Several years thinking about this project, then a few months of preparation… quit your job, leave your flat, get rid of all your stuff (or almost) and sum up your life in a 10-kg-backpack: you can definitely improvise that from one day to the next!
After hours spent to compare each part of my future house (i.e. my backpack), to find the best quality-price-weight ratio, to determine the best itinerary a priori, to check the most interesting volunteering projects, to take precious contacts around the world… departure date approaches!
Backpack detailed contents :
(Be careful, this list is going to change before leaving and once on the road!)
Choosing a backpack is one of the most crucial point when leaving on a round-a-world trip. Comfort, weight, resistance and practicality are all the elements on which there should not be any compromise.
I have read many other travelers’ tips which helped determining the ideal capacity for a 10/12-kg-backpack (45 to 50L).
The Deuter Aircontact 50 + 10 seemed to be the reference model.
However, after a few visits at the Vieux Campeur, I was still sceptical. This rigid backpack was not the best for my morphology. I have finally chosen the Osprey AG 55 + 5, which felt like a an evidence as soon as I put it on my shoulders. Its main limit is that it has no opening at the front.
Price : 238€ – Weight : 2,19 kg
Morality : Try before buying and don’t only base your choice on the other users!
One of the most precious tips that Les Gros Sacs gave me: have a plane cover with a locker to protect my backpack in the baggage hold. Not only from theft or damage but also to prevent many other possible catastrophes [fish soup spilled in a bus baggage hold for example #trustory].
Brand: Decathlon – Price: 19.99€
Some light pouches and hand-compression bags are essential to organize the backpack’s content, optimize its space and avoid having it completely in a mess at the first research that you make inside. You can choose the excellent Eagle Creek bags (or other brands in that style) but AliExpress does also offer some good ones that are much cheaper.
Once more, trying before buying this bag was decisive, and Osprey won again! The model Tempest 20 will then be my best friend for my daily getaways. Compulsory to protect your material, a rain cover has to always be ready to use in the bag.
Backpack price: 96€ without transport fees – Weight: 740 g
Rain cover price – Decathlon: 6.99€
Buying a sleeping bag requires to check carefully the minimum temperatures that you could be exposed to during your trip. In my case, a bag that could stay comfortable up to O°C was essential, but if I wanted it to remain as light and small as possible, it was at a cost. The Vieux campeur has guided me once more to the best product adapted to my needs, the Valendré Chill-Out 450.
Price: 320€ – Weight: 869 g
Sleeping bag liner
Vital to make you warmer and sleep in clean conditions whatever the circumstances, the main question concerning the sleeping bag liner is its fabric: if it’s made of cotton, it will be cheaper but heavier and longer to dry. It’s then better to opt for one in silk.
Price: 32.99€ – Weight: 105 g
Get dressed, put your shoes on
– A sun hat (not the most glamourous but primordial) – Brand: Colombia – Price : 19.99€
– A stole that can be used as a scarf, sarong, protect your shoulder, etc.
– A “buff “: headband, hat, scarf, it can do everything! – Brand: Kalenji – Decathlon – Price: 3.99€
– 2 short sleeves tee-shirts, one with long sleeves, all in Merino wool. It is THE best fabric for travelers and sportsmen: it keeps you warm while remaining breathable, and it only smells bad after several days of intensive use. – Brand: Icebreaker – Price: At full price, around 60€ for one tee-shirt. But if you keep an eye on promotions on the web, you can find some around 30€.
– 7 pants, 3 bras
– 4 socks – Currently looking for them
– A flexible fleece jacket that remains comfortable when you practice sport – Brand: Vaude – Price: 108€ (on sales) – Weight: 418 g
– An ultralight down jacket, compressible and efficient – Brand: Rab – Price: 219€
– A gore-tex jacket, waterproof and windbreaker – Brand: Millet – Price: 151€ (on sales)
– 2 hiking trousers including one that can be converted into a short – Brand: Patagonia and Lafuma – Price: Up to 90€ without sales
– A light summer pair of trousers, better than skirts or shorts to keep your legs covered without burning hot – Brand: H&M – Price: 6€ on sales
– One merino legging, to wear under your trousers, when nights are cold etc. – Brand: Icebreaker – Price: 63.90€ instead of 79.90€
– One swimsuit
– 2 microfiber towels – Brand: Decathlon – Price: 6€
– One pair of gore-tex trail shoes, lighter and more discreet than hiking shoes. One of the backpackers’ most recommended model: Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX – Price: 155€ without sales
– Waterproof and comfortable hiking sandals (that are not too
ugly) – Brand: Merell – Price: 109€
– Plastic watershoes to enjoy the waterfalls, rocks, etc. I will rather buy them during the trip as they won’t be necessary in South Africa nor South America, but rather in Asia. Be careful, plastic shoes are better than the ones in canvas, that need time to dry – Brand: Cressi – Price: 12.95€
Taking care of oneself during a trip is a very relative notion! Once more, it is better to be satisfied with the bare minimum.
– Osprey Ultralight Washbag zip : ultralight, with an integrated hook and a detachable section – very useful to keep your essential with you even during long trips – Weight: 120 g – Price: 34€
– Zip bags like freezer bags to organize more easily your toilet bag.
– Dr Bronner’s soap: an organic soap that is recommended by all the travelers as it’s all-in-one: soap, shampoo, detergent, toothpaste, deodorant… – Price: 6€
– Toothbrush + dental floss
– Sanitizer gel
– Small scissors
– Reusable ecologic clean ear – Price: 4.50€
– Mini wood hairbrush
– Organic Sun cream
– Cups – Price: 14.95€
– Reusable “Pisse-debout” – Price: 10€
– All-in-one balm for face and body – Made with Camille Buisson from Youman
– Peppermint essential oil: a must-have against headache, travel sickness, stomachache
– Tea-tree essential oil: antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral
– Citronnella essential oil: its smell is immediately recognized… but it’s so efficient against mosquitoes!
– Lavender essential oil: the best medicine against mosquitoes bites (and other small and bigger beasts!)
– Local antiseptic
– Gauze strips
– Antiseptic unidose eyewash + anti-stye cream
– Ticks catcher
– Mosquito repellent
Miscellaneous but essential
– Security belt to keep your money and most important papers safe – Price: 20€
– Wash Bag : a fantastic invention to wash your clothes wherever you are! However it is a bit expensive so you can also do the same with a classical Dry Bag, much cheaper but as efficient – Wash bag price: 55$ – 20-Liter-Dry bag price: about 20€
– Sunglasses index 3
– Small notebook
– TSA lockers
– Swiss knife Victorinox – Price: 19.90€
– Fork and spoon 2-in-1 – Price: 1.90€
– Folding mug – Price: 11.30€
– Folding tupperware
– Water filter : Ultralight, compact et lifelong reusable, this filter just has to be screwed on your flask or bottle of water. It only requires to be regularly washed with clean water. Much more useful than filtering flasks that are more expensive and need to be renewed every 3 months in average – Price 33€
– Headlamp – Brand: Black Diamond – Prix : 40€
– Snap hook
– Mini sewing kit
– Safety pins
– False wedding ring
– 2 deactivated credit cards: a trick in case of aggression and theft
– Survival blanket
– EasyBreath diving mask: to buy rather during the last step of my trip, once in Asia – Price: 29.99€
– MacBook Air 13′
– Five 32Go MicroSD cards + four 64 Go to save my pictures – Price: 210€
– Pentax K3 camera + 1 additional battery
– Lenses: 50 mm f. 1.4 + 35 mm f. 2.4 + case
– Protection films for the cameras
– Memory cards
– Camera light cases
– Waterproof and robust compact camera – Olympus TG-870
– Microfiber wipes
– Ipod Nano 5 – 16 Go
– Universal adapter
(Congrats, you made it to the end of this loooong article)
You already went on long trips and have some recommendations? You have already tried some of those products and have some observations? You have questions on some of them? Don’t hesitate to comment!