Main Backpack

Vagabonding BackpackChoose this wisely. It will be an extension of your body. Make sure it is comfortable, durable and functional. Backpacks larger than 45 liters need not apply.
$85+ | BUY


Vagabonding PassportThe absolute most important and hardest to replace item required for vagabonding around the world. Always have this or a copy on your person at all times.
$50+ | APPLY

Cash Money

Vagabonding MoneySpread various amounts of local and strong currency (US dollars, Euros) amongst your backpack and clothing. Don’t place all or an excessive amount of cash in one place.


Credit/Debit Cards

Vagabond Credit CardsCarry at least 1 debit card on your person and 1 in your backpack with no more than 2 credit cards. Keep your government issued ID safe but will not be required much abroad.
$00+ | READ


iPhone for VagabondingiPhone, Android or at worst a netbook. Avoid full size laptops. Think digital compass, hotel booking, maps, research, notes, journal, camera, calendar, digital guide books, novels, phrase book, music, weather, social and currency converter.
$200+ | BUY


Documents for VagabondingMake physical copies of all important documents and cards. Typically a set on your person and or your backpack. At minimum, have a copy of your Passport in your possession at all times.
$.10+ | COPY



Vagabonding ClothingNo more than 3 sets of shirts, pants, socks and underwear will be needed. Choose matching colors for all pieces. Select fast drying travel clothing. Avoid jeans, white colors and coats – think layering.
$25+ | BUY


Vagabonding BootsWear comfortable but durable sneakers/ boots. Do not bring more than 2 pairs of shoes. Even 2 is stretching it. Learn about choosing the right footwear here.
$75+ | BUY

Travel Towel

Vagabonding Travel TowelInvest in a specially made for travel towel. They are compact, fast drying and absorb more than significantly larger towels. Towels are also multi-functional and often not offered at hostels or charge a fee.
$10+ | BUY



Vagabonding PadlockA padlock but preferably a small combination lock. Can be used for lockers and doors in hostels, guesthouses and bungalows. Also for locking up bags during train and bus rides.
$10+ | BUY

LED Flashlight

Flashlight Torch for VagabondingHeadlamps are fine, but consider a couple of micro LED flashlights the size of a grape. They are extremely powerful and long lasting. Think third world country black outs, unstable beach bungalow electricity and when sharing dorms.
$12+ | BUY

Toothbrush & Kit

Toothbrush Kit for VagabondingAlthough easily replaceable, have this and toothpaste in your backpack at all times. Think overnight train / bus rides and treks.
$6+ | BUY



Loperamide for VagabondingOther than your required medications (if any), this widely available and legal drug should be in your backpack at all times. Traveller’s diarrhea will and can occur at any time. Loperamide works like a charm.
$5+ | BUY

Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper for VagabondingNo less than an 1/8 of a roll should be in your backpack as an emergency stash. In many places around the world, toilet paper is not used, offered or available. Napkins are also sometimes rare in poorer countries.
$8+ | BUY

Weatherproof Baggies

Aloksak Bags for VagabondingPreferably the NAVY approved LokSak brand but plastic bags will suffice for most situations. Used for protecting gadgets, medication and papers from water, humidity and severe weather conditions. Also used for TSA liquid regulations and temporary storage of wet clothing.
$12+ | BUY






Daypack for VagabondingThis backpack should be about 2 – 3 times smaller than your main pack. Used to carry certain essentials while touring. Typically used for packing valuables, water and food for treks and long days while the main pack remains at your accommodation.
$50+ | BUY

Compact Compass

Compass for VagabondingExtremely useful when navigating with a map in a new country or location. Choose the most compact one available.
$8+ | BUY

Flat Water Bottle

Vagabonding WaterbottleAlthough you will be purchasing water frequently, you may want to invest in the ultra compact Platypus bottle.
$12+ | BUY



Virbram Five Fingers for VagabondingVibram Five Fingers or sandals will work as well. A must if you will be frequenting hostels with shared bathrooms. Always wear to avoid fungus from the shower floors.
$65+ | BUY

Backup Kit

Stash Belt for VagabondingThis can be a small wallet or a nondescript pouch. Fill it with about $500 US dollars / Euros, copy of Passport and a credit card. Used only as an emergency.
$10+ | BUY

Travel Mirror

Vagabonding MirrorOnly the travel or “indestructible” survival mirrors that take up nearly zero space and weight. Mirrors are often not in accommodations in developing countries and tropical bungalows.





Basic Toiletry Kit

Toiletry Kit for VagabondingRemember the 3 ounce rule and pack small size portions of soaps and shampoos. Don’t stock up your backpack with your favorite brand as most of them will be available worldwide. Put them all in a toiletry kit or a ziplock bag.
$10+ | BUY

Sleep Liner

Vagabonding Sleep LinerPreferably the Silk Liner Mummy from Sea To Summit. Excellent protection from bedbugs and dirty sheets. Also makes a great emergency blanket. Packs to a size of a fist.
$65+ | BUY

Water Purifier Tablets

Water Purifier Tablets for VagabondingNot the system, but the travel tablets. Used for questionable water sources from accommodations and while outdoors. Just mix with contaminated water and drink.
$13+ | BUY


Water Purifier Tablets

Water Purifier Tablets for VagabondingNot the system, but the travel tablets. Used for questionable water sources from accommodations and while outdoors. Just mix with contaminated water and drink.
$13+ | BUY

Rain/Shell Jacket

Vagabonding JacketThe lightest and most compact model you can find. Good for warm and cold climates. With proper layering, it can do the job of a heavy coat.
$75+ | BUY

Mini First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit for VagabondingMake your own or buy one but keep it a small package. Include the basics like bandages, gauzes, antibacterials, hydrocortisone and pain relievers.
$8+ | BUY


Bug Repellent

Bug Spray for VagabondingUseful in certain countries and available anywhere. If visiting an area where bugs are a problem, get the Sawyer Maxi Deet Spray about the size of a magic marker and has the strongest formula.
$3+ | BUY





Sleeping Bag

Even the most compact ones take up an exceedingly large amount of precious space. They take days to dry and are often not allowed to be used in hostels. Stick with a sleep liner.


Even if you plan on trekking or camping, this should not even be considered. Rent or buy during your travels if needed.


Unless you will be in constant freezing temperatures, any sort of coat is unnecessary and will be a burden. A rain jacket will suffice with proper layering.


White Clothing

Whether your in the cold or warm climates, the amount of walking and activity will turn your whites to yellow quickly. Stick with colored or dark clothing.

Denim Clothing

Although tough, denim takes up too much space and weight. When wet, it could take days to dry without a drying machine – of which is rare in many countries and it will cost more money as well. Choose synthetics or merino wool.

Large Laptops

Smart phones and netbooks are fine but never pack a full size laptop. The power cord alone takes up a large percentage of space and weight.


Specialty Bags

Such as specifically made for packing cameras and laptops. These are prime targets for thieves. The bags confirm the value of the contents.

GPS Device

An unnecessary gadget for vagabonding which can be replaced with a simple compass or smartphone. Useless unless your doing deep trekking.

The Word “NO”

Sure it physically weighs nothing and takes no packing space but it will slow you down and confine you. Take risks, be open, and say “yes” more often.

-Subscribe to get free updates on vagabonding gear via RSS or email, follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook-

[display_ad adunit="leader" position="B"]