It’s certainly the question people ask us more : for a world trip, what do / don’t you bring on your backpack ? Art of subtlety about » just enough » it’s not always obvious. To help you, in that post we will reveal your our gear, our tips, our favorites, our errors and our secrets after few month around the world.
BEFORE GET INTO IT – WHAT YOU GONNA FIND ON THIS POST
We have left home with our backpack for an indeterminate time, some cold and hot countries are on the list, mountains and oceans, jungles and cities, and some bivouacs.
Kind of adventure who put yourself in front of a tricky challenge : the one to fit many kinds of gear in only one backpack !
In that post we will list all we have brought but share with you our advises, tips and experiences after 5 months travelling : methodology, clothes, camping gear, medic, hygiene, personal stuff, important documents… From the light technical jacket to the swimsuit through our sleeping bag 0°, mosquito spray or soap we use for everything, you’ll find here a large panel about things you might not forgive for your trip, we promise you, there are many details !
In any case, don’t forget : everybody is different and will get a different backpack, there is not a perfect list, all depends about your philosophy , your desire. It’s obvious like your backpacks depends of your trip : if want to do hikes, camping, how you want to move, your personality ( your demand about comfort, your hobbies)…So the best person who can evaluate your needs, it’s you. .
This is complete inventory : adjust it to your travel and pick what is seams necessary for the countries / adventures you will cross.
We translate our website / articles on our own, sorry for mistakes we have done, please feel free to give us some feedback (comment, email …) to help us improve our English writing
ARE YOU READY ? HERE WE GO ! MAKE A BACKPACK FOR A WORLD TRIP : D-DAY.
You are in front of a moment you feared : you will leave for few months (years) and it’s time to set-up your backpack. Soon you will realize it’s also time to put the word » useful » or » vital » in practice and face the facts : we don’t need to much to love our everyday lay. So this is two important things to spread trough your head before doing something (make post-it) :
Travel light, travel free
Don’t put to much pressure on you!
If it’s your first journey, maybe you’ll get the impression that many things are « important » but if there is only thing travelling will teach you is…to travel minimalist and love this way ! It’s true : after few months some gear will seams useless ( contrary to the excessif weight of your backpack who gives pain to your muscles, back, shoulders and force you to do short and efficient distance when you move ).
Keep in mind that your backpack should be 15% to 20% of body weight. You want to know the limit you should not exceed ?Multiply your weight by 0,2 ! For exemple if you weigh 55kg : 55 x 0,2 = 11kg.
And Finally… Don’t put to much pressure on you ! Except some medicine, few clothes and your valuable objects, we find everything almost everywhere. For the rest, calm down : we have already tried to think about everything, for you ! ?
« THE ULTIMATE LIST »
1 >> BACKPACK 2 >> TEXTILE 3 >> SHOES 4 >> BIVOUAC 5 >> HYGIENE 6 >> ELECTRONICS 7 >> MEDICAL 8 >> LITTLE EXTRAS 9 >> FOR THE GIRLS 10 >>IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
1 – BACKPACKS
where everything start
Of course the unmissable n°1. You got a house, an apartment ? Now you’ll get backpack, just a backpack. We give you advise to choose yours ici, for us this is the one we picked and we love them :
- Maxime : Forclaz Trek 900. Capacity : 80L
- Delphine : Forclaz Trek 900. Capacity : 60L
- A small additional bag both : Quechua NH 500.
Pick your additional bag light and waterproof (by a cover if it does not come with), especially, don’t take to big : 20l is totally enough to bring all your need without hoard yourself. (more it’s big, more you will put some stuff, don’t forget you will carry both bags frequently) !
What we think about our additional bags / why you might take one : for all those moments you will leave your backpack in your room, to wander on the way with only your necessary, to keep your valuable objects with you on the transport, to take on the plane. At the beginning we have hesitated, but found them useful everyday. Our NH500 from Quechua are very practical (with many compartment) but be aware, we you add to much weight on them they get uncomfortable.
2 – TEXTILE – PANTS, JACKETS, ACCESSORIES…
our rock solid wardrobe
We needed a little part of everything : to face cold weather, hot weather, to go up to 4000m but also to the beach, doing sport or walk in the city.
Our advise, because we can not bring everything : take all you will need first to don’t carry stuff you will only need in 5 months.
Starting with cold countries (Siberia, Mongolia, Nepal) we have favored technical / warm gear instead of short, dress or tiny t-shirt, which we found for a cheap price in Asia ! When we have done those countries, we sent back our warm clothes in France.
|WARM / TECHNICAL||
|to manage 5 days without laundry|
And to pack this…
Compression cubes. Honestly : The best idea we got during our preparation. Quechua or Nordkamm, those cubes we use to pack our clothes, compress them and who organized our backpack revolutionize our backpacker’s daily life !
You will find them here as love it, the good news is you get 10% discount on the all website of the band Nordkamm with the code entre10poles .
3 – SHOES
do you have world trip’s shoes please ?
No secret ! There is not only one magic pair of shoes who will bring you around the world. But, 2 or 3 pairs will give you the perfect combo :
- Hiking shoes mid / trail shoes
It’s the perfect shoes to on the same time hold and protect during the treks while give you freedom of movement for the rest of the time. But especially they will give you some comfort during long walk in the city or in the mountains…Anyway, it’s kind of shoes you can almost do everything !
Our pick : Knowing that we will hike a lot (sometimes in high mountains), we looked for a good compromise between comfort / lightness / solidity / waterproofness / support. We choosed the Merrell All out blaze 2 and we are not disappointed : they are light, comfortable in the mountains (and all time) ! Leather guarantee us solidity and they are waterproof.
- A light pair of basket (like Free Run).Good or bad idea ?
Maxime gave up his pair, for myself i still have it and i’m glad to got it everyday and use them in many situations. It could be useful for walks under 30°, workout session, be comfortable in the transport (plane, bus, train…) It’s the good compromise to don’t have to switch between the two extremes : flip-flop or hiking shoes
- Actually : Flip-flop
Flip-flop, sandals… Choose the team you prefer, even if you don’t like it an mandatory accessory : we don’t only talk about those days you gonna chill under 40° on the beach but also about all of the suspicious toilets, bathrooms you will experiment.
Hiking or trail ? It’s only a question about ankle support… and habit ! We get use to mountain environment and we usually wear hiking shoes who support well our ankles, especially when you want to make you descent more funny. But most of them are usually heavy take place (especially in the backpack) : opt for a mid size, lighter and less cumbersome. On the other hand, if for you wearing hiking shoes is really unpleasant and you’re not gonna do long technical hike (most of the famous treks are well maintained) you should opt for low size or trail shoes.
Is waterproof really necessary ? You can think whatever you want but for us, after few months travelling and in all conditions… Yes, with any doubt !
4 – HYGIENE
to keep you fresh in (almost) all conditions
One toilet case for both is fully enough, you can find some really practical one on internet or stores : we opted for one in Decathlon who got lot of compartiments, a small mirror AND a hook which is so useful to hold it everywhere (think about it, that change your life)
- Small toothpaste tubes
- Nail clippers
- Cotton buds and cotton (also useful for pharmacy)
- All In One soap from Dr Bronner’s (body, hair, wash dishes, laundry and … toothpaste ! We didn’t try the last one but everything works)
- Natural deodorant . Our advise : buy it online (stick) it’s cheap and you’ll keep it for a while !
- Wipes intimate wash add body.
- Cleaning gel (also use like make-up remover)
- Hydraing cream
- 2/3 Make-up basics ( small and don’t take to much place )
- Reractable airbursh (this modèl very basic but very useful and cheap with Sephora, allow you to get hairbrush and compartiment to put your elastic and hair grip )
Wipes are useful when trekking / expedition / transit when you can’t get shower or water during few days / hours. You’ll easly find » intimate wipes « , but to refresh your body no better than … baby wipes ! Most of them are make up with 90% of watter : just enough to refresh and clean. Method tested and 100% approved during our 7 days in Gobi desert !
5 – BIVOUAC
portable house of adventurers and everything who comes with
In light of our program (and our desires) we left with camping gears to survive few days in the nature. If you don’t plan this kind of adventure, to give importance to this equipment. And no worries, for the » just in case » one day you would camp, you’ll probably find some material to rent on place. However, some of those accessories would be useful in daily life, you’ll find them on the topic » little extras « .
- Tent Quechua Ultra Light 3 people (to get enough place for us and 2 backpacks)
- 2 down sleeping bags Forclaz 0°
- 2 silk sheet Quechua
- 2 air mattress trek 700 Forclaz
- 2 helium pillows Quechua
- 1 camping light BL40 Quechua
- 2 headlights Onnight 700 Quechua
- 2 sets of plastic cutlery
- 1 foldable food box
- 2 inox cups
- 1 thermos bottle 400ml
- 1 Life Straw (filter bottle)
- 1 water bottle 700ml
- micropur tabs (useless if you don’t plan any long adventure)
- 6m of rope 5mm Simon (tiny and useful in many situations)
- Swiss army knife
- Lighter / firestone
6 – ELECTRONICS
minimalist or real digital nomad ?
If there is one category which list of equipment differ, it’s this one. For the basics : smartphone, usb cable, powerbank, adaptator and maybe a camera. For us who got a blog and want to share many adventures on social media, this is how looks our technical staff :
|SUPPORT & STORAGE||
|PHOTO & VIDEO||
It could seems it’s a lot of electronics stuff but trust us, to maintain a blog a create some nice content it’s almost the minimum (except the drone which a « big plus ») and for the futur it’s gonna be even more (to share more stories :)). Our advise would be to buy a specific bag to pack everything and keep it safe, things we haven’t done before leaving.
7 – PHARMACY
Only a box of doliprane and let’s go
We wish to take only this, but in fact on the other side of the world reality is different and could be hard sometimes to find some medicine.
Again, it depends where you gonna go. Keep it mind it could be simple and cheap (sometimes free) to get medicine in your own country, then it will be hard and expensive in some countries!
This is what we have in our pharmacy :
- General pains : Doliprane et Ibuprofène.
- Stomach ache and digestion: Spasfon, Tiorphan et citrate de Bétaïne.
- For infection who comes with pain and high temperature , like ear infection, throat infection… : des antibiotiques à large spectre tels que l’Amoxicilline / Acide Clavulanique.
- Survival blanket
- Small scissors
- Disinfectant (Bétadine)
- Sun screen
- Nok cream (pain from bulbs, don’t take some if will not do many hikes)
- Tiger balm (magic balm ! you’ll find a lot in Asia no worries)
- BalmDr Pawpaw (nourishing balm for lips, hands)
- Mosquito Net
- Mosquito spray
- Roll-on to relieve mosquito bite
- Paludism treatment
- Contraceptive pill
Then, don’t forget : medicine is one thing, but they will never substitute those two necessary for travelling :
→ Vaccines : It’s important to check vaccines at least 3 month before leave (some needs 3 months to be done with booster) : https://www.pasteur-lille.fr. For more detail we prepare one post about everything you know to be ready the d-day.
→ Travel insurance : The one who will cover your medical expense if you need (we don’t hope so !). For us, we picked Chapka Assurances : after 5 month they help us with our hospital expense for an ankle injury, very reactive and helpful.
To don’t take lot of place, remove boxes and put medicines in small food bags.
If you are afraid to forgot how to use them and the posology : Download instructions online and store them on your phone !
8 – LITTLE EXTRAS
Those things you gotta love it everyday !
It’s them, finally, those little extras of our daily life who are so useful, we didn’t really think about them at the beginning but now we can say » they are amazing ! «
|Why they are amazing :|
|Cover for your backpack (waterproof, light)||Since the first month, in light of their condition after planes / bus / jeeps / tuk-tuks / horses, we are so happy to get them every time we move to protect our backpack we are in perfect condition|
|Night mask||For transports or dorm room.|
|Ear plugs||Don’t need to spell it out|
|Microfiber towel||The must have for all travelers ! There is more comfy but they are tiny and dry quickly.|
|Hydroalcoholic gel||Perfect if you don’t have water or soap and your hands and definitely doubtful|
|Waterproof smartphone case||To take photos when you are kayaking, or on a canoe or paddle, tube, pink flamingo …Imagination will the only limit of your craft.|
|Box of elastics||To pack your cables, tidy up your clothes, fix something, keep close your cookies pack, dry fruits or the other smalls things which their only goal is to open themselves all time on your bag.|
|Freezer bag||To protect your document from water, separate your liquids at the airport, tidy your soap / toothpaste / other liquids who could open themselves in your bag.|
|Small wood board||Essential to cut the food you’ll bring from your country|
|« Saucisson »||Sorry, we are French !|
|A diary and a pen||Notes, drawings, memories about people / cat you meet on the way.|
|Portable speaker JBL||Because it’s life to dance with high quality sounds and give you more motivation during your workout (or your long motorbike journey).|
Don’t forget those from our topic » bivouac » which could be useful every day :
|Why they are amazing :|
|Travel pillow Quechua||Sleep well without pain everywhere on earth. They are smalls, lights and incredibly comfy !|
|Inox cup||To get tea / coffee when you go camping, or on the train to eat your noodles (Trans-Siberian experience) or even to help you cooking with the measure.|
|Headlight||To walk through the dark and let free your hand when you come back for sunset or on the way to sunrise.|
|Camping silk sheet||To keep your sleeping bag clean or protect your body from the dirty backpacker’s dorm room.|
|Folding food box||To keep the rest of your dinner / lunch or bring food when you go camping.|
|Life Straw||It’s the revolution, makes our life easier and limit expenses / plastic us ! It allows us to drink kind of everything and almost everywhere , what else ?|
|Thermos Bottle 400ml||Except bivouac, those moments you’ll need hot drinks between your hands, like those mornings on top of the mountains waiting for sunrise.|
|Swiss army knife||We can’t say something about the tiny saw, but bottle-opener and the corkscrew are so useful, they will save your life 🙂|
9 – FOR GIRLS
because we don’t talk about details…
Hygiene intime, toilet bag, menstruations, accessories, contraceptive pill, clothes… You already got all the list of my stuff on this article, but because you have so many questions (and sometimes so accurate), i will tell you more in a futur article dedicated to this subject.
If you have questions or topics that you would love find in this futur post, don’t hesitate to tell us in the comment section 🙂
10 – IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
you can forget everything … Except this !
«Anyway now, it’s to late »
You might get this feeling of fatality at the moment that some people consider like » no return « . The one you’ll say boodby to your close family / friends just before get into the customs at the airport, the one your train is leaving the platform, the one your boat is leaving the port…Anyway your transport, we talk about this moment that your travel start, after days (weeks) think about if you’ll not forget something, this sentence on your mind : » anyway, it’s to late » Vous ressentirez peut-être ce sentiment de fatalité lors de ce moment que beaucoup considèrent comme « sans retour ».
We insist on : Don’t put to much pressure on your : you will waste this unique time of preparation which should be a good moment and not a burden.
Except the lucky charm given by your grandma 10 years ago, antibiotics and your pricey stuff, you can by everything kind of everywhere…except this :
- International driving licence
- Your licence from your country (it’s not practical, but your need both)
- Certificate of vaccines (copy or scan)
- Your credit card
- Identity pictures ( could be done at all airport but sometimes pricey)
Our advise : don’t forget to do scan or picture of all those documents and send it to your mailbox : that way, whatever you are, even if you loose your paper AND your telephone, you can get everything just with your email and that could save your life sometimes.
Do the same with medical prescription (if you need to justify) or insurance justification : it will takes less papers.
FEW WORDS TO CONCLUDE
» WEIGHT OF OUR BACKPACKS (WITH EVERYTHING ON THE PICTURE) :
- 13,5 kg Delphine
- 18 kg Maxime
For both it’s 3kg more than our limit weight ! Fortunately we planed to send back our bivouac gear and our warm clothes when Siberia, Mongolia, China and Nepal will be done. Now our backpacks are lighter, but it still could be better !
» WHAT WE WOULD HAVE BEEN ADVISE BEFORE LEAVING :
If you have a passion / something you love especially but you are hesitating because it’s not on the perfect list you’ve seen on internet … Take it !Even if you give up some clothes. For exemple : your guitar (make it shorter and take ukulélé), your favorite camera, your drawing … If it’s part of you, you’ll miss them one day for sure in this kind of long trip !
Enfin, n’accordez pas tant d’importance au contenu de votre sac, il ne conditionnera pas votre voyage :
→ si vous vous apercevez qu’il vous manque quelque chose, vous l’achèterez ou il y aura toujours quelqu’un pour vous dépanner
→si vous avez pris des affaires qui vous embarrassent : vous les donnerez ou vous les renverrez chez vous.
» 3 THINGS WE ARE SO GLAD TO HAVE BROUGHT :
1 – Packing cube who enable ourselves to tidy and compartmentalize our backpack : it’s only backpack but when open the main zipper it’s almost like cupboard and easy to grab
2- Our water bottle LifeStraw who enable us to get access to drinking water everywhere and limit plastic use
3 – Our Speaker because we love add music in our daily life and our headphones, to keep listening on transports or watching movies without disturb somebody else.
» THOSE WHO HELP US :
Decathlon Ruaudin, who give us to possibility to test some of their materials in exchange of feedback, and run everywhere on the hiking aisle to make this list easier.
Philippe Petit, who avoid us leaving without sunglasses and give amazing pairs to protect our eyes everywhere , in all condition, thanks a lot !
Quechua who give us the possibility to get our home and set it up everywhere, from Baikal lake coast to the great wall of China..
Nordkamm , they make every kind of high quality outdoors equipment and especially the packing cube which saves our life every day ! . You can get 10% discount on all website site with our code entre10poles .
» FINALLY… WE WANTED TO TELL YOU
List everything we got the d-day is nice / useful, but talk about our experience, mistakes or favorites it’s better !
We are writing this article after 5 months on the road , that allow us to get steps back and advise you. But, we never stop learning and we will do updates and keep on sharing or feedback and our genius idea.
Meanwhile, if you have suggestion or questions : DON’T HESITATE to comment below ! Aim of this article is to get more feedback, advises to help as more as possible travelers.
We can advise you to read this French article (an other list) : « ÉQUIPEMENT : QUEL MATÉRIEL FAUT-IL EMPORTER POUR UN TOUR DU MONDE ? » from the website Tourdumondiste which help us a lot during our preparation.
We wish you a wonderful preparation, we wish you to forget many things and realize they are useless, we wish you to get more time drinking beer with your friends / family instead of make research on google, and we wish you most of all take pleasure and … don’t forget on your wall : 2 post-it ! ?
Delphine & Maxime.
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