6 Essential Backpacking Gadgets

When packing your backpack, the idea is to fit only the most important things into the little space available. Besides a change of clothes and a toothbrush, here are some cool, essential compact gadgets to include in your bag:

Compact Digital CameraCanon_PowerShot

Whether you find yourself under fireworks in Paris or above a local who just fell off his bar stool in Dublin, you are going to want your camera to be quick and easy to use in order to capture these moments.  Big, expensive, manual cameras can take great photos, but their size makes it a hassle to carry and it's eye candy for theft. Get a simple digital camera, like one of Canon's Power Shot models for example. Not only can these cameras take great photos and  record video, they are lightweight, relatively cheap, and they fit right in your pocket.

Ipod_Nano__by_FinaraiPod/Mp3 Player

Bring along your iPod or MP3 player and add a soundtrack to your trip. Get nostalgic and listen to the Clash in London or U2 in Dublin. Or add some background music to a beautiful sunset. Having your own tunes and a set of headphones could also be very handy in drowning out the snoring of your hostel roommates.

USB/Flash drive adapter

Since you won't have to worry about lugging your laptop around (Read: 5 Gadgets that will Ruin your Backpacking Experience), you can easily transfer all your pictures and video's off of your digital camera from a USB/Flash drive adapter into your Facebooks and Myspaces. You can use your USB drive to store pictures and additional music to save space. Unless you have found yourself in a pre-historic internet cafe, every computer for the past 10 years will have a USB slot accessible. Depending on your mp3 player, you maybe able to use it as a USB drive as well.

Multi-Purpose Wristwatch

What time is it? When should I wake up tomorrow? Where the hell am I right now? The answer to these questions could be right at your fingertips well, very close to your fingertips. Digital wristwatches can be extremely handy and also very affordable. Besides displaying the time they are reliable alarm clocks and many come with added features, like a digital compass to help you navigate a foreign city.

Mini Maglite

Don't be afraid of the dark! You can find some exiting things when you shed a little light in dark places. The Mini Maglite is a powerful, compact and inexpensive flashlight that can light up a cave or a trail at night. It is also a more polite way to search for your toothbrush at 3am when your hostel roommates are sleeping.

The Pen

The Pen is, by far, the simplest and most ancient gadget on the list. But this trusty little tool, with it's infinite usefulness, can not be left out. You can write a to-do list on the back of a receipt, jot down a funny exchange of words on a napkin at a pub, keep a journal, or have someone write their room number on your hand. This mighty little tool will never let you down.

A few carefully selected gadgets can make traveling much easier. The idea, however, is to keep it simple and not to rely too heavily on these objects for everything. A well-exercised brain is the most useful gadget on the market.

Be sure to read 5 Gadgets that will ruin your trip...