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Backpacking Guide for Digital Nomads

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Packing light may seem like a strenuous task, but there is no rocket science to it. Whether you plan on backpacking for a weeklong vacation, or for something extraordinary, packing light is key to having a successful trip.

If you decide to travel light, you will benefit in more ways than you can possibly imagine. You won’t have to worry about overburdening your shoulders, and you will have enough space to store what is actually needed in the first place. At the same time, you won’t have to stand in long queues to get your baggage checked, nor would you have to pay extra in fees for excess baggage.

Seeing how much smart backpacking will benefit you on your trips, you will naturally want to know how to make that possible, especially considering how there is so much that can’t be left out while traveling. Fear not, the following backpacking guide will help you accomplish just that and so much more.

Establish your Needs as a Digital Nomad

When it comes to backpacking, you will need to start with establishing your needs as a digital nomad. How this is done is by focusing on a system, which is:

  • Lightweight
  • Is ideally suited for short trips
  • Effective at accommodating larger items you may occasionally need
  • Tough enough to withstand the travel lifestyle
  • Modular and well organized

Considerations for Electronics

Let’s start with your laptop. Obviously, you love your handy dandy computer, and if you own a MacBook Air, for instance, you will have to reconsider taking it with you. Since Apple does not have stores in a lot of places all over the world, you will need to stick to a netbook from brands like Dell or HP.

In case you are unusually low on space, you can opt for an Android tablet with a keyboard instead. It will be light, but working on it will be slower. Taking this into account, an Android tablet with a keyboard would work for a month at best, but it can’t be used for any longer than that.

The next most important question you need to be asking yourself is whether or not you will need your camera. However, this does not necessarily need to be the case if you own a smartphone with a great camera. Of course, you won’t get DSLR quality pictures, but your smartphone should suffice. In the end, making an informed decision largely depends on your own needs and work.

Lastly, if you are traveling with a lot of different electronics, it is necessary for you to get insurance. Insurance for your electronics may seem absurd, but it saves you from a lot of hassles later on. But then again, always read the fine print to make sure your electronics are fully covered, without requiring an additional purchase of an add-on to get the type of protection you need while traveling.

Stick to the Seven Day rule for Clothing

Whether you are traveling for a short time or longer, it is best to stick to the seven-day rule when it comes to clothing. If that does not work for you, there is no harm in keeping a nice outfit and extra pairs of undies when you are traveling for months on.

The type of clothing you take with you depends on the place(s) you plan on visiting and the weather. The more you do your homework beforehand, the easier it will be for you to plan your wardrobe accordingly.

Don’t Overlook Toiletries

A lot of digital nomads tend to overlook toiletries. This is unacceptable on so many levels, considering how it is necessary for you to stay healthy on the road unless you much prefer getting sick every now and then.

Travelling with absolute minimum can be tough, and there is no doubt about it. The kind of toiletries required varies from person to person, but here are a few of the best tips to take into consideration:

  • Take a bar of soap instead of body wash; they last longer and can double as laundry soap.
  • Don’t forget collapsible bottles, they come in real handy and can be refilled quickly.
  • Get travel sized deodorants since they last longer than regular
  • Pack a comb instead of a brush, since it is compact.
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush are a must (duh).
  • Forget tampons; get a diva cup, ladies.

Essential Extras

There are a couple of crucial extras that need to be with you at all times. The following extras don’t fit in any other category, but they aren’t any less important for digital nomads traveling like there is no tomorrow:

  • A notebook; the smaller, the
  • Pen; to write stuff in your notebook (sarcasm intended).
  • Travel towel.
  • Duct tapes for those sticky situations where things need to be fixed pronto.
  • Rope or a laundry line.
  • Travel flashlight.

Tips for Packing

  • If you have got a lot of ‘just in case’ items, limit them immediately. Only focus on things you are absolutely sure you won’t get quickly wherever you are planning to go.
  • You can always bring a few things that define you as the person you are. If you have got running shoes or even a lucky coffee maker, take them alone, but only as long as you have enough space. The idea is to adapt, not to ditch your life back at home altogether.
  • You can save a lot of space if you roll your clothes. You can prevent them from unrolling by using cords.
  • Water is never going to be your ally, and you should not risk important documents and electronics by leaving things to chance. You can prevent a disaster by packing documents and electronics in a waterproof bag, it is just that simple.


There are a lot of other factors that mostly go ignored when it comes to preparing for a trip. Do as much as you can to plan for what you will need for the places you will visit. Reading online material related to backpacking for digital nomads makes this possible with ease.

No matter where your adventures take you, remember to make the most of your time and don’t let unforeseen circumstances ruing your experience; improvise, adapt and overcome.

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