Space is of the essence when you’ve got nothing but your backpack to take on your world travels. Your clothes, food and other essentials already demand the lion’s share of space, so travel gadgets need to be the perfect trifecta: Have a small form factor, lightweight and useful enough to take the place of something else in your bag.
ENO DoubleNest Hammock
Weighing less than two pounds, the DoubleNest hammock makes the ultimate travel companion. It’s just enough room to comfortably fit up to two sleepy travelers. You can use your hammock for a quick rest or a full night of sleep. You don’t exactly pitch your entire tent setup to take a nap. Recharging your body is essential to any journey, especially if you’re in foreign territory. Plus, if your backpack’s stuffed to the brim you can always attach the hammock and straps to the outside of your pack.
The North Face
Your backpacking journey starts, appropriately enough, with selecting the correct backpack. You have a range of options out there, but when you’re carting around high-tech tools, you need a high-tech bag to handle it. The North Face’s Surge 2 backpack is a lightweight bag with a power supply implemented in the bag to charge USB devices. The battery is water-resistant so you won’t have to protect your pack from the elements. Plus, it has 2.5 full battery charges available for your devices. The bag also has flexible configurations so you store your travel gear exactly the way you want it; includes a 17-inch laptop sleeve and FlexVent straps.
Weight is critical when you’re backpacking, and laptops often are too heavy to carry. If you want to skip past the tablets and get a full-powered laptop, consider a Lenovo Ultrabook. This line of laptops weighs approximately 3 pounds, with tech specs powerful enough to handle your Web, email and journey update needs. In addition to being lightweight, ultrabooks are designed with long lasting batteries, which is critical when you’re in the middle of nowhere and you need entertainment.
Do you continually lose small items in your backpack, especially essentials such as your cell phone or personal GPS? Use a grid storage system like Cocoon to contain your small items in an easily accessible location. The Cocoon has several straps for items of many sizes, along with an 11-inch tablet pocket that works for your mobile device, books or notebooks.
GoPro cameras are popular for rugged action cameras, but do you really want to chuck another device into your bag? If not, consider the Hitcase Pro, which snaps onto your iPhone 5 or compatible mobile device to turn it into a sports camera. The case protects the phone from shock, damage and the elements, while also adding a head mount option so your adventures are captured hands-free.
TripIt Pro App
Your phone is a wonderful lifeline to civilization, but it also has plenty of travel apps available to make your backpacking life easier. Tripit Pro keeps track of all of your travel details when you’re a backpacking tourist. With the app, you have access to a full itinerary with all of your travel information compiled onto one screen, with well-noted dates and times. You also can set reminders so you know when to come out of the woods to catch your flight, what your hotel plans are and where you need to pick up a car rental.