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Great Gifts for Backpacking Travellers

Updated on September 7, 2014

Gifts for someone about to go travelling

It's a regular problem in our office, staff heading off on long trips and not knowing what to buy them for a farewell present. Usually anyone going on a backpacking trip wants to lighten their load; they have little need for material possessions on their journey to discover the world and themselves.

So what can you buy them? Well the answer is easier than you think. Get them something that will make the life of a nomad easier. Exactly what that is will depend on what type of trip they are taking. Are they planning an active adventure holiday or a whirlwind tour of the world's biggest cities?

This page aims to answer this question and give you a list of things to choose from that will make the ultimate backpacker or travelers gift.

Make your own survival kit

This first idea is sort of like making up your own hamper. Anyone heading off into the wild should travel prepared... just like a boy scout would! Depending on where their travels will take them a survival kit might be just the thing. If they are heading off to climb Mount Everest or explore the lessor known islands of Asia then some of the things in this travel suvival list are actually essential.

  • Compass
  • Headlight or small torch
  • Coghlan’s Emergency Tinder or similar fire starter
  • Water proof matches
  • Water purification tablets
  • First aid kit- aspirin, antiseptic cream, bandage at a minimum
  • Survival blanket
  • Duct tape
  • Knife

You can put together your own survival kit and spend as much or as little as your budget allows. Head to your local camping or adventure store and grab a few things. Put them in a waterproof sack and hey presto - a home made surivial kit.

"Not all those who wander are lost."

J. R. R. Tolkien

Sometimes it's nice to write your thoughts on paper

It might seem kind of old school in this wired world but it's nice to disconnect and just write your thoughts on paper, particularly for solo travellers who don't have a travelling companion to share their stories with. It's a chance to reflect on the journey and to record the small but special things that might just slip from your memory otherwise. A nice moleskin journal makes you want to write and that's gotta be a good thing.

Get Yourself Organised.

Cocoon Grid-IT Organizer (CPG10BK)
Cocoon Grid-IT Organizer (CPG10BK)

This is my ultimate favorite travel accessory. Once you have one of these you will wonder how you ever travelled without one. Organise your adaptors, cords, usb sticks and other small but important things you need when you go on the road. They no longer are a twisted mess in the bottom of your backpack and you can get what you need quickly and easily. If only they magically put themselves away when you were done!


Smart Touch Gloves - Keep your hands warm no matter what

Agloves Unisex Sport Touchscreen Gloves, Black, Small/Medium
Agloves Unisex Sport Touchscreen Gloves, Black, Small/Medium

These gloves are perfect for travelling in cold climates. There is nothing worse than taking off your gloves to use your phone or other touch screen device. These specially designed gloves will let you use your touch screen with the same accuracy as your finger. Several colors and styles are available. Click through to find one you like.


He who would travel happily must travel light.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Scottevest Water Resistant Jacket


This water resistant jacket removes the need to carry a bag - leaving your hands free for taking photos or climbing trails. It also makes it difficult for thieves to get hold of your electronics, cash or passport.


Everyone needs a Swiss Army Knife

Wenger 16444 Serrated Backpacker Swiss Army 3-1/4-Inch Knife
Wenger 16444 Serrated Backpacker Swiss Army 3-1/4-Inch Knife

A cliché perhaps but it is a very very useful thing to have in your backpack. You will use this more times than you think. Just make sure you pack it in your checked luggage unless you want to lose it at airport security.


"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving."

- Lao Tzu

What to Pack for a Backpacking Trip

A Light Weight Fast Drying Towel

Sea to Summit Pocket Towel,Cobalt Blue,Small
Sea to Summit Pocket Towel,Cobalt Blue,Small

My fast dry towel has been on every single trip I have taken since I got it. It weighs almost nothing, can be squashed into your bag for a unplanned swim and is a great everyday towel when staying in accommodation that doesn't provide them.


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

A Pillow Speaker - Perfect for a Noisy Hostel

Pillowsonic Stereo Pillow Speaker
Pillowsonic Stereo Pillow Speaker

Stereo speakers make these pillow speakers great for travelling and holidays. Take them to the beach, use them at night to block out sound without having to have earpieces in your ears.


How to backpack light

More travel gift ideas - Great for making a travel gift basket

Make up your own gift basket with some of these smaller items.

What do you think is the perfect travel gift?

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    Post Comment

    • NibsyNell profile image


      5 years ago

      That pocket compass is so cute! :)

    • writerkath profile image


      5 years ago

      We travel light as well! That's definitely the way to go! Great selection here...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      great job emerald.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 

      6 years ago

      I would love to have some of those quick-drying clothes. Great for a backpacker.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love the Compass as a gift for the Backpacker. Now, everyone who reads this great page will know exactly What To Buy For A Backpacker, I also enjoyed the quotes throughout.


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