5 Backpacking Essentials That Will Save You Money

backpacking essentials feature

A key part I’ve found in actually being a successful budget backpacker is a little organisation.

I know, call me totally crazy, but getting a bit prepared with the right stuff, in terms of some backpacking essentials, before you set off on your adventures can actually save you a bit of cash on the road.

Didn’t somebody, somewhere, once say something like you have to spend a bit of money to make a lot of money?!

Well in my budget backpacking world, it’s all about spending a bit of money to save a lot of money!

In this vein, here are my top 5 my favourite backpacking essentials that should make their way into everyone’s packing list.

Trust me, they will save you a ton of cash when you’re on the road.

1. All-in-One Soap

If you’re not careful, toiletries can take up an obscene amount of room in your backpack, especially if you have soap, shampoo, body wash and laundry liquid as well as everything else.

Take a leaf out of my book and amalgamate these backpacking essentials into one handy bottle that will save you money because it can be used to clean almost anything, meaning you don’t have to buy and then lug around a whole array of different soapy/cleaning items.

Dr Bronner’s all-in-one Pure-Castile Liquid Soap is without a doubt one of my key backpacking essentials that will save you money by acting as a multi-purpose cleaner/soap that you can use on basically everything.

From hair and body washing, to cleaning your clothes and the dishes, Dr Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap can even be used to scrub up the kitchen or your room.

It’s amazingly versatile stuff and, best of all, it’s biodegradable, made with organic, certified fair trade ingredients and packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle.

This makes the greenie in me very happy!

Carrying Dr Bronner’s all-in-one Pure-Castile Liquid Soap for use as a laundry liquid is especially economical because it means you can skip on the expensive launderette visits while away and just do some hand washing of your clothes in a sink instead.

Believe me, these savings will quickly add up.

2. Travel Sewing Kit

Glamorous, perhaps not, but a travel sewing kit really is one of those backpacking essentials when it comes to saving money on the road.

Forget having to buy new clothes while you’re away or pay for dressmaker services, simply stitch up any holes, loose buttons or other clothing mishaps with a handy needle and thread!

If you’re travelling light, and not taking many clothes, then the chance of them becoming worn and torn is quite high – believe me! – as they are constantly being used and re-used!

As such a travel sewing kit might just become your best friend!

Also great for sewing on patches or other fun travel memorabilia to your clothes, travel sewing kits do allow you to be a get a bit fashion creative when you’re on the road – I’ve even been known to construct a new top or 2 for myself with their trusty help!

All in all therefore, a travel sewing kit is one of the great money-saving backpacker essentials you shouldn’t leave home without.

3. Tent

I’ve written before about how freaking amazing tents are when you’re backpacking, not least because they can save you a ton of cash on accommodation expenses.

I’ve travelled all over the world with my trusty Gelert 2 Tent and honestly can’t rate it highly enough.

Some other great tent models for backpackers include the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent and the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent, both of which are lightweight, easily to assemble, waterproof and breathable.

These are all essentials things to consider when choosing a backpacker tent model, as you want to make sure the one you take will be suitable for multiple climates and easy to strap onto your backpack.

For more tips about choosing a tent for backpacking check out my handy guide.

Tents are so brilliant when you’re budget backpacking because they really allow you the freedom to sleep almost anywhere.

Camping across the world, from national parks to people’s back gardens is always a cheap option and will save you serious dollars over the course of an entire trip.

Many hostels also provide camping facilities and renting a pitch will be much cheaper than a dorm bed.

Definitely one of the best backpacking essentials to save you money, a tent will also grant you more privacy and often more space too – a godsend when you’re been on the road for a while!

4. LifeStraw Go Water Bottle

If you haven’t heard of the LifeStraw yet, then prepared to be amazed.

This seriously incredible invention is now being used across the world to filter water for drinking in a safe and easy way.

This has made a massive change to millions of people around the world who before had limited access to safe water.

It is now also making a difference to the way lots of us travel and is most certainly one of the key backpacking essentials I recommend if you want to save money.

The LifeStraw is a simple wand-like device that is the most advanced personal water filter around, filtering out almost all parasites and bacteria – above and beyond EPA standards – from untreated water without the need for chemicals or iodine.

This means no nasty after taste and no fiddling around with extra packets of things to sterilise water.

Simply pay a one-off price for the LifeStraw and you have a guaranteed supply of drinking water of up 1000 litres wherever you are in the world.

This great invention will save you a ton of money when backpacking because it will totally limit, or do away altogether, with your need to keep buying either bottled water or water purifying chemicals.

If you’re anything like me and feel desperately sad every time you see mounds of plastic bottles littered around the world, then you will love the LifeStraw even more. Using it certainly means less ecological damage worldwide as it severely reduces the waste from plastic bottles that so many find very depressing.

For backpackers, I really recommend the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle, which is a LifeStraw fitted into a drinking bottle that you can reuse indefinitely.

The bottle is BPA-Free and can repeatedly be filled with unsafe water that is then filtered by the in-built LifeStraw.

Once you’ve reached the 1000 litre threshold on the LifeStraw, a replacement can be bought while you continue to use the same bottle.

There is no doubt the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is a priceless backpacking essential that will save you a lot of money in the long run as it completely does away with your need to continually buy bottled, drinkable water.

5. Sarong

 

Butterfly Sarong

My love for the humble sarong is well documented, particularly how much I love the incredible versatility of these handy bits of material.

If you’re looking for inspiration check out the 20 Reasons Why You Should Always Take a Sarong Travelling and prepared to be amazed by how many uses this cheap and inexpensive backpacking essential has!

Sarongs can save you plenty of money while you’re away because they are so diverse and so handy in a large range of situations.

There are also cheap to buy, easy to wash, quick to dry, light and compact.

Winner all round!

Personally, I love the beautiful designs offered by One World Sarongs who have some gorgeous sarongs that are perfect for the beach and tropical destinations.

Check out their great collection (which boasts FREE shipping) and choose one for your next trip – a treat you know will save you money in the long run!

So those are my top 5 backpacking essentials that will save you money on the road.

Have you used any of them? What are your other money-saving product tips for fellow backpackers?

For more packing ideas, check out the BWSP Resources page here

This page contains affiliate links, meaning BWSP may receive a small commission on any purchases

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 6 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Liz says:

    Great ideas! I always carry a water bottle with me, but the LifeStraw would be an amazing and really useful step-up. 🙂

  2. TENT! This is definitely my best money saving tool ever!

  3. Local Nomads says:

    Nice post, Steph. I love Dr. Bronner’s Soap! We use it for everything from washing our bodies to washing our dishes! I’ll remember your link when I finish my current bottle. Got a link for Hemp/Citrus?

    • Steph says:

      Thanks so much folks! Just click on the link and then you can search for the flavour / smell you want! They stock them all! Citrus is my current favorite too!!

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