Traveling Essentials for the Smart Backpacker

I love to travel. The idea of going to the mountain, a secluded island or a remote city in the country thrills me. With my frequency in traveling, somehow I already have a list consistent list of must-haves when going outdoors. Completing your traveling gears makes it easier to set a routine when packing. It spares the hassle of buying the equipment or essentials last minute, and worse — borrowing from others.

Here’s the list of my must-haves when traveling:

A Sturdy Backpack

We all love the convenience of a backpack. It’s handy and easy to carry, especially when you are on mobile. Through the recommendation of friends, I learned to invest in Deuter, a bang-for-buck brand for backpacks. For the adventure seekers, having a functional backpack is crucial no matter where they go. It helps to keep the essentials like travel gears, cameras to a bottle of water and so on.  A good outdoor backpack must feature strong and durable straps with lots of compartments at different sizes for extra versatility. What I love about my Deuter backpack is that the overall structure of the bag is appropriate for the even weight- distribution. It has straps and pockets for different gears.

The other famous foreign brands are Osprey, Merrel, Northface, and Colombia. Price starts at 2k to 30k depending on the size and features. If you are on a limited budget, you can also check out cheaper brands such as Brown Trekker, Amihan, Sandugo, and Kaiserdom. Prices range from 1k and above. Sometimes, you can score cheaper finds at Ukay Ukay.

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DEUTER FUTURA
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Me and Deuter Backpack at Mt. Ulap

A Reliable Footwear

Your choice of footwear depends on the nature of your activities. If you are into hiking, invest in hiking sandals or trekking shoes. If you are into water sports, buy a pair of aqua shoes. Sandugo is a versatile footwear for me. It is convenient for rough terrains, water activities, or for simple trolling anywhere.

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Sandugo Shoes and Sandals at Mt. Maculot

Dry Bag

The dry bag works perfectly for protecting your belongings from getting damaged by the water. This bag is ideal for island hopping and snorkeling. This has been useful to my trips in Palawan, where we frequently enjoyed water activities. I recommend the brand Tactics for its durability. The price ranges from Php 400 to Php 600.

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My friends Cath and Cassie and their Dry Bags

 

 

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Tactics Dry Bag

Snorkeling Gear

Buying your own snorkeling gear practices sanitation and saves cost. Imagine having to rent it for Php150 every single time and sharing saliva with people you do not know? Certainly not! I decided to buy my own snorkeling gear since I’m a beach person. It also helps to sustain your breathing underwater. You can also see the fishes and corals clearly compared to the regular goggles. You can buy your snorkeling gear for as low as Php 600 to Php 700 only.

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Snorkeling Gear

Camera

We live in a digital age now and when it comes to cameras, the options are limitless. You can go for a phone camera, SLR, mirrorless or action camera. Nowadays, a phone camera can perform excellently when capturing outdoor images. For high definition, pro features- camera, you can choose between SLR or a mirrorless cam. There’s not much difference when it comes to features, but the mirrorless is the latest innovation today. It is lighter and less bulky, but more sensitive. An action camera is preferred for wide-angle shots or underwater shots.

 

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Mirrorless
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SLR

Powerbank

A powerbank is already as vital as the smartphone. The ports are compatible with different gadgets. Choose the powerbanks with the bigger mAH. A 20000 mAH can fully charge a phone 4-6 times, but this depends on the usage. The Pineng 20000 mAH powerbank costs Php 750 in Lazada.

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Mobile Data or Pocket Wifi

It is nearly impossible not to rely on the internet when traveling. Aside from social media sharing, the internet is a reliable source of info for figuring out locations, comparing prices, researching on food and itineraries. Sometimes you need it too for finance purposes.

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Smart Phone Apps

Here are some of the necessary apps for me:

Location- Google Map, Waze
Food and Restaurants- Zomato
Accommodation- Agoda, Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Traveloka
Airfare- PAL, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, Sky Scanner

Credit Cards

I always spend cash when traveling except for airfare and sometimes, booking my accommodation online. However, I always bring my cards in case of emergencies. You never know! But I strongly discourage using card for the basic necessities such as food, toiletries, and pasalubongs because the tendency to overspend is very possible.

Toiletries Bag

The toiletries bag will help you keep your stuff intact and easier to organize.

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Packing Cubes

Another nifty organizer is the packing cubes or travel organizer. It makes it easier to sort clothes, toiletries according to shapes and sizes. I don’t have one at the moment, but I’m planning to buy a set for my future travels.

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This guide is based on my own experience. These traveling essentials may vary per person, depending on your needs or preferences. While it differs according to the type of traveler, it is important to create your own list so that packing will be hassle-free the next time around. You’ll avoid cramming or buying the unnecessary ones.

What else can you add to this list? Let me know by dropping your comments in this post.

 

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