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An In-Depth Guide to Choosing the Best Backpacking Gear

An in Depth Guide to Choosing the Best Backpacking Gear

I get a lot of questions about my travel gear. The truth is that because of the nature of my work I carry more gear than the average traveler ever needs. A big part of my job is capturing the perfect photo, lining up epic video footage and more.  In fact, I lug around an entire backpack that’s devoted solely to cameras, tablets, wires, external hard drives, etc.

Chances are you won’t need everything on this travel gear list. That being said I do have some favorite items, brands, and devices I recommend. These are pieces of travel gear that everyone will find helpful.


Hands down, one of the most important items of your travel gear is luggage. It is vital to pick quality luggage that caters to your needs. This is stuff you will be carrying down city streets, through busy airports, and loading on and off buses.

For the most part, I still travel with a backpack. But when my family comes to visit they use hand luggage so I have plenty of experience carrying their luggage from A to B. ( I’m a nice guy what can I say)

There are long stretches of time where you can’t get to your luggage. Times where you have hours of sitting there with nothing to do or walking over ten miles a day. Getting the durable, and high-quality clothes that were designed with these types of situations in mind is something to think about when getting ready to travel.  That being said you don’t need a completely new wardrobe just a few items to wear in certain situations.

Travel Insurance

It is vital to make sure you are protected when backpacking around the world. Travel is unpredictable so it is not smart to travel without insurance.

Best Backpacking Gear: Backpacks

It is important to have the best travel backpack.

A couple things to look for are multiple compartments, water resistance, internal frame, and padding.

As I go into depth about why these are important in my post about finding the best travel backpacker,

These are a couple I highly recommend.

Osprey Farpoint

Why I like it: Osprey is my favorite backpack brand. I like the Osprey Farpoint because it has zippers you can lock, a day pack you can unzip, and has light wire suspension.

Amazon Rating 4.7 out of 5

Osprey Porter –

Why I like it: The Osprey Porter is much smaller than the Farpoint for those seeking a smaller backpack. It is simple and comfortable. The porter is great for both long and short trips and one of the best backpacking gear.

Amazon Rating 4.8 out of 5

Kealty Redwing

Why I like it: Kealty is a brand that is known for making extremely reliable and durable. They backpacks are great for organization and high quality.

Tortuga Travel Backpack

Why I like it: I like Tortuga backpack because of you can carry it on a plane.

Travel Jacket – This jacket was designed with travelers in mind. The jacket is also water resistant, as well as cool looking. A couple features about this jacket that won my heart is the number of pockets. (There are two pockets on the chest that you can open from the outside or inside of the jacket)  These pockets are the perfect size for a passport, wallet, or phone.

However, I think my favorite feature of this amazing jacket is the huge side pockets. There are big enough that I can fit a paper back book or even a 7″ tablet inside the pocket comfortably. If I am on the go, I don’t have to open my luggage to stuff these items in. I just pop them into these massive pockets, rush off, and easily pull them out on the plane. It is awesome!


REI is well known amoung travelers.  fantastic website with top of the line travel gear. They offer everything from clothes to backpacks.

Ex Officio

I Love Ex Officio. They make high quality clothes with travelers in mind.  I love their stuff. The best backpacking gear they make is the Storm Logic Jacket. It doubles as a neck pillow! How cool is that feature.


This is another high quality brand that offers many styles and well made products. They make cool clothes that will stand the test of time, and a great products to consider when looking for the best backpacking gear.


Patagonia is not the cheapest brand on the list but I don’t mind spend the extra cash to support a good cause. They are socially responsible and they have a mission to help preserve the environment. So while not the cheapest clothes you are supporting a good cause, ever purchases means that you donated to charities.  On Black, Friday Patagonia donated 100%  of their profits to grassroots conservation efforts. In that one day, they raised $10 million to help the environment.

Best Backpacking Camera Gear

Canon EOS Rebel T6

Canon is my favorite brand of camera. I find the camera’s extremely user-friendly. They deliver high-quality shots and aren’t too expensive when you compare them to other SLR’s. There are definitely high quality camera on the market but they are pretty expensive.The price of the canon fits into a budget and the pictures are high quality.

Check out the Canon EOS Rebel T6

Steady Camera – DJI Osmo

If you are looking to make an epic video of your travels this awesome product by DJI takes some amazing steady shots. It has a long battery life, gets smooth shots and pans. Plus it is simple and easy to use.

I am in love with my DJI Osmo

Drone: DJI Mavic

Drones are awesome. They help you get some amazing aerial footage of the world. DJI is the world leader, and the Mavic is a portable drone. The drone folds to the size of a water bottle making it easy to travel with it. Hands down the Mavic is my new favorite piece of backpacking gear.

A couple awesome feature of the Mavic are that it will track you. So if you are going on a epic hike just send the Mavic into the air, tell it to track you, and start walking. it really works.

Check out the Mavic here.

Karma – A product I would like to recommend is the Go Pro drone because it is a drone, but also doubles as a steady cam. I’m a big fan of the Go Pro Camera’s and but no experience with the Karma because I have not tested it.  However, feel free to research it. I know the drone itself is cheaper but if you have to invest in a Go Pro camera it becomes around the to around the same price of the Mavic.

Here is a quick clip of my first flight wit the Drone. I am not controlling it at all. It is tracking me. How cool is this! 

Day Pack-  A day pack it good because you can lock up most of your belongings and just take out what is necessary.  I think a day pack is among the best backpacking gear when traveling.

The day pack is for carrying the camera, drone ,and items that are essential to your day.

I use this awesome ManFrotto Pack

How much to do I need to pack for traveling?

I have a basic packing list that includes

2- Pair of Jeans

4- T shirts

1- Hoodie/Sweater

1- Light/Heavy jacket ( depending on where I am going)

1- Pair shorts ( 2 if I am going to a summer destination)

1 – Pair of board shorts

4 – Pair of socks

1 – Travel Buff

4- Paris of Exoffico underwear

This is most of the travel gear I carry on the road. Though the gear I have might not be the same gear you need. Look at what you will be doing, the weather, and get the right gear.

24 thoughts on “An In-Depth Guide to Choosing the Best Backpacking Gear”

  1. Great gear suggestions! I really need to check out that Canon EOS Rebel. I know several people that use it and they really like it. They’re getting some great shots with it.

  2. This is a great and comprehensive list- I wonder how much it would vary for a female traveler. I agree you definitely need to have quality clothing for different situations because often we end up wearing the same outfit for over 24 hours during travel. I like your recommendation about the steady camera too- I’m actually checking it out on Amazon right now 🙂 – And good idea to mention travel insurance, so many people I know do not invest in it before travels, and to me it is so necessary- especially on longer trips!

  3. I have the Osprey Porter, and really like it! Were looking to upgrade to the Mavic soon, we have the DJI phantom 3 4k and really enjoy it, but its a pain to travel with because of how big it is. It will be nice to have a smaller drone! All great travel equipment!

    1. I agree Tarah. I had the Phantom 3 and it is such a pain. The Mavic is just as powerful, has cooler modes, and is 1/3 size. I can fit is in my hand.

  4. Lots of great gear on this list! I love seeing what other people pack and use for luggage. I always have a hard time finding a bag that works for a lot of different situations, but I keep seeing people recommend the Osprey Farpoint. I think I’ll have to give it a look! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks for putting together this great list, I agree that luggage is one of the most important parts of your gear … We recently took a trip rtw with luggage we had won and the wheels snapped halfway through … Wouldn’t have that issue with a backpack!!

    I’m dying to add a drone to our camera gear … Hopefully later this year 🙂

    1. Yes, luggage is so important to the success of a trip! My mother cam traveling with me for a bit with rolling luggage. I ended up pulling it for her most of the time! I prefer my backpack lol.

      Awesome! I really like the Mavic.

  6. Good gear is so important. Weight is a problem for me so I don’t suffer backpacks well but a wheeled duffle or a pack that wheels and transforms for back is my preference. Love my new Canon too. Great for long shots, simple to use and durable.

  7. Great list of great travel gear. We have had a Kealty backpack for several years that has traveled many miles. Your “what to pack” list is helpful, as it’s short, sweet and to the point. It’s crazy to over pack when the necessities are what are needed, right? I love that you included a drone in your day pack. Just a year ago, that wasn’t even a part of the discussion. It’s an exciting time to be using all of this fun travel gear. Happy travels in 2017.

    1. My first few trips I overpacked and it was awful. I through so many things away. It is an exciting time. Gear is getting more portable and causer to use! The Mavic is sweet.

    1. Like I said in the post I have not played with the Karma so cannot recommend it. Just listing it as a option. I love the Mavic! It is such a handy tool.

  8. I think a good backpack is really essential if one wants to enjoy his travels. That is one of the things you should pay a few dollars extra and it’ll be worth it. My own has lasted me for about 6 years now and is still going strong.

    Another thing is to know what you shouldn’t carry. As someone said, on the lines of before you travel take out half your luggage and double the money you’re gonna take. Good list to help people out with that

    1. Hey Venkat,

      Thanks for the comment. I agree a good backpack can make a trip, and a bad one can cause so many problems. It is worth the money. Same my Osprey has lasted for over years now.

  9. About backpacks – I like Deuter 🙂 About cameras, I perfer mirrorless Fuji cameras 🙂 But not so long ago I talked to my friend who is also travel blogger, and we agreed that we always have soooo big backpacks, we have to take too many things with us 😉

    1. Yea I have never used Deuter so I cannot recommend it. For camera I prefer mirrorless as well. However, for the average backpacker they are not going to drop $1300+ on a Sony A7. Haha yea! I have a whole backpack dedicated to cameras and wires.

  10. Great list! I will be going on a new backpacking adventure next month and I am trying to figure out what I should take with me. I would love to get a drone one day and travel with it but probably wouldn’t want to be carrying around so much stuff every day, the footage is pretty amazing though 😀

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