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Top 5 alternative things to take backpacking

Backpacking tips

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I’ve been backpacking a few times now, so I’ve got packing down to a fine art, and there are certain things I never leave home without. You’ll obviously remember important items like suitable clothes and your travel documents, but I’ve come up with a list of belongings I always find useful before a travelling escapade.

Read on to find out what they are.

1) Masking tape

This might not sound like an obvious item to take with you on an adventurous backpacking tour around the world but, trust me, it is among the most useful thing you can bring. There have been many times something has broken and needs fixing, and masking tape is ideal for mending most things – even if only temporarily.

In the past I have fixed flip flops, tents, mosquito nets and even patched up clothing when there has been no alternative option, making this an item I certainly wouldn’t leave the country without now!

2) Quick-dry towel

Easy-to-dry towels are great inventions, as it can be a) very heavy and b) make the rest of your clothes wet if you constantly have to carry around a damp towel in your backpack. And this is before I mention the fact that it will eventually go mouldy if you don’t have the chance to air it. Quick-dry alternatives are small, very lightweight and dry within minutes, so you can throw them in your suitcase and don’t have to worry about mould, wet clothes or a heavy bag.

3) Head torch

Obviously, you don’t need a head torch everywhere you go, but I have found it useful even if I didn’t think I’d need it. If you’re planning to do any sort of outdoor activity, these are incredibly handy, and are a necessity should you go camping.

I’ve even used them in hostels when searching through my bag in the dark and didn’t want to disturb other people by turning on the lights.

4) Sarong

Ok, so if you’re a guy, you might want to bring an alternative like lightweight cotton trousers, but I have always found sarongs incredibly handy on holiday. I use them for many reasons; firstly, I always pack them in my handbag if I’m planning to visit religious buildings so I can whip on a long sarong to cover my legs when going inside, as many churches, temples and mosques do not allow you in if you’re wearing shorts or skirts above the knee.

The second biggest use for them is to lay on the beach. Bringing a large towel to do the same thing takes up a lot of room and uses up valuable luggage allowance. Instead, your sarong can be easily rolled up, doesn’t take up any room or weight in your bag, and dries in the sunshine very quickly, so you can repack it without it making other items wet.

5) Alarm clock

Another integral item you shouldn’t leave home without is an alarm clock. I tend to leave my mobile phone at home and my watch doesn’t have an alarm function, so I have to buy a small digital clock that can be carried around from place to place without breaking and will be loud enough to wake me up. You’ll quickly find out how important it is to have an alarm clock – especially when you have planes, trains and buses to catch!

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