What's In My Backpack: A Checklist

So you've decided its time to jump, booked your flight, told your friends and family you're leaving for the adventure of a lifetime, when reality sets in and you think to yourself, "WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?"

Or at least that was my thought process before my first solo backpacking trip. One of the questions I get asked most is, "What should I pack for my trip?" so I wanted to write up a sample inventory of what comes with me nowadays. Remember...less is more. Minimalism and being pragmatic are huge components of backpacking.

When you find out you're on the wrong side of the street to catch that 17 hour overnight bus, and have to run across traffic to get to it before it leaves without you, you will seriously reconsider if you really needed that second book you purchased earlier that day. The more stuff you pack, the more stuff you have to worry about. While I personally bring my laptop so that I can work on the road, I recommend leaving as many electronic devices at home as you can.

What's In My (60-liter) Backpack


  • 2 t-shirts, 1 nice shirt
  • 2 tank tops
  • 8 pairs underwear
  • 8 pairs socks
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 pants, 1 shorts
  • 1 belt
  • 1 pair of running shoes/trainers
  • 1 pair of flip flops (crucial for dirty showers)
  • 1 pair of swim trunks
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses


  • 1 small journal
  • 1 book
  • REI water bottle
  • 1 passport neck wallet
  • Photocopies of passport
  • Passport photos (for visas)
  • 1 combo lock
  • Compass
  • Duct tape (your best friend)
  • Sleeping mask
  • Ear plugs


  • 1 toiletry bag
  • 1 soap case
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Hair wax
  • 1 first aid kit (bandages, peroxide, antibiotics)
  • 1 microfiber towel
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Beard trimmer
  • Laundry soap
  • Sunblock
  • Nail clippers


  • iPhone 6
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch)
  • 2tb external hard drive
  • GoPro Hero4 Silver
  • 2 SanDisk 64gb MicroSD memory sticks
  • 2 Wasabi Power GoPro batteries/charger
  • Headphone splitter (for watching movies with friends; great for long bus rides)
  • Chargers/universal outlet adapter