What’s In My Backpack? My Favourite Travel Gear

What's in my Backpack? My Favourite Travel Gear | brittanymthiessen.com

This is my resource page which outlines my favourite travel gear that I currently love and use on my own travel adventures and local explorations. This page is updated regularly.

If you have any questions about the gear on this page or regarding anything else, please feel free contact me here


Gregory Cairn Backpack (48-litres)

Gregory Cairn 48 Litre Backpack

I love this backpack and have been using it as my main backpack since my first solo trip that I took in May 2015. Some of my favourite things about this backpack are: its female-specific fit and design; it is a carry-on size and can be stored in the overhead compartment on airplanes; the variety of compartments for organizing and separating my belongings and packing cubes; the quick draw string closure on the main access; a water resistant pocket with sealed seams; the side access zipper (making it easier to find items at the bottom of your backpack without taking everything out through the top access); the durable material and obviously, the vibrant and amazing colour! I use this backpack to carry and store my clothing, toiletries, first aid/medical kit, and various miscellaneous items and I love that it is lightweight and super comfortable to wear. 

The 48-litre was a perfect size for a minimalist traveler like me, but Gregory also makes this backpack in a variety of other sizes as well. I purchased the backpack from Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada but you can also find it on Amazon (at the link below) and the official Gregory website. 


PacSafe Slingsafe 300 GII Daypack (12-litres)

PacSafe Slingsafe 300 GII Backpack

I use the PacSafe as my personal item for carrying my valuable belongings when I am traveling on planes and buses and as a daypack when I am on a day trip exploring somewhere. Some things I love about this backpack are: its simple and minimalist design; its variety of anti-theft and security features (slash-proof mesh hidden underneath the front pocket, a security clip at the end of each strap that allows you to secure the strap around a fixed object, zipper pulls that can be attached to security hooks hidden underneath a small flap of fabric, slash-proof straps and an RFID blocking pocket in the main compartment for your passport and credit cards to keep your personal information protected); the organizational pockets and compartments inside the bag; durable and waterproof material; padded pocket for small electronics; its small but perfect size (approximately 12-litres), and very reasonable price considering everything that this backpack offers. 


PacSafe Slingsafe 75 GII Anti-Theft Sling Purse

PacSafe Slingsafe 75 GII Sling Purse

The PacSafe Slingsafe 75 GII is a great little cross-body purse and I have enjoyed using it during my travels for when I head out on a photo walk or a day of exploring locally around my destination. This purse is perfect for when I only need to bring the essentials and don’t want to lug around a backpack. Like the PacSafe Daypack listed above, this purse is equipped with a variety of anti-theft security features (like slash-proof slaps, hidden zippers, built-in mesh, and an RFID blocking pocket in the main compartment). I also really like that it can be converted into a hip pouch; the material is durable and waterproof; it is comfortable to wear; it has a simple and minimalist design yet is still stylish; it has a colourful and pretty interior design on the fabric; and it has two compartments (the larger main compartment and a smaller pocket on the side of the purse) for storing belongings. This purse is the perfect size for carrying your phone, point and shoot camera, passport, cash and credit cards/identification. 


Eagle Creek Packing Cubes

Eagle Creek Packing Cubes

I have tried and tested numerous brands and types of packing cubes since taking my first solo trip in 2015, and the ones from Eagle Creek are by far my favourite. I love being able to keep my belongings organized and separated from each other (making it much easier to find what you need, when you need it) and packing cubes are the best way to accomplish this. The Eagle Creek packing cubes are made from a durable material, the zippers are strong, they are available in a variety of different sizes, the mesh top allows for breathability, the cubes have a convenient fabric handle on the top which makes carrying them and lifting them out of your backpack easy, and they are able to be washed. 

I use the one larger cube for storing my pants/shorts and the other larger cube for storing my shirts/sweaters. I also have the medium sized cube which I use for my undergarments. These cubes are fantastic and I use them on every trip and camping excursion that I go on and will continue to do so in the future. 


Gadgets & Electronics

iPhone 5S


iPhone 5S Photo

I take my iPhone with me pretty much everywhere I go – especially on my travels –  and it’s such a great tool. I don’t have the unlocked version, but if I were traveling long-term, it’s definitely something that I would invest in, so that I could a local SIM card at my destination. My iPhone is essential during my travels and I use it for communicating and keeping in touch with my family and friends; researching and planning my future travels using a variety of apps; browsing and updating social media; checking emails; taking photos; taking notes and journaling about my experiences and adventures; and keeping my life and travels organized. 

Some things I love about the iPhone 5S are: its slender size and lightweight design (the iPhone 6 is way too large and bulky for my tastes); the built-in camera which produces some really high quality images and acts as a great wide angle lens for capturing travel landscapes; and its very fast. 


Canon Rebel T5

Canon Rebel T5 DSLR Camera

The Canon Rebel T5 is a budget-friendly entry level DSLR camera that is perfect for amateur photographers, like me! This camera comes with an 18-55mm zoom lens, which is super versatile for shooting everything – capturing both wide angle landscapes and zooming in to focus on the details – and it is a great everyday lens for walking around and exploring a new place. 

Some things I love about this camera include: it is lightweight and easy to carry around for an entire day; it is speedy; it captures vibrant and sharp images; it has a variety of shooting modes and options; and it is a budget-friendly camera for those who want to get into photography more seriously but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on new equipment. 


HP 15.6 inch Laptop

HP 15.6 Inch Laptop

I purchased this laptop in 2015 and I absolutely love it! Although I haven’t taken it with me yet on my travels, I use this laptop on a daily basis when I am at home and it works great for what I use it for – blogging about my adventures and explorations; editing my photography; managing my social media accounts; checking and sending emails; reading blogs and online articles and more. Some things I love about this laptop include: 

  • It is powerful and fast
  • It is lightweight and slim – the only downfall about this, is that the laptop does not come with a built-in CD/DVD drive and you have to buy one separately. 
  • It has 1 Terabyte of internal storage which is plenty of room for me to store my photos and documents. 
  • It comes with the latest Windows 10 pre-installed, and I really enjoy this operating system. 


WD My Passport External Hard Drive

WD External Hard Drive

I take A LOT of photos when I travel and explore new places in my hometown, so having an external hard drive is important for me to keep all of photos and documents backed up and secure. If I lost my photos to a computer crash and had only saved them in one place, I would be absolutely devastated. That is why I always save my photos and important documents in three different places – my laptop’s internal drive and two external hard drives. I love this external hard drive because it is lightweight, has a slim and sleek design, is affordable, and has 1 terabyte worth of storage, which is a generous amount of space. 

If your photos and documents are important to you and you don’t want to risk the chance of losing them, I would highly recommend purchasing an external hard drive like this one. They are very affordable and there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t have one. 

I always back-up all of my photos to my external hard drive, because I know that I would be absolutely devastated if I were to lose them or if anything bad were to happen to them. This brand of external hard drive is high quality and it received many positive reviews. 


Travel Power Strips

Monster Travel Power Strip

Belkin Mini Travel Charger

I have two power strips that I travel with – this one which includes USB chargers and this one that has four three-pronged outlets. These power strips have been very helpful for me when I stay in hostel dorm rooms, as there are usually never enough power outlets for everybody. It makes it convenient to charge my phone, camera, and other electronic gear at the same time and all you need is one single outlet. The black Monster power strip has four AC outlets and the Belkin one has three AC and two USB plug-ins. Both of these power strips are compact and easy to travel with. 

The only problem with both of these power strip is that they only plug in to a three-pronged outlet, which can sometimes be difficult to find, depending on your travel destination (I had trouble finding them at hostels in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, at times). 

BUY IT HERE (Monster Travel Strip) and BUY IT HERE (Belkin Power Strip)

Anker External Battery & Power Bank

Anker Lipstick Sized External Battery

Anker PowerCore External Power Bank

I have two external batteries/power banks – this smaller one and this larger one (shown in the photos above). I love these external batteries and they are super convenient for when I need or want to charge my iPhone on the go. When I travel, I am often out exploring for an entire day with no access to a power outlet to charge my phone if the battery were running low or completely dead. I also love venturing off the beaten tourist path and discovering hidden gems when I am exploring a new place. As such, keeping my phone’s battery charged at all times essential – especially when I am exploring on my own as a solo female traveler – and I use my phone frequently for viewing maps, finding directions to places, and taking notes and keeping an ongoing journal of my experiences. But most importantly, if I were to get lost, injured, or find myself in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation while adventuring alone and in a secluded & off the beaten path area, I would be so thankful that my phone’s battery was charged so that I would have the ability to contact someone immediately. These external batteries are not only convenient, they are also essential for my safety as a solo female traveler. These batteries also work great if you are staying in hostel dorm rooms and you need to charge your phone but don’t have access to a power outlet. If you are an independent and solo traveler, I highly recommend purchasing one of these.

The smaller lipstick sized model provides 2-3 full charges for my iPhone 5S and the larger and more powerful version provides 4-6 full charges. 

BUY IT HERE (Full Size Charger) and BUY IT HERE (Compact Lipstick Size)


Natural Roll-on Deodorant

This brand of roll-on deodorant from Rocky Mountain Soap Company in Canada is my favourite for using both at home and on my travels. It is made from natural ingredients and contains no chemicals, which I love. Plus, it smells amazing and works effectively as well! 

TSA Clear Toiletry Pouch

Lewis and Clark Clear TSA Toiletry Pouch

This clear toiletry bag is exactly 1 quart, which is the TSA-approved size for carrying liquids of 100 ml or less in your carry-on bag. This bag works great, is made from a durable material, has a water resistant zipper and makes the security process smoother.

Because I travel with carry-on only, I use this handy pouch to store all of my liquids that are 100 ml or less so that I am able to take them on board the plane. 

Accessories & Miscellaneous

TSA-Approved Combination Lock

TSA Approved Combination Lock

I have a collection of TSA-approved combination locks and use them for locking the zippers of my backpacks together while on a plane or bus and for securing my valuable belongings, identification and documents inside dorm room lockers at hostels. 


GoToobs Containers

Go Toobs Squeezable Travel Containers

I love these squeezable containers and use them to store my shampoo and conditioner on my travels. They feature a leak-proof cap and the material is soft and easy to squeeze. You won’t be wasting anything with these handy containers! 

The lids have a great seal and they do not drip or leak at all, the soft plastic material is durable and easy to squeeze, 


Microfibre Travel Towel

Microfibre Travel Towel

This microfibre towel is light, easy to fold, carry and store in your backpack, and is made from a soft and absorbent material that dries quickly. 


Flight 001 Go Clean Laundry Bag

Flight 001 Laundry Bag

If you are traveling for a longer period of time where you will be accumulating laundry along the way, this bag is perfect to contain all of your dirty clothes. It is made from a durable material, has a well-made zipper and it locks the smell in, so your clean clothes won’t smell at all. I have really enjoyed using this bag so far on my travels! 


Disclosure: This resource page contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! 

I only promote products and brands that I believe in, use and love, those who value the same things as I do and those that are relevant to independent, solo female, socially conscious and budget-friendly travelers and outdoor/urban adventurers. 

If you are interested in reading my packing lists and tips from my travels, click here. Also, check out my travel planning resources, blogging resources, and photography gear

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What's in my Backpack? My Favourite Travel Gear | brittanymthiessen.com