Backpacking essential item list for Asia

How to prepare for backpacking

The Backpacking essential item list for Asia

You want to be prepared for backpacking, right?

You don’t want to be on the other side of the world and realise you have forgot some crucial items in your backpack do you?

My definitive list of the ultimate backpacking essential item list for Asia. You will be fully prepared for life on the road after reading this post.

What’s in this post for you?

Your ultimate backpacking essential item list for Asia, recommended by my own personal use from life on the road. Your backpacking item list for Asia is broken down into these categories.

  • The backpacking essential item list for Asia top 12
  • Must have Travel essentials
  • Best travel clothes for men
  • Best travel clothes for women
  • Essential travel documents
  • Essential travel list of medical needed for backpacking
  • Best travel apps for backpacking 
  • More best travel electrical items

The Backpacking essential item list for Asia GUIDE

With so many new travel electronics, travel essential gadgets and more. How do you pick the right travel items for your travelling experience?

I am going to tell you everything you need to know for picking your very best travel essentials and more, for easy and efficient travel.

The future of backpacking will change for the better and travel will never be the same again.

 why?

Because of new travel essential gadgets, travel technology and ultralight backpacking gear being brought out all the time for us!

 

The Backpacking essential item list for Asia top 12

So, let’s have a look what works perfect for my travelling and what’s going to make you travelling life easier.

These travel items are going to make life on the road a lot easier, allow you to make a more memorable backpacking adventure and provide you with a kick a**e full starter travel kit for your adventures.

I still to this day use all of the these items on the road and this is my favourite backpacking essential item list for Asia and more.

1. Backpack

I refer to my backpack as my home on my back. Your travel backpack is going to store everything you own for no matter long you are travelling for. You will want an ultralight backpack, however you don’t want a cheap backpack that is going to soak every speck of rain up, like a sponge. Therefore, I recommend the best ultralight backpack that is affordable and is going to keep your stuff dry.

Men

ultralight backpack
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Women

cheap backpack ideas

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2. A travel power pack to keep you charged

A power pack? Damn right a power pack! I wouldn’t leave my hostel room now without one of these trusty little backpacking essential. You know exactly how quickly you phone battery drains when you’re taking 100’s pictures of Halong Bay or you’re uploading your story to Instagram.

What exactly is a power pack?

The battery power pack is going to keep you phone fully charged on your backpacking travel adventures time and time again. They’re also small so the travel power pack will fit easy into your backpack or day bag, this item should be high up on your travel essential list for backpacking.

battery charger travel essential

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You need a battery pack when doing a full day out, for example 22 best things to do in Koh Tao

3. Action camera

You want to show everyone back home your epic photos of the underwater world, right? You need a travel action camera to use for those snorkelling or diving trips. Also, the action camera is ultralight backpacking gear, which means it’s no hassle in carrying it about in your pocket. You need this camera for backpacking to make memorable water travel photos.

Want some epic underwater photography guidance? see underwater photography guide

Also, the action camera is perfect for taking to water parks and taking epic action photos on the slides!

action camera travel idea

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4. iPhone waterproof case

The optrix water case is the perfect alternative to a travel action camera that has no power. What is the iPhone waterproof case and how does it work? The optrix turns your phone into a GoPro and makes it totally safe to take pictures under the water with your phone (I was s****n it the first time I took it in the water).

The Optrix case comes with plenty of sweet photography lenses to pack into your backpacking gear checklist.

waterproof phone case

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5. Laptop (This should be a travel essential for everyone)

This is going to be in my backpacking gear every single time I pack my backpack. I need it for travel blogging, booking flights and all the travel web development I do. It’s a new blown up craze now to make money online and travel blogging. You will struggle to do any of these without a laptop.

You don’t need it for any of them reasons?

What about movies while you’re travelling? Making a new playlist or any other million and one things you can do with a laptop for travelling!

What laptop do I need for travelling?

The laptop in my backpacking kit is an Asus i5, which is perfect for blogging and developing stuff I do. However, for your backpacking gear I recommend something a little smaller and it’s probably the coolest laptop for your backpacking essentials, you’ll be the cool backpacker on the block with the Microsoft surface Pro. This is also a great laptop for designers.

Learn how to start a WordPress travel blog
travel laptop

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6. Camera is 100% needed for your backpacking gear list

Travel photography, memories, Instagram. Basically, you need a camera for backpacking and you shouldn’t even consider about just using your phone for amazing travel photography. I know phones have amazing cameras nowadays, but a camera is always going to have that edge.

What camera is essential for my backpacking gear?

This all depends on your photography skills. Don’t go out and buy a $2000 Canyon, if you have never worked a camera before.

What I would recommend for newbies to the photography world is a point and shoot (it does what is says on the tin). You will still get amazing travel photos and it will teach the fundamentals of working a camera. you can always check out 10 travel photography tips for the basics.

So I am going to recommend two cameras on this backpacking essential item list for Asia, one for the pros and one for great but cheaper photography

Easy to use and produces great photos

travel camera

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For more skilled photographers

travel camera

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7. Bluetooth earphones

Bluetooth earphones are one of my best travel essentials. I use them for chilling out on long bus rides, boat journeys and flights. They’re also perfect for fitness training while travelling. For example, I’ve been in many picturesque runs in the morning and the earphones are perfect for having no annoying wire.

Aim to spend a little more for decent set of Bluetooth earphones, for the quality of sound! You don’t want to be running to a sunrise and have bad sound quality from your favourite track.
Backpacking essential item list for Asia earphones

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8. Wired earphones

Bluetooth are my best earphones, so why use wired earphones for travelling as well? There is the rare occasion that you will run out of power on the Bluetooth earphones and you have now power supply to charge them. I was on the 12-hour train from Chiang to Bangkok, which had no power charging available and I ran out of power on everything I had to charge the Bluetooth earphones. Luckily, I had a set of wired earphones.

Make sure to download Spotify for all your favourite music for backpacking.

The price varies on the quality of sound you want. I’m happy with a pair of cheap wired earphones, just to use as backup to the Bluetooth earphones.

travel list earphones

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9. Selfie stick

The world has gone crazy for these travel list essentials. Visit any tourist destination in the world and you will most likely see a selfie stick! I take my selfie stick everywhere I go and love taking a good ‘selfie’.

Why do I need one?

This epic ultralight backpacking essentials will give you ever-lasting photos of yourself and others you in those amazing places you visit. Selfie sticks are cheap man, just get one.

selfie stick Click for value price

10. Bluetooth remote and tripod

Ever wondered how solo travellers take amazing photography of themselves?

Do you like quirky-abstract travel photography?

Then, you need a Bluetooth remote and phone tripod in your travel gear. This cool travel photography kit will let you take photos with your phone from the click of a button.

This is also the best travel essential for you couples that travel and have no-one around to take a photo of you.

Bluetooth pod

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11. Pack a Mac

This ultra lightweight backpacking essential will be priceless when backpacking in Southeast Asia!

If I got a dollar for every time the heavens opened up on me in Asia, I’d be able to retire tomorrow. However, for every time it rained, the pack-a-mac backpacking essential has saved my a**e and kept my dry.

They’re priceless items for travelling and will keep you dry in the crazy weather in Asia.

women's travel coat

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men's travel coat

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12. Sunglasses

Men, we have to look cool on the beach for them travel photos.

Ladies, you want to look good all day long, right? Get the shades below and look your best for every Instagram photo.

Avoid squinting eyes and headaches. There’s nothing worse than blaring sun-rays in your eyes. Keep your eyes protected on those beach days with a trusty pair of travel sunglasses accessories.
hiking gear

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ultralight hiking gear

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Travel gear essential ideas

More of my favourite essential travel items

  • Mosquito spray (HIGHEST DEET PERCENTAGE YOU CAN FIND)
  • Tiger balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel First Aid kit
  • Water bottle
  • Travel torch

Backpacking essential item list for Asia Travel clothes for women

These are the best travel clothes for women as selected by my girlfriend on her travels. She finds them comfortable while on the road and it they’re perfect for activities.

travel pants

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hiking tops

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travel hiking clothes

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women's hiking trainers

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Backpacking essential item list for Asia Travel clothes for men

These are the best travel clothes for men that I use everyday for travelling. I’m quite awkward when it comes to clothes in hot weather and I will only wear ‘comfy’ clothes for backpacking.

I like to wear loose vests for travelling, cool shorts and trainers that are okay looking, but let me walk for miles.

ultralight travel clothes

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men's backpacking clothes

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men's hiking shoes

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Backpacking essential item list for Asia, what to wear in temples?

You will most definitely be visiting temples while backpacking in Southeast Asia. Therefore, both men and women have to cover up. Men most of the time get away with shorts and T-shirt, but girls always have to cover up!

Even on those hot scorching you still have to cover up. It’s the rules to not offend the Monks and the locals.

I’ve had to cover up plenty of times, so here’s some clothing that will get you into the temples without any locals ‘shouting’ at you.

See Thailand temple etiquette for more info on covering up in temples in Asia.

Girls

girl's travel clothes

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girl's travel clothes

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girl's travel clothes

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Men

Backpacking essential item list for Asia mens clothes

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men's camping clothes

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men's walking sandals

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made the mistake of bringing too many clothes for travelling, then giving some away to my hostel. Don’t make my mistake! I recommend the following list of clothes for backpacking;

  • 3 x T shirts 
  • 4 x Vests 
  • 1 x pair of joggers (good for relaxing in and for the temples)
  • 4 x pair of ankle socks 
  • 3 x pair of sports socks (perfect when there is mosquitoes hanging about)
  • 4 x underwear (you will mostly wear swim shorts anyway)
  • 5 x Swim shorts
  • 1 x cargo shorts 

Essential travel documents

This is the list of travel documents and things I take in my day bag on most days. Being organised with your travels documents is crucial for travelling. For example, airport runs are going to be a lot faster if you’ve got your passport, visas and other docs in order. 

  • Passport 
  • Money (never carry too much)
  • Debit/Visa card
  • Travel money card (I use Caxton)
  • Screen shots of your flights/accommodation in Asia (to show when you’re at the airport or applying for visas)
  • Photocopies of your passport
  • Passport size photos of you

Essential travel list of medicals needed for backpacking 

  • toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • MOSQUITO SPRAY MAXIMUM DEET
  • Shampoo (most hostels do provide this)
  • Paracetamol
  • Hydrate powder (There’s a chance you will get dehydrated) for more reading on staying hydrated see…
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Razors (bring a big pack before you start you backpacking journey)
  • Travel sized aftershave/perfume Deodorant
  • Baby wipes

3 best travel apps for backpacking 

best travel apps

A new digital age has transformed the way we backpack and mobile apps have made life on the road a million times easier than it was ten years ago. So, here is my 3 favourite travel apps that I use religiously, while backpacking around Asia.

Booking.com

Before paying for an accommodation, I want to know the price, ratings, reviews and be able to see pictures. Booking.com provides all of this and you will always find a bargain with this travel app.

Make sure you sign up to the genius account. It give you discount on accommodation in Asia and freebies such as a free drink on entry. 

 

Skyscanner 

Skyscanner is sweet for finding cheap flights to Asia. This is also the perfect app for finding cheap flights when you’re hopping between countries in Asia.

 

Maps.me 

Do you use Google maps?

Me too, but Maps.me gives you offline service when you’re in aeroplane mode and 90% of the time you will most likely have your mobile in aeroplane mode. 

Maps.me used your location service and provided you with directions to anywhere you choose. Perfect for day trips in Asia. Also, it’s completely free.

 

Extra travel electrical items and travel gadgets 

Here’s a list of my favourite electrical items and travel gadgets for backpacking.

Drone 

Want to take your travel photography to the next level? 

A drone will give you amazing travel photography and crazy fun. Drones are becoming more popular and I’ve seen plenty hovering over islands in Asia. I unfortunately don’t have one of these mega adult toys, but I will be getting one in the near future for my own travel photography.

travel photography drone

Camera memory cards 

I always keep a spare memory card just in case anything happens to the other and you’ve nothing to store all your pictures etc.
travel accessories
Bluetooth speaker

How else are you going to have your own mini beach parties?

I love my Bluetooth speaker gadget for backpacking. No matter where you are, you can rock your own favourite playlist.
travel accessories

Here is a useful video on travel essential ideas and how to pack ultralight travel gear

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14 thoughts on “How to prepare for backpacking

  1. Having spent months backpacking around Asia myself I can say that your list is spot on! Especially the mac in rainy season!! Very useful for those who are planning their own trip 🙂

  2. The backpack is what I would say the most fundamental, and it’s better to spend a bit more money for a good one then find yourself going around regretting the day you bought the cheaper one!

  3. I’ve never considered sunglasses as part of my list but I have to take them with me next time because I always forget about them. Camera and chaeger are our must-haves for sure. 💗

    1. Sunglasses are definitely needed, especially when the sun is blaring 🙂 I can’t leave without the charger, it’s crazy how quick your battery drains after a few photos etc lol x

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