When I’m packing a suitcase, our camper, or even my daypack, I’m always a little nervous about leaving something important behind. On the other hand, I don’t want to be weighed down with a lot of items that I really don’t need. Although my daypack contents change based on the weather and destination, I have nine essentials that pretty much stay in my daypack. This post contains affiliate links. If you order using the link, we get a small commission, but it costs you nothing extra! For information on how I pack my carry on suitcase see 6 Steps for Packing 7+ Days of Clothing in a Carry On Bag.
9 Daypack Essentials to Keep You Prepared While Traveling
1. A Durable, Easy to Organize Daypack
When Joe and I are going to be out touring all day, I need something larger than a purse. I use to carry a backpack, but as I entered middle-age world, my back (and chiropractor) has demanded something kinder. Three years ago, I read a ton of reviews and decided on this bag:
If it looks a little dingy, that’s because I carry this bag everywhere! I have lost count of how many times it has been washed. Structurally, it is still just as good as new.
My back loves that I can easily switch shoulders and the teardrop design conforms to my body. Even though it doesn’t say so in the description, it seems fairly waterproof. I also like all of the pockets, plenty of interior ones that meet my needs for organization and security. I use the exterior pockets for things that I need frequently during the day, like my phone and sunglasses.
Nothing worse that trying to see beautiful sites with the sun in your eyes. I never leave home without a pair of good sunglasses. Sunglasses not only help with comfort but are also important for eye health. Shades should have 100% UV protection to filter both UVA and UVB rays.
For the past three summers I have been leading middle school student groups traveling overseas. For most students and their parents it is their first experience traveling to another country. I always suggest that students keep a pack of Kleenex with them at all times. You never know when you need to cover your nose from dust or pollution, clean up a spill, or desperately need toilet paper.
4. Tinted Lip Balm
A change in altitude or wind conditions can play havoc on your lips. The amount of make up I carry in my daypack may vary, but a tube of lip balm is a constant. Now, you can add a little glow to you lips at the same time! I’ve also used tinted lip balm on my cheeks after a long flight. My favorites are Burt’s Bees and Blistex Lip Vibrance.
5. Portable Charger
Especially when I’m the group leader, it is important for my cell phone to be charged at all times in case of emergency. I started throwing portable chargers in my daypack around two years ago. I like that the one shown below is the size of a lipstick tube so very little space is lost in my daypack. It takes about 15-30 minutes to charge my phone back up, then I’m good to go!
6. A Cellphone with a Good Camera
I use my cellphone for everything when I travel, from google maps to google translate, my phone eliminates the need to have hard copies of maps, guide books, and reservation information. If there is an emergency, I have digital copies of my insurance cards and passport on my phone. My daypack also serves as my camera bag. It’s big enough for my Canon Rebel and one lens. For social media, I take pictures with my phone. Follow us on Snapchat @ packyourbaguios.
7. Mobile Hot Spot
My T-Mobile hot spot is a new essential item for my daypack. Most places where we camp are dead zones which can be a little frustrating when you are a travel blogger. Now that we have a hot spot, I can work while Joe is driving us to our next destination or mountain biking. We were going to get a little TV for our camper, but with our hot spot, now we can watch Netflix.
8. Collapsible Water Bottle
It is imperative to stay hydrated when traveling. Water bottles, however, can take up a lot of room in a daypack and your friendly TSA enjoys collecting them. Two cool features are taking them through security empty and having them available afterwards to fill up, and when the time comes, rolling them up when empty giving you room for souvenirs!
9. Thin All-Weather Jacket
I’m extremely cold natured. If there is any chance of cold or wet weather I roll up and pack my Marmot jacket. I love, love, love this jacket. I can roll it up to about the size of a grapefruit which fits easily in my daypack. It has zipper vents under the arms so if it is raining but warm outside, I can still wear it. The pockets zip and velcro-closed making it completely waterproof. Did I mention I love this jacket?
So what are your daypack essentials? We’d love to hear your tips and recommendations. Please comment below. Keep up with all of our travel, camping, and cycling tips by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Leave us your email (blue box at the bottom of the post) to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and never miss a post!
CoriJuly 6, 2016 8:28 am
Wonderful tips! My boss and another friend both carry that style of bag. And they use it as their EDC (everyday carry). I’ve been using a medium sized messenger bag myself because I can fit a lot of stuff in there.