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what do you put in your backpack?

London, United...
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what do you put in your backpack?


I'm going to North Vietnam on September for what going to be my first backpacking experience.

What things do you put in your backpack for a week's trek?

How heavy do you let it get?

What services (as laundry) do you use while trekking?

Do you bring with you also a larger backpack which stays in the hotel while you're trekking?


Maidenhead, United...
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1. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

no much, toothbrush, couple of pair of pants, socks, camera. You want to go light, in Vietnam it's going to be really hot, so you really wont need allot of gear with you, don't stress about the backpack, you may miss the view.

Gosport, United...
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2. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

I agree with Darb H, just bring the bear minimum, I would bring one change of clothing per day, toiletries, camera as mentioned above, and no, I wont bring two bags, what for? just so you carry allot of stuff with you? no need, believe me, I've done it and regretted it as I never used most of the stuff I had in my bag.

Destination Expert
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3. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

I was given some good advice on here recently.

Worth investing time looking for lightweight quick dry clothes. Mountain Warehouse has a big sale on at the mo.

I always pack a light plastic bottle with washing powder wherever I go, have soaked my clothes in the marble bathroom of a 5* after a countryside tour before now.

The camera, charger etc is the most important after clothes or maybe snacks ;-)

London, United...
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4. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

Hi guys,

Thanks a lot!

This really helps.

1. How heavy is your backpack? what its size? (I still need to buy one and wonder what size I should look for)

2. Regarding clothes, how often do you wash your clothes? and how?

I'll be trekking among villages and tribes and I don't think I'll find there laundry services.

3. Do you wear the same clothes several times a week?

Thanks again fellows!

Bangkok, Thailand
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5. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

A roll of toilet paper in a plastic bag is rather essential in Asia where all toilets won't provide it. It is quite possible that you will encounter a squat toilet. If you are lucky, it will provide a shower gun for cleaning your privates, in which case the toilet paper will be handy for drying. A more primitive version is a bucket of water and a small cup.

Auckland, New...
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6. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

Jared, you may need a day pack, but one that just screws up to nothing that you can put in your backpack. If you’re going out for the day and want to leave your backpack behind, then you need something to carry your things in.

The size of your pack will determine how much you take, there are certain items that will be essential but others that you really don’t need.

If you want to go lightweight you only need a few clothes, these can be washed each night and as Post 3 advises, if you buy lightweight, quick-dry clothes, these can be washed each night. You can buy a clothes line that doesn’t even need pegs and you can hook it up in your room at night – in the middle of the night just remember it’s there!


Long-sleeved top (for evening if the mosquitoes are out)

Long trousers (some people like the zip-off variety, although I can’t get my head around them)

Shorts (2)

T-shirts/cotton shirts (3)

Socks/underwear (3)


Waterproof jacket

Washing line

Washing detergent

Bath towel (you can buy small microfiber ones, very quick drying)


First Aid Kit – absolutely essential

Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, rehydration sachets are good too is it’s going to be hot, small mirror, scissors, travel binoculars.

Torch (a headlight would be handy)

Depending on where you find yourself, it might be handy to take some water purification tablets. (I use them all the time because I don’t like buying water bottles.)

Camera equipment and electrical adaptors

Roll of tape (I always take a small roll of electrical tape, it can be very handy)

Some zip-lock plastic bags – very handy

Remember to take photocopies of important documents (email a copy to yourself).

As for how long do you wear the same clothes – if you buy the lightweight travel fabric, you can get t-shirts that now feel and look exactly like cotton – you can wear them until they start to smell!! You can wash them out every night in a basin with your washing powder. I always take a travel basin-plug with me because often when you’re travelling, basins don’t have plugs. These plugs are just larger and very flat and fit all plug holes. Jared, you’ll get cunning, just use a basin when you find it, wash your clothes and put them in a plastic bag and hang them out at night on your camping clothes line.

Jared, you’ve already been given some great advice on your other forums so I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful holiday, complete with everything that you’ll need in your backpack – don’t worry if you end up travelling with clothes that haven’t been washed, lots of travellers go around in unwashed clothes!!



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7. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

Beyond the standard issue contents (clothing, snacks, toiletries) I always carry:

-string/hemp just in case something breaks, or I'd like to fashion a makeshift handle

-spoons, because airport security doesn't care and they come in handy when you've forgotten to get utensils after doing take out

-plastic/Ziploc bags, particularly for my passport/currency (very useful in muggy climates)

-Tide stick, because it works

-can't recall the other items at the moment, but floss is a given, also it's not too easy to find in many locations




8. Re: what do you put in your backpack?

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