Digital Nomad Gear Ideas: 19 Things To Add To Your Backpack (2023)
Digital nomadism has been all the rage since the start of the pandemic.
More people than ever are leaving the shackles of their office life behind and setting out in search of a location-independent lifestyle.
In fact, according to a survey conducted in 2020, solo travel and digital nomadism is now more popular than ever. And if you’re heading off for a new life on the road, you’re going to need the best equipment.
From the best day packs for hike-loving nomads to the perfect camera for aspiring vloggers: we’ve created this handy guide for budding digital nomads, so you know which gear to take with you!
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Digital Nomad Gear Ideas
Before you can set off on your digital nomad adventure, you need to make sure you’ve got the right gear.
The right equipment can make all the difference, increasing your confidence and helping you out as you set off on your travels.
Here are 19 essential items that every digital nomad should pack:
1. Money Belt
A money belt is a must-have for any digital nomad.
It’s the perfect way to keep your cash and cards safe without having to carry around a bulky wallet.
Look for one with multiple compartments so you can keep your valuables organized.
Did You Know? One of the original money belts, called the “Buddy Pouch,” was created by a marathon runner who wanted a way to carry his phone and other small items while running. He soon realized that his invention could be used for travel.
2. Reliable Backpack
A reliable backpack is an essential item for any long-term traveler.
One that is easy to carry, especially over rough terrain, and offers plenty of space to pack all your essentials.
Make sure to choose a lightweight but durable option, that’s still big enough for your needs.
If you’re going on shorter journeys, a daypack is an essential purchase.
Many backpacks come with a detachable daypack, making it easy to carry all your essentials without having to lug around a big backpack.
4. Collapsible Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is important, but carrying around a bulky water bottle can be a pain.
A collapsible water bottle is the perfect solution, allowing you to save space in your backpack while still staying hydrated.
Did You Know? Collapsible water bottles were originally designed for astronauts in space! They were created to help save space and reduce the weight of water on spacecraft.
5. Mobile Phone
Your mobile phone is your lifeline when you’re on the move.
Not only can you use it to stay in touch with friends and family, but you can also use it for maps, cameras, and even gaming.
Did You Know? Many digital nomads conduct their entire businesses from their mobile phones. For example, professional poker players can make money from anywhere since most casino providers are available on a mobile phone these days!
6. Portable Charger
Running out of battery can be a nightmare when you’re on the go.
A good portable charger is a must-have, allowing you to keep your devices charged up no matter where you are.
7. Durable Trainers
Comfortable footwear is essential when you’re traveling long-term.
Make sure to pack some trainers so you can walk around all day without hurting your feet.
8. First Aid Kit
Being prepared is key when you’re traveling long-term, especially if you’re going solo.
Make sure to pack a first aid kit so you’re ready for any emergencies.
9. Disinfectant Wipes
Keeping things clean is important, especially when you’re traveling right after a major pandemic.
Pack some disinfectant wipes so you can clean surfaces and stay healthy on the go.
Did You Know? Disinfectant wipes are so effective at killing germs that even hospitals and healthcare facilities use them to prevent the spread of infections. In fact, a study found that using disinfectant wipes in hospitals reduced the number of healthcare-associated infections by 80%.
This one probably goes without saying, but you might need a laptop if you’re going to be working on-the-go!
Make sure to get a laptop that can withstand the wear and tear of travel. A trusty laptop is usually a must-have for any digital nomad.
Find one that’s lightweight and powerful enough to handle your work.
11. Universal Adapter
If you’re traveling around often, a universal adapter is a necessity to keep your devices charged up.
Try to research which type of adapter you need before you leave, so you can easily stay charged on the go.
The last thing you want is to arrive somewhere and not be able to charge anything – a digital nomad’s worst nightmare!
Did You Know? Many universal travel adapters come with built-in USB ports, allowing you to charge your devices directly from the adapter.
12. Wireless Mouse
A wireless mouse can help improve your productivity and prevent hand cramps while working.
It can really be a lifesaver for when you need to get work done quickly on the go.
13. Extra Chargers
Bring an extra charger or two, in case you lose one or it stops working.
Don’t forget to pack chargers for all your devices, including your laptop, phone, and camera.
Top Tip: You can also get universal chargers that will work for most of your gear!
14. A Good Camera
If you’re interested in photography while you travel, get a camera that can handle different lighting situations and is easy to transport.
Let’s be honest, your phone camera is good enough these days to capture many things.
But if you’re into photography or video, a good camera can capture the real beauty of your travels in a way that your mobile phone camera can’t compete with.
15. Noise-canceling Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones can be especially helpful for blocking out background noise while you work or sleep.
Good headphones can keep you entertained on long journeys and can be essential for video calls in co-working spaces or coffee shops.
READ MORE: Co-Working Spaces vs. Coffee Shops
16. Portable Wi-Fi Router
A portable Wi-Fi router can be a lifesaver in areas with spotty internet or no Wi-Fi.
Stay connected to the world with a portable Wi-Fi router that can connect to local networks.
17. Neck Pillow
Consider getting a neck pillow with a hood, which can keep you warm and block out light while you sleep.
A comfortable neck pillow can make all the difference on long flights or train rides.
Top Tip: When using a neck pillow, make sure to position it correctly by placing the bottom part of the pillow under your chin and the top part behind your neck. This will help prevent your head from falling forward and causing discomfort.
18. Travel Guide
If you’re a bit old-fashioned or nostalgic for a simpler non-digital-nomad time, why not bring along a Lonely Planet guidebook with you?
A travel guide can be a great way to plan your itinerary and discover hidden gems.
Did You Know? Lonely Planet travel guides were started by a couple who were stranded in Europe due to flight delays. Tony and Maureen Wheeler decided to write a travel guide to Asia and sold it out of their car!
19. Waterproof Notebook and Pen
A waterproof notebook and pen can come in handy during water activities or unexpected weather.
Don’t forget to pack a notebook and pen to jot down important notes or memories from your travels.
What Digital Nomad Gear Do You need?
Being a digital nomad requires some preparation, but with the right gear, you can set off on your solo adventure with confidence.
Just remember to pack your bags with all the right items, and you’ll be ready for whatever the world throws your way.
Do you have any more suggestions for digital nomad gear that we might’ve missed? Let us know below.
READ MORE: The Best Digital Nomad Backpack Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Look for a lightweight and durable backpack that has enough space for your needs.
Yes, but a backpack is often more practical for longer term travel, especially if you’re traveling to areas with rough terrain or using public transport often.
Yes, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for emergencies
A portable charger is essential for keeping your devices charged on the go. It’s especially useful for finding your hotel or apartment after a long journey.
Your mobile phone is a useful tool for maps, communication, and entertainment while on the move. You can either buy a local sim card or an e-sim.