After being on the road for over three years, I’ve changed out most of my gear and narrowed it down to my absolute favourite things. Some are insanely useful; some are a bit odd, but still awesome. So if you’re planning a trip, or looking for that perfect travel gift for a friend, spare yourself the pain of wondering what to bring, and check out this list of awesome travel gear! Of course, I usually travel just in summer, so this is mainly geared towards summer travel packing!
- SteriPen Ultra Water Sterilizer: This thing is freakin’ bad ass. I’ve had my SteriPen for a couple years, and it’s supposed to last about 7 years (give or take, depending on your usage). It uses UV light to sterilize your water. Sounds insane, but I swear, it works! All you do is stir it in your questionable tap water for 90 seconds, and voila! Drinkable water.
- Photive Portable Battery Charger: The best portable battery charger I’ve found, and for cheap. I can charge up my iPod and Kindle a ton of times before it runs out of power. Plus, it has two USB slots. You can check out a review on other power banks here to find the best one for you!
- Fujifilm Waterproof Camera: Cause even if you don’t plan to use it underwater, shit happens. Stay smart. Plus it’s shockproof, takes HD video, and is wifi enabled. Can’t complain!
- Camera Float: So you don’t lose that camera in the water should you decide to go swimming with it.
- iPod Touch: I would be lost without my music. End of story.
- Extra headphones: Cause they like to break a LOT. Especially when you like walking in the rain. Oops…
- Kindle: There is no room in my pack for a million books, and you don’t want to kill your back.
- Universal Charger: This one even has a slot for USB, so you can charge two devices at once!
- USB Flash Drive: Cause shit gets stolen, and you’re going to want to back up your photos and other important docs.
- Head Torch: Any idea what a pain it is to set up a tent in the dark, or locate your pajamas in the pitch black of a hostel? Well, it sucks. Plus, this head torch is even rechargeable! Check out why you should get a headlamp here!
- Portable Speaker: Because sometimes you just wanna jam out with your new pals.
- Wind-up fm/am radio, torch, and charger: Just in case everything else runs out, this device can be charged using the crank or solar power, and works as a torch, radio, and charger for your phone. Awesome!
- Tep Wireless Frequent Traveller: This thing is so awesome – it’s a portable wifi device that you can connect five devices to at once. Fancy working in the forest or on the beach? Tep is your answer. Plus, you buy it rather than rent, so you can use it on and off as you like.
Camping and Hiking Gear
- REI Igneo Sleeping Bag: I’m in love with this super lightweight, extra warm, 3 season, waterproof sleeping bag. Seriously. It’s my favourite thing ever.
- MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Person Tent: Ridiculously light (your back will thank you!) and super waterproof, this tent just rocks.
- Osprey Backpack: I can’t rave about this company enough. Osprey rocks. My backpack is years old without a single tear, zipper break, nothing. It’s sheer perfection in the backpack world. Remember that not all backpacks are the same, and it’s important to find one that fits you correctly; check out this article on how to choose the best backpack for women.
- Of course, there are definitely other great travel backpacks out there to check out.
- Carry-On Luggage: Because waiting for your backpack after a long flight is not pleasant.
- OR try a carry on sized backpack if you can fit it all!
- Carry on garment bag to avoid those wrinkles!
- Check out Luggage Direct if backpacks aren’t your style for their assortment of bag styles and brands (my grandpa, the discerning type, is in love with the Mandarina Duck)!
- MSR Whisperlite International Stove: The reason I love this stove so much is that you can use different types of fuel with it; nowhere near a camping store with those little fuel containers? No worries – you can use white gas, kerosene, or normal car gas!
- Parachute Hammock: Who doesn’t want a hammock to relax in? Plus, these ones are super light and fold up so tiny you wouldn’t believe it’s even a hammock!
- Java Drip Coffee Maker: Woken up early by the sun while camping, desperate for coffee? Look no further! You can attach this handy dandy device to any cup, and have your caffeine fix! Don’t forget to find the best coffee in the world first though…
Generally Handy Things
- First Aid Kit: For stumbling off motorcycles in Asia and falling down the stairs while drunk in South America.
- Sewing Kit: I can’t even tell you how many times this has been useful to fix broken clothes and repair purses. And I can’t even sew properly.
- Carabiners: Handy for everything. I have one attached to my water bottle so I can stick it on my pack while on the move.
- Pens on Carabiners: They exist, and they’re awesome. Attach one to your bag and you’ll never have to scramble for a pen to fill out a customs form again!
- Padlocks: Cause who knows who’s going to be in your dorm room? Lock your stuff up.
- Travel Towel: If your pack can actually fit a full size towel, well, you’re a packing pro. For the rest of us, there are these towels that dry fast and fold up extremely tiny.
- Dry Shampoo: Do you like hitchhiking for days without being able to clean your hair? Or enjoy those freezing cold showers many hostels have? That’s why you pack dry shampoo.
- Water Bottle and Camelbak: The amount of times my Camelbak has come in useful while on long hikes is amazing. I highly recommend grabbing one.
- Packing cubes: Just make life easier.
- Pillows for long flights: Because long flights suck.
A Few Random Additional Items
- Money Belt that’s actually a belt: To hide your money without having a big ol’ money belt under your shirt.
- Travel Journal: To write about your travels. Or to doodle when you’re bored.
- Colouring Book Post Cards: Fun to colour, and people love personalised gifts like this sent home to them while you’re away in a magical land. Don’t forget your pencil crayons!
- Dobble: A strangely addictive card game that has never failed me in making new friends while bored in a hostel.
- Travel books. Oh my god I need good books or I’ll go nuts in those times when no one is around.
- Under $10 on Amazon? Check out these handy accessories that won’t break the bank!
- How about some beach bag essentials? You’re gonna need them!
Of course we all need some gear to save some sanity, so don’t forget some fun things that make you happy! And if you’re one of those lucky ones who has a bad ass drone, don’t forget your travel drone bag!
Did I miss anything? Write your suggestions in the comments! And hey, you could always throw in the towel and just buy some beer – you wouldn’t believe it, but you can make everything from a camping stove to a fish trap using just a beer can!