Backpacks are something that I rediscovered recently. I was never a big fan of carrying such, except in the mountain, of course, but I bought one a few months ago, mostly because I liked it but not because I need it. However, when started carrying it with me on my trips I quickly rediscovered its practicality, though it reminded me a little of the years I used to go to school.
I started to put all my belongings in my backpack and my pockets were empty for the first time in many years, I have to tell you it's much more comfortable wearing jeans with nothing in the pockets, rather having them full of gadgets, documents, phones etc.
So here are my top essentials I always put in my backpack for several months now, the ones that I find most important to have with me, the ones I used to carry anyways and a few new in additions, since I got all that space now.
Money - I used to hold my wallet in my back pocket and many, many times it has been a pain in the ass, like literally! If you have lots of coins in your pocket, it's very uncomfortable to sit and also the weight can get quite big, and if you don't have a belt on your jeans, pants or whatever you wear, you may need to pull them up every once in a while. Now when I rediscovered the backpack all those things are not a problem for me anymore!
Documents - I usually hold my documents in my wallet, but there are some cases where I need a separate document holder. That happens when I'm in a country where I need a VISA, or I can't visit with my national ID, but I need a passport as well, in my case those are all the countries that are not in the European Union. I have a leather document holder, which absolute love, but it's quite big and very easy to carry around. Guess what, I don't have that problem anymore, it simple goes in my backpack.
Sunglasses - one of the most important items for me! I never leave my house without a pair of sunglasses. You probably wonder what I put in my backpack, they're supposed to be on your head, right? Yeah, right, but it's much safer for the glasses to carry with me their case and when the sun goes down to just put them in their case and in the backpack, whether to hold them in my hand, or put them over my head.
Camera - I love taking photos! One of the most important things for me, when I'm on the road is to capture the moment. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I love to shoot. Occasionally I just sit down on my laptop and watch all the photos I've done on a trip, priceless moment that takes me back in time to relive the trip.
Phone - everybody has, everybody uses them. You may not find it very practical, especially if you're into instagram and love to make stories, it will be harder getting it in and out of the backpack everytime, but certainly much more comfortable to walk without a phone in your pockets. And another good thing, it may help you enjoy your trip more if you're not constantly on your phone.
Keys - you need once you leave your house and once when you come back. Where is their place, you wonder? In the backpack, of course.
Water - not as important to have it with you, but I've found useful many times if you just have a small bottle in your backpack. Especially in the sunnier countries, you get easily dehydrated and it's always a good idea to have some water with you.
Scarf - in sprint time, when the weather during the days is really sunny and hot but when the sun goes down it gets really cold, it's a good idea to have something in your backpack you can put on when the time comes. Something light, like a scarf, or it may be something else, whatever you prefer, you most probably will have spare place for it.
Charger - i used to own an old iPhone that had some issues with its battery. The life of it, when fully charged was about 6 hours. On my trips I often go out in the morning and come back late in the night. The phone is not any good when it's dead, and you may need to call someone, or you might get lost and need to use the navi, the reasons of carrying a charger with are many, consider that!
Many other things can be put in the backpack. The item in it may change depending on if you're in the city, out on the beach, or even in the mountain, but its practicality stays the same. Those are my top backpack essentials, tell us what you have in yours down in the comments!