Feeling overwhelmed about your upcoming backpacking trip?
The first time I went backpacking, I was in over my head. It took years before the process became easier! There’s just so much information out there—thousands of forums with opinions and suggestions. It’s hard to grasp what you actually need.
To be honest, I quickly found out that you don’t need much. You can backpack with just a few pieces of clothing, zero knowledge of the place you’re going and a working cellphone to make last-minute hostel reservations.
But that approach can definitely make life more stressful.
However, a backpacking trip doesn’t have to be cumbersome. There are plenty of gadgets out there that will make your journey a breeze.
Backpacking Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle
I remember the days when I traveled with my backpack for the first time.
Young Debbie was keen to learn a new language, meet local people, find the exact backpack that would fit all her travel needs and understand everything she could about this new, exotic destination. (By the way, that faraway land was Argentina.)
That was 10 years ago. I still remember getting lost every single day on my way back to the hostel because, of course, my brand new smartphone wasn’t unlocked and I couldn’t access Wi-Fi.
Another thing I remember clearly? How much money I’ve shelled out to call my family back home while abroad over the years. Oh, if I knew that one day I’d be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network and just call everyone I love for free.
Since my novice backpacking days, technology has improved a lot.
Now I can send photos to my friends in Brazil and video chat with my client in Australia, all while sitting on the stairs of a touristic spot in Italy.
Technology is here to make our lives easier and more exciting. That’s why more and more backpackers are starting to invest in gadgets for their big trips.
Are cool backpacking gadgets extremely necessary? No. But will they save you time and stress and make your overall experience much more enjoyable? Yes!
The following list is just a small sample of wonderful gadgets that will make your life on the road awesome.
Make Your Journey Epic with These 6 Cool Backpacking Gadgets
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1. Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
For the fellow coffee lovers out there, this Nanopresso is a must. If you can’t live without your morning coffee, carrying this gadget in your backpack will allow you to make your own espresso drink in the most basic hostel kitchen or even in the middle of the jungle.
With the help of your hands—and only your hands—you can create enough pressure to make your own morning espresso.
That’s right! There’s no battery or any electricity needed. Just add the boiling water to its tank and manually pump it.
This gadget will definitely spark conversations with fellow travelers in your hostel. Some of them are probably dying to drink high-quality espresso!
The Nanopresso is, of course, nano. It’s the perfect appliance to fit in your backpack without much weight or hassle. It’s exactly 6.14 inches long and weighs around 0.74 pounds.
2. LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern
There’s nothing more epic than using the sun to charge your gadgets. Especially if you’re camping in the middle of nowhere. This LuminAID inflatable lantern is compact, waterproof and dustproof. Perfect for campsites, beaches and back yards.
If you want to be the king of the camp, make sure to get at least one LuminAID. Because they pack flat, you can even get more than one and light up your entire campsite all night!
The nicest thing about this gadget, besides its ability to charge using only sunlight, is that the company is a small, women-owned business. The co-founders designed their first prototype with the goal of bringing safe light to Haiti after an earthquake.
So far, they’ve distributed more than 50,000 solar lights to families around the world through their Give Light Get Light program. Pretty cool, right? On their site, you can buy a light for yourself and a lantern will automatically be sent to a family in need.
3. Eton Rugged Rukus Minispeaker
I’m the type of person who likes to have a soundtrack for every single thing I do. Even something as tedious as going to the bakery. I need the drama!
If you’re anything like me, there’s no way you’re going backpacking without some good speakers.
You can connect the Eton Rugged Rukus to any Bluetooth device. It has a solar panel on top, so you’ll never need to connect it to a power plug.
Still not impressed? Well, you can also charge your smartphone via USB with the speakers. Now, how cool is that?
When you charge it completely, the speaker lasts eight hours after you’re out of the sun.
4. LifeStraw Bottle
I’m a little bit obsessed with this product. This water bottle has a filtration system that removes 99.9% of waterborne parasites, bacteria and other types of unwanted contaminants. The filters are replaceable, and on LifeStraw’s website, the company claims the bottle will last you at least four years.
You can just dip the bottle into a lake, screw the cap back on and continue on your way!
As if you needed more reasons to buy this bottle, for every product LifeStraw sells, a child in need receives safe water for an entire school year. So you’re not only getting clean water for you, you’re also helping kids all over the world.
Oh! Beware—the filter still doesn’t work for sea water.
5. Scrubba Wash Bag Pocket-Size Washing Machine
Whether you’re backpacking around Europe or Southeast Asia, at some point, you’ll definitely need to wash your clothes.
This pocket-sized washing machine will make you feel oh-so-clean after using the hundreds of nodules inside this bag to clean your clothes.
With this tiny, lightweight machine, you can stay in the middle of nowhere while still feeling fresh and ready for another day of backpacking.
Wash your clothes with fewer than four liters of water and in under three minutes! I know washing clothes isn’t exactly the most exciting part of backpacking. But because it’s a responsibility you can’t run away from, this is a pretty cool way to do it, right?
6. GoPro HERO7
Did you really think I wouldn’t suggest any cameras for your big backpacking trip? The GoPro is “the world’s most versatile action camera” according to the company’s website. And I couldn’t agree more.
With fish-eye lenses, the GoPro is capable of capturing wide images and producing amazing travel photos. If you’re willing to invest a little money, you should also buy some of their accessories that will allow you to shoot underwater, attach the camera to your backpack or use a head strap.
The GoPro can also be connected to your phone so you can shoot remotely and in 4K resolution.
Regardless of where you go or how intense your backpacking trip is, you’ll be grateful to have technology by your side to make life both easy and thrilling.
Which of these gadgets would make your next adventure epic?
Debbie Corrano is a digital strategist and writer. She works remotely while traveling the world full-time with her two dogs. Over the past few years, Debbie has lived in more than 10 countries, learned a few languages and worked with dozens of agencies and brands.
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