, or freshening up when you can’t shower; there’s so much you can do with these bad boys. It also helps when you’re in a bit of a pickle in a bathroom without toilet paper.
3. Discount Cards/Vouchers
Doesn’t matter if they’re in card or voucher form, everybody loves discounts! You can get them for all sorts of attractions and services — the key is patience for surfing the web. Let’s say you’ll be touring Melbourne. Did you know that the Melbourne YHA gives discounts to members? You can even get discounts for Melbourne car parking with companies like Alpha.
If you’ll be sleeping in a place near the train or in a dorm with other people, earplugs are going to be your best friend. Trust me, these babies can shut off some of the loudest, most piercingly annoying sounds in the planet. You’re welcome and goodnight!
5. Duct Tape
Use it for tears in your backpack, a makeshift tourniquet (hopefully you wouldn’t need it), or extra adhesive to secure a mosquito net, duct tape is one of those all around things you can use for most situations.
6. Mini First Aid Kit
Especially when you’ll be camping out, medical help might not be easily accessible from where you’re staying. It pays to have the basics with you. Some bandaids, gauze, alcohol, cotton, tiger balm (or equivalent), pain relievers, antibiotics, flu meds, diarrhea tablets, and migraine meds are definitely going to help.
7. International Sim Card
You might not always have access to the Internet when you’re out and about so a good way to keep in touch with family and friends back home is an international sim card. It saves a lot of money on texts, data, and international calls, and you can get coverage in over 100 countries. If you’re local, you can even get free incoming calls in some of them.
8. Travel Converter and Adapter
You’d be surprised at how many countries don’t have a compatible outlet to your device from home. This little nugget is going to be a lifesaver figuratively and literally. You wouldn’t want dead batteries nor would you want to short circuit any of the wires you’d be charging from. Yikes!
Keep your backpack and lockers safe! Enough said.