Packing List - First Time Backpacker

#1 Mar 8th, 2011, 20:57
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  • teamindia is offline
#1
Hi everyone,

First post here in IndiaMike. Just returned from my first time trip to India, which was coincidentally my first backpacking trip ever. I think I got I bitten by the backpacker's bug after this! We were in India for 15 days, traveling to Delhi - Jaipur - Shimla - Manali - Agra during 15 Feb to 2 Mar. Temperature was around 15 degrees to 25 degrees in Delhi/Jaipur/Agra, it hovers around 5 to 10 degrees in Shimla, and 0 to 5 degrees in Manali. Hopefully this packlist would be of help to anyone that would be traveling to India, and around the same areas/climates. Hope this helps! If response is good, I might post another thread on my experiences and insights regarding my trip to Incredible India, and any suggestions I can provide, from a first time backpacker's experience. Am looking forward to going back to India again soon!

Note: Should you be traveling with friend(s), you might be able to save some weight by sharing common items such as toiletries and chargers. Words in italics are my suggestions to you guys and to myself for future trips.

Bags
1. 70 + 10 litres main backpack - More experienced backpackers will suggest a smaller backpack, but for me it was sufficient and able to accommodate a lot more space if required. Will travel lighter next time.

2. 23 litres small backpack - For daily use everywhere. Used it to store my jacket, guidebooks, documents and camera.

3. Traveler's pouch - Handy for keeping your cash and passport close to your body.

Clothes
1. 3 x t-shirts

2. 1 x long sleeved cardigan - for night time and slightly colder days in Delhi/Jaipur.

3. 2 x berms - for night time wear. No use for it since it was too cold anyway. 1 pair would be enough.

4. 2 x jackets - for the cold temperature in Himachal Pradesh. Thicker ones would be better.

5. 1 x long john bottoms

6. 2 x jeans

7. 1 x gloves - made a mistake of bringing a pair of cotton gloves. Leather ones would be advised. You can get cheap but decent gloves in Shimla/Manali by the way.

8. 2 x ankle socks - were good in Delhi/Jaipur but useless in the Himachal. Would suggest long socks, so that you can use it as well in cold areas.

9. 2 x thick socks - preferably woolen.

10. 1 x scarf - had no use for it personally.

11. 4 x underwear - sufficient if you re-wear them for days like I did, or even if you take turn washing them.

12. 1 x Sanuk slip-ons - wore them during Delhi/Jaipur. Light and comfy, but poor traction when you're up in the Himachal, which is why I brought item no.13

13. 1 x sport shoes - for better traction in Shimla/Manali. You could probably survive with them for the entire journey should you not wish to lug them around like I did. Renting waterproof boots in the mountains is advised if you only have 1 pair of shoes and do not want to get them all wet in the snow, which happened to be. Not the best feeling in the world..

14. Slippers - for wearing in hotels and in the bath.

Everything Else
1. 3 x padlocks - 1 to lock my small backpack when I'm traveling in crowded areas, 1 to lock my huge backpack, and 1 spare padlock. Only used as a deterrent, do keep your items close by still.

2. 1 x bicycle lock - not really needed if you have a buddy with you, or if you keep your huge backpack close by. For use in overnight trains and buses.

3. Fork & spoon - didn't had use for it this time round. Could do without it.

4. Scissors and nail clippers - Handy for various situations, such as cutting off stubborn bags, or for first aid uses.

5. Black tape - though small and useless it seems, it is a must bring item. Extremely handy, you never know when you might have a use for it.

6. Medicine: plasters, leukoplast tape, paracetamol, imodium, charcoal pills, cold tablets, bonjela, antiseptic cream and vitamin C to name a few.

7. Hand sanitizer - useful for dis-infecting your hands before meals.

8. Mosquito repellant - didn't had much use for it this time round, perhaps because of the climate. Might be useful depending on where you are going.

9. Travel adaptor

10. Toiletries: shampoo, shower gel, shaver, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial foam, hair gel(no use for this), floss, toilet roll(important, especially if you're not staying in high-end hotels).

11. Numerous ziplock bags - to compartmentalize my items into different bags. Extremely useful. Can also be used to waterproof your valuable items. A must-have.

12. Notebook - to take down useful information.

13. File with important documents - keeps your travel documents safe and tidy.

14. Cards, iPod - to entertain myself and my friend. Unnecessary. You probably will be too tired anyway to use them, and it would be better to use your free time appreciating the scenery or to read up guidebooks on where to go next.

15. Guidebooks - highly valuable.

16. Camera

17. Chargers for electronic items

18. 2 x pens

19. Tissue paper - some might prefer handkerchiefs.

20. 2 x towels: 1 big, 1 small - Some hotels might not provide towels, so its good to have one. Small towel comes in handy for situations such as wiping your feet and body after activities such as white water rafting.

21. Washing detergent - only washed my clothes a few times. A small bottle would do. Some might even prefer to pay for laundry there.

22. Eye mask, ear plugs, inflatable pillow - luxury items. Of the 3, the inflatable pillow was the most valuable. Highly recommended by me. Bought it at a cheap dollar shop, and used it frequently during my trip. Weighs almost nothing, but provided much comfort to me, especially during overnight bus/train rides, as an extra pillow at night, or to prop it against your seat for extra comfort.

23. Umbrella - useful when there is snowfall/rain.

24. Spare spectacles and contact lens

My backpack weighed 10kg exactly before the trip, although my small backpack which I carried all the time weighed about 6kg because of the jacket and DSLR in it. If possible, travel light, your shoulders would thank you for this. I hope my packing list helps! Would be most happy to answer any queries if any.
#2 Mar 8th, 2011, 21:13
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  • narendra.d is offline
#2
Wow. Great first post.
#3 Mar 8th, 2011, 21:45
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  • DaisyL is offline
#3
Welcome to IndiaMike, teamindia!

Thanks for sharing your packing list, I always like to see what other people take. I really liked that you mentioned what was valuable to take and what you could have done without. Very interesting!
#4 Mar 8th, 2011, 22:15
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  • rohan_iiitc is offline
#4
Welcome to IM, That was a nice list. Hope you had a blast, Make sure next time you keep your backpack to 60ltr at max wit ha day pack.
#5 Mar 9th, 2011, 00:44
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  • Spindrift is offline
#5
I always pack a torch or headlamp.
#6 Mar 9th, 2011, 12:42
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  • teamindia is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by WriteOn View Post I always pack a torch or headlamp.
Oh yea, I didn't bring that for my trip this time round. A small torch is always a good idea.
#7 Mar 11th, 2011, 18:54
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  • Saes is offline
#7
Just about to do my own checklist before I go next Saturday (!!!!!), so this is really useful - haven't thought about a pillow or a couple of things on the list. Good for jogging my memory, thanks
#8 Mar 13th, 2011, 23:27
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  • teamindia is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saes View Post Just about to do my own checklist before I go next Saturday (!!!!!), so this is really useful - haven't thought about a pillow or a couple of things on the list. Good for jogging my memory, thanks
Thank you

One more thing I forgot to add, a small compass can be useful as well, when you're trying to read a map and finding out which way to head exactly, as it can be really confusing in the huge cities. Jaipur was a nightmare because of a lack of road signs, and most of the signs are not in English.
#9 Apr 17th, 2011, 09:56
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  • safari vala is offline
#9
a large thin cotton sarong will always dry out more quickly than a towel and has other uses too. Cheap hotel s often don't provide towels.
Why stay at home when you can see the world?
#10 Apr 17th, 2011, 11:20
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  • Poisonspy is offline
#10
Thanks for the useful info.
Do share your experience.
#11 Apr 18th, 2011, 01:07
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  • Saes is offline
#11

My list

Right, so I'm back from my three week stint in India. It was a school boy error but I took way too much stuff with me and could have easily reduced it by a few items. I took with me:

1: Clothes - I took three tee-shirts, two short sleeved shirts, two long sleeved shirts, one pair of jeans, one pair of linen trousers and one pair of cargo trousers, five pairs of boxers and socks. This was way too much stuff. I used the socks once - for the flight from the UK to India. It was too hot for the long sleeved shirts, and I never wore the jeans.

2: Mummy liner - this was the best thing in my rucksack. There were more than one or two hotels I stayed at where sheets didn't seem to be offered, or were dirty, so the mummy liner came in handy as a wrap around sheet I could sleep inside and stow away in my baggage pretty easily.

3: Mosquito net. I made the mistake of not taking a hanging kit with me so I was never able to use it. Again, pretty useless.

4: Plastic inflatable pillow. If I'd used sleeper class on the trains I would have probably needed this - but I travelled on AC2/3 and never found a need for it.

5: Travel-size first aid kit. Came in use a few times as my feet got covered in bites and blisters in just a few short days in Delhi

6: iPod and charger, and two phones with chargers for each. Bit of overkill really - the idea was I could keep my UK SIM in one phone and use an Indian SIM in the other but I just ended up carrying two phones with me. I used the iPod a couple of times in Delhi but stopped once I realised it probably proved to be a barrier stopping people talking to me. Wouldn't bother in future.

7: Toiletry bag. Toothpaste, shower gel, travel tooth brush, razor, shaving gel, scissors. Scissors were really handy in cutting off those threads dhobis put on clothes when they clean them.

8: A pair of trainers and a pair of sandals. I just wore my sandals - if I had gone out to bars or anything I probably would have worn my trainers but I didn't.

9: Lonely Planet. Oh god, what a pain. If you asked people to carry around a brick with them all day they would look at you pretty oddly, but you could arrive in cafes or restaursnts in Delhi or Jaipur and every traveller would be flicking through this, despite the fact it is almost a kilogram heavy. Handy for finding other travellers, though.

10: Folder for travel documents and tickets. This was one of the best things I brought with me - it meant my train and plane tickets remained in one peice and in one place for all of the trip. Also used it to store receipts from money changers and ATMs, which are needed if you change your money back.

11: Money belt. Fine for cash and passport, but would probably buy something a bit more comfortable than the 3 ebay job I got.

12: Dry bags. I couldn't find zip lock bags to store stuff in so I borrowed a couple of dry bags off a housemate and bought a large one for my clothes at a discount outdoor shop. They were good and kept my stuff dry from any potential toiletry explosions

13: Toilet roll. I, err, sort of got through this fairly quickly but its easy to get new rolls.

14: Packsafe wrapsafe cable lock - this was good for the train. A normal bicycle lock would have probably sufficed and would have been easier to fit but this was lighter and easier to stow away.

15: Two padlocks.

16: Digital camera, which I lost - booo.

17: Hand sanitizer. I still got Delhi belly so I don't know how effective this was

18: Mosquito spray. Again, I still got mozzy bites so I don't know how well this worked...

19: Travel adaptor - just a few quid on ebay but I imagine I could have found cheaper in Delhi somewhere...

One thing that would have been useful was anti-histamines, which I didn't think to bring with me. Will next time...
#12 Apr 18th, 2011, 05:55
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  • DaisyL is offline
#12
Thanks for sharing your packing list, Saes! It is interesting to see what you thought was important and what wasn't. Really sorry to hear that you lost your camera!! I hope that you still have your pictures!
#13 Apr 18th, 2011, 07:09
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  • DaniMontana is offline
#13
Great ideas, thanks you guys, everybody seems to have a couple that someone else left out, am already starting to toss things into a pile, tho' the trip is almost 6 months away, so time to go thru it again and takeout/leave in/add/delete or downsize! This time, I will travel light!
#14 Apr 25th, 2011, 16:29
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  • avijnan is offline
#14

Hey all

I have my backpack for 10 days in the Himalayas starting this weekend. And am doing this the backpacker way.So very light.Tell me if you think i have left something out.

Am carrying a main RuckSack , a small laptop bag and a small pouch .

1 . Clothes : 3 Tees (Short T-Shirts) , 2 Six-Pocket Cargo ,2 bermudas, 1 Handkerchief ,2 socks (In case one gets wet in snow),3 set Under-Garments , 1 Stroll , A pair of leather gloves 2 jackets (one windcheater and one leather jacket).

2 . Electronic : 1 DSLR , 1 Digi-Cam , 1 Mobile along with respective chargers.A couple of extra memory cards if i happen to click a few more snaps .

3 . A Sipper (Water-Bottle)

4 . Around 50 pages of PrintOut of the place with maps , 2 Pens & Diary .

5 . A torch-Light .

6 . A box of candles .

7 . Zippo + Fluid alongwith a spare lighter .

8 . A sandal + 1 sneaker ( Will buy if i need to )

9 . Dry Food in small amount. To last a day or 2 . Plan to refill once empty wid local stuff .

10. Medicines . (Very Important )
-----------------------------------------------------------

Its Better to Burn Out than To Fade Away ....
Last edited by avijnan; Apr 25th, 2011 at 16:30.. Reason: Update Information
#15 Apr 25th, 2011, 18:54
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  • rohan_iiitc is offline
#15
yes you are missing few things, add more of wollen socks, candle is not required, instead take a torch. wait lemme post u the best adviced pack.

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