What’s in my bag | What to pack for your backpacking adventure

What’s in my bag | What to pack for your backpacking adventure

Wondering what to pack for backpacking? Before I hit the road to start my backpacking adventure a big concern for me was knowing what to pack for my backpacking adventure. I can’t even tell you how many articles I read, checklists I printed off and Amazon lists I had! So much advice, so little space in my backpack! But these lists were truly invaluable for me and so I wanted to offer my contribution and share my backpacking essential. I hope it helps!

What to pack for backpacking


You can’t backpack without a good one! Take a read of this guest post for advice about choosing a backpack and this one for tips on packing. Here are my favourite backpacks. Most people travel with a smaller duffle bag or rucksack that they wear on their front too…I know I do! So take this in to concideration when choosing the size of your backpack.

Sleeping bag liner

If you are staying in hostels it’s worth bringing one of these with you just in case. I actually used mine quite a lot because I was cold at night rather than the bed being dirty.

Microfiber towel




Packing Cubes

Products from Amazon.com

Bumbag/ fannypack

Waterproof bag

Rain Jacket


External hard drive

Power bank




Mobile wifi hotspot

I never leave home with out my TEPPY. It’s amazing for times on the road, sketchy hotel wifif issues, and as an emergancy back up.

If you want to get your own then use CLAIRESITCHYFEET for a 10% discount on sales and rental, (only valid for 100 uses so be quick).

What's In My Bag | Mobile WiFi Hotspots | My review of the TEPPY by TEP Wireless


Depending on how stylish you are feeling pack something more in fashion or a simple baseball cap to keep the sun out of your eyes and your face. I have no room for a fancy hat so I just have a simple black baseball cap.


Always check the UV protection even if you get a cheap pair. I travel with a nice (expensive) pair for walking around the city and a cheap pair for the beach.


I have two and I use them all the time! They aren’t just great to cover up at the beach they are also perfect to replace your towel. I don’t have a microfiber towel anymore I just use my sarong. I also take them to the beach to lay on and I even use them to tuck under the top bunk bed to give myself some privacy while sleeping in dorm rooms.

Daypack/ handbag

I have both! I love my tan crossover bag but I can’t travel without my Kanken backpack. It folds up small so it doesn’t take up much space and it looks good with everything.


If you prefer a towel to a sarong then make sure it’s a quick dry space saving microfiber towel.


Make sure you have a lock for the lockers in the hostel. Most hostels with let you rent one or buy one but it’s always better to get your own.


I’m an adventure girl, so I never travel without my head torch. If nothing else it’s good for getting home at night and reading in bed! But if you do decide to go in any caves or hiking up any volcanos then you will be glad you have it.


If you are staying in hostels you need earplugs….that is all!


You will find water filters in most places so make sure you take a good BPA free water bottle. Less plastic people, save the planet! I love this stainless steel one as it keeps my water nice and cool no matter how hot it is.

Swiss Army Knife

I don’t go anywhere without mine! You have no idea how many showers, plug sockets, and doors I’ve fixed using it! Plus you never know when you might need a knife (or a bottle opener). Be the kind of girl who carries a Swiss Army Knife.

Bamboo cutlery and copper straw

I’ll say it again. Less plastic, save the planet! Single-use plastic is the devil and should be avoided at all costs haha. No, but really lots of places are now banning single-use plastic (hurray) so do yourself a favor and get ahead of the game by getting a bamboo set and a copper straw for your mojitos.

Shopping bag

See above. Always carry a foldaway shopping bag. Great for shopping and laundry.

Ziplock Bags

They come in handy for everything from storing food to protecting your toiletries from leakage. Make sure you wash and reuse though!

Travel Adapter

Depending on what country you are traveling from make sure you have a multipurpose travel plug adaptor.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

It’s always good to have a hanging one so you don’t have to put your bag down in communal bathrooms.

First Aid Kit

Make sure it’s stocked up with bandages, mini scissors a small bandage, steri strips, paracetamol, ibuprofen, diarrhea tablets, constipation relief and rehydration sachets. If you prefer more natural remedies then take a read of this post I wrote on essential oils. Also always carry Activated Charcoal with you, incase you want to know why read this.

Insect Repellent

You can make your own or buy one with a decent amount of DEET in it.

Wet wipes

I always like to keep a little pack in my bag, just in case.


Again just in case!

Hand Sanitizer


I’m a total hippy and don’t like to use anything with too many chemicals in. If you like going natural like me, here is a list of my favorite products you can find on Amazon.

Or if you are more into DIY then take a read of this post on Natural Products for travelers.


Clothing Advice

Mix and Match

This is rule number one and it’s an important one. You need to make sure that you don’t have any single wear items packed. Everything in your bag should be mix and match. I  normally include only 1 patterned top and 1 patterned bottoms so that everything else will match. If you pack lots of patterned tops and bottoms you are going to be limited to what you can wear together. Before packing lay everything out and do a practice mix and match just to make sure everything goes well together.


Easy wash and quick dry

When choosing clothes I always try and choose things that wash easily (leave the dry clean only at home), don’t need ironing, are lightweight and will dry quickly. I also try not to bring anything heavy as it will also take up more space. I prefer to pick thin light clothing so I can squeeze a few more things in rather than larger heavier material that takes up space.

Clothing List

8 light tops / vests / t-shirts

3 pairs of shorts (I know they are heavy but I always have a pair of denim shorts)

2 dress

1 pair of leggings

1 pair of light trousers

fleece jumper


8 pieces of underwear

3 bikini tops 2 pairs of black bottoms

3 pairs of socks

1 belt


Other Stuff

Photocopies of passport

I am obsessed with this. I have photos on all of my devices and photocopies in each bag. You never know when you will be asked for this and if you lose your passport having a photocopy makes it much easier to get a replacement.

Fake wallet

I like to carry a fake wallet with some old bank cards and a small amount of money that I can hand over in case of emergency. I always keep my cash and bank card separate. When possible I leave my bank card safely locked up.


Whatever you do, don’t forget to get insurance. I use World Nomads as it’s the only insurance company who offers the flexibility I need as a nomad.


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What to pack for your backpacking adventure

I hope this post has been helpful in planning your trip to Central America. Make sure you check out my other posts to help you plan your trip!

Are You Traveling soon?

Be sure to check Skyscanner for the best flight deals.

I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.

This post was proofread by Grammarly




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