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Are you going backpacking this summer? If you happen to be lucky enough to be jetting off then you might be wondering, just what are you going to bring with you? Picking the perfect clothes to fit into one backpack, is no easy task. Not only do you need to consider those everyday essentials, but also something that will look flawless in your Instagram shots. But don’t worry, we’ve put together the ultimate backpacking guide on men’s fashion.
We start off first with the most important staple you need before you even consider packing – your backpack. You need to choose this carefully, do not just pick one because it is currently on offer. There are many different styles to choose from, from offering 25L capacity all the way up to 80L. Consider this! Do you want to be dragging around a heavy back for the next few weeks or months? Do you want to be carrying an uncomfortable bag that digs into your shoulders?
Do your research. A good thing to also remember is to look for a backpack that has a rain cover, this will be a lifesaver if you are caught out in a rain shower. Also, it’s a good idea to invest in a smaller backpack for travelling throughout the day. You can get small pack away backpacks that are waterproof, have room for 10L of stuff and can easily fold away, so you don’t have to carry both at once.
Comfort is key, so you need to make sure this is a bag you will be happy to put up, as the worst thing would be an uncomfortable bag with a broken strap! If you are taking a notebook, then a dedicated laptop bag is essential for protection due to padding.
Let’s talk shoes
Leave the smart ones behind. As tempted as you may be to bring your best kicks, when you are backpacking they will get ruined. Think sand, mud and rain, all over your favourite trainers, not ideal. Depending on your backpacking holiday it would be ideal to bring two pair of shoes with you.
One set of high-quality hiking boots, that you HAVE broken in, you don’t want blistered toes. And one set of comfortable sturdy trainers you don’t mind taking a bashing. If you plan to visit beaches a trusty pair of flip flops is a good shout, and of course, in cold climates the best snow boots are essential.
Remember to pack light and sensibly for different temperatures! Even hot climates can get cold in the evening. Don’t pack a hiking outfit for every day. Think lightweight cotton t-shirts, a few pair of shorts, your swimming shorts, a hoody and a waterproof jacket as your essential backpacking clothes. Remember a pair of jeans or chinos for looking smart and a long or short-sleeved cotton shirt for nights out that you want to scrub up. Dark colours are a choice as they will hide stains better.
Think a baseball cap or straw hat for those hot days, a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes and an optional belt, if you want to jazz up your jeans or chinos. A wristwatch would be useful for telling the time to avoid missing key transport. Regarding jewellery, don’t bring anything that looks flashy or has sentimental value. If you lose it, there’s not much chance of getting it back.
There are some things you cannot forget to pack. Essentials such as toiletries, sunscreen, medical supplies (think everything possible for stomach bugs), a plug adaptor and a fast-drying towel and things you shouldn’t leave home without. Also remember to bring packets of tissues, not every country has toilet paper on offer and hand sanitiser when you aren’t able to wash your hands after.
- 2 Cotton t-shirts that will easily dry (consider dark colours as they will hide stains).
- 3 Quick dry t-shirts – This will be essential if you are travelling to hot, humid climates
- 1 Cotton, button-up collared shirt – Choose either long or shirt depending on the climate of where you are going. This shirt will be perfect for hitting the town on a night out or looking respectable at a conservative place with a dress code. This can go beyond evening wear as some religious temples want bare skin to be covered.
- 1 Thermal top – This is only necessary if you are going to a colder climate and will be hiking.
Trousers & Shorts
- 1 Pair of trousers, these can be either jeans or chinos, whatever you find comfortable.
- 2 Pairs of shorts – Perfect for exploring in a warmer climate.
- 1 Pair of swimming shorts for the beach or swimming pool.
- 1 Pair of hiking trousers – If you are going hiking, you need these trousers. Choose a pair that is waterproof and has pockets.
- 1 Hoody that you can wear over your t-shirts and shirt.
- 1 Waterproof, lightweight jacket with a hood. This is perfect to wear over your fleece and t-shirt.
- 7 pairs of cotton underwear – Choose quick-drying cotton so you can wash and dry this regularly. If you can’t find a laundrette, your hostel bathroom will work just fine.
- 7 pairs of cotton socks – Choose quick-drying cotton, so you can wash and dry these easily.
- 1 pair of hiking socks – These socks are a must for hiking, they will help prevent rubbing or blistering.
- 1 pair of warm socks – This is perfect for colder climates or warm climates that get cold at night. They can also double up as extra insulation from blistered feet from hiking.
- 1 Hat, be it a baseball cap or straw hat for head protection on hot days. Or a warm hat on cold days.
- 1 Pair of sunglasses
- A belt
- Sunglasses – For that crucial UV Protection. Globo Surf has a great article on choosing the best pair.
- Toiletries – Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel & deodorant
- Sun cream – Depending on the sun and the location you are travelling to choose between SPF30 – SPF50.
- Razor and shaving foam (if you shave)
- 1 Fast drying towel – These are really handy for the beach and for when you’re staying in a hostel and won’t get towels provided.
- A first aid kit – Include plasters, bandages, anti-septic, rehydration sachets, pain killers and treatment for stomach bugs.
- Packets of mini tissues – Essential as not all countries will provide toilet paper in their loos.
- Hand sanitiser – Believe me, you’ll need it! Pack two just in case.
This ultimate backpacking guide was written by Sarah McCann, Blog Editor and keen backpacker at MyBaggage.com specialists in luggage shipping.