Going travelling is an amazing experience and gives us a chance to see the world. With companies offering pre-planned trips, such as interrailing or round the world tickets, there is an abundace of locations to choose from. Alternatively, some people opt to go travelling as part of a volunteering experience, such as Habitats for Humanity. Whichever your avenue is to get on the road, it is important that you take into account the things that may be required in your selected climate and the limited space that you may have in your bag.
Thinking of backpacking this year? Make sure that you are prepared with our essential check list!
So what should I bring?
Picking a backpack is an important part of planning your trip.
Firstly, you need to take into consideration how long you are going for. Think smart in terms of how much clothing you need to bring for the length of your trip.
Secondly, you need to take into consideration where you are going and what you are specifically using it for. When completing the Camino de Santiago, over 7 days for example, you would need a backpack that will not be too heavy for carrying daily and that isn’t too big as it is for 7 days. In contrast to this, a trip to Thailand for 3 or 4 weeks would require a larger bag whereby the weight is not as paramount if you will be leaving the backpack in your residence during the day.
Thirdly, it is also important that a backpack is proportional to your body so that you are physically able to manage the backpack and it’s contents throughout your trip.
- Vango Freedom 60L + 20L Travel Bag (also comes in 80 + 20 version): This bag is perfect for longer term travelling (3+ weeks) such as interrailing as it comes with a detachable 20L rucksack that you can zip off for day trips while you leave the 60L behind! The whole bag has airmesh on contact areas to keep you cool, lockable zips for security and a flight cover to protect the straps whilst in transit. It also has a Quick Adjust Back System and padded hip belt for ultimate comfort. Check out this bag’s full range of features – here.
- Berghaus Freeflow 40L (also comes in 25 or 30 version): When on a long single or multiday trek you need a pack that is both comfortable and practical. Berghaus’ BIOFIT™ technology allows you to adjust the backlength of your pack to suit your individual height & offers airflow to keep you cool with a gap between your rucksack and your back. Also has a waterproof rain cover in case you climate turns wet. See this amazing bag’s full range of features on our website – here.
Trailblazers have a large range of rucksacks for all activities so inquire with us today if you don’t see anything online! See our full range online here – Rucksacks.
Okay, so next step. You now have your bag, next up is what goes into it!
As you will realise, space in your bag is the most important aspect of packing. Regular towels are too bulky and will waste you valuable space, so many brands have now created towels designed especially for travel. They are generally more compact, but still large, wth have more advanced soaking abailities than your regular towel, but still dry quickly. Next is cleaning products. Lifeventure have created travel versions of essential cleaning products for clothes and for the shower.
- Trekmates Poncho Travel Poncho: It is made from quick drying and highly absorbent microfibre material to help get you dry quickly and it packs down to a compact size and doesn’t add much weight to your daypack or travel luggage. The poncho travel towel comes in its own compact breathable zip bag. Unlike regular towels, the Trekmates Poncho Travel Towel is made of an anti-bacterial treated material which will reduce odour and keep your travel towel fresh for longer. See this product – here.
- Lifeventure Fabric Wash 100ml: Suitable for most types of fabric, this clothes-specific formula is concentrated to save space. It is biodegradable and phosphate-free so you can have a clean conscience too. See this item and more like it – here.
- Lifeventure Dry Wash 100ml: Quickly wash hands and body without water with this gentle but effective antibacterial gel formula. It is pH-balanced so it won’t dry out your skin and totally biodegradable so it won’t damage the planet either. Travel Tip: Perfect after swimming in natural waters or for an instant hand cleanse. Shop this item – here
- Lifeventure All Purpose General Soap 200ml: This concentrated formula lathers well in both fresh and brackish water and can be used on hair, body, the dishes, fabrics and even fresh food. It’s an antibacterial, pH-balanced and biodegradable soap which goes a long way. Travel Tip: The essential all-in-one detergent for anyone who wants to travel light. Shop this item – here.
Shop all of our travel hygiene and essentials here – Travel.
On your journey route, or final destination, you may encounter midges/mosquitos/insects. In warmer climates the occurrence of insect bites are extremely common and easy enough to protect yourself from. Certain countries, such as those in Africa, will have an increased risk of frequent mosquito encounters than some other countries, which you can also protect yourself from!
- Lifesystems Expedition Endurance Cream 60ml:contains a specially formulated time-release agent enabling DEET to evaporate at a slower, constant rate.DEET is proven to be the best repellent against mosquitoes available. 20-34% DEET – optimised protection. This comes in different strengths and the higher the percentage, the more effective it is and the longer it lasts. See insect repellent – here.
- Lifesystems Expedition Plus 100 Repellent Spray 50ml: contains a dual action, high strength formula which combines natural pyrethroids with DEET to provide the maximum level of protection against biting insects in all environments. The natural pyrethroids act as a bite inhibitor, discouraging actual biting.The most popular strength is 50% DEET but we recommend you get one with a bite inhibitor (PLUS+).
- Lifesystems Mosquito Hanging Kit: It contains all of the replacement items to hang all types, shapes and sizes of mosquito net. The kit contains a number of hooks, sticky pads, loops and a length of string to help you to hang your net whatever your situation. Shop this item – here.
- Lifesystems Micro Mosquito Net Single (comes in double also):designed for compactness and versatility. Using the unique integrated ‘QuickHang System’, the MicroNet can be positioned and hung in a matter of seconds. Treated with EX8 Anti-Mosquito Treatment lasts 2 years. Shop this Mosquito net – here.
- Lifesystems Midge/Mosquito Head Net Hat:protects the head and neck from insects. The head net hat is manufactured from tough, multi-filament polyester material and has a toggled draw cord around the rim. Shop this item – here.
- Lifesystems Bed Bug Undersheet Single:flat netting sheet for use on suspect beds when travelling. Impregnated with EX8 to repel bed bugs and other insects. Fabric Treatment: EX8 (Treatment lasts for 2 years or 20 washes). Shop this bed bu undersheet – here.
See our full range of protection products here – Mosquito Nets & Repellent.
When travelling you are often eating and drinking on the go. For this reason it is important toensure that you have a quality and durable bottle or mug to help you through the day, rather than buying endless throwaway containers. With a mug or flask you can have hot or cold drinks and soup which is a bonus. With durable water bottles you can store whichever cold drink you prefer and stay hydrated on the go.
- Contigo Ashland 720ml Bottle: The design is fitted with Contigo’s patented AUTOSPOUT® technology which allows for convenient single-handed drinking. Push the AUTOSPOUT® button and the spout flips open. No biting on the spout is required. There’s a special locking mechanism to keep users from accidentally pressing the AUTOSPOUT® It is also made out of durable TritanTM and has a carabiner clip makes it easy to clip the bottle to your bag or belt. Shop this item – here.
- Contigo West Loop Stainless Steel Mug 470ml:Patented AUTOSEAL lid is 100% leak-proof and 100% spill-proof. Press to sip, release to seal, automatically seals between sips. Vacuum-insulated technology keeps your drinks hot for up to 4 hours and cold for up to 12 hours. Shop this mug – here.
- Stanley Classic 3/4 Edition 750ml Vacuum Flask: it has a double-wall stainless steel construction and uses vacuum insulation to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for up to 20 hours, and 100 hours ice. The stainless steel shell of this flask has a rustproof finish and the entire product is leakproof. This durable flask has a solid lid which doubles up as a cup and a heavy duty handle which makes carrying it over rough terrain easy. Shop this Stanley flask – here.
- Vango Vacuum Flask 1L: Stainless Steel Double walled – keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Plastic rimmed/lined drinking cup. Easy screw top with pouring spout. Shop this flask – here.
Need more travel bottle & flask inspiration? See our full range of products here – Bottles, Flasks & Mugs.
If you’re travelling with compact space you’re going to need a sleeping bag that is also compact. The lighter that you can get, whilst keeping the quality, the better. Different types of sleeping bags suit different types of climates, so make sure that you check out what season the bag is before you buy it. Always make sure to check the dimensions of the sleeping bag and what weight it is. Depending on the type of backpack that you have, you can secure the sleeping back on the outside of the backpack or inside the bag itself.
Travel tip – 1 season: For use in the summer months only. 2 seasons: For use from late spring through to early autumn. 3 seasons: For use from spring right through autumn. 4 seasons: For use throughout all seasons but more suited to colder conditions.
- Snugpak Travelpak 3: The specialist antibacterial and antimicrobial treatment of the fabrics discourages the growth of bacteria, reducing any odours and the need for regular laundering. The result is fresh-smelling bedding every night, which is ideal for prolonged tropical travel where temperatures may be high and washing facilities limited. The built-in mosquito net protects you from biting insects all night long, giving you the peace of mind of having a comfortable and restful night’s sleep to prepare you for the next day’s travels. The net can be rolled away when it’s not required and you can even seal the sleeping bag when you’re not using it to ensure you don’t have any unwanted company later that evening! As always, keeping you dry and comfortable remains a priority in all of our sleeping bags, which is why we’ve used the highly breathable Paratex® base fabric, with its superb wicking properties.
Snugpak Nautilus Basecamp: On the other end of the spectrum, this sleeping bag is the perfect budget 2-season option that is suitable for the summer months. It has a square shape with a cosy hood for added warmth & comfort. It is also extremely versatile as it can be unzipped and used as a quilt, perfect for lounging around in your tent/hostel. Check out it’s full list of features, warmth guide, and size dimensions on our website – here.
These are just 2 options from our range, see our full stock here – Sleeping Bags, Mats & Beds.
You can spend weeks fretting over whether you have everything or if you have too much for your trip. Take a moment and write out a list of everything that you should 100% have and a list of everything that you do have. Match them up and see what’s falling into the excess category. If you feel as though you have the space and weight to include these extras then do. Make sure to leave yourself with a bit of extra space in your backpack when travelling for anything you wish to pick up on the way!
Below are a few things that are useful as extras:
- Amphibia 100% Waterproof Pouch: It fits most smart phones – you can even take a call and use your screen through the pouch, sometimes it’s just handy to have your phone with you! Never worry again about electronic car keys and fearing getting them wet, or hiding them. Also, the Amphibia pouch comes with a handy lanyard which means you can hang it around your neck, under a wetsuit, lifejacket etc.
- Powermonkey Discovery Portable Charger:Featuring a state-of-the-art 3500mAh lithium polymer battery, the sleek powermonkey discovery offers users real power on the move. Housed in a stylish full aluminium case with 6 high bright pin point LED lights, the powermonkey discovery will recharge an iPhone twice, standard mobile phones 3-4 times, or give iPods / MP3 players up to an additional 120 hours playtime. Also suits e-readers, tablets etc.Recharge the powermonkey discovery via your computer’s USB socket using the included USB to micro USB charging cable. Comes with USB to micro USB cable. Shop this charger – here.
- Lifeventure Hydroseal Body Wallet – Waist: made from a lightweight and durable ripstop nylon, with a PU coating. Its IPX7 rated construction helps keep your essential documents and cash safe, preventing everything from sand, dirt and water from getting inside. All you need to do is put your belongings into the case and then run your thumb and index finger along each side of the two track loc-top closure, securing everything inside with a watertight seal. Buy this product – here.
- Light My Fire Spork: Designed especially for Light My Fire by Scandinavian designer Joachim Nordwall. The Spork (Spoon-Kinife-Fork) is perfect for your backpack, boat, picnic basket, lunchbox, purse or briefcase. Shop cooking utensils – here.
- 1000 Miles All Terrain Sock:The unique combination of Merino Wool and Cotton fibres with 100% Tactel® wicking inner layer helps to maintain a comfortable temperature for the foot during activity. Adding to that the air flow channels and top venting for superior breathability this is the perfect sock for keeping your feet cool. This double layer sock also has blister protection and arch bracing for extra support that will keep you walking all day long. Shop these socks – here.
Think you need to add a few more bits to your list than what’s above? Shop on our website now.