After years of backpacking, plus more than a year of dedicated life on the road, I have compiled a list of some of the items I consider essential. Of course these items may vary from person to person depending on what type of travel, accommodations, etc the traveler is engaging in. Nevertheless, having traveled under a wide range of places under a variety of circumstances, I have found that these are the items that I keep in my pack no matter what.
1. Backpack — I recommend traveling with a rather small pack and personally use the Deuter ACT Trail 28L SL
2. Daypack — Choose something that folds up nice and small. I like this simple LL Bean daypack with a main compartment, small front compartment, and two side pockets.
3. Packing Cubes — There are a variety of sizes, which will help you keep the items in your pack organized. I use a medium sized one for my main clothing and a small one for my underclothing.
4. Reusable Stuff-Sack Bags — These are “Chico” brand.
5. Quick Dry Towel
6. Combination Lock
8. Eye Mask
9. Ear Plugs
10. Rubberband Clothesline — You can purchase this at REI or make your own as I have by following a simple Youtube tutorial.
11. Knife with Sheath and Spork — I use the Light My Fire spork, which can be found at REI. These knives can be found at Target/Walmart.
12. Small notebook and no smudge pen
13. Toiletry Kit — I use the Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag and love it. I have the smallest one, which has plenty of room for me.
14. E-Reader — I use a Sony eReader Pocket
15. Smart Phone –Ideally one that has a camera and stores music, such as an Iphone.
16. Lightweight Laptop — Something small and light, such as a Macbook Air. I have a Lenovo Ideapad.