If you are planning on taking the well-trodden route and travelling through Asia anytime soon, then listen closely as to what you need to consider bringing along with you for your trip. The sheer size of Asia means you are bound to experience many different climates, but as a backpacker you must be prepared for this, and be able to fit it all into a bag! Here are my essentials for backpacking around Asia.
A dry-fit t-shirt
This will be your best friend throughout your trip. As you expect to do a lot of walking, and therefore sweating, a comfortable t-shirt that wicks away sweat quickly and effectively is essential. There is nothing worse than wearing wet clothing, be it from sweat or from the rain, so be sure to travel with a few of these. They are easy to clean, comfortable and durable; everything you need while living out of backpack!
Travelling especially through Southeast Asia can be very unpredictable in terms of the weather. One minute it can be scorching hot and the next a downpour can occur. Having a good, compact raincoat handy will be more than suffice to keep you and your valuables dry. Go for a lightweight, breathable type as downpours don’t tend to last too long, and the heat means they can dry out very quickly.
A water bottle
To be honest, this should is an essential for wherever in the world you are going. The amount of plastic pollution in Asia is mind-blowing, so having your own refillable bottle will not only help save the environment, but also your money. You will no doubt be staying hydrated a lot more out there, and buying bottles of water can really add up. Go for a vacuum sealed bottle if you want to keep your liquid at a certain temperature throughout the day.
Ah yes, the less glamourous essential, but one that is truly needed. You can never really know how thoroughly your food is being cooked, or how clean the water you are drinking is, and on occasion your stomach will react adversely to this if it isn’t used to it. If you find your bowels flowing more freely than you would like, take a few of these tablets to help stem the flow. Believe me, it’s a terrible feeling desperately needing to go to the toilet while on a 14-hour bus ride!
You will likely be walking a lot, so you should invest in a comfortable pair of shoes or sandals to do so in. Consider if you will mainly be walking around developed areas such as towns or cities, or if you expect to find yourself hiking up mountains or through the jungle, and choose your footwear accordingly. Choose a pair that are breathable, comfortable and lightweight, as regular hiking boots can really be a burden if you have to carry them around.