5 backpack essentials

5 backpack essentials

Whether it’s your first trip or just another in a long list of adventures, maximising space in your backpack is crucial. If you plan on travelling light, here are the items you can’t leave without — they won’t take up too much space either!


T-shirts are really versatile. While shirts and jumpers are bulky and hard to pack, t-shirts can simply be rolled up and packed into your bag with minimal fuss. They’re ideal for warmer destinations but can be layered underneath coats and sweaters when the weather turns chilly too.

Department stores like House of Fraser have a great range of t-shirts, including everything from relaxed to more formal styles. To avoid having to double pack for different occasions, choose versatile basics that can be worn anywhere.

Wet wipes

Depending on where you’re travelling too, you may have a limited water supply, which makes regular showering a no-no. Stow a packet of wet wipes into your backpack and use them to freshen up when you don’t have a chance to bathe properly.

A mini can of dry shampoo is also advised if you’ll be going for long periods without washing your hair. Of course, this isn’t an essential, just a requirement for any image-conscious backpackers!

Ear plugs

Whether you’re camping under the stars with the local wildlife or bunking up in a hostel, it can be difficult to get to sleep. If it’s more than just your homesickness keeping you awake, make sure you pack a pair of ear plugs. They’ll help you block out the noise and allow you to nod off with ease, leaving you refreshed and ready to adventure the following day.

Insect repellent

To ensure you stay comfortable for the duration of your trip, you should pack insect repellent. Sprays are often the most popular type, although wet wipes are available too which are more convenient to pack. Whatever you choose, make sure it has a high level of deet, as this is what repels the bugs — the more deet, the better it works.

Plastic pouches

You should always choose a waterproof backpack to keep your stuff safe whatever the weather. However, for those really essential items, like your passport, tickets and other documents, you should purchase a zip-up plastic pouch. They only cost a couple of pounds but can prevent trouble in the long run, especially if you’re planning water sports.