33 AWESOME GIFTS FOR BACKPACKERS
What do you get someone who is always backpacking and traveling around the world? How will they fit it into their bag? Will they even like it? These are all questions you are probably asking yourself as you try and decide what gift to buy for your backpacking friend or family member. Here are 33 awesome gifts for backpackers that will make travel more comfortable, enjoyable and exciting for your friend!
1. SCRATCH OFF WORLD MAP
There is no better travel-inspo than looking up at your wall at a scratch-off map with so many countries yet to be discovered. When they return home from their travels it will be a great memory of all the locations they have visited. I love these scratch-off maps and think it’s a great overview of your travels.
Gift for a backpacker: Scratch-Off World Map
There is nothing worse than having to spend fifteen minutes unraveling your headphones every time you grab them out of your bag. A leather headphones organizer eliminates the frustration and keeps you stress-free.
Gift for a backpacker: Leather Headphones Organizer
3. WORLDWIDE TRAVEL ADAPTOR
Charging all your gear can be difficult enough throughout your backpacking travels, it pays to get yourself a good quality adapter that will plug into any wall without fail. If you get yourself a worldwide adapter, it will come in handy for the rest of your travels too. There’s nothing worse than traveling around Southeast Asia and having to buy a new adaptor for every single country. Get a universal adaptor and simplify your travels.
Gift for a backpacker: Worldwide Universal Power Adaptor
4. CAMERA BACKPACK
If you’re really adventurous and heading out for some multiple day hikes, it pays to have something supportive, spacious and comfortable. I use a VictoriaTourist backpack and I have used this bag for the last 3 years. It isn’t a special brand and just something I found on Amazon but it suits my needs perfectly. I can fit a laptop, clothes, water, drone, GoPro and DSLR with lenses all for a day of adventures. It is one of the only bags in the world that fits a laptop, 3 liters of water and has your DSLR camera and lenses in a zippable front pocket rather than in compartments inside the bag. I always watch other photographers take their bag off or reach around into the side of their bag to reach their camera and wonder why they paid $200 or more for such inconvenience when the VictoriaTourist bag provides a better option for just $60. It also has a rain cover, which has saved me multiple times. I could go on forever about this bag as it has been through so much with me. From the top of Everest Base Camp to the waterfalls of the Philippines!
Gift for a backpacker: Victoria Tourist Laptop-Camera Backpack
5. GOPRO HERO 6
The GoPro Hero 6 is serious bang for your buck. There is nothing else that compares to it on the market right now. It allows you to take amazing underwater photos at a very affordable price. Pair this with a selfie stick or a dome port and you’ll be able to capture some incredible angles. GoPros are also extremely durable, they’ll be able to take a lot more hits than you will so you don’t have to be afraid where you can and can’t take it.
Gift for a backpacker: GoPro Hero 6 Black
6. PACKING CUBES TRAVEL ORGANIZER
Its all about making your life as easy as possible right? Packing cubes area sure way to keep your suitcase/backpack compartmentalized on the go. You can keep your electronics in one cube, have a spot for your swimmers and casual gear in another. Personally, I love these because I carry around so many chargers/cords for my gear so it’s the closest thing to having a wardrobe and chest of drawers on the road for me.
Gift for a backpacker: Packing Cubes
7. HYDRO FLASK
Since living in Hawaii, my Hydroflask comes with me everywhere. It keeps your water icy cold and you’ll appreciate it more than ever after a day in the sweltering tropical heat. When you are wondering what to pack for the Philippines this should be at the top of your list for two reasons. Not only does the Hydroflask keep you cool, you’re also doing your part by reducing single-use plastics in the Philippines. Insulated and built to last, this is the bottle for all your adventures.
Gift for a backpacker: Hydroflask Water Bottle
8. MONEY BELT
Money belts are great for security and practicality. Whilst traveling, the last thing you want on the back of your mind is to worry about your money, valuables or room key is lost or stolen. The great thing about a money belt is that nobody can tell that you’re wearing one. It keeps your money and valuables completed concealed and invisible to potential pickpockets.
Gift for a backpacker: Money Belt
9. KINDLE READER
Some days just aren’t for adventures, either the weather isn’t permitting or you need a day to rest, reset and to get ready to go again. Recently I’ve included a Kindle in my travel packing list so I can read on the plane, bus or when I need to put my feet up for a few hours. I enjoy the Kindle screen as it never has any glare even under direct sunlight on the beach. With millions of books available, you’ll be sure to learn a few new fun facts for dinner table discussions.
Gift for a backpacker: Kindle E-reader
10. MIRRORLESS CAMERA
What is a mirrorless camera? Essentially it is a camera without a mirror! Who would have guessed! Why is this good for backpackers? Mirrorless cameras are so much smaller and lighter than DSLR’s and are a great way to make sure you can always fit your camera in your daypack rather than lugging around a huge, heavy DSLR but still achieving the same high quality as a bulky traditional DSLR. I use a mirrorless Sony A7II for all of the photos on this blog.
I wanted a light camera, one that I would be able to carry on hikes and to secluded beaches. It had to be able to take a knock or two and be relatively weatherproof. It also had to be affordable, which is different for every person. My budget for the camera and lens was $2000 at the time. It was compatible with Canon lenses if I bought an adapter but I decided to sell off all of my Canon gear and purchase some Zeiss lenses designed for the Sony a7 series. My favorite part about the Sony A7II is being able to use the Sony PlayMemories Apps. There are lots of free apps you can install on the camera such as the Time Lapse app and Sky HDR app.
Gift for a backpacker: Sony A7II Mirrorless Camera
11. ULTRA LIGHT HAMMOCK
A hammock is a great way to relax at the beach or the top of a hike for a traveler trying to read a book or take an afternoon nap. An ultra light hammock is a cheap way to add a little luxury to your travels without weighing down your bag.
Gift for a backpacker: Ultra Light Hammock
12. WATER FILTER
Traveling around Asia, South America or lots of other destinations in the world means you might not be able to drink the tap water. This means buying 3-4 bottles of water every day, which not only costs a small fortune but think about all of the plastic you will be using during all of your travels. That’s 30 or more plastic bottles a week! A water filter is something that is super handy in these countries. The Lifestraw Waterfilter lasts for at least a few months of everyday use and will save you tons of money!
Gift for a backpacker: LifeStraw Water Filter
Another way to make sure your drinking water is safe is by using the USB rechargeable Steripen to purify your water.
Gift for a backpacker: Steripen
14. HEAD TORCH
I can’t tell you how many times a head torch has come in handy. Night hikes, getting lost in hostel dorms, scary situations you name it this is definitely a handy accessory to keep in your backpacking bag.
Gift for a backpacker: Head Torch
15. TRAVEL JOURNAL
With so many amazing experiences and new adventures that come with backpacking there is nothing else left do than to write all about them. This is something I never thought I would do until I began journalling a couple of months in to my travels. Even if your friend doesn’t write much now it’s common for a backpacker to write in a travel journal during their travels. There is so much for them to remember and they will have a lot of spare time to document their travels in their new travel journal.
Gift for a backpacker: Travel Journal
16. TRAVEL WALLET/PASSPORT HOLDER
I take a travel wallet with me everywhere! Inside it, I keep my cash, passport, credit cards, and any other important travel documents with me. These are items you can’t afford to lose so it’s nice to have them all in one place instead of sprawled around your luggage. Worst case scenario, if your bag gets lost or stolen, by keeping this separate you’ll have the essentials to sort through any problems that arise. Often it is the only thing I put in the safe or locker at a hotel.
Gift for a backpacker: Travel Wallet
17. A RELIABLE POWER BANK
Philippines can be a crazy place to get around and as a result, you’ll spend a lot of time looking at maps trying to work out the best route to your next destination. A few hours on Google Maps is a sure way to drain your phone battery, alas, a power bank is a necessity for me. This year I started using an Anker Powerbank and it was a life-changer. It stays charged when I’ve charged it, is super reliable and gives me 3-4 cycles of phone charge or camera battery charge. It guarantees I always have the battery charged on my phone, plus it has another USB point for other electronics like your GoPro. If you are a photographer, digital nomad or just love your tech this is a necessity when wondering what to pack for the Philippines.
Philippines Packing List Item: Anker Powerbank
18. WATERPROOF PHONE COVER
Whether you’re island hopping or tip-toeing behind the enormous waterfalls of the Philippines, it’s a wise investment to get yourself a waterproof phone cover. I use a Lifeproof Waterproof Case, so I never have to worry about dust, water, sand and scratching my phone. It also handles being dropped all the time. Not only do they keep your phone safe from water damage, you’ll be able to take photos on the move too. If you want to use your phone near water a cheap phone pouch or case will do the job, but one of them is a definite must and why this item is so high up on my Philippines packing list.
Philippines Packing List Item: Lifeproof Waterproof Case
19. A LIGHTWEIGHT TENT
A 2-pound tent, get out! It’s so light that it will make it worth it for the nights you need it. Or if you really are taking the road less traveled this is the cheapest accommodation you can find right here. Some of the best nights I have had on the road have been spent camping with others or solo.
Gift for a backpacker: Wolfwise Lightweight tent
20. PORTABLE WATERPROOF SPEAKER
If you can’t imagine how this can be an awesome accessory you may be unaware of how to enjoy a great day at the beach or how to turn a hike into a party. A portable waterproof speaker, durable in rough conditions is what you want in a portable speaker that you can take anyway so you can jam out in amazing locations all over the world.
Gift for a backpacker: Portable Waterproof Speaker
21. TRAVEL FIRST AID KIT
Got a clumsy friend. This might save their life, or at least stop a gnarly infection. It is inevitable that at some stage during travel that even the safest backpackers will get a cut, scrape, bruise or fall of a moped and knock out three teeth (Guilty!!)
Gift for a backpacker: Travel First Aid Kit
22. DJI MAVIC PRO DRONE
I use a DJI Mavic Pro Drone and it really is the best travel camera. Every time I fly, I get to see the location from a whole new perspective. I like to call it traveling twice. They are super easy to fly and an awesome tool to add to your camera gear. The beauty of the Mavic Pro is that it is super small and can fit in your daypack or your bigger luggage.
Gift for a backpacker: DJI Mavic Pro Drone
23. INFLATABLE NECK PILLOW
Backpackers are always on long buses or overnight flights saving money on transport. They also don’t tend to have a lot of room in their bags for luxury items. That’s why an inflatable neck pillow is so handy. It takes up no room in a bag and makes it a perfect gift for a backpacker to help keep them comfortable on long transits.
Gift for a backpacker: Inflatable Neck Pillow
24. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
Taking hundreds of photos each day is a great way to preserve your travel memories. Unfortunately, your computer/phone doesn’t have an infinite memory capacity and you will not throw them onto a hard drive every couple of days/weeks depending on how many snaps you are taking. If you are like me and your photos and work are something you can’t afford to lose you might want to get a couple of external hard drives. I keep one in my daypack and a backup in my bigger backpacking bag.
Gift for a backpacker: Lacey Hard Drive
25. CARBON FIBER TRIPOD
Of course to be able to use an ND Filter to smooth water and show movement with long exposure photography you need a tripod. Choosing which tripod to buy was a tough decision for me as I wanted something sturdy enough to endure windy conditions, however, it was something I would have to carry up mountains. I decided to get the sturdiest carbon fiber tripod that would fit in my bag. I am so happy with my ZOMEi Z669C Portable Carbon Tripod and it comes everywhere with me. In the past, I would have left a tripod at home unless there was a specific shot I wanted but because it is lightweight and compact, my tripod is constantly packed in my small backpack. This is definitely one of the most important pieces of photography equipment for beginners.
Gift for a backpacker: ZOMEi Z669C Portable Carbon Tripod
26. TRAVEL LOCK
If you ever have to leave your luggage unattended or even during flight-travel, a lock is always an extra bit of security that might deter any itchy fingers. A combination travel lock is much better than a traditional lock and key. Having a key is just one more thing you could lose so keep it simple with a combo lock.
Gift for a backpacker: Combination travel lock
27. QUICK DRY TOWEL
Pack yourself a quick dry towel that won’t take up much space so you can dry off after a surf or shower and then hang your towel out to quickly dry. Unlike normal towels the micro-fiber towels dry in under an hour so they aren’t damp in your backpack and start smelling as you backpack around.
Gift for a backpacker: Micro-Fiber Quick Dry Towel
28. WATERPROOF DRY BAG
You got it, another tropical essential. When you’ve seen as many people lose their phones or camera gear to water damage as I have, you’ll understand why I place so much importance on a waterproof dry bag. A quality dry bag will do as it suggests by keeping your belongings air-tight even if the bag happens to become fully immersed in water during snorkeling, a boat trip or waterfall adventures.
Gift for a backpacker: EarthPak Dry Bag
29. SELFIE STICK
Need I say more? Pack yourself a robust selfie stick to handle the hard impact of the Philippines’ best cliff jumping spots and long enough to get the whole crew in the shot. Don’t be ashamed of using your selfie stick. They capture some of the best and most engaging angles. I use the Sandmarc GoPro pole because of a couple of reasons. The Sandmarc pole is longer than the default stick GoPro sells and it also doesn’t have the three arm bend. It is for holding out during a cliff jump, on a moped. It doesn’t bend or need adjusting just whip it out, get the shot and put it away before anyone notices!!
Gift for a backpacker: Sandmarc GoPro Pole
30. LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN JACKET
A Lightweight rain jacket is a very handy addition to your adventure backpack. For the late night moped rides, through to rain protection in torrential downpours or waterfall spray, you’ll be happy to have one of these in your bag. The Philippines is known for its great weather but it’s pretty common for there to be a short burst of rain each day. The rain jacket is on the list because you will regret not having one as you are dripping from head to toe during a downpour.
Gift for a male backpacker: North Face Venture 2 Jacket Men’s
Gift for a female backpacker: North Face Venture 2 Jacket Women’s
31. ‘WILD’ BOOK
What better way to keep motivated and inspired on your travels by reading this inspiring tale. If you haven’t seen the movie that is worth a look too. After reading the Wild book you will appreciate the journey you are on and make the most of each moment you get to enjoy on the road.
Gift for a backpacker: Wild Book
32. NALGENE TRAVEL KIT
Unlike at home, having shampoos and soaps in a 1-liter bottle is just not going to cut it when traveling around. You need something much lighter and packable. If it is small enough like this kit you can even take it in your carry-on luggage. A Nalgene travel kit is a great way to carry around all of your soaps and lotions.
Gift for a backpacker: Nalgene travel kit
A funny name but a very useful little contraption. For those not trying to haul around a tripod that is very understandable. At times even I question whether I should switch out my tripod for a Gorillapod. Essentially, the Gorillapod lets you shape your tripod however you like. In seconds you can set it down, strap your camera in and mould the tripod to the shape you need it to be in. This is great for setting up a quick time lapse or shooting a photo of yourself. If you are a solo traveler who isn’t in to selfies a tripod or Gorillapod will become your best friend.
Gift for a backpacker: Gorillapod
I hope you found some inspiration on my list of gifts for backpackers to make someone’s journey a little more comfortable!
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