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  • Adonis Villanueva
  • March 26, 2017 11:02:58 AM

A Little About Us

Always Wanderlust is an alternative travel photography blog focused on inspiring others through amazing photography and inspired stories around the world. Adonis Villanueva is the photographer and writer behind Always Wanderlust, follow him on his adventures in and off the beaten path. Find inspiration in amazing photos, travel and budget tips, and funny but real stories. Travel more now!

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    Top 10 Best Backpacking Tents Of 2019

    What’s the best backpacking tent? Backpacking tents come in different style and technologies. Having the right one is a necessity but not all are created equal nor a perfect one size fit all. As many experienced adventurers know, having the right equipment is essential to any outdoor activities like backcountry backpacking or multiple-day hikes. Finding the right backpacking tent is never an easy job. There are so many options out there that you can get lost in the sea of brands and...

    What’s the best backpacking tent?

    Backpacking tents come in different style and technologies. Having the right one is a necessity but not all are created equal nor a perfect one size fit all. As many experienced adventurers know, having the right equipment is essential to any outdoor activities like backcountry backpacking or multiple-day hikes.

    Finding the right backpacking tent is never an easy job. There are so many options out there that you can get lost in the sea of brands and products. If you often find yourself in this kind of situations, then today is your lucky day. That’s because we’ve done all the possible research for you and have compared dozens of products from all of the top brands.

    We at Always Wanderlust have combined decades of backcountry and long-term backpacking experience. We’ve braved the elements. We’ve climbed mountains and we’re here to take the guesswork out of choosing the best tent for you.

    We’ve handpicked a few tents worth mentioning to make this top 10 list. You won’t have to worry about picking or searching for the right tent because we’ve already done the research for you.

    Here are our picks for the Top 10 Tents for Backpacking or any Adventures for that matter.

    Tarptent ProTrail | Best thru-hiking tent
    ZPacks Duplex | Best Ultralight Tent
    HyperLite Mountain Gear Echo II | Best Solo Ultralight
    Marmot Tungsten | Best Budget Ultralight
    Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo | Best For Taller Individuals
    NEMO Hornet 2 | Best All Rounder
    Kelty Salida 2 | Best 2 Person Budget Tent
    MSR Hubba Hubba NX | Best 3-4 Person Tent
    Gossamer Gear The Two | Best Non-Freestanding
    Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 | Best 2 Person Ultralight
    How to Choose a Backpacking Tent | Best For You

    tarptent pro trail

    Tarptent ProTrail (2 Person Backpacking Tent)

    Tarptent is known for and very good at making durable and light backpacking tents. They use specialized materials like Silnylon (a blend of nylon and silicone) to make their tents. You can tell by the name of the company that they have made use of the humble tarp in order to come up with a minimal and functional tent with lots of space and little clutter.


    • It has a minimum trail weight of 6lbs.
    • Size dimensions are 82 x 42 x 45 inches (L x W x H).
    • The internal height of the ceiling is 45 inches.
    • It is available in two sizes: 1-Person & 2-Person.

    Main Features

    This is a 3-season tent, meaning it can be used in hot, humid or cold weather. It has one door/vestibule and the walls are single-sheets. The best features of this tent are that its ultralight, very spacious and extremely durable.

    The tent uses 30d Silnylon, which is a tough and durable silicone despite being extremely light. The high ceiling gives you plenty of room in the tent to do much more than just lie down in.

    The internal mesh screen has a bit of tension to it which prevents moisture from finding its way in and ruining your gear. Although this tent is not freestanding and doesn’t come with poles, there aren’t many stakes needed to set it up. This leads to easier and hassle-free pitching.


    ZPacks Duplex (1 to 4 Person Backpacking Tent)

    ZPacks have done it again with one of their highly rated products, the ZPacks Duplex. This tent offers all superior qualities while being ultra-light and extremely functional. The tent is made from heavy-duty construction materials that make it stand up to just about anything. Whether you’re braving strong winds or heavy rains, this tent can handle it all. That’s because the Duplex is made of high-quality DCF fabric that is light, wear-resistant and waterproof. It also doesn’t sag down like the other tents in this range.


    • Its minimum trail weight is 1.3lbs (without poles).
    • It has size dimensions of 90 x 45 x 48 inches.
    • It comes in 4 sizes: 1P, 1P Tall, 2P and 3P.

    Main Features

    This too is a 3-season tent, and similar to the ProTrail has single-sheet walls. It has 2 doors/vestibules. The Duplex is the best choice for long-distance thru-hiking. It’s not all good though. There are some minor downsides to the Duplex. Because the fabric is ultra-light, it brings in some side effects, like being a little more expensive than your average tent. It also means you’re only going to get a single-wall tent, which isn’t great for handling condensation and moisture buildup.

    The Duplex isn’t a freestanding tent, which means you’ll have to spend some extra time and effort setting it up. But despite these setbacks, this is still a perfectly viable choice for anyone looking to go backpacking on a weight limit.


    hyperlite echo (best backpacking tents)

    HyperLite Mountain Gear Echo II

    HyperLite is best known for its range of ultralight backpacking tents and camping equipment. They make hundreds of different tents along with their countless product lines. But one of their most renowned and well-known product ranges is the shelter series. The Echo II provides immensely great value with great functionality. While most backpacking tents of this size will be tapered off to maintain balance, this isn’t the case with the Echo II. The tent is roomy enough for you to be able to feel most comfortable.


    • It has a minimum trail weight of 1.8 pounds.
    • Size dimensions are 84 x 52/44 x 41 inches.
    • It comes in two sizes: 1P & 2P.

    Main Features

    This tent is a 3-season tent and has doubled walls and 2 doors. It is a freestanding tent so you won’t have to spend extra time keeping it upright. The great thing about the double-wall design of this tent is the amount of flexibility. The outer tarp and the inner insert can be used independently. You can remove the insert if you’re in hotter and humid climates. But if you’re camping out in the cold, the insert can come in handy to insulate you and keep out the cold.

    It’s very stylish and sleek, which makes it stand out. It has great space-compartmentalization. The only thing that manages to stand out as a setback is the fact that the price is a little steep for what it offers.


    marmot tungsten

    Marmot Tungsten (2 to 3 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent)

    The Marmot Tungsten 2P UL provides the best value for money in our book. It manages to balance great features at a decent price point. It’s made out of durable polyester rainfly. This material is very light and doesn’t sag. Setting up this tent is ridiculously easy and you can easily open and close the zipper doors without any hassle. It has a decent sized floor space which makes it easy for you to be able to fit inside.


    • Its minimum trail weight is 3.25 pounds.
    • Size Dimensions: 88 x 54/46 x 42 inches (wider at the head, narrower at foot).
    • It comes in two sizes: 2P and 3P.

    Main Features

    If you’re on a budget and require most features and lots of interior space, then this is the best choice. It’s a 3-season tent with double walls, 2 doors and freestanding.

    While there are some problems with the tent, like an uneven frame, it’s still a viable option. For backpackers on a budget, this provides the best middle ground for functionality and durability without burning a hole in the pocket.


    sixmoon lunar solo

    Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (1 Person Backpacking Tent)

    If you’re in the market for something new and unique, the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo is the answer for you. At just $200, it’s cheap enough for just about anyone to get an ultra-light style for an affordable price. This tent has a unique shape when you have it pitched up. The only setback for having this kind of unique design is the fact that you can only fit one person into it. But even then, there’s plenty of space if you want to drag in a ton of gear. The floor space is pentagonal and the vestibule is large enough to hold your backpacks and gear.


    • Minimum trail weight: 2lb 26oz
    • Size Dimensions: 88 x 54/46 x 42 inches (asymmetrical triangle-shaped top, the pentagonal shape at the base).
    • It is a 1-person tent. No more sizes are available.

    Main Features

    It is a 3-season tent with double walls, 1 door/vestibule. Although it is a non-freestanding tent, it only requires 1 pole to stand it upright.

    The side door is easy to access and you can move in and out of the tent easily. It also opens up really wide so you can vent the air in hotter climates. And if you happen to be caught in the rain, the bathtub-style floor, and the wide side door will make the water drain out quickly.

    This one too is a great choice for people on a budget looking for lightweight backpacking tents with enough interior space for one person.


    NEMO Hornet 2 (best backpacking tents)

    NEMO Hornet 2 (2 Person Backpacking Tent)

    Nemo is known for making high-quality lightweight tents for all kinds of purposes. The Nemo Hornet 2P is a great tent from one of their premier product lines. It has an igloo-like shape where there are a small narrow opening and a dome shape for the actual tent area. The one problem with this is that the dome shape is slanted inwards which limits your usable space. Despite that, you can fit two people comfortably. The slanted shape works great for colder climates where you would want to have less room to keep the heat contained.


    • It has a minimum trail weight of 2 pounds.
    • Dimensions: 85 x 51/43 x 40 inches (wider at the head, narrower at foot).
    • 4 sizes are available: 1P, 2P, Elite 1P, and Elite 2P

    Main Features

    It is a 3-season tent with double walls, 2 doors and is ultralight. Setting the tent up can be a bit of a pain considering its an awkward design that sits somewhere between non-freestanding and freestanding (semi-freestanding).

    You have to put up two poles to pitch it up because of that. It’s not the most ideal situation if you’re trying to put it up on anything other than a smooth surface. Barring that, you have a pretty decent ultralight tent that can work great for solo situations.


    kelty salida

    Kelty Salida 2 (2 Person 3 Season Backpacking Tent)

    Maybe you’re on a pretty tight budget and spending several hundreds of dollars is not the most ideal situation. At a budget-friendly cost of just $150, this tent is a shoo-in for a great beginner tent. It’s simple enough that you don’t have to worry about all the technical aspects. All you have to do is set up the tent and enjoy your trip with comfort.


    • Minimum trail weight is 3lb 14oz.
    • Dimensions: 88 x 54/46 x 42 inches (standard parabolic shape).
    • Available sizes: 1P & 2P

    Main Features

    It is a 3-season, double-walled tent, has 1 door/vestibule and is freestanding.

    Setting up can be a little intimidating for some people but it’s the perfect primer to learning about everything involved in backpacking. While this tent is freestanding, you still have to set up the outer tarp with pegs in the ground. Despite that, the inner part of the tent is completely freestanding so setup is fairly minimal.

    If you’re just starting out on your camping and backpacking trips, this is the perfect option for you. With a great balance of cost, convenience, and ease of setup, there aren’t many better options out there.


    msr hubba nx backpacking tents

    MSR Hubba Hubba NX (1 – 4 Person Backpacking Tent)

    If you’re looking for something a little more rugged, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX might just be the option for you. Remarkably designed from the ground up. Everything from the material to the fabric and the construction of the tent is decently constructed.


    • Minimum trail weight: 3lb 7oz
    • Dimensions: 84 x 50 x 39 inches
    • Available sizes: 1P, 2P, 3P & 4P

    Main Features

    This 3-season tent has double walls, 2 doors and is freestanding.

    The tent’s symmetrical design is complemented by its flower petal style tent fabric. It makes the inside roomy and comfortable. The fabric is fully waterproof and has a thick consistency to it. This means that anything from strong winds to heavy rains, and even snow, won’t bother you.

    A side effect of such a fabric that the MSR Hubba Hubba NX weighs more than the average tent. But for the superior durability and comfort, it’s a small price to pay.


    backpacking tents

    Gossamer Gear The Two (1 – 2 Person Ultralight Tent)

    Gossamer Gear is known for making superb designs that work well for any occasion. They make all kinds of backpacking tents for all kinds of people and all kinds of situations. The Gossamer Gear II is no exception, it’s a well-built and solid tent with an exceptional design that makes it versatile enough to be used for just about any situation.


    • Minimum trail weight: 1 lb 8.9 oz (with six stakes)
    • Size Dimensions: 88 x 36 x 46 inches
    • Available sizes: 1P & 2P

    Main Features

    It is a 3-season tent with double walls and 2 doors and is non-freestanding.

    The Gossamer Gear The Two stays true to its roots by incorporating a standard triangular V-shaped design. While this does mean that you might have to spend time and effort setting it up, it has its benefits too. You get a solid well-built tent ready to tackle anything thrown at it. It has great storage, great ventilation, and above all, a very reliable design.

    There isn’t much that can be said for other tents that are in the same category as the Gossamer Gear II. It’s a tried, tested and true tent that doesn’t fail you.


    big agnes tiger wall backpacking tents

    Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 (2 to 3 Person Ultralight Tent)

    Big Agnes is no stranger to making high-quality tents that stand the test of time. Their line of ultralight tents is some of the most popular and in-demand products out there. The Tiger Wall UL2 is one of the company’s bestselling products and it’s not really hard to see why.

    Built from the coattails of the Big Agnes Copper Spur and the Fly Creek design, the Tiger Wall UL2 takes it all to another level. It combines all the good elements from both these models and elevates it further. The Big Agnes takes the stylish appearance of the Copper Spur but reducing the weight of the tent at the same time. It borrows the intricate pole structure of the Fly Creek but manages to squeeze in more interior space than you could ever get.


    • Minimum trail weight: 2lb 3oz
    • Size Dimensions: 86 x 52/42 x 39 inches (wider at the head, narrower at foot)
    • Available sizes: 2P & 3P

    Main Features

    It is a 3-season tent with double walls, 2 doors/vestibules and is semi-freestanding (you require some work to pinch it up straight, but not much).


    How to Choose the Best Backpacking Tents

    Despite what you may have heard, buying a tent can be quite challenging if you have no prior experience. Even seasoned and veteran backpackers often have to debate over the kind of tent they will need to fulfill their requirements. Getting the right specifications, you need to have a balancing act and one that needs careful consideration. With that in mind, we’ve listed below some of the aspects that you need to keep in mind when shopping for a tent. This will also help you narrow down your choices from the above-mentioned candidates.


    The last thing you need on a backpacking trip is to have more weight tugging on your shoulders. While most tents are light enough to not add a significant impact, that’s not always the case. There are many tents out there that are quite heavy and do not fare well for hiking and backpacking. Less weight also means that you have more room for other things like supplies, gear, utilities, food and extra pairs of clothes. Generally, you’ll find that backpacking tents are anywhere from normal weight to lightweight and even ultralight weight. The best thing to do here is to choose according to your total carrying capacity.


    The next aspect that’s crucial is the capacity of the tent. You don’t want to end up going through your trip enjoying yourself only to be cramped in a tent with 5 other people at night. At the same time, you don’t want to bring a big heavy tent if you’re going solo. Make sure to buy a tent according to your requirements. Buying multiple tents is also an option if you’re going with a big group. It is better to be safe than sorry.


    Obviously, you’re not going to buy something you can’t afford. Cheap backpacking tents don’t have to be bad. This is why you have to carefully consider the price of the tent that is on offer. It’s important to remember here that price doesn’t directly correlate to quality. You can find good-quality backpacking tents for cheap and similarly find average-quality tents with a not-so-average price tag. Make sure you’re getting the best value for money when making your purchase.


    What good is a tent if it can’t shield you from the outside elements? That is why it’s crucial that you find out what kind of protection your tent can provide. Whether it’s water-proofing or netting to reduce inner humidity, make sure your tent is up to the task. Some cheap beginner backpacking tents out there offer little to no protection so choose carefully.


    No one wants to stand out in the cold for hours trying to find out how to assemble the tent. It’s an important factor to consider when buying a tent. Make sure that you know what kind of tent you want, whether it’s a freestanding tent, a semi-freestanding tent or a non-freestanding tent. These ranges vary in terms of difficulty of setup. A tent that needs minimal poles and pegging points will always be easier to set up. Similarly, a freestanding tent has the absolute minimum amount of setup needed.


    If you regularly go on backpacking and camping trips, you need something that’s rugged and can survive at least a couple of trips. While no tent lasts for an eternity, anything that wears out in a few trips is less than ideal. Make sure that your tent is made from durable materials. Try to read up on the manufacturer’s return and warranty policy, just in case you get a defective product.

    Vestibules and Doors

    Having more than one person in the tent means that they will need to enter and exit at different times. If you have more than one door and vestibule, you can be sure that they can go about their business without disturbing you and vice versa.

    Getting a tent with two vestibules is also beneficial when dealing with more than two people. The last thing you want is being huddled in the tent with another person only to have their equipment hit you while you’re asleep. By getting a tent with two vestibules, you can solve this problem. This way you can each have your belongings safely put away without having them in the tent taking up valuable space.


    It’s easy to spot a well-designed tent as opposed to a poorly designed one. When considering different designs, make sure that you pick something that will stay functional and practical. These days, a lot of tent manufacturers go for crazy-looking designs that don’t offer a lot of practicality. Try to get past how well designed it is on the outside and try to find out what it’s like on the inside.

    It’s also important to make sure that everything functions well and doesn’t break or stop working when you least expect it to. When you’re in a camping ground miles away from civilization in the middle of the night, it can really come back to haunt you.

    Season Rating

    Despite what some people will have you believe, not all backpacking tents can brave the four seasons. Usually, you’re going to find tents built for 3 seasons or less, which are summer, spring and fall. Light winter can still be tolerated by a few tents but if you’re planning on going camping near the Rocky Mountains, you’ll need something more specialized. If rain is a concern, make sure you have waterproofing available on your preferred tent.


    Aside from the tent’s exterior, you also need to pay attention to the way the floor is designed. A lot of times you may have a wide tent with a narrow floor that really limits your space and capacity. While you’re at it, you might also want to consider getting a tent that has a footprint which can help protect your floor from tearing through pointy rocks and uneven terrain. Getting a tent with a more layered floor will also help you keep warm against the cold ground.


    Another overlooked aspect of buying a tent is the walls of the tent. Traditional tents come with single walls that may be thin fabric or padded with foam. But you can also get double-walled tents that provide a bit more protection. These tents come with two layers, an outer layer often called the tarp and an inner layer made of mesh lining. Double-walled backpacking tents are especially handy in situations where you have to deal with wet and damp conditions. Any condensation that forms on the inside of the tent is kept at bay with the inner mesh layer. These tents are also great at keeping your body heated, resulting in more warmth for colder climates.


    By now you should have all the tools you need to pick out the tent that will work perfectly for your needs. At the end of the day, you can think of it as an investment. The more time and effort you put into it, the more output you get. It’s not all about getting something that’s the most expensive or the most feature-rich. Rather, you should get something that fits your needs perfectly and makes your trip feel memorable.


    The post Top 10 Best Backpacking Tents Of 2019 appeared first on Always Wanderlust.

    How To Pick The Best Travel Backpack – For Any Kind Of Traveler

    What are the best backpacks for Traveling? We’re sure that all seasoned travelers will agree with us when we say that one-bagging it is the best way to go. It just takes the traveling experience to a whole other level because you’re going into it with the mindset of having the best time possible. Yes, the point is to allow yourself to be free from unnecessary inconveniences, so you can focus on whatever is important – living in the moment. This might seem like a grand thought that’s...

    What are the best backpacks for Traveling?

    We’re sure that all seasoned travelers will agree with us when we say that one-bagging it is the best way to go. It just takes the traveling experience to a whole other level because you’re going into it with the mindset of having the best time possible.

    Yes, the point is to allow yourself to be free from unnecessary inconveniences, so you can focus on whatever is important – living in the moment. This might seem like a grand thought that’s well beyond the concept of having just one bag, but honestly, it all goes back to this.

    best travel backpack

    The Nomatic backpack can carry most items you would fit on a traditional carry-on luggage

    Packing light forces you to cut down on what you’re told you can’t live without. It makes you rethink what you actually need. It might surprise you to find out that you don’t need that much at all to be happy and comfortable.

    For most people who make the switch to one-bag traveling, they find out a lot about themselves. Stripping your stuff to the bare essentials does tend to do that.

    It also makes one a more carefree traveler. In the most traditional sense, you really would have all your possessions on your back, with the whole world ready for your taking.

    The best part? You’ll always be that person who has everything within reach. So no more digging around in suitcases and finding stuff in there that you didn’t even really need in the first place.

    Plus, for the more active traveler, this allows you to location hop with ease without having much to repack.

    Now, choosing the right backpack is not easy. Having to choose from all the available brands and models on the market right now can be quite confusing.

    You’d have to factor in how durable it is, how much it’s going to cost you, and if it fits your style. At the end of the day, you’re looking for a bag that is best suited to YOU, and that’s a whole other journey that you’ll have to undertake.

    Jump Straight to the Best Travel Backpacks of 2019


    The Best Travel Backpacks fits your style of travel

    First of all, let’s get one thing clear: it’s not very likely that you’ll find a bag that will suit ALL your travels. However, it is possible to find one that fits a unique scenario. For example, the bag that you’ll want to take to your trip to the Alps isn’t going to be the one that you want to take on your work trips.

    Similarly, a bag that might be perfect for a photographer isn’t going to be the same as a surfer’s.

    Before you start panicking, we can tell you that we’ve done your research for you. Below, we’ve broken down the factors that you should keep an eye out for when browsing around for the right bag for you. It really depends on what kind of traveler you are or what kind of traveling you will do most. Are you going on trips only weekends? Are going to hit the backcountry for some hiking excursions? Do you want to look stylish while you’re walking the streets of Paris? Are you more practical and take only the most basic items on your trip? These are important questions that we will have answers to in this detailed guide.

    All you have to do is focus on the factors that are tailored to your needs. We’ve also tested out a couple of products on our travels as well, so we can let you know what we think about these specific bags.

    Why should it be a backpack anyway?

    Obviously, a backpack would give you better mobility and, ideally, it would be small enough to be your carry-on, so you won’t have to check it, and you won’t have to wait around the baggage carousel upon landing. We all know that takes a lot of time.

    This also means no lugging around heavy rollers in the airport and never having to worry about airlines losing your baggage ever again.

    By no means, we’re not telling you what kind of bag you should bring. It really all boils down to your preference. However, we’re going to highlight travel backpacks for the following reasons:

    They’re hands-free

    You’d be free to walk around without having to pull something behind you constantly. You’ll also never have to worry about damaging your luggage wheels if you ever find yourself walking through a not so ideal terrain.

    They’re also noiseless. Imagine going down the cobblestone streets of Paris, making a racket with your roller bag. Not very romantic.

    Plus, everything is easy to access. We all know that checking in for your flight or entering another country will make you reach for your passport and itineraries a couple of times. You’ll be free to reach for whatever you need without having the added hassle of minding all your stuff.

    They’re lightweight and optimized for travel

    We can’t say this about all travel backpacks, but we certainly can about the best ones. Some of these backpacks are made from the lightest materials and they’ve been designed specifically for travel – meaning, compartments, compartments, compartments!

    They’re space savers

    If you’re going to be moving around a lot by way of public transit like trains and buses, then having a backpack would take up much less room.

    Having a backpack would be much for suited for the more adventurous traveler who always likes being on the go.

    It’s also smart to think about others as much as you think about your own comfort. You don’t want to inconvenience anyone else by taking up more space than you should or hitting innocent bystanders with your roller bag.

    They can look good anywhere

    <sup>Travel Backpacks can be stylish</sup>

    Travel Backpacks like the Knomo can be stylish and look good anywhere

    Gone are the days when “travel backpack” means an unsightly mountaineer bag that looks like a log and screams “I’m staying at a hostel and I love patchouli.” We’ve all been there and, hopefully, we’ve all graduated from that.

    These days, travel backpacks can look chic and stylish in an urban setting while having the flexibility to bring it on a hiking trip. That also means that the bag would be suited for both conditions – meaning, it can get wet, it’s splash-proof, etc.

    If you go for a roller bag, then it would not be wise to bring that along to a trek. By the same token,  you’re going to look out of place if you bring something bulky and neon to a café for a quick coffee break.

    Let’s talk dimensions and specs

    Ideally, you want to have a bag that’s small enough to fit under the seat in front you in the plane. We understand that this poses a challenge for some people, but if you manage to do this, then you’re much better off.

    Believe us; you can fit everything you need in one bag while staying well below 50L. It’s just a matter of finding the right lightweight bag that can accommodate all your stuff.

    Make sure that the initial weight of the bag is not that significant. A heavier bag means less stuff you can pack. Also, make sure that it fits the airline’s required dimensions. There is a max legal carry on the rule that airlines will make you comply with.

    Exceeding those dimensions means you’ll have to get your bag checked.

    What does true volume mean?

    The true volume of a backpack pertains to how much usable space it contains. This is where it can get quite tricky. Travel backpacks are measured in liters, but you can tell a lot about the usability of a bag just by looking at it.

    You should also pay attention to the bag’s thickness and the flexibility of the material it’s made out of. A thin, strong material would allow for more stuff to go inside it, while having a bag lined with padding would protect your belongings if you’re carrying around something fragile like a camera or a laptop.

    Match these specifications for your needs.

    Look out for additional flex. If you’re trying to cram more stuff into a bag and filling it to the brim, you’re not going to have much like with this if the bag that you chose has no give.

    How the bag was designed and how you plan to utilize this space are the two key factors in determining the usability of a travel backpack.

    As a general rule, backpacks that have more of a square or rectangular shape hold more stuff than other shapes. It’s cool and utilitarian too if you’re going for that look. It’s very in nowadays.

    Take note of the profile

    Choosing a slimmer travel backpack is better for your back. If a pack is close to your back, then it will feel less heavy than it is.

    We’re talking about a 40L bag, so that’s a lot of weight to be carrying around. That’s why it’s important to go for a more compact, slimmer form factor.

    An added bonus to this is that you won’t be taking up too much space, making you less likely to bother other people. We’re sure you’ve experienced having your face or shoulder nicked as you’re waiting for everyone to board the plane.

    Don’t be one of those people.

    What’s better, top loader or panel loading?

    Panel loading or clamshell packs would be our pick. It functions much like a suitcase while combining it with the versatility of a backpack.

    So if you plan to be a regular tourist and you’ll just be staying at an Airbnb or hotel, then this is the better choice.

    However, this wouldn’t be convenient if you plan to go on a trek or to camp out. A top loader pack would be better because you won’t have to open the whole bag up like a suitcase to get whatever you need.

    Is it weather resistant?

    The Osprey Stratos is a weather resistant backpack

    Another thing that you have to consider when selecting your travel bag is if it can withstand different weather conditions – meaning, how good of a job will it do of keeping your stuff safe and dry?

    In a lot of traveling scenarios, you and your bag will be exposed to different kinds of weather. Particularly, if you plan to visit places where it’s rainy like all over Asia, this is going to have to be one of your top priorities.

    First of all, let’s establish that waterproof and water-resistant mean different thing. For the average traveler, you’d be perfectly fine with a water-resistant bag. That will protect your stuff from a brisk walk in the rain.

    However, don’t expect that you can totally submerge this bag in water or that you can trek with this bag in the middle of a storm. That’s asking a bit too much.

    If you plan to pack something that absolutely cannot get wet like, say, for example, your laptop or your tablet, then we advise that you get something like a Daka Pouch.

    It’ll fit perfectly in your water-resistant bag for the extra protection that you need for those certain items.

    Pay attention to the bag’s durability and the quality of its make

    You’re going to have to rely on this pack for a couple of days, so you have to make sure that it’s not made out of flimsy materials.

    There’s nothing worse than losing stuff from a broken zipper or a torn bag. It makes for a bitterer situation because all it had to take was bringing along a sturdier bag.

    You shouldn’t feel bad about shelling out a lot of cash for a bag because it’s insurance for your other stuff and it will most likely last you a long time. You should also understand what you’re paying for here.

    Bag manufacturers these days develop tech for better bags. Yes, research goes into the best kinds of materials for just about anything, travel bags included.

    So you’re paying more for the tech and for the best-resourced materials. Those sorts of things will never come cheap.

    Plus, the more durable the material is, the more items it can carry. It makes perfect sense. Here are some specific things you should check out when considering a travel backpack:

    The Fabric

    When you’re looking around for bags, you might see numbers like 250D, 500D, and so on. At least, bag manufacturers who are serious about making the best products will be transparent with this. What does the D stand for? Denier – which refers to the thickness and weight of the material.

    To get a little technical, it’s the mass per 9,000 meters of thread. That means lightweight fabrics like cotton will have a lower denier.

    So when it comes to backpacks, the higher it is, the more durable it’s going to be. However, that also means that it’s heavier.

    One fabric that you should look out for is Rip-stop nylon. Although it’s close from being just regular nylon, “rip-stop” nylon does just that. Its special weave in the form of squares will prevent your bag from ripping any further should it be punctured.

    A bag made from this kind of material can carry a lot of weight. If you’re planning to go where there are warnings about muggings and theft on the streets, this will also come in handy.

    As a little info tidbit, the rip-stop nylon was invented during World War II to replace silk parachutes. Even to this day, it’s still being used.

    We’re talking military grade here, so that should be good enough for the well-worn traveler.

    If you’re going for something a little more stylish, then consider getting a leather bag. Leather is known to be pretty stretchy and durable, so you can stuff more items in with a little elbow grease.

    But leather can be a bit too heavy if you’re planning to move around a lot. Plus, it needs special care. You’re going to have to wipe it with oils and it can’t really get wet.

    Don’t get anything made from polypropylene and canvas. Those bags are cheaper for a reason. It’s because they’re easily damaged and won’t last very long.

    Let’s talk function

    Below, we’ve provided you with a questionnaire that you can use to narrow down your choices.

    1  – Is it comfortable?

    If a bag can carry and protect all your stuff, but it’s a strain on your back and shoulders, then you can’t really say that that’s the right one for you.

    Always check the foam in the straps and how thick it is. If you can’t carry much weight, scout around for a bag that has load lifters or hip belts.

    Some bag manufacturers offer different options for different body types. It’s a smart idea to pay attention to what the experts have deemed to be the best for your own specific body type.

    2 – How well can you organize your stuff in it?

    Check to see if it has compartments or if you would have to buy packing cubes for it. Either way is fine.

    The point is that you have to be able to envision how you’re going to be using it. We’re all for being organized here, so throwing all your stuff in there without a thought won’t fly with us.

    Also, take note of how easily items can be accessed.

    3 – How secure is it?

    There are anti-theft bags out there and we recommend that you focus on those if you’re paranoid about that. But you should take precaution with normal bags as well.

    Are the zippers exposed? How easy is it to access the laptop compartment? Are there layers to the bag to hide fragile items?

    4 – Does it look good on you?

    Bags are fashion items too. Yes, its main point is utility, but you’re going to be seen with this thing. It’s important that it fits your overall style.

    There are all sorts of bags for different aesthetics. The important thing to remember is that you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb.

    What is the best travel backpack for you?

    Now that we’ve got pretty much everything covered, let’s get into our top picks for the best travel backpacks.

    Our Overall Favorite

    Best Travel Backpacks | nomatic travel backpack

    Nomatic 40L Travel Backpack


    • Can be carried backpack or duffel bag style
    • Made from high-quality waterproof materials
    • Customizable straps
    • Separate laundry bag for dirty clothes
    • A pocket for a water bottle
    • Compartment for socks and underwear
    • Compartment for shoes
    • A laptop compartment
    • RFID protection
    • Detachable waist straps
    • Fleece lined pocket for valuable items

    See It On Nomatic

    See It On Amazon

    Best Backpack For Hiking (Men)

    Best Travel Backpacks | osprey stratos

    Osprey Stratos


    • Compression straps
    • Stretch mesh pockets
    • Ice tool loop
    • Raincover included
    • Hip belt pockets with zipper

    See It On REI

    See It On Amazon

    Best Backpack For Hiking (Women)

    Best Travel Backpacks | north face terra

    North Face Women’s Terra 40L  Travel Backpack


    • Improved ventilation (vertical channel)
    • Padded shoulder straps for comfort
    • Soft air mesh lining for the hip belt
    • Sleeping bag compartment
    • 8 pockets
    • Made from ripstop nylon and polyester

    See It On REI

    See It On Amazon

    Best For Jetsetters

    Best Travel Backpacks | hynes eagle

    Hynes Eagle 44L (Airplane Carry-on Travel Backpack)


    • 4 carrying options in 1 carry-on backpack, back trolley panel for securely stacking on wheeled luggage
    • Dual hide-away contoured backpack straps, top, and side carry padded handles
    • Padded back panels with breathable mesh for added comfort
    • 1 adjustable sternum strap and removable waist strap for stabilization and maximum carry comfort
    • 4 exterior compression buckle straps help to pack more compact, upgraded shoulder straps buckle for long lasting and durability
    • 2 quicker access front zip pockets and 1 middle zip pocket with multiple slip pockets for better organize travel accessories, 1 side pocket is designed to keep beverage or water bottle
    • Added back laptop compartment is up for 17 inches laptop

    See It On Amazon

    Best For Photographers

    Best Travel Backpacks | lowepro tactic

    LowePro Tactic Camera Backpack


    • Fits two DSLRs
    • Four access points for a quick photo op
    • Laptop compartment
    • compartment for tripod cup and cinch straps
    • Never miss a critical mission thanks four access points: the molded, turret-loading top, quick-grab from both sides, and full, back entry for set-up and security
    • Create limitless set-ups with a robust, SlipLock compatible strap system
    • Get versatile with five modular accessories – water bottle pouch, accessory case, tripod cup and two cinch straps – all Slip Lock-compatible and included with the pack
    • ProTactic features ActivZone System technology to deliver targeted support at shoulder blades, lumbar and waist for comfort on the move.

    See It On Amazon

    Best For Those On A Budget

    REI Co-Op Rucksack

    Best Travel Backpacks | rei co-op rucksack


    • Made from rip-stop nylon
    • Ventilated mesh back
    • Full zip design
    • Hidden daisy chain
    • Side panels
    • Laptop compartment
    • Bottle compartment can hold two
    • Raincover included
    • Zippers can be locked

    See It On REI

    Best For The Ultralight Packer

    Best Travel Backpacks | patagonia black hole pack

    Patagonia Black Hole Cinch 30L Travel Backpack


    • Simple design
    • Made from rip-stop nylon
    • Micro daisy chain
    • Breathable mesh shoulder straps
    • Cavernous main compartment to hold books, or clothes for a weekend getaway
    • Back compartment features a padded pocket for your 15-inch laptop
    • Secondary compartment offers internal organization for electronics and other supplies

    See It On REI

    See It On Amazon

    Best For Fashionistas

    Knomo Beauchamp Business Backpack

    Best Travel Backpacks | knomo beauchamp


    • Made from leather and nylon
    • Padded laptop compartment
    • RFID protection
    • Water-resistant fabric  
    • Multipurpose pockets
    • Protects up to 14″ laptop
    • Padded s-shape straps

    See It On Amazon

    Best For Heavier Packers

    Best Travel Backpacks | tls motherlode

    TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible 50L Travel Backpack


    • Expands for an extra 1.5”
    • Padded laptop compartment (can hold a 19” laptop)
    • Lockable rings on zippers for security
    • High visibility 210D orange nylon lining
    • Water bottle pocket; Secure TLS ID pocket for a luggage tag
    • 2 main compartments with many organizational compartments
    • Fold-down shelf for splitting the main compartment in half
    • Zippered mesh panel inside the main compartment
    • Snap-out, easily accessible zippered pocket that can be separated and keep on person
    • Front compartment features travel organizer
    • Padded air-mesh back panel; removable, adjustable sternum strap

    See It On Amazon

    Best For Minimalists

    Best Travel Backpacks | the backpack - away


    The Backpack – Away


    • Sleek and clean design
    • Middle zip compartment has a hidden zipper pocket
    • Laptop compartment
    • Expandable pocket for water bottle or umbrella
    • Padded shoulder straps for comfort
    • Leather top handle

    See It On Away Travel

    Best For Urban Travel

    Best Travel Backpacks | osprey daylite plus

    Osprey Daylite Plus


    • Mesh shoulder straps (can be tucked away)
    • Padded interior sleeve for laptop
    • Six organizer pockets
    • The back panel is mesh-covered for breathability
    • Would also work well on a light hike
    • Large panel loading main compartment provides accessibility to inside contents
    • Dual stretch mesh side pockets provide additional storage options
    • The multi-function interior sleeve can be used for either an osprey hydraulics reservoir or tablet
    • Attaches to a variety of compatible Osprey Packs
    • Front panel shove-it pocket is great for stashing a light rain shell and other smaller items

    See It On REI

    See It On Amazon



    The post How To Pick The Best Travel Backpack – For Any Kind Of Traveler appeared first on Always Wanderlust.

    Travel Budget – Realistic Plan You Can Stick To

    Everyone plans their year around their vacation. It’s that one much anticipated time when we can lay back, enjoy the scenery, and leave all the stress of work behind. So you ask yourself, What’s it going to be this year? Are we going to the white sand beaches of Bali? Are we going museum hopping in Paris? Is our ski trip to Aspen long overdue?” You could be anywhere in the planning stages of your dream trip. You could have just settled on a destination and booked your tickets and...

    Everyone plans their year around their vacation. It’s that one much anticipated time when we can lay back, enjoy the scenery, and leave all the stress of work behind. So you ask yourself, What’s it going to be this year? Are we going to the white sand beaches of Bali? Are we going museum hopping in Paris? Is our ski trip to Aspen long overdue?”

    You could be anywhere in the planning stages of your dream trip. You could have just settled on a destination and booked your tickets and reservations. You could have just written down your list of top 10 places to go and are now saving up for when you can go.

    Robuer with wooden stilts in the fishing village of Tind

    How about a trip to Norway? Definitely, need to budget for it!

    Whatever the case may be, one thing that you’re absolutely going to need is a travel budget. Why is that you ask? Well, it’s no surprise that a vacation can do a number on your bank account.

    So it’s important that you plan ahead to resist the temptation of overspending. You could go on your vacation and charge everything on your credit card and not give a second thought about it. You’ll only go back home and realize that you’ve racked up quite the credit card bill. That would be more on your plate to deal with.

    Plus, you’ve been planning your whole year around this. You don’t want to bring along the anxiety of not knowing what you can and cannot spend. You have to plan your budget, so you can be free to fully enjoy your vacation.

    Not having a travel budget can even make your vacation turn disastrous. No one wants their vacation to end with not just good memories, but a couple of regrets too. Everybody has experienced that one point or another and having a travel budget is one step you can take to avoid experiencing that ever again.

    travel budget

    You want to get your money’s worth. After all, you worked so hard for it. You want to set aside some funds and know exactly where they can go towards. This will lift the stress off your vacation time. Stress is something you should leave behind, not something you should carry along with you. That just defeats the purpose of going on vacation in the first place, right?

    Exactly how can a travel budget help you?

    If now’s the time you’re planning the vacation, you can use your travel budget to plan it more realistically. This will limit your choice or airlines, hotels, tours, the list goes on. Don’t let the “L” word scare you off. That just means that with a travel budget, you’ll be able to do more things and visit more places.

    If now’s the time you’re saving for your vacation, you can use your travel budget to set your savings goal. You’ll know what you want to do and what you have to spend on it. So that means you’ll also know how much you have to save.

    If everything is packed and all your accommodations are booked, you can use your travel budget to know how much you can spend spontaneously.

    Obviously, you won’t be able to plan everything ahead. The cool thing about going on vacation is that a lot of things can take you by surprise. Maybe you’ll want to try out something you just newly discovered. Maybe you want to eat a swanky local restaurant that comes highly recommended on Yelp.

    Having a travel budget can help you say yes or no to these spontaneous whims and help you get the best out of your time out of town.

    The best part about all this is that it’s not at all hard to do. But before we get into the details of how to create a great travel budget, it has to be clear to you that a travel budget is just a mere guide. It’s not there to be followed to a tee.

    You have to create your budget with some allowances. Remember, you’re going to be dealing in estimates and you might make a mistake or two along the way.

    What you’re aiming for here is flexibility, not restrictiveness. With that being said, let’s get started!

    7 questions to ask yourself when creating a realistic travel budget

    How are you going to get there?

    Normally, one of the biggest expenses that will blow a hole in your wallet is travel fees – how you’re going to get to your destination.

    Now, these could vary depending on where you’re going and where you’re coming from. You could be going there by plane, by ship, by car, etc.

    You’re going to have to do your research and weigh your options. If you’re planning to travel to multiple locations, you’re going to have to research how much it’s going to cost you to go to these places as well.

    Important note: Before you get anxious about this, there are a couple of fares comparing sites that you should check out. These will help you out a lot. Sites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and GoEuro will do all the work for you. You could also get good deals if your book your flights using their services.

    They will list all the flight to your destination from the cheapest to the most expensive. All you’ll have to do is select the one that fits your budget the best.

    Where will you be staying?

    Another big expense will be your accommodations. More research has to go into this. You have to look up lodging options to decide where you’ll be staying.

    Different people have different preferences. Maybe you’d like to stay at a hotel with a pool. Maybe you’d like to stay at a hotel that’s the situation right in the thick of everything.

    Maybe you’re a backpacker and you’d like to crash at a cool hostel. Do your research and find places that will fit your needs and your budget.

    Important note: To get the most back out of your back, try to book a reservation at a place that offers at least one meal with your booking. Check out our Accommodations Page for the absolute best deals on hotels and hostels.

    It could be a hotel that has an inclusive breakfast buffet for certain rooms or a hostel that has a kitchen that guests can use.

    How are you going to be moving around?

    The next thing you have to consider is what modes of transport you’re going to be using when you get to your destination.

    Naturally, every location is different. If you frequent travel sites, a lot of them report that taxis in some places scam tourists who don’t know better. They ask for a lot more money if you’ve got that clueless “I’ve never been here before” look in your eye.

    If you’re on a tighter budget, then perhaps the smarter way to move around is by bus or train, where the fares are always standard.

    If you don’t plan to get everywhere on foot, then allotting a budget for moving around is a must.

    Important note: It would be smart to search for public transport ticket options. Some cities offer a travel card that you can use on all of their public transportations. This would be way cheaper than having to pay for each individual trip.

    If in your research you find out that booking taxis in advance would be cheaper than hailing them freely, then, by all means, do so.

    Also, it’s important to get the locals’ perspective on how to get around. This will the lessen the chances of you being ripped off because taxis, for example, will back off if you know how much a trip to somewhere is going to cost.

    What (and where) are you going to be eating?

    It’s not very realistic for anyone to decide on every single place where they’re going to be eating at on their vacation. That’s just absurd.

    What you aim to do here is to get a ballpark figure of how much your meals are going to cost you. Sniff around online where people give estimates to how much their meals at specific places cost.

    Apps like Zomato and TripAdvisor will do that for you. People leave their reviews of the food too. Whether you’re the type who likes fine dining or hole in the wall places, these apps will come in handy.

    If you’re hard-pressed for time, you can just follow this basic rule of thumb: you’ll be expected to spend 2 to 2.5 times the price of a one night’s stay at your hotel (or resort, hostel, etc.) on a day’s food expenses.

    Important note: If you’re down for it, always eat at where the locals eat. These places are popular for a reason. Not only will you be getting more of a cultural experience, but you’ll also probably won’t spend as much as you would at, say, an international restaurant.

    If you’re renting an Airbnb, try to cook some of your meals to save some money. This will give you the chance to check out the local markets and to save your money for fancier restaurants.

    What activities will you be doing?

    If you don’t have travel OCD and you don’t have to go into your vacation with a solid itinerary, that’s perfectly fine. All you need to have is a rough plan of what you’d like to do when you get there.

    Let’s say your favorite band is passing by the place you’re visiting because they’re on tour and you want to go see the show, then factor in those ticket costs. Let’s say where you’re visiting offers a lot of water activities like boating and scuba diving and you want to try those out, then factor in those costs.

    Just by knowing yourself and who you’ll be traveling with, you’ll have a vague idea of what you’re going to want to do. Make a list of your “must do’s” and research beforehand about how much they’re going to cost you.

    Important note: Travel services offer to book major attraction tours in advance. Some of them even offer deals like special discounts and extra detours if you book earlier than when you arrive. This will help you avoid the traffic of tourists who are looking to get on these tours impulsively. Check out our recommended tour companies on our Travel Resources page for some awesome money saving deals.

    Are you going to shop?

    Most likely, the answer is yes. At the very least, you’ll pick up a few souvenirs to bring back home. This is something that you can’t really research, but you should set aside a budget for these costs.

    Old Bazaar in Kruje, Albania

    How can you resist to shop in bazaars like this

    Think about your shopping habits. Is this something that you really enjoy and absolutely have to do when you’re on vacation? If yes, then allow a bigger budget for it.

    Important note: If you plan to bring back souvenirs for friends and family, then it would be helpful to bring a list of these people with you.

    By doing this, you’ll be able to check them off and reduce the risk of overspending. Also remember that if you end up buying a lot of stuff, you’re going to have to find room for them in your luggage.

    Do you have money left over for emergencies?

    If not, rethink your planned expenses. You should always have money set aside if anything goes awry. It would be foolish to just assume that everything is going to go smoothly.

    In case something like a medical emergency arises or even stumbling upon a cool shop or restaurant, it would be smart to be prepared for it.

    Important note: If you don’t have a clue about how much we’re talking here, a general rule is to set aside 2 to 3 days’ worth of daily expenses as an emergency budget per person.

    For those who are looking to make a simple budget, how do you get started?

    People who travel a lot have a sense of where they’re going to spend their money on and don’t even need to write all these down as for reference.

    They usually have a ballpark number of how much they can spend in a day or even a week without going over their budget.

    If you’re new to this, then all this planning can be a bit overwhelming. So how do you get started?

    First, you’ll have to do research about the location you’re traveling to. You have to know what the approximate cost of living is going to be.

    Personally, in order to do this, I check how much a night’s stay is at the average hostel. I do this even if I don’t plan on staying at a hostel for a number of reasons.

    1. There is always going to be a hostel anywhere in the world.
    2. Researching these hostels isn’t difficult at all. One site will list all the hostels in an area for you.
    3. They always update their pricing.
    4. You can get a ballpark idea of how much lodging is going to cost for the traveler on a budget because they base their pricing on this.
    5. The cost per stay at a hostel reflects its quality. You can then compare other accommodations to this level of pricing and quality.

    Knowing the cost of living index would come in handy if you play to stay and live like a local for a while. So if you plan to stay somewhere for a relatively long time, then it would be smart for you to do this.

    After you figure out how much the average hostel costs per night, multiply that by 3. That’s going to be your budget for one day.

    To illustrate, let’s say the average hostel costs $25 a night. That would give me $75 as my daily budget. To break that down, I’d have:

    • $25 for my accommodations
    • $25 for my food
    • $25 for everything else

    So if you plan to rent an apartment for a whole month, then you need to find one that would cost less than $25 to rent per night – less than (25×30) $750 per month. If you go over your food budget, then cut costs on your “everything else” budget to compensate.

    Will this really work?

    This is how I do my own budgeting and of course, I have my own level of comfort that I have to meet. But it may be different for you. You may be able to multiply the average hostel cost by 2 if you can get by on that.

    Maybe your standard of living is higher than mine and you need to multiply it by 4. The trick here is to practice. Test out your “factor” by making a detailed budget of one vacation and compare it to the next. You could even do this by benchmarking values in your own area.

    If you get good at this, you’ll be able to have an idea of what a good budget would look like for your next trip. This would be an advantage when your plans aren’t really solid and are likely to change on the fly.

    Okay, so how do I put this in use?

    Let’s stick to our hypothetical budget of $75 per day. What I do is I would take out a week’s worth of my budget at a time so I don’t incur a lot of ATM fees (I’ve learned my lesson).

    So I would have $525, but I would only carry $75 with me on a daily basis. This helps me plan ahead. Let’s say I’m going out for drinks with some friends for the night, then I would cut back on food costs during the day.

    If I reach the end of the week without even spending my entire budget, that would give me the chance to splurge on some treats.

    What should have their own sections in my budget?

    You can manage by allotting your food and “everything else” budget for little trinkets, cheap tickets, and snacks. However, if in the middle of the trip, you plan to take an expensive sailing trip, a class or go to a concert, then those shouldn’t be included in your daily budget.

    Treat them as separate expenses, so you don’t have to scrimp on food and other essentials.

    Traveling for longer periods

    After you’ve figured out how much going to a specific location will cost you, check your overall costs and compute the average cost per day.

    How can you tell if you’re budgeting like a champ or spending way too much? One way to do this is by comparing the time you can live on that budget in a high-cost destination versus a low-cost destination.

    To give you an example, the same budget that you could manage on for 3 months in Europe could last you 6 months in Southeast Asia.

    If you plan to travel the globe, plan your budget accordingly. That means you’ll be able to stay longer in low-cost destinations if that’s what you want.

    Testing it out

    1. Figure out your factor

    You can test your theory by creating a detailed budget for a specific destination. Once you have this, you can then divide the daily cost by the average hostel cost. Round it up it down to the nearest whole number and this is going to be your factor.

    1. Separate bigger items in your budget

    Remember, do not include more expensive items in your daily budget. So, in theory, it could look something like this:

    • Location A, 7 days: $75 per day = $525
    • Location B, 14 days: $60 per day = $840
    • Location C, 21 days: $40 per day = $840
    • Airfare from home to A: $600
    • Cruise from A to B: $250
    • Concert ticket: $175

    TOTAL OF: $3,230 for 42 days (6 weeks)

    1. Allow for some flexibility

    You might find that you’d want to change things up a bit because you’re liking a place a lot more than you expected. For example, this is what your new schedule could look like:

    • Location A, 7 days: $75 per day = $525
    • Location B, 21 days: $60 per day = $1,260
    • Location C, 14days: $40 per day = $560

    The average cost per day will make it out to $56 from your original plan of $53. That’s not much of a difference, but you will have to consider this if you’re on a tight budget. So there you go, you’re now armed with the right knowledge to plan your travel budget.

    Here’s a very handy MS Office Template to Budget for Travel



    The post Travel Budget – Realistic Plan You Can Stick To appeared first on Always Wanderlust.

    RV Camping Essentials – With Printable Checklist!

    What To Take RV Camping? A camping trip can last days or weeks, and if you’ve never hit the road in an RV before, you might not know where to start. Whether you’re heading out for a weekend or the rest of your life, there a few things that you need to turn your caravan into a home and save some headaches along the way. Packing for any trip can seem extremely daunting, especially a camping trip. Whether you are new to the RV life, or you are just trying it out for a weekend, certain...

    What To Take RV Camping?

    A camping trip can last days or weeks, and if you’ve never hit the road in an RV before, you might not know where to start. Whether you’re heading out for a weekend or the rest of your life, there a few things that you need to turn your caravan into a home and save some headaches along the way.

    Packing for any trip can seem extremely daunting, especially a camping trip. Whether you are new to the RV life, or you are just trying it out for a weekend, certain essentials can make the experience an incredible one.

    RV Checklist:

    1 – RV Camping Essentials

    2 – The Galley(Bed & Bath)

    3 – Tools and Repair Essentials

    4 – Kitchen Essentials

    5 – Clothing Essentials

    6 – Extras/Miscellaneous

    7 – Pet


    RV Essentials and Tips

    You can’t just park your RV anywhere. You have to plan this first.

    Parking Spots & Leveling Blocks 

    The first thing you will find, in an RV, is that you need to be able to fit into a variety of parking spots or more accurately, parking sizes. In massive parking lots or large sites, this is not so much a problem, but you are bound to have a tight squeeze or sharp corner somewhere along the way. Be sure you know how to maneuver the RV and which side the hookups are on. Backing up can be more difficult than it looks, especially if you are towing a camper trailer. Be patient and take your time, accounting for where the door will end up as well as where the power, water, and sewer lines will go, if applicable.

    After that, you need to make sure the RV is level. If you’re not level, many things in your RV simply won’t work. Your fridge and your propane system can fail to operate if not level and will ultimately be damaged. Not to mention how hard it is to sleep in a bed when you keep rolling onto the floor. There’s a good chance that at some campgrounds, the ground is most likely going to be uneven. Having leveling blocks will make sure that fridge stays running, your food doesn’t spoil, and you won’t have other unpleasant surprises.


    RVing isn’t always glamorous. If you’re staying in the RV for long periods of time, you’re going to have to know how to hook up the power, water and empty the sewer. If you are renting an RV, everything you need should be included and you will be shown how everything works when you get started. Before you leave, check all connections and make sure you have any additional attachments necessary. For example, if your RV is a 50 amp camper, it is pretty much essential to carry a 30 amp converter as many sites are not compatible with 50 amp. You do not want to arrive at a full hook-up site only to realize you cannot access it because you have the wrong connection.

    For water, most hoses are standard. If you are new to RVing or plan to travel around a lot, it can be beneficial to have multiple lengths of water hose. As well, a water regulator is often required when hooking up to a municipal water source. A small attachment that goes on the end of the hose, it regulates water pressure going into the RV. This protects the RV plumbing from being damaged by high-pressure lines. A quick tip if you do not have regulator is to turn down the water tap at the source. Just be sure no one accidentally turns it back up and be aware of the pressure on your taps. You also have the option of simply filling the water tank and having access to running water wherever you are on the road.

    The most important and unpleasant RV essential is the sewer hose. Or the sewer system in general. Manage it properly and you will have a smooth holiday with all the benefits of your own private bathroom. Pull the wrong valve and things can get messy very quickly. So first things first, check that you have all of the sewage hoses and fittings you need before you go. You probably want to get a pair of rubber gloves you can designate for just this purpose (something you will not have a problem throwing away).

    Usually, there is an elbow-shaped pipe that attaches to the RV sewage tank. The hose attaches to this elbow and then gets put inside or attached to the sewage dump (often just a pipe sized hole in the ground). Every RV has a black water tank (from the toilet) and a grey water tank (from sinks and shower). Always open the black tank valve first and then the grey water tank. Also be sure to use enough water in your toilet so the black water tank has enough liquid in it. Do a practice run of this process before you go so you’re not running around trying to figure it out when it’s too late.

    Overall, with utilities, the RV is versatile and can adapt to your purpose. If you are looking for a warm shelter for a wilderness camping trip, you may not require all the bells and whistles. If you like a few creature comforts or are heading out for a long road trip, set off with everything you need, and you will be a self-contained oasis. Everyone is different, and you will quickly find your comfort level in your RV, especially if you prepare in advance.

    Pack a Mechanic 

    Only kidding! Most RVs do not require you to be a mechanic to drive them, they are much like any other vehicle. Still having some mechanical knowledge and some basic tools can come in handy. This one probably seems pretty obvious, but RVs are more likely to run into emergency situations because of their size. Having an emergency kit along with jumper cables will help you be prepared just in case you find yourself stranded during the middle of your vacation. In the kit, you might also want to include a whistle, flashlight, tire pressure gauge, extension cords, and more.

    The benefit of renting an RV is that they often come with roadside assistance so that you do not have to handle any mechanical problems. If you do not come equipped with a personal mechanic (or the equivalent) on the trip, seriously consider adding insurance that covers your RV so you have peace-of-mind no matter where you travel to.

    Rent Your RV From Outdoorsy

    Kitchen supplies 

    One of the best parts of having an RV is being able to use the kitchen. From garbage bags to dishes to soap and towels to cleaning products. You’ll want versatile pots, pans, dishes, and utensils to suit your cooking needs. One pot meals work great in an RV. The top three items that RVers forget to pack are garbage bags, condiments and sauces, and a can opener. It really is the little things that make for an easy and relaxing trip.

    rv checklist

    RV Kitchen

    There is usually a good amount of storage space in the kitchen so here is where you want to indulge. Pack your favorite meal options as well as some additional treats. If you take time to stock up at a grocery store and prepare with the food in mind that you will eat, you will save time and money and allow the trip to run smoothly. In the end, you’ll want to be as stocked for the road as you would be at your home. After all, an RV is your home away from home.

    Campfire goodies 

    What’s better than starting a campfire after a long day of travel? Many times people choose to cook their meals over a campfire and it can be the center of the evening after a long day of sightseeing. You can’t start a fire without firewood. You will also likely need an ax, some type of firestarter, and matches or a lighter. If you will be preparing food, you will need to pack a grill and utensils. You’ll also want a pot and pan, skewers, flame-resistant gloves, and cooking implements. Use one of the side storage cubbies as the go-to spot for campfire supplies so you can pull out the chairs, light the fire and start cooking.

    Emergency Kit 

    If you’re going to spend your days out and about in the outdoors, you’ll want to have a first-aid kit. You never know when you might take a tumble or get injured. If you’re pretty far out in the forest or desert, you might be pretty far from a doctor. Being prepared will help keep you safe and help buy you time in case of an emergency.

    Since you will be on the road with an RV, you will want to bulk up your emergency kit a little bit. Pack extra flashlights as well as oil, windshield wiper fluid and coolant. Be sure to have pylons and flares, simple tools, as well as a spare tire and tire jack. Even with roadside assistance, you may have to help yourself, or at least properly protect yourself until help arrives. In that regard have a set of emergency phone numbers, a backup charger for your phone, as well as a detailed plan of where you are headed left with a friend or family member. These essentials ensure you can have peace of mind while you explore new horizons.

    Food and Water 

    Plan your recipes and meals before you leave so you know exactly what you need to bring. Packing food is always a good idea to reduce the overall costs of your trip. You’ll want plenty of water and items that won’t perish easily. Canned foods, meats, peanut butter, crackers, cereal, and other munchies will help keep you satisfied without going bad quickly.

    Water could have a category of its own. You use it to drink, wash, bathe and flush the toilet yet it is often forgotten. The great thing about RVing is you have a built-in water tank. The difficulty can be in knowing where to find water. If you are not staying at a campsite with a freshwater hook-up, you might need to fill up before you go. It is also important to pay attention to where your water is coming from, make sure it is safe to drink before filling your water tanks.

    As with any vacation or road trip, the main two issues are what are you going to eat and where you are going to sleep. In an RV, you have that covered and everything else is simpler because of it. Being able to stop, whenever you want or need, to eat, rest, or use the bathroom takes a lot of the stress out of a holiday and allows you to really relax and see the sights at your own pace.

    Galley(Bed & Bath) Essentials

    • Outdoor rug
    • Picnic/beach blanket
    • Backpack(s)
    •  Fitness equipment
    •  Office supplies
    • Cards, games, crosswords, puzzles
    • Walkie Talkies
    • Suntan lotion
    • Mouse Traps
    • Toiletry kit
    • Soap
    • Shampoo
    • Nail clippers
    • Hairbrush/comb
    • Toilet Paper
    • Dental Floss
    • Scissors

    Tools and Repair Essentials

    RV Kitchen Essentials

    •  Roasting sticks – For m
    • Lump charcoal

    Clothing Essentials

    •  Hiking pants or shorts
    •  Sunglasses
    •  I


    •  Cellphone or Smartphone


    • Favorite toy from home
    • Familiar blanket or bed from home
    • Extra collar
    • Dog tags
    • Sturdy leash and harness
    • Pet first aid kit
    • Medications or supplements
    • Motion sickness remedy
    • Rawhide or chew bone
    • Portable food and water bowls
    • Waste removal bags
    • Puppy pads
    • Disinfectant spray
    • Paper towels
    • Copy of health/vaccination papers
    • Paper towels



    Full Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon affiliate program. I earn a small commision if you use links on this page to purchase a product at no extra cost to you.

    The post RV Camping Essentials – With Printable Checklist! appeared first on Always Wanderlust.

    Best Photo Locations in Lake Tahoe | Nevada & California

    Lake Tahoe In Any Season If there is ever a place one can call an all season photographer’s paradise, it would Lake Tahoe. Winter, spring, summer, or fall the seasons produce amazing photographic opportunities for every photographer at any level. Whether you’re scrambling up boulders on the Northern Shore or high up on some vista overlook; you’re always within a shutter click away from a postcard-perfect frame. I have been fortunate enough to have visited Lake Tahoe...

    Lake Tahoe In Any Season

    If there is ever a place one can call an all season photographer’s paradise, it would Lake Tahoe. Winter, spring, summer, or fall the seasons produce amazing photographic opportunities for every photographer at any level. Whether you’re scrambling up boulders on the Northern Shore or high up on some vista overlook; you’re always within a shutter click away from a postcard-perfect frame.

    I have been fortunate enough to have visited Lake Tahoe through different seasons in over a decade. I’ve spent an entire winter season in the North Eastern Tahoe City, skiing its surrounding slopes and then scrambling my way towards various locations to catch a sunset during Apres hour. I’ve scouted and photographed a lot of places in Lake Tahoe discovering hidden little gems that today is teeming with photographers that you have to compete with.

    Best Photo Locations in Lake Tahoe


    Blazing skies at Lake Tahoe's northern shore.

    Blazing skies at Lake Tahoe’s northern shore in the State of Nevada

    I have discovered many Lake Tahoe photo locations from random explorations and from research. Some famed spots like the Bonsai Rock are relatively difficult to find if you didn’t have any help from GPS coordinates. I found the Bonsai Rock from somebody posting it coordinates on Google Maps – now the location is reasonably famous amongst photographers, and you’ll see a swarm on weekends that it’s tough to miss.

    I also use an app called Trover to collect a list of photographs and locations that I will talk about later. It’s a very useful app for discovering new locations as well as making a list of places that you eventually want to visit. There’s a budding community there of travelers who post photos that will give you a serious case of wanderlust.

    At the end of this post is a compilation list of all the exact spots that I’ve mentioned here via a Trover embed. There are a thousand spots you can take great photos of Lake Tahoe – it is the largest Alpine Lake in North America, and as such, you’re never far away from a sunset reflection or an Alpenglow over its surrounding peaks. This list not meant to be a complete list of all photo locations but rather a guide of tried and true places that generate the best photos of Lake Tahoe.

    Best Time to Photograph Lake Tahoe?

    For me, winter is the definitive answer. The photo locations are less crowded, and I often find myself alone in solitude to ponder in the white landscape and enjoy the silence along the lake’s shore. That’s not to say, other seasons are bland. On the contrary, summer is also a great time to enjoy the lake and great for scouting other locations with long days at your disposal.

    Bonsai Rock Winter

    Bonsai Rock Winter

    Spring brings about the lupine bloom that blanket the shores in some sections of the lake. Climate change has brought about some changes in Lake Tahoe’s shores, and these fields of lupine have popped in locations where beaches grew mainly due to lower lake levels. Fall is also a great time to shoot in Lake Tahoe when aspen trees create an interesting contrast to the Lake’s blue waters.

    Photography Tips

    Sunset, sunrises, midday, or midnight, Lake Tahoe, can be a photographer’s paradise! Ideally, you want to bring your whole arsenal and the kitchen sink. Superwide through telephoto you will find a place to utilize every focal point. Since you’re mostly shooting skies and water, you would want to bring along your favorite polarizer; it’s great for slowing the water’s motion as well as exposing the rocky bottom of the lake.

    Lake Tahoe, Emerald Waters

    You can cut glare using a polarizer filter to reveal the bottom of the lake.

    Taken with a polarizing filter

    Taken with a polarizing filter

    You can bring a graduated neutral density filter with you, but if you know how to blend exposures via layers in Photoshop, then that’s the better option. That you need to stabilize when shooting during the golden hour. A good tripod is a must in these situations to hold your camera in place.

    The Nevada side is great for sunsets and has lots and lots of exciting foreground – like the multitude of granite boulders that litter the shores. There is room for abstract and creativity here if the weather doesn’t permit for grand and wide landscapes. Use telephotos and isolate the boulders if you can.

    Lake Tahoe, Stone Stack Sunset

    Stone Stack Sunset


    Boulder detail

    California vs. Nevada

    A sunset on the western shore

    Sunset on the western shore

    Lake Tahoe straddles two states, California and Nevada. As such I’ve divided this guide to reflect the subtle differences and the best times to shoot which locations. From experience, the California side is better at giving you the best sunrise photos since your shooting in the western shores. I’ve had many excellent sunset photos of Lake Tahoe on the eastern Nevada side.

    That’s not to say you can’t get great sunset photos in California or vice versa, like photography compositions, some rules are meant to be broken. If you have the time, experiment and you might just land an excellent frame where you least expect it.

    So, without further ado. Let get to the best photography locations in Lake Tahoe!

    California (Western Side)

    Eagle Falls


    eagle falls

    Sunrise at Eagle Falls

    Eagle Falls is tucked away in some man-made stares across the Eagle Falls Trailhead parking lot. An ideal sunrise location, set up camp long before dawn so you can get your spot set up because you’re likely going to be competing with other early bird photographers. Late spring is one of the best times to shoot this place due to the more significant flow of water and the position of the sun directly on the falls during this time.

    During the summer the falls would have dried up and you’ll only get a trickle of water that may or may not be that interesting in composition.

    Emerald Bay Overlook (Just before Eagle Falls)


    emerald bay

    Emerald Bay

    If you search for images on Google, you’ll most likely see a bunch of pictures of an island in an aquamarine bay. The island is called Fannette Island, and the bay is Emerald Bay. The Fannette Island has a European style stone castle that’s called the Tea House; It was built by the owner of Vikingsholm. What’s cool about this view, is that you can frame all of them on a classic postcard-perfect view.

    This viewpoint is found right on a pull out stop off highway 89. If you can’t park your car on this shoulder, very likely since it’s a popular place, park across the street in the Eagle Falls Parking lot and walk across. This view is very close to the falls, and you can probably catch both once you capture a few frames of one.

    Emerald Bay State Park

    This is likely where you will end up parking during the busy season in Emerald Bay. You can get some good photos here once you have exhausted your options at Eagle Falls and the Emerald Bay Overlook. There’s a trail here that meanders all the way down to Vikingsholm, and from there you can catch an eye’s level view of Fannette Island. Because of its location, it’s ideally shot during sunrise or dawn. It’s also ideally located near South Lake Tahoe where you can find various accommodations for your trip.

    Rubicon Bay

    boat dock into the sunrise

    Boat Dock Into The Sunrise

    Always Wanderlust Daily Photo - Winter at West Shore

    Winter at West Shore

    Rubicon Bay is home to a popular marina and hosts a few beaches on the East Shore. This part is never short on man-made structures has boat houses and wood boat docks and moorage. If you explore this place at dawn, be prepared for some the craziest sunrises you’ll ever see!

    If you’re an early bird, this spot along with Eagle Falls will give the best bang for your buck in getting that postcard-perfect photo. Beware, not all docks are public so make sure you read the warning signs before you walk long one.

    Maggies Peak

    Just like Mount Tallac, Maggies Peak is quite a hike. It’s a relatively moderate trail, not quite as difficult as Tallac but will break out a sweat or two. You can see Lake Tahoe with Cascade Lake juxtaposed above the tree line and beyond.

    Lake Forrest Beach

    Kings Beach Lake Tahoe

    During late spring, a walk through Lake Forest Beach gives you opportunities to photograph a field of lupine. These purple colored wildflowers provide an excellent foreground to Lake Tahoe’s expansive background. These plants grow up to three feet tall with its bright purple flowers popping up against a golden hour backdrop is a thing to behold. However, if you’re not there in the spring, the beach also offers opportunities, like the one pictured above, for sunset landscapes.

    South Lake Tahoe

    Blooming mule's ears plant in the Desolation Wilderness.

    Blooming mule’s ears

    This area is by far the most densely populated part of Lake Tahoe. It’s sharing a border with Nevada, and several casino hotels make its mark along with the massive gondola of Heavenly Ski Resort. However, there are patches of forest lands and parks where you can easily escape and discover some unique photo opportunities.

    The drive along Emerald Bay Blvd will undoubtedly turn up a few photography spots. There are also several groves of aspens in the area, making also ideal for fall photography. There’s a turnout towards the Mount Tallac Trail and the road leading to the trailhead is surrounded by forests. This spot has various wildflowers blooming during spring.

    West Shore

    Boat house during sunrise on the west shore

    Boathouse sunrise

    Lake Tahoe’s western shore is punctuated by boats, boat launches, and a multitude of man-made objects. That is in contrast to the more natural boulder lined shore of the Eastern Nevada side. If you want man-made subjects to provide contrasts in your composition this side is your best bet.

    The only issue with this part of Lake Tahoe is the many privately owned shoreline. It can be difficult to find places to access the lake. Still, it’s worth it if you can find a spot where you can roam freely. Just be sure to wake up early because this side has epic sunrises.

    Mount Tallac

    Mount Tallac is the tallest mountain of the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It’s a moderate trail with up to 10 miles round trip and up to 3500ft in elevation gain depending on which route to take. It offers some of the best vistas of the Lake. It’s an oft-trodden trail that offers fantastic views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe itself.

    There’s a backcountry campsite just below the peak and it’s a great place to get familiar with multi-day hiking.

    Tahoe City Marina Lake Front

    Lake Front Marina

    Lake Front Marina

    This place isn’t beautiful in the summer but come winter when the water freeze solid and snow blankets the shores, this place can match any other place in Lake Tahoe regarding beauty.

    Nevada (Eastern Side)

    Mount Rose Scenic Overlook

    lake tahoe scenic overlook

    Lake Tahoe Scenic Overlook

    This overlook can be reached via highway 431 off Incline Village on the Nevada side. The road leads to Mount Rose Ski Resort, and you can see this overlook off the bottom of the road with a vast view of the lake. This is one of the best vistas in Lake Tahoe that is very easy to get to. No hiking required.

    Hidden Beach

    Secret Beach Sunset

    Secret Beach Sunset

    Hidden only by name. Hidden Beach is one of the best spots to take sunset photos of the North Shore. It’s just a few yards from Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park information center. It’s not easy to get to, but if you park at the information center. Take the trail south and scramble over a few boulders to get to this location.

    Sand Harbor


    Sand Harbor is just teaming with boaters and beachgoers in the summer. If you don’t like people in your shots, you should avoid this place. However, in the winter it’s often devoid of visitors and presents various photographic opportunities. It has a sandy beach and several man-made structures if you would like man-made elements in your picture.

    Creek Beach

    best spots to photograph in lake tahoe

    Creek Beach is found just south of Secret Cove. It is part of the trail that connects Chimney Beach and Secret Cove. So really, you will have your hands full and perhaps all day exploring this area. Hike up and down the trail to and from Chimney Beach. There is unlimited compositions you can come up with depending on the time of day, the weather, and the season.

    There is a lot of exposed granite slabs that make the area great for superwide angle shots. If there’s a storm or overcast, come here anyway. You can get some really dramatic and surreal shots like this photo on the left.

    Bonsai Rock

    Bonsai Rock

    Bonsai Rock


    Arguably the most photographed boulder in all of Lake Tahoe. Its moniker comes from the little trees that have sprung up from the pine cones trapped in the boulders cracks. It used to be difficult to find, but now it’s often crowded with people. Your best bet here is to shoot it during winter or weekdays, there are fewer photographers during those times.

    Getting to this location, you can quickly figure why it’s famous. It’s the Bonsai Rock is, to be cliche about it, a very photogenic rock. It just so happens to frame perfectly an ideal sunset. You really can’t go wrong here, and lots of other photographers have the same idea too. But if it’s your first time in Lake Tahoe, you have to check this place out!

    Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park

    Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park

    Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park

    Pine Cones And Sunset

    Pine Cones And Sunset

    This place is the defacto information center of the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park which also encompasses Secret Cove, Chimney Beach, Sand Harbor, and the Bonsai Rock. A small parking lot with restrooms make this an ideal stop for families driving through the park. It also has a few spots where you can get unique photos. So while everyone is out crowding the Bonsai Rock, come to this place instead – you might just like it.

    Carnelian Bay

    Carnelian Bay is teeming with activities in the summer. If you’re lucky enough to find beach access, it’s one of the least photographed places in Lake Tahoe.

    carnelian bay

    Stand Up Paddle Board and Kayak

    Secret Cove

    Tahoe Blue secret cove

    Tahoe Blue, Secret Cove

    Secret Cove infamous for being a nudist beach, so don’t be surprised if you come across beachgoers sans swimming trunks. This cove offers some great photo opportunities just a little before the golden hour. The waters are clear and blue in most cases, and it truly showcases the coined term “Keep Tahoe Blue.”

    Here you’ll find kayakers and stand up paddlers enjoying their sport during the summer and often make great subjects to juxtapose on Lake Tahoe’s spectacular landscape. Just be mindful of the bathers in the nude.

    Chimney Beachchimney beach

    Chimney Beach got its name after the left-over chimney from a house built during the Gold Rush. This beach is located next to Secret Cove and has some of the best areas to get creative compositions of Lake Tahoe. During years of drought, you’ll see boulders exposed along the shores, and you can use them as foreground interests in your photos. If you see high clouds on the skies above. Make your way here quick and wait for the fantastic Alpenglow that surely to happen.

    East Shore Boulders

    East Shore Boulders

    East Shore Boulders

    The East Shore has the most concentration of rocks and boulders along Lake Tahoe’s shore. It creates a distinctive scene and one of the best places to photograph a sunset with rocks or boulders in the foreground.

    Flume Trail

    The flume trail is both foot traffic and mountain bike trail. It has incredible views of Lake Tahoe once you get a little above the tree line. I’ve done this trail with a mountain bike a couple of times, and it’s quite a challenge (I’m not a biker). If mountain bikes aren’t your thing, just hike it up. It’s not a bad trail for hiking and offers unique views of the lake.

    Crystal Bay

    crystal bay

    Crystal bay catamaran

    This is the first bay you’ll come across if you’re driving from the California side towards Nevada in the north. The bay is enclosed in mostly privately owned beaches so there’s no easy way to get down. There are a  few road stops and if you have a telephoto lens, you should be able to catch some very interesting compositions of sailboats, catamarans, kayakers and so on.

    There you go. What’s listed here is by no means an ultimate list. There are many places not listed here that are also great spots to photograph in Lake Tahoe. I hope you’ve found some clues and perhaps even some inspiration to explore this natural wonder. And I hope, you also do your part to Keep Tahoe Blue!

    Below is the Trover List for all the beautiful spots to photograph in Lake Tahoe.

    Best Spots To Photograph In Lake Tahoe – a photo list by Always Wanderlust (Adonis V.)


    The post Best Photo Locations in Lake Tahoe | Nevada & California appeared first on Always Wanderlust.

    Camping Checklist – Printable Supplies Packing List

    What To Take Camping? A camping checklist is necessary to make your camping less tumultuous. Camping can make for a fun time. Camping can give you a chance to reflect on yourself and the wonders of nature. While camping you’ll discover trails and various hiking opportunities. Hiking is a great way to unwind, and at the end of your journey, a campfire can be incredibly relaxing. There is a lot to consider and plan when you want to go camping, and this article is going to help go over some...

    What To Take Camping?

    A camping checklist is necessary to make your camping less tumultuous. Camping can make for a fun time. Camping can give you a chance to reflect on yourself and the wonders of nature. While camping you’ll discover trails and various hiking opportunities. Hiking is a great way to unwind, and at the end of your journey, a campfire can be incredibly relaxing. There is a lot to consider and plan when you want to go camping, and this article is going to help go over some of those things for you.

    Before you pack, use this handy checklist to help you plan and make sure carry all the essential items. This comprehensive list does have a lot of items that you probably don’t need and it’s ok not to bring everything and the kitchen sink. However, our motto here at Always Wanderlust is “It’s always better to be prepared than not!”

    Camping Checklist:

    1 – Camping Tips

    2 – Campsite Essentials

    3 – Tools and Repair Essentials

    4 – Kitchen Essentials

    5 – Clothing Essentials

    6 – Hygiene and Health Essentials

    7 – Personal Items

    8 – Luxury Items or Extras

    9 – Pet


    Camping Tips

    Things to consider and learn before going camping.

    If you have children or pets, over-packing is better than under-packing. Camping can be messy. Your kids may love playing around in the grass and dirt. As the day moves along, your children are going to get really messy. It is almost impossible to prevent, but luckily, you will not need to worry if you have extra clothes on hand. So it is important to be prepared.

    It’s imperative that you pitch your tent before the sun goes down. Once things go dark, you will find it very hard to erect a tent, locate wood and cook a meal. Some people cannot see very well at night, and this makes setting up camp at night next to impossible. Don’t let this happen to you, and have a shelter set up before dark.

    Camping Checklist - The Ultimate Necessities And Supplies List

    Moonlit Night Under The Minarets

    Make sure that your sleeping bag is right for the season and climate where you are camping. You are going to roast all night long in a sleeping bag designed for cold weather that you camp with during summer. On the flip side, bring a sleeping bag meant for summer camping will make you very cold during your winter camping trip. Hypothermia can be experienced, as well.

    Don’t forget to include special pillows made just for camping on your adventure. Since standard pillows can pick up a lot of humidity, debris or even creepy-crawlers, leave them safely at home. They can mildew quickly after absorbing moisture. Camping pillows are made with a protective, moisture-proof coating to prevent these issues.

    For Kids and Family

    camping checklist with petKnow where your kids are at all times. You have to be sure they don’t wander off into the woods. Something could happen very quickly, so if you keep an eye on your kids, your supervision will help keep them safe. If you have pets, make sure you have them leashed at all times. You never know when a wild animal might wander into the campground and your dog might go off and chase it.

    An orange peel may just be the natural answer to repelling mosquitoes when you’re out camping. If you neglected to pack mosquito spray, fear not. Rub the inner peel of an orange over your body as mosquitoes will refrain from biting you. This should effectively repel mosquitoes for hours.

    Pack ready to eat foods in your camping gear, like trail mix and jerky. It’s likely that you’ll be so worn out at dinnertime that you will only feel like snacking and not cooking. They are also convenient because they keep well and don’t need to be refrigerated.

    Don’t Forget The Duct Tape

    Duct tape is a great fix-all for camping trips. Tents may get torn, in which case duct tape can provide a seal. A little duct tape can mean you can still sleep dry through a rainy night.

    Before setting out on your camping adventure, make sure you can read a map and a compass. Even if you know the area well, getting lost is always a possibility. Also, this will help to avoid tragedy with friends or family.

    Bring waterproof matches as part of your survival kit. Even though they are waterproof, you still want to have them sealed off from any liquid. Matches can be made waterproof by simply placing them in either nail polish or paraffin for a quick dip. You can store them in a prescription bottle or film canister.

    Don’t Forget The TP

    Toilet paper is one of the essential items that you need while camping. If you go camping at a location with no toilets, you will have to use the bathroom in the woods. To keep from having to use potentially dangerous leaves, you need to have toilet paper on hand. It would be wise to use is to bring along some baby wipes as well.

    Ensure that your food is safe while camping. Place food in sealed containers so it does not come in contact with water. Also, carry ice packs so you can insulate and cool your food. Keep your raw food away from cooked foods. Wash your hands while preparing food and afterward, and keep any surfaces, utensils and cooking containers clean as well. Make sure your food is thoroughly cooked, and keep perishable foods cold.

    When you are camping, layers of clothing are ideal. Weather can change on a dime. It can be chilly in the early morning, only to be followed up with a sweltering, humid and hot afternoon. Then it can turn cold again in the evenings. It is best to bring all types of clothing so that no matter what the weather is, you will be prepared.

    Not So Essentials

    If you are camping for several days or weeks, bring along some form of entertainment. Try to leave the electronics at home, enjoy the outdoors and only bring a radio or a book for those evenings sitting around the campfire. Speaking of campfires, you can source the firewood at the campsite instead of buying them.

    You can find firewood at the campsite

    You can find firewood at the campsite

    Water purification tablets should be taken with you. Use these for emergency situations where you either run out of water or do not have the time or means to clean the water otherwise. Try the tablets at home so you know how they will taste beforehand. You will want to get a different type of tablet if you don’t like the way your water taste.

    Build yourself a survival kit; keep it with you anywhere you go while camping. A survival kit should include items like a flare gun, matches that are waterproof, a knife and other items you think you may need. If you were to get lost or were put in an emergency situation, the survival kit will be of great help. Always keep it nearby and never leave it behind at the campsite.

    Campsite Essentials

    These are things you need to have when you go camping:

    Nice to Have:

    Tools and Repair Essentials

    It’s always nice to have tools and gadgets available to help fix things. Having tools also make camping less of hassle when you’re cleaning up.

    Kitchen Essentials

    Why not bring the whole kitchen sink too? Ok, perhaps you don’t need some of the items here but it sure makes camping more fun when you have the most of the things you use in your own kitchen.

    •  Washbasin
    • Microfiber dish towel

    Nice to Have:

    Clothing Essentials

    Outdoors clothing is obviously different than the clothing you wear for business or weddings. Go for practical and function over style – you don’t have to give up the “style” part as some outdoor clothes can indeed be stylish!

    •  Hiking pants or shorts

    Emergency/Cold Weather:

    It’s always good to have the following items no matter where you are since the weather can change drastically.

    •  I

    Swimming/Warm Weather:

    •  S

    Hygiene and Health Essentials

    Maintaining proper hygiene while camping might be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Sun and Insect Protection:

    Nice to Have:

    •  Portable 

    Personal Items

    •  Cellphone or Smartphone

    Luxury Items or Extras

    You certainly don’t need the following items to have a fun camping trip. If you’re camping in a very remote place or for a very long time some of the items below might be required. Maybe you want to watch a movie before you go to sleep or perhaps even read a book.


    • Favorite toy from home
    • Familiar blanket or bed from home
    • Extra collar
    • Dog tags
    • Sturdy leash and harness
    • Pet first aid kit
    • Medications or supplements
    • Motion sickness remedy
    • Rawhide or chew bone
    • Portable food and water bowls
    • Waste removal bags
    • Puppy pads
    • Disinfectant spray
    • Paper towels
    • Copy of health/vaccination papers
    • Paper towels




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