Essentials for Backpacking India

What to pack for your adventure in India

unnamedIndia wasn’t our first backpacking Adventure; although it was the trip we decided to put more effort into deciding what to throw into our bags and what to leave at home. Since wrapping up our adventure I have put together a list of what we thought to be essential, and those things to think about leaving at home.

The First essential on our list is this Germ & Bed Bug sheet, by Amadora. Between sleeping in various hostels and on overnight train rides this was a life saver for us, and something we wish that we purchased years ago for our other trips!


STOP Worrying About Germs And Bugs! Travel With Confidence In Our Travel Sheets! Microfiber Luxury Gray Travel Sheet/Sleep Sack As Soft As 1,500 Count Egyptian Cotton.

The second thing on our list of essentials is a Hypoallergenic Pillow case, we also recommennd bringing your own full size pillow depending on your travel plans. We loved having a full size pillow on the plane ride over as it was a long one; it’s also great to rest your head on your own pillow every night whether you’re sleeping in a hostel dorm or on a train bed.71IWc8bH9iL._SL1156_

SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Bed Bug Proof Zippered Waterproof Pillow Protector (1) Standard Size

Now that we have the sleeping comfort situation taken care of here are a few other essentials.

    • Toilet Paper – Yes you can buy it when you arrive but that first night in the hostel you may not be provided with any, you will become acquainted with the “bum-gun” but as a westerner it’s still really nice to have toilet paper along.
    • Electrolytes – These are essential for hot days in India, especially if you’re active and want to stay hydrated while you tour around.  Every morning when we woke up we would fill a 2L water bottle with Electrolytes which helped with our hydration. Electrolyte Mix: Super Hydration Formula, Lemon-Lime Flavor (30 powder packets) Drink Mix | Dr. Price’s Vitamins
    • Charcoal Tabs – These are great if you’ve eaten something that’s turned your stomach in some way ( which is bound to happen at least once ) Nature’s Way Charcoal Activated Caps, 100 ct Worked great for us.
    • An India Adapter Plug so you can charge up your electronics along the way. India Adapter Plug, 2 Pack
    • Cheep pair of Sandal’s – these are great for using in the showers at your hostel; as well, if you’re planning to visit religious sites where shoes aren’t permitted it’s best to have a relatively cheap pair to leave behind in case they wonder off with someone else while you’re viewing the sites.
    • Camel-back – If you have one throw it in. Having a bag to toss any souvenirs you buy in is very hand, but at the same time having your water on your back instead of hauling around a water bottle all the time because very handy. Camelbak HydroBak Black Hydration Backpacks

Along with all the items we found to be essential, we did bring along a few extra’s which we really didn’t find necessary

  • Bike Locks – we were told these would be handy on trains to lock your bag while you’re sleeping. We never took them out of our bags as we kept our backpacks on the beds with us and used them as either a head or foot rest for the journey.
  • She-Wee – My husband bought this thinking maybe it would be handy; although I never did use it. You will find many western toilets around India; nevertheless, you’ll find sometimes the “hole in the ground” is a better and more sanitary option.
  • scarves – Don’t bring any, the day you land you’ll be able to buy as many as your heart desires, no need to haul one from home along for your trip, leave more in the backpack for your journey home.
  • LifeStraw – Although this might be handy in some cases, for the most part it’s very easy to access clean water. If you’re planning on day hikes or skipping up to Nepal it might be more handy as you are able to drink right from a stream of water.  LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

 My words of advice if you’re planning to backpack in India

  • Pack light, as there is an abundance of beautiful fabrics and other goodies to purchase when you’re there.
  • Don’t bring anything expensive to wear, the streets are dirty and you’re bound to get dirty as well
  • Skip out on packing your entire bathroom, toiletries are heavy to haul around
  • Use a backpack not a suitcase, as noted above, the streets are pretty gross, you don’t want to be wheeling around your suitcase through cow patties all day.


What else would you suggest to throw in your Backpack for a trip in India?  Comment Below.


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