First time backpacker survival kit

My youngest brother turned 18 this week and has grand adventure plans to go off interrailing around Europe for a few weeks this summer. My first thought was to get him a backpack for his birthday, which is definitely the top item on any first-time-backpacker’s to-buy list. Unfortunately my parents beat me to this idea, so instead I decided to gather all of those little essentials you might not know you need until it’s too late. For anyone else who will be heading off on their first backpacking trip soon, I’ve put together a list of what not to forget:

  • Guidebook: Maps, top ten lists, restaurants, useful words & phrases – all available offline whenever you need it.
  • Travel plug adapters: Google beforehand to see which one you need for the country you’re visiting. If you’re going to different places get a couple of universal adapters.
  • Torch: When you’re arriving late or leaving early at a hostel, you need some way of navigating the dorm room without waking everyone else.
  • Painkillers: Nothing worse than getting a headache at the start of an 8 hour flight.
  • Earplugs: Snoring and late night arrivals in hostel dorm rooms. Enough said. Alternative is headphones if you can sleep with them in.
  • Power bank: Emergency charging for when you’re on a train or bus and your phone is on 5%.
  • First aid kit: Something small so it doesn’t take up too much room, but with the essentials just in case – plasters, anti-histamine, antiseptic wipes. Don’t forget malaria tablets if needed.
  • Microfibre towel: Tiny and fast-drying – a lot of hostels don’t provide towels.
  • Padlock: For the locker in your hostel room, or keeping your backpack safe.
  • Snacks: Emergency sugar should always be at the bottom of your bag.

4 thoughts on “First time backpacker survival kit

    • Laura Harris says:

      I’ve never had any problems at all with their drying ability, they’re really absorbent. They dry really quickly as well so long as you hang them up. I always buy the large ones though, that might make a difference.


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