travel gear

Travel Gear for Minimalist and Budget Backpackers

As a wanderlust addict and backpacker, it’s important for me to have the right travel gear. I do hours of research before purchasing a new item, and when I find something I really love, I use it for years. Packing minimally for an adventure is a challenge, but it’s the only way to go! Find out what I pack for my travels by reviewing the packing lists below. 

travel gearBackpacking Travel Gear Essentials

  • BACKPACKOsprey Aura 50 AG Backpack. I’ve been using this backpack for over a year now, and it has already traveled with me to Iceland, France, Mexico, Thailand, China and Taiwan. I love it! It’s durable and the perfect size. I used to have a 65 liter backpack and it was just too huge. The Aura 50 is designed to carry up to 50 pounds, which is plenty for my minimal packing routine. 
  • DAY PACK: Codura TravellingLight 20 liters. I love this teeny tiny lightweight day pack. No frills here, but it packs so small it’s hard to beat this minimal day pack.
  • COMPRESSION SACS. Great for organization and space saving. I use three clear compression sacks. One for shirts, one for pants, and one for my underwear, bras and socks. I also use this sac for dirty clothes. 
  • HANGING TOILETRY BAG. Must have for hostels and community bathrooms.
  • RFID TRAVEL PURSE. Protection from identity theft. I like this style and brand.
  • WATER BOTTLE. I pack my lightweight Vapur for domestic travel and my LifeStraw for travel abroad.
  • QUICK DRY TOWEL. Most hostels will not provide a towel for you.

travel gear

  • FLASHLIGHT and/or HEADLAMP
  • EAR PLUGS. Essential for sleeping on trains, planes, buses and hostels.
  • EYE MASK. Essential for sleeping on trains, planes, buses and hostels.
  • TOILETRIES. I tend to pack light when it comes to toiletries – just the necessities. I can always purchase items as needed at my location.

 Women’s Backpacking Clothing – The Basics

  • BRAS X 2: One regular and one sports bra
  • WOOL SOCKS X 2. One thick and one thin.
  • UNDERWEAR. Exifficio Underwear can be washed in the shower and dry by lunch. For ultralight, I pack two pair.
  • BATHING SUIT X 1
  • HIKING PANTS X 1. Choose a pair that will zip off into shorts, like these.
  • JEANS X 1
  • QUICK DRY SHORTS X 1. For sleeping, running/working out and as a bathing suit cover up.
  • T-SHIRTS X 2. Or I buy t-shirts as I need them at my destination. They make great souvenirs.
  • LONG SLEEVE SHIRT X 1
  • SARONG X 1. Great to wear in temples or as a bathing suit coverup. I bought mine in Thailand.
  • LONG DRESS. Lightweight and conservative for both temple/church tours and fancy nights out.
  • SWEATSHIRT or FLEECE X 1
  • BUFF. Great for keeping warm, repelling bugs, wiping sweat and covering up greasy hair!
  • SNEAKERS. I use shoes that double for running and day hikes
  • FLIP FLOPS. For the beach and public showers. I like these for comfort.
  • TECHNICAL SANDALS, for day hiking in hot climates, or HIKING BOOTS for long hiking trips.
  • SUNGLASSES

ADDITIONAL CLOTHING FOR COLD CLIMATE TRAVEL:

Swap out hot weather items for the following:

  • JACKET. Depending on where I’m going, I pack a puffy coat or rain jacket.
  • HAT
  • GLOVES
  • LEGGINGS

ADDITIONAL CLOTHING FOR HOT CLIMATE TRAVEL:

Swap out cold weather items for the following:

  • SUN HAT
  • TANK TOPS X 2
  • LINEN or COTTON PANTS

 Technical Travel Gear


Disclosure: Some of the travel gear links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission. Regardless, I only recommend products I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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