Unnecessary Items Backpackers Think They Need But Don’t


Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a complete beginner, old habits die hard. When you’re packing, it’s pretty easy to start straying from the main goals and start packing things with absolutely no value to your trip, increasing the backpack’s weight and taking important space. Some people like to feel that they have to have everything they own just to feel safe. It’s important to start adopting a different and clearer mindset when you’re backpacking. Experience in backpacking may help you learn from your previous mistakes, but it’s ideal to start learning how to avoid them in the first place. This will be a guide to help you lose the useless items that you may have been carrying unwittingly.

Extra Clothes

Packing fancy clothes is not a good idea as you’ll be likely less comfortable in them unless you’re going to a wedding. Make sure the clothing you take is versatile and comfortable in any weather. If you’re visiting the wilderness or camping, it’s important to know the conditions there to pack right. The items you need for the Colorado wilderness would be quite different from the one you take for visiting Paris. You want to know whether it’s cold at night and when the snow melts to pack accordingly. Even if your backpack is massive, you don’t need to fill it with unnecessary items.

Valuable Items

It’s quite unwise to take anything that you can’t afford to lose with you on a backpacking trip. You may not even need to use them on your trip at all. Looking like you carry expensive items around can be dangerous depending on where you’re going as they make you stand out clearly from the locals.

Too Many Towels

Towels take a lot of precious space in your backpack, especially if it’s not a big one. You don’t need more than just a couple of microfiber towels that are thin and compact on your trip if laundry is available. Microfiber towels are known to dry easily, so you won’t need to wait a long time between every use.

Extra Jackets

It’s important to bring with you a jacket even if you’re visiting a warm or a tropical climate as the temperatures can drop suddenly. But bringing more than one jacket won’t be to your advantage at all as they’re quite bulky and will weigh you down.

Fancy Shoes

It’s ok to want to look good in your cool pair of shoes, but you’ll be doing them a disservice if you bring them along a backpacking trip. They can easily get dirty and ruined in the wrong environments. You’ll want to focus more on comfortable shoes that are more suited for moving around a lot.


Some people like to bring with them a whole arsenal of makeup in their backpack. Realistically, most of that makeup is not used as you won’t be going to fancy dinners and weddings every day. Once you start traveling and moving, you’ll notice that you’re barely using any makeup at all. Only the essentials should be brought to save you space.


You may have all the essentials and nothing extra, but sometimes those essentials are more than what you need. Don’t bring multiples of any item unless you really need to. There is always a chance to buy an extra of something if you need to. Make sure that your backpack is self-sufficient without multiples that can be unnecessary.


Being a reader may require you to bring you a massive number of books that weigh you down and negatively affect your movement. The solution is not reading less, but converting physical books to the digital format. The authenticity of holding a book is sure irreplaceable, but when you’re backpacking, the digital format would save you a lot of space.

Unnecessary Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are quite essential for certain trips that include camping, but it’s not that wise to bring them along when you’ll be staying in the city. Sleeping bags are quite bulky and they take a lot of space. If you know you’ll be staying in a hotel or a furnished room, don’t bring sleeping bags with you.

Extra Medical Supplies

It’s very important to bring with you a first-aid kit on any backpacking trip, but unless you’re with a big group of people that won’t be prepared, taking any extra medical supplies will only weigh you down. Be sure to pick a kit that suits your needs as there are different types of kits with different experience prerequisites.

You won’t believe the number of unnecessary items that you may be unwittingly carrying all the time. It’s important to prioritize your items and ensure that you have all the essentials with you before you pick the less necessary stuff. And remember, always have fun!

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