Back Packing Checklist for India - Things you need for Backpacking in 2024 

Feeling the call of the chai wallahs and the rhythm of butter chicken? Gear up, because India's ready to embrace your adventurous spirit with open arms (and maybe a plate of dosa, too). Before you dive headfirst into the chaos with just a toothbrush and a prayer - let's quickly unpack the essentials for an epic backpacking adventure.

Read more: 10 Backpacking Destinations in India that you must check out in 2024

Geared Up and Ready to Rumble:


  • Passport, photocopies, travel insurance, visas, vaccinations, flight/train tickets: These are the non-negotiables. Make sure you have everything in order before you even think about booking your trip.

  • Backpack: Your trusty steed will be with you every step of the way, so choose comfort over coolness. A 40-60L backpack is a good general rule of thumb, but adjust it based on the length of your trip and the activities you plan to do.

  • Seasonal variations: Pack for the season and region you're visiting. India experiences diverse climates across the year a little google search can work wonders indeed!

  • Shoes: Sturdy sandals for temple hopping, comfy sneakers for bazaars, and maybe even a trusty pair of flip-flops for hostel showers (you'll thank me later).

  • Clothes: Pack light, breathable fabrics like cotton. Think versatile pieces you can mix and match, with a scarf or shawl for draping over shoulders when modesty calls.

    • Tops: 3-4 breathable t-shirts, 2-3 long-sleeved shirts, 1-2 tank tops (respectful of local culture)

    • Bottoms: 2-3 pairs quick-drying travel pants, 1-2 pairs comfortable shorts (knee-length or longer)

    Don't forget a swimsuit for those Goa beaches!

Essentials for the Nomad Soul:


  • Money Matters: Cash is king, especially in smaller towns. Stash some rupees in a secure money belt and consider a travel debit card for emergencies.Also have your ATM card, credit card, travel money belt handy.

  • Medical Magic: Pack basic medicines for common ailments like stomach upsets and headaches. Consider consulting your doctor about malaria and other region-specific precautions.

  • Sun protection: Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, bandana.

  • Toiletries: Travel-sized toiletries, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, small towel, Dry shampoo & deodorant wipes (lifesavers for humid weather)

Explore: Budget Travel: Cost of Travelling in India 2023

Tech Savvy Traveller:


  • Power Bank: Stay connected even when chai stalls are scarce. Pack a multi-plug adapter and consider an extra phone charger. A power bank will ensure your phone is your BFF, not your battery-draining ex.

  • Downloads & SIM cards: Download offline maps and essential apps before arrival. Buy a local SIM card for easier communication.

  • Universal Adapter: Because let's face it, India's plugs are as unique as its spices. Avoid adapter meltdowns and keep your gadgets juiced.

Read more: Explore Must visit Places in India for Each Month of the Year - 2024

Cultural Chameleon:

  • Phrasebook: Learn some basic Hindi! "Namaste" goes a long way, and it'll open doors (and hearts) faster than a Bollywood dance move.

  • Sarong: This multi-talented fabric is your secret weapon. Drape it as a scarf, use it as a beach towel, even bribe a cow with it (kidding... maybe).

  • Open Mind: Pack this one big time. India is a sensory explosion, and embracing the unexpected is half the fun. Be ready for anything, from chai wallahs serenading you to holy cows blocking traffic.

Bonus Goodies:


  • Lock it down: A small padlock keeps your valuables safe in hostels and trains. Remember, street smarts are your best friends in crowded cities.

  • Diary of dreams: Capture the chaos, the colours, the chai-stained smiles in a journal. Your Indian adventure deserves its own epic saga.

  • Train travel: Pack a separate "train kit" with snacks, toiletries, toilet paper, and water for long journeys.

  • Water purification: Consider a LifeStraw or water purification tablets for safety, especially outside cities.

  • Mosquito net for rural areas, Collapsible travel cup as it is eco-friendly and saves money.

Pro Tip: Learn the art of Jugaad! It's India's superpower for making do with anything. A safety pin can fix a ripped strap, and a plastic bag can become a makeshift raincoat. Embrace the Jugaad spirit, and you'll conquer any obstacle.

Read more: The only Backpacking Guide for India that you'll ever need

Remember, this is just your starter kit. Customize it based on your adventure, pack light, and leave plenty of space for chai spills and souvenirs. Now, go forth and conquer India, backpacker! And don't forget to send us postcards (or at least tag us in your Insta stories) - @tripzilla

Namaste and happy travels!

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