Basically, the idea behind this section is to ask any traveller what is it they carry in their backpack, outside of obvious toiletries and general arrangement of clothing. I’m not looking for how many t-shirts you store in the bottom of your bag, I’m looking for unnecessary items, comedic items, useful items, and sentimental items that some people feel they simply cannot travel without. Since this will serve as the inaugural edition of “What’s In Your Backpack Wednesdays” I figured it’d be befitting to showcase someone I know pretty well, myself!
So what’s in my backpack?
I’ve got a standard kit of clothes, toiletries, and basic electronics (camera, laptop (to keep this going), chargers etc). I also always travel with my sleeping bag, thermarest, and a tent (The Mountain Hardwear Drifter 2P), as many hostels charge only a small fee and often a donation fee to camp on their property. So you get the services and group environment a hostel provides, with even cheaper rates, and more privacy that a dorm room – AND it’s tough to get a better sleep than a rainy night in a tent. I usually bring a small mess kit, and my own little spice shaker (East African food tended to be a little bland), a book, a journal, and a hacky sack.
However, if I had to narrow down one item in particular that I truly think ever backpacker should travel with, I’d say it’s my headlight (Petzl Tikka 2). Yep, that’s it. When you’re in rural parts of any country once the sun sets there’s often very little light pollution to brighten up a nighttime stroll. It’s a great means of simply keeping your hands free to do whatever nighttime activity you’re into. I also would highly recommend getting a headlight with a “red-light” feature. The red-light is probably the reason why I find this item to important. When you’re staying in a dorm with 15 other people the red-light doesn’t wake, or disturb anybody. So if you’re stumbling in around 2am and looking to brush your teeth, read, or write, you can do so without making any enemies (and you feel pretty stealthy about it). Often the white light from LED lanterns reflecting off a books surface can be surprisingly a little blinding, so the infared is actually much easier on the eyes anyway. However, despite all those reasons. perhaps the most crucial feature of a headlamp… is the ability to play headlamp hide-and-go-seek, which is really the only way one should hide-and-seek.