I’m deliberately not trying to make direct recommendations for an exact product (unless it’s simply best in class). Here’s what I think when I see the question Best tech to take backpacking?

I will list my gear with amazon links at the bottom for you TL;DR readers. Don’t forget the other basics like sun cream and a notebook!

1. Kindle / ebooks

If you’re the same as me and you love to read, a kindle with a backlight is absolutely top of my best tech list. Loving my paperbacks, I held off buying one for so long. Oh how I was wrong! Not only are you able to carry multiple titles in one tiny device, a kindle offers so much more than just a book. Kindle hooks into Goodreads, an awesome service which helps to easily find new books and authors based on real reviews. Deals and offers on digital books are great, and you only need wifi to grab a new book if you finish all your downloaded ones.

Any e-ink reader will do, just make sure you get than damn backlight! No longer will tunnels, bedtimes and cramped minibuses stop me getting my read on.

2. iPad / Tablet

Handy for the long flight, I actually wouldn’t bring this on every holiday! If you can’t live without that big ass screen for whatever reason, iPad’s are a pretty awesome device.

Don’t be a laptop looser. You simply don’t need it for traveling unless you’re working whilst abroad. We encountered a few travellers who had brought one because it was “the thing to do” and ended up hauling it around wasting space in their backpack. For emails or typing a lot, get a keyboard case.

3. Gamer? Switch & DS XL

For me I would say 2DS XL. This has a tone of great games from phoenix wright ace attorney to shovel knight. The best thing about a 2DS is they don’t cost much. So if it’s lost, stolen or broken it sucks, but not as much as a Switch would.

I will take my switch traveling. But only when I know it’s going to be safe and not a weight burden. I might do a blog post about game’s I love whilst traveling if anyone is interested? Box boy, I’m looking at you!

4. Smart phone

Don’t be a plonker, get a decent phone.

Affordable Backpacker Martyn 😉

A half decent smartphone will absolutely save you in most situations.  Apps such as maps.me are life savers, allowing you to find your way around anywhere easily. (We will be doing a post about best apps to download whilst travelling shortly!)
If you get a flagship phone from one of the big lads, you’ll get some mad IP rating to give you some waterproofing. On my Samsung, I was able to capture some great pictures when I forgot my main camera. If you’re already shopping for an upgrade, think about Camera quality, expandable storage and waterproofing.

5. Water proof phone case/bag/thing?

Waterproof phone bag.  Important to keep your best tech dry!

One of these lame looking things:

I use one of these waterproof phone bags to take my money and phone with me to the beach. They’re pretty sweet. Make sure to do the waterproof test first before you put your phone in water! Simply fill your sink with water, put a folded up piece of tissue inside the waterproof case and submerge.

Sand will break and scratch anything electronic if you let it.

6. A dedicated DSLR with a prime 50mm f1.8

You cant have a 10 Best tech to take backpacking post without mentioning cameras! If you’re already into photography you will have a good idea on what kit to take. But If you want to one up your mobile phone this combo will be cheap and fun for lots of styles in low and bright light.

7. GoPro / Action Camera

Any hard wearing, waterproof action camera will probably do. GoPro’s are hard not to recommend in this category. I’ve used kayaks in the past which already had GoPro mounts stuck to them. I would say it’s a solid choice. You can get cheap versions and even pre-loved gear on ebay for relatively cheap.

DSLR’s and action cameras are not in any way required If you have a nice phone but nice to have.

8. Battery pack & Gorillapod

Any battery pack with half decent reviews will do. Just make sure you can fly with whatever you choose.

You can get fake (both good and crap) Gorillapod’s, but basically any compact camera tripod will do. The brand I’ve mentioned is solid. Do a bit of research if you don’t want to get this particular one. Just keep an eye on the weight it supports. These can also double up as a selfie stick.

9. Cases & Screen protectors

Don’t take any tech without a case or you will feel the wrath of deep, unforgiving regret at some point. You will only have yourself to blame.

10. Headphones !!!!

If you weren’t thinking about taking headphones, why! Portable personal space is the life blood of any traveler. For me this wouldn’t be the same without music, podcasts and audiobooks.

I would recommend in-ear buds as they are light and offer some noise blocking action. Your quality of life will improve if you get sound blocking headphones. For next level get ‘active noise’ canceling.

Please don’t buy huge ‘open back’ cans. Nobody else on your flight want’s to hear you’re sick tunes.


Find the links for our list of 10 Best tech to take backpacking below!

Bose Bose QuietComfort QC20

Sony ILCE7M3B Full Frame Mirrorless Compact System Camera Body – Black

Kindle with backlight

Samsung s9

Any iPad Air

2DS XL Poke ball edition (because I’m cool)

Waterproof Phone case thing.

Anker PowerCore 20100er Bank This is a solid one, but any will do.


Photo by Dean Pugh on Unsplash

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