Packing smart is essential for every global traveler. Especially when you are traveling longer than a week or two and you bring your gear with you. In this case you’ll need to pack a nomad backpack. This guide will save you time, nerves and even money!
Our packing list might slightly change depending on the destination we are going, but one thing every traveler always has is travel insurance. We believe that no matter how prepared you are anything can happen. Find a good one, covering all medicine expenses.
Another important thing – backpack. Some people consider between wheelie bag or backpack, but we definitely prefer latter one. In our opinion there is nothing more comfortable than carry-on luggage. While everyone has their brand of choice, our choice is Deuter. This company concentrates on quality and well designed products. We inconsiderably think your backpack must have one main feature, if you travel in hot climate zones – an aircomfort back! Trust me, your back will thank you. This was also the reason why we chose Deuter. Shortly, Deuter has proved their reliability for travel community.
Absolutely necessary gear for us
As traveling nomads we have to carry our gear. If you think it’s light and weights nothing, well it’s not. All photography gear takes almost half of our backpacks place. But we don’t regret it, white the gear let us make high quality pictures. Our gear includes: 4 lenses, 1 professional Profoto B2 flash, beauty dish, Canon camera, MacBook, Bluetooth mouse, 2 TB HDD, headphones and cables, smartphone. While the writing kit is less than that. From electronics I have an IPad and other things are two notebooks, and few pens. Oh, and we bring a Garmin watch which counts how many km we walk through day and then we fill our Daytum information.
You don’t need that many clothes
Your clothes shouldn’t take more than 1/3 of your backpack. Less is more and this applies to clothes and accessories all the time. Think twice before taking anything for the trip, you’re going to carry it on your back!
Although you must have: comfy shoes, sandals, few t-shirts and shorts, scarf or hat, sunglasses, jumper, pants and swimming suit.
You need to prepare your own first aid kit. Everyone has their own preferences here, so I’ll just share what we take aside from it to survive on daily basis. Best way to never ever travel without your own bowl and spoon. It helps you to get a hot meal at the street or hostel, and it also helps us to save tons of plastic. We also bring our lunch box which works us as a fruits or other watery food container. We have healthy snacks with us (nuts, bars, dried fruits etc.). Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to have a knife. If you buy a fruit or you have bread or something, you won’t bite it, right? So for regular manners it’s great to have a knife on your hand.
If you are getting South
Bring a mosquito net, it will save your ass (or face)! Sleeping bag can also save you a lot of money and an opportunity to sleep in a thousand stars hotel. While I wouldn’t recommend you to take a risk and sleep at the jungle, but beach is definitely okay. Take a poncho with you, it will save your sleep from unplanned rains or it works as a ‘tent’ for you and your backpack (especially if it doesn’t have a rain cover).
It can be rough sometimes to get some sleep if you wan to take a nap and it’s a daytime. So take a funny thing as a sleep mask with you. I thought that they use it only in movies, but now I find it more and more comfortable.
What to take when you go to the loo
Last, but not the least, toiletries that are more than welcome to have. It varies depending on your personal needs, but keep it minimalistic. What we have: bamboo toothbrushes, eco-friendly toothpaste, dental floss, soap, shampoo, razors, nail clipper, hair wax (we both have short hair and we want to be stylish from time to time).
Apps we use and love
Evernote – I put our travel plans here, write notes and thoughts, even draw some sketches.
Dropbox – Best place to save your passport copies and documents. You’ll have it on cloud online, anywhere you go.
Maps.me – It is a great app, if you are a fan of getting lost. Just kidding. It’s especially useful in cities when it shows you your location, bus/metro stops, famous places, has navigation and works offline. So you won’t need a tourist information center. But you have to download the map beforehand!
Google Trip – Has many options, still figuring it out.
HomeBudget – Helps you track your finances while traveling. It has many categories, also has an option to take a picture of cheque and keeps it with other information you entered. Useful for daily use back home as well.
Couchsurfing – Best way to find a host and find new friends, meet locals. People usually invite you to their home for free, but it is nice to bring a gift or make a dinner for them 🙂
SoundCloud – You can listen your music offline for free (that’s why I like it more than Spotify).
Garmin Connect – We use it to count the distance we walk through the day. It helps you to know if you have been physically active enough or not. We like to stay healthy and fit, therefore we practice acroyoga on our ‘lazy’ days.
Shortcut of our packing list:
- Backpack (Deuter 32-42 litre)
- Passport & documents (visas etc.)
- Poncho as a rain coat
- Not more than ⅓ of all stuff should be your clothes
- Comfortable shoes
- Set of exercise clothes
- Bathing suit
- Sleeping kit: mosquito net, sleeping bag (if you’re looking to rough it), earplugs, sleep mask
- Shower kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, razors, dental floss, hair wax (I cannot live without it)
- Snacks: snack bars, packable lunch box, bowl, spoon.
- Camera (batteries and cables)
- Smart phone and headphones
- Notebook and pens
- First aid kit
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.