The Ultimate Packing List Guide
Packing your whole life in one bag for the next 6 months and deciding what to put in it, is stressful for even the most seasoned traveller. Don’t worry though, here at TrueLatitude.com we have you covered with our ultimate packing list guide. Here are our top tips for making the most of your limited space.
The first rule of travel packing:
Pack half as much as you think you need
Everybody and we mean everybody packs far too much stuff and doesnt use half of what they bring. This means lugging around unncessary extra weight that you will probably never use, taking up valuable space for stuff that you will most likely end up getting rid of half way through your trip. It will end up being a choice between chucking that extra pair of jeans you haven’t worn all trip to fit in that cool handmade alpaca jumper from Peru, or leaving it and carrying those jeans for another 2 months. You will really end up hating those jeans!
Most people tend to over-pack on clothes and end up not leaving enough room for the gear they need. Here at True Latitude we are all about travel gear and making sure you have everything you need to get the most out of your trip.
The second rule for travel packing is:
Buy quality, durable gear that’s made to last
It’s easy to make the mistake of buying cheaper, lower quality gear for your trip to save money. The issue is, that cheaper products are simply not made to be used every day for 3-6 months. There is nothing more frustrating than when the zipper breaks on your packing cubes or backpack after 2 weeks or your head torch light stops working when you need it most. Trying then to buy replacement products whilst travelling can be a nightmare! That’s why we have carefully selected products that are made to last, no matter what the trip or activity.
Below is our recommend list of the tried and tested gear you need:
When buying your backpack the first decision your need to make is what size to get. Whatever size you buy, you will naturally end up filling it with gear, and then have to carry it, therefore smaller is always better. A 60-70L is large enough for a 1-3-month trip. For longer trips you will need some extra space, a 75L pack is ideal.
We recommend Caribee 2-in-1 rucksacks with a integrated detachable day pack. All of Craibee's backpacks are side opening, which gives you quick and easy access to your gear. It also makes it much easier to pack and fit everything in, versus a top loading backpack. Having a detachable daypack is not only great value for money versus buying one seperatley ( saving you £25+), but it makes life a lot easier when travelling around. Each of Caribee's backpacks also come with an integrated waterproof rain cover. Again this will save you another £15 and will keep everything nice and dry. Also as its integrated, it stops you from losing it when you're not using it. They are available here.
You may also want to consider a hybrid backpack with integrated trolley wheels. This will ensure you only have to carry it when you really need to, the rest of the time you can just breeze along pulling your case behind you. We love the Craibee Fast Track 75, which is our favourite all round backpack. As once you get back from your backpacking adventure, you can continue to use it as luggage for your next holiday, without having to carry a rucksack. Get it here.
Vaude design quality German engineered environmentally sustainable outdoor products. They have a specially designed back support system for effective weight distribution, which means they protect your back whilst being comfortable to carry. Which is why we think they are the best travel backpacks around for adventurous trips. Check out these quality packs here.
The right day pack for you is purely based on personal taste in terms of style, though it should have some basic features to get you by. First up comfortable padded straps are important for obvious reasons. Second is how does you pack measure up with anti-theft features? If you haven’t heard of the brand ‘PacSafe’ before, you should definitely check it out. Pacsafe packs are designed to keep your valuables safe for bag slashing, cut-and-run and pick-pocketing. Peace of mind for when you’re out and about exploring. Check out our range of PacSafe packs here.
Poler Stuff have designed a range of effortlessly cool, yet quality backpacks. Big enough for a weekend trip, the Classic Rolltop can roll up to create extra space for when you need it. Check out the Poler Stuff Backpack range here.
A drybag is essential for any adventure. Weather its hiking in the rain, a day at the beach, a boat ride or a winter skiing trip, make sure your valuables are protected. Make sure your bag is made from 100% waterproof heavy-weight material with a shoulder strap.
Packing cubes are great for saving space and keeping all of your clothes organised. Good quality zippers are key when choosing the right packing cubes. Generally, 3 or 4 cubes with a mixture of sizes, should fit and organise most backpacks. Also worth considering is the option of getting waterproof organisers, to prevent your clothes getting wet in the rain.
Laundry sack: A 8-10L laundry bag will come in handy for keeping all of your dirty clothes separate from the rest of your luggage.
Toiletry kit bag: Either a traditional dopp kit bag or hanging kit bag
Toiletry kit bag small: A smaller kit bag for keeping cosmetics, toothbrushes or shaving products.
Silicone travel bottles: Great for saving money by decanting your larger toiletries for hand luggage size.
Compact mirror: Shatterproof, ideally with a built in stand
Hand Towel: Small, micro-fiber and quick-drying with a hanging loop for drying
Body Towel: Large, micro-fiber and quick-drying with a hanging loop for drying
TECH & GADGETS
Laptop or Tablet: Think carefully before bringing your Macbook or laptop, do you really need it? If you plan on doing some blogging or photo editing, then bring it. But be weary as they are a magnet for theft. If you only need it for casual use, then save space and weight and bring a tablet instead.
Camera: If you’re serious about photography then bring a DSLR, if not stick with your smartphone.
Camera accessories: Spare battery, memory cards, neck strap, protective case
Action Camera: You won’t regret bringing a GoPro or similar action camera, just keep it hidden from thieves
Action Camera accessories: tripod, head or body strap, wrist strap, float
Accessories Organiser: Keep all of your cables and accessories neatly organised in a protective electronics organiser
Headphones: Save space with in-ear rather than over-head
Back-up Hard Drive: 1TB should keep you covered
Head Torch: For those late night trips to the toilet, or finding your way back to your tent or hostel
Pocket/Key Torch: Helps with navigating your way home after a night out
Alarm Clock: You wouldn’t want to sleep in and miss the early morning bus, flight or day-trip
Power Bank: A charger that re-charges you phone at least twice whist having multiple USB outputs
Spare charger cable: Always worth carrying a spare
Travel Adaptor: Worldwide, preferably with multi-USB charging points
Water Bottle: Stainless steel design 500ml+
Water Filtration Bottle: Have safe and clean water anywhere. Check out Grayl Ultralight
Travel Mug: One for the coffee and tea lovers.
Travel Pillow: Don’t buy a memory foam pillow, they are expensive and really uncomfortable
Eye Mask: choose an eye mask that allows you to blink for ultimate comfort
Ear Plugs: Reusable with a storage case is ideal
Multi-Tool: A pocket-sized Swiss army knife with basic tool functions will aways come in handy, you never know when you might need it
Carabiners: Really handy for attaching shoes, water bottles etc to your backpack
Medical Kit: Always better to be prepared and this could be life saving. Get one thats light to save on weight
Flight Compression Socks: Essential for long haul flights as they prevent blood clots
Luggage Scale: Save by never paying for overweight baggage again
Luggage Tag: If your luggage gets lost, you will be glad you had your contact details on it
Padlocks: Lock everything! Combination locks are best
Cable Padlock: Ideal for hostel room doors and lockers, or securing larger items such as your backpack
Glasses Repair Kit: Essential emergency kit for anyone that wears glasses
Money Belt or Pouch Stash: Always keep your cash hidden
Travel Organiser Wallet: Keep all of you ID, travel document and card in one place, ready to find at short notice. Check out the anti-theft ones from Pacsafe for extra security.
Playing Cards: Always entertaining
Travel Journal: Keep a note of your adventures, might be worth considering a waterproof one
Umbrella: You will be glad you brought one when on a walking tour of some ruin or city in the pouring rain
Sewing Kit: Better to try and fix a rip in your nice clothes than buying a cheap replacement
Nail Clipper: Keep groomed
HEALTH & HYGIENE
Mosquito Repellent: Trek repellents by Pyramid are the weapon of choice every backpacker against mozzy's. The mosquito bands are worth getting too!
Mosquito Net: Might be useful if going to where the mosquitos will be out in force
Bed Bug Guard: Its not worth thinking about the condition of some of those hostel mattresses. One of these will stop you getting bitting during the night
Travel Soap & Sanitiser: Essential for any trip
Sun Cream: If travelling somewhere hot, it will be unbelievable expensive when you get there, so stock up and bring it with you
Medications: Can be expensive when abroad, here are a few suggestions worth packing: Diarrhoea Tablets, Bite Cream, Rehydration Salts, Painkillers etc
SLEEPING & OUTDOOR
Sleeping Bag Liner: Ideal for hot countries instead of a sleeping bag just use a liner
Sleeping Bag: Can be bulky, so only bring on if you're playing on camping
Hammock: Did you know hostels will let you set up a hammock for only a fraction of the price of a dorm room. Save money but also get to stay in the same place as everyone else!
Not everything in your backpack has to be a boring essential item that everyone else has. If you’re feeling flash, make room in your pack for some of the products below, guaranteed to make your friends jealous!
Travel Espresso Machine: Make your own great tasting coffee anywhere! Check out the Minispresso
Travel Yoga Mat: Keep fit & healthy while travelling. We have the world’s best travel yoga mat by Yogo
Bluetooth Tracker: Never lose anything again by tracking with a Tile tracker
Pocket Blanket: A two person waterproof blanket perfect for the beach, hiking or any outdoor adventure. Check out the Matador Blanket