So, you have your flights booked, your route planned, your vaccinations sorted, and your backpacker travel insurance arranged. All that’s left is to fill your backpack with the essential gear to make sure you’re covered for every eventuality. Here are our picks for the ultimate backpacking equipment, with options for every budget.
Keeping all your kit safe, waterproof and perched comfortably on your back is essential, and this outstanding entry from Scandinavian all-weather experts Arc’teryx will to is all in extreme comfort – and style.
Berghaus are specialists at affordable, well-made outdoor kit, and this rucksack will suit any travellers not looking to burn a hole in their pockets. Handily, you could burn a hole in many of the pockets in this bag – it has several.
If you’re heading somewhere snowy, appropriate bedding is absolutely vital, and this premium sleeping bag from Mountain Hardwear will keep you snug in even the harshest conditions.
Alpkit’s PD400 sleeping bag is perfect for travellers looking to travel light. Clocking in at just 120g when compressed, it’s handy for anyone conscious of extortionate baggage costs.
Cooking in the wild can a tortuous affair, so you’ll need tough equipment to survive the elements. Jetboil’s stove has been designed to withstand even the most extreme weather.
This Go Systems Basic and lightweight offering comes with a separate windshield and ignition from a braided hose – a perfect budget choice.
When space is at a premium, many travellers leave their towels behind. Travel towels like this one from Lifeventure are lighter, more absorbent and quicker to dry than the average beach towel.
Not only will this cheaper entry fold handily into a small pocket, but it’s also absorbent enough to soak up 10 times its natural weight in water. Beat that, kitchen towel!
The Swiss Army Knife is the ultimate tool for any self-respecting adventurer, and this giant edition is the ultimate Swiss Army Knife. With over 100 features, it can practically every outdoor crisis conceivable.
For those who don’t need every variation of screwdriver head, the original Swiss Army Knife will always be the best: practical, versatile and, crucially, pocket sized.
Icon’s headlamp has been designed for night-time exploits under any conditions. It’s lightweight, weatherproof and comes with three powerful LED lights – perfect for your special ops under night cover.
You needn’t splash out on expensive torches, or even batteries – this wind-up torch will last a lifetime and only needs a minute of winding for 20 minutes of power.
Garmin are market leaders in professional GPS devices. This new device comes pre-loaded with European maps, and its powerful antenna means, unlike with most mobiles, you will never be lost.
For GPS simplicity, Bushnell’s ‘Backtracker’ requires no maps – simply mark an origin point and the device will point in the direction you need to go. The shortest distance between two points is, after all, a straight line.
Suunto’s elegantly designed watch is more than just a timepiece: it boasts GPS tracking, a 3D compass, a barometer and temperature gauge, plus training and heart-rate monitors.
Timex’s bulky offering is tough and durable, designed to withstand any sort of arduous trek you might be willing to put it through.
Bose are the last word in luxury portable speakers, and this slim system provides premium sound quality, no wires necessary.
Gear4′s dinky speakers for iPhone or iPod Touch users deft the unwritten rule that all small speakers should be hollow and tinny. These ones supply a bassy, well-balanced sound in a very small space.
If you’re planning on being away from civilization for a while, it’s always important to take a bit of it with you. This survival kit covers every eventuality for the serious traveller.
LifeSystems do an excellent trade in affordable, space-saving travel gear, and this first-aid kit, featuring all the essentials, will fit nattily into most pockets.
Luxury £3,481.79Budget £566.76