What is it really like to live out of a backpack

Posted in: Blog

There is an interesting trend among nomads that I have read about a lot lately: living out of a backpack. This is the ultimate nomad lifestyle, apparently, with all your belongings fitting into a bag that you can easily carry around on your back. Let’s take a look at how people who travel a considerable time live out of their backpack.

The first step toward the ultimate nomad lifestyle is to choose the right backpack. I have read about a series of options, and a 26 liter (about 7 gallon) backpack looks the best choice. It is important for the backpack to be good quality – it will accompany you for your travels in the next few years, so you might just want to choose a sturdy, reliable and resistant one. An article I have read has recommended Tom Bihn branded backpacks to be used, which is a less known brand, but a great choice for the “professional traveler”.

So, what should your backpack-to-live-out-of contain? Let’s get through the major points.

1. Personal hygiene & toiletries

What to pack for backpacking?Start with the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth wash, floss. If you go electric, choose a battery powered toothbrush, and a backup “manual” one, to have a solution if the first one fails. For males: shaving accessories and aftershave. For females: similar products destined for them. For both: shampoo, other hair care products, comb, brush, whatever. You know the drill.

2. Clothing

T-shirts, underwear, casual clothing, and so on. Most of the articles I have read speak badly about synthetic – they recommend natural fiber, and when it comes to shirts, they mostly recommend thin merino wool ones, which are easy to wash even with hand soap and dry incredibly quickly. Shorts, something high quality that will fit with your active lifestyle – one article I have read recommends the Olivers brand, initially funded through Kickstarter – the shorts have a special, highly resistant material, and they are designed with multiple functions in mind.

3. Documents

All relevant documents must find their way into your backpack, preferably in a ziploc bag to keep them safe if unexpected things happen. Be sure to keep your passport, secondary bank cards (in case your wallet is stolen or lost), photocopies of your driver’s license and ID, and anything else you would normally store in your wallet.

Backpacking store documents

4. Technology

For most people living the nomad’s life with nothing but a backpack after them this is the most important part. The obvious choices are: laptop, external storage (either a USB-powered external hard drive or a flash drive – multiple ones eventually – to safely store your data), a laptop stand, lightweight and rugged, a mouse and eventually a small, light keyboard for unexpected situations, a battery charger (to keep the mouse and toothbrush batteries filled), all the necessary cables (keep them to a minimum), headphones.

Backpacking with my gadgets

Eventually a solar powered battery pack should also go inside your backpack – in case you find yourself away from a power outlet, it can keep your phone and other accessories working. It’s very useful if you are stuck at an airport, with nothing to do but waiting and playing your games at redflushcasino.com.

5. Everything else

Backpacking essentials sporkThins that sound too obvious to be forgotten, but they often are: a spoon, a fork (maybe a “spork”?), a pocket camera (if the one on your phone is not enough), sketchbook, pens and similar things – you know what you will need on the road. I have to admit I am envious of the people who can travel the world with nothing but a backpack, and do their job from anywhere they please. I also dream of doing the same sometime.

What items are in your long-term travel backpacking checklist? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

2 responses to “What is it really like to live out of a backpack”

  1. Alivia says:

    I never had problems with clothing. Everywhere I went there was a laundrymat. I also had special bags marked & labeled for items such as documents, medication, emergency information and first aid kit. Than there was the small box for 2 cups, plates, forks, spoons & knives.

    • Katy Wrench says:

      I am trying to cut down my stuff to fit it into a 55L backpack and I am getting pretty close!
      It is hard to fit bigger jumpers/knitwear/ski jacket so I think I will have to wear those through the airport and look like a giant snowman.
      The thing I struggle cutting down is actually document and misc. things. We have some annoying card readers for our banks that we have to carry in case we need to pay someone new online. I will cut down on our documents by scanning in the thick things like work contracts etc. (not sure why they give us printed versions anyway).
      I have exchanged my large round hairbrush for a thin plastic comb, which has worked well.
      Also I have the exact same travel organiser as in this post – yay! snap!
      You guys seem to have a lot of medical stuff. I tend to keep some plasters in a bag, painkillers, antihistamines and some sports wrap and antiseptic cream and thats about it.
      Things like suncream, lotions and showergel are easy to buy on the go in smaller bottles.
      Like you, I will always pack my lonely planet, not that I follow it religiously, but because I enjoy them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *