Complete first aid kit
By all means, pack the usual supplies: a few plasters, antiseptic cream, re-hydration sachets, etc. Should anything serious happen though, you’ll have to visit a doctor or pharmacist – in which case, the supplies you buy will be fresh and clean and won’t have been knocking around in the bottom of your damp and probably quite unsavoury backpack.
It seems like a good idea, but it’s not. Ever thought about how you’ll put it up every time? In hot countries where you’ll be ravaged by mozzies, accommodation will most likely be basic at best. Rooms won’t come with handy net hooks and will nearly always have a (dubious, but functional) net anyway.
Fancy waterproof jacket
Don’t get seduced by camping store salespeople into buying a top of the range waterproof jacket. Unless you’re planning to do a lot of hiking somewhere off-season, a pocket-stuffable, basic mac will do the trick. It’ll be perfect over a hoodie in cold weather and act as a poncho in tropical downpours. If you’re doing proper trekking i.e. in Nepal you’ll easily be able to hire pro gear for next to nothing.
Don’t laugh, but I really did buy one. I never used it. Not even once! Anywhere that you’ll want to sit in a hammock will already have one as you won’t the first person to have thought of the idea. Guaranteed.
Unless you’re Jack Bauer, you probably don’t look natural walking around in public with what appears to be a bulletproof vest on under your clothes. Guesthouse safes are infinitely safer places to stash your valuables than under your T-shirt. What’s more, most holiday insurance policies won’t cover loss of belongings from your person.
For about 90% of backpacking itineraries, a pair of flip flops and some trainers will suit all occasions. If you’re doing a lot of trekking, invest in low-top hiking trainers instead. Leave those naff walking sandals in the camping store where they belong.
These are just a few items that I bought, in face everyone I ever met backpacking bought… Carried around for months before realising what a waste of space and weight they actually were! If there’s any items that you bought and found to be utterly useless leave a comment and share the wisdom!
For great deals on backpacking and camping you can make the most of Groupon deals on a wide range of products. Though backpacking, hiking and camping is seen as a cheaper option of travel and accommodation, by the time you have bought everything you need to make it comfortable it can start adding up. Looking online for deals and offers can really help to cut that cost.