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Essential Items To Always Keep In Your Backpack

Any kind of trip, whether going for a long hike, or just taking a walk through the countryside, is made easier if you know that you have essential items in your backpack These items can include everything from a high quality compass to safety items like torches and first aid kits, as well as snacks, paper maps, and extra clothing. Moreover, it’s important not to load yourself down with too many items, and to make sure that you pick the right number of items for the length and difficulty of the trip you’re taking. With these factors in mind, some essential items to always keep in your backpack include:

A Good Compass

Having a good compass to hand is always a good investment. The best compasses come with liquid fillings to prevent faults, as well as adjustable declinations depending on whether you’re trying to find True North or Magnetic North.

A Torch

Carrying around a small flashlight is useful if you get caught out on a walk when the sun goes down. It’s also essential for camping. A good torch should have a water resistant light, and options for extra bright beams.

High Energy Snacks

Keeping a few high energy snacks in your backpack will give you a much needed boost if you’re outdoors for a long time, and can’t get to any shops. Non perishable items are best, with dry energy bars and nutrition tablets useful to keep you from getting tired.

First Aid Kit

If backpacking through any areas for a long period of time, make sure that you have a compact first aid kit to draw on. This shouldn’t take up too much space, but should include items like plasters, sterilised bandages and antiseptic, as well as blister pads.


You can either go for dry matches, which can be stored in waterproof plastic containers, or slightly bulkier fire starters and tinder for making fires.


While you may have a good GPS on your phone, it’s always good to have some paper maps to hand if your battery runs out or if your phone loses signal. Get a map that has the right detail for your location.

A Few Extra Layers of Clothing

Check the weather forecast in advance, and keep a few extra items of clothing in waterproof bags in your backpack – this might include an extra jumper, hats, gloves, and thermal layers.


Very useful if walking in the woods or at night, a whistle can be used to scare off animals, and to alert a rescue party, or other people in your group if you get separated.


Always good to have even if you’re out on a cold day, sunblock should be kept in supply in your backpack for any long walks, particularly if you expect to be out in the open without coverage by trees.

Hand Sanitiser

Much appreciated if you’re walking or climbing through a muddy area, having a small amount of hand sanitiser means that you can prevent infection and keep your hands clean for when you’re cooking and eating.

Rob James is a well seasoned traveler, he recommends holidays at Cottages Direct. Rob can be found blogging about his experiences in many different places around the globe. His favourite quote is “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

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Comments (1)

  • Don the adventure traveler

    Hi Nara, thanks for keeping the blog alive! You seem to have been everywhere by now. I used to live in South America and enjoyed the pics from Peru.

    If I would add anything to the above gear list it would be a small water filter which can handle stream water.



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