It’s true that you need to “pack light” if you’re backpacking through Europe or hiking through any terrain. But there are still some things you should never leave home without—they may save you stress. and even save your life, and are worth every space they take up in your backpack.
1. A small notebook. This is great for writing down the contact information of the people you meet (those small papers and napkins get lost or faded), useful tips you find along the way (like the restaurant that a local told you to check out), and doubles as a diary of your journey.
2. Alarm clock. Wakes you up when you’re on the train. A cell phone with an alarm clock function works too, if it rings loud enough.
3. Earplugs. Helps drown out the noise in cheap hostels with paper-thin walls, or zone out in the bus. Relaxing music can also help make your hikes more entertaining.
4. Foldable flip-flops. Many brands carry these. They’re great for walking on beaches or filthy communal bathrooms. And after days of wearing hiking shoes, som
etimes you just want to give your feet a breather.
5. Travel-sized detergents. Not all places have an overnight laundry service. At least you’ll be able to clean your socks, underwear and shirts, or (in a pinch) remove the stain on your shirt.
6. Padlocks. These are essential for keeping your luggage safe in any overhead compartments in trains or buses.
7. Nylon bags. These are perfect for keeping any dirty clothes, especially those that are damp from sweat or sudden downpours.
8. Spray on sunblock. While lotions provide the strongest coverage, spray on sunblocks are perfect for quick reapplication. Many have cooling effects that can actually give relief after a long day of walking in the hot sun.
9. Bug repellant and relief balm. Those picturesque hiking trails are filled with all sorts of insects that can bite. A good bug repellant keeps them at bay, a soothing balm can help relieve itching.
10. A map and compass. Seriously, if we need to explain why this is important, you shouldn’t be allowed to go backpacking through Europe.
11. Swiss Army Knife. You’ll have to check them in at airports, but on the road they’re absolutely essential.
12.Empty resealable bags. You can use them for wet toiletries, stashing leftover food, or keeping together any small trinkets or souvenirs that you find along the way.
Photo from blog.uloop.com