When you try to conjure up an image of the type of person who lives out of a backpack, you might imagine a dread locked, unwashed, disheveled, drug abusing, penniless, hippy type. While some might agree with you, it might be better to describe that kind of person as someone who merely survives out of a backpack, rather than living life to the full extent, living it up, large as life out of a backpack.

Would you be surprised to find that there are people, wandering around countries, traveling from country to country, staying a few days here, a few weeks there, living out of a backpack, who are self-made millionaires and who continue to build and sell profitable business as they live out of their backpacks? How is it possible?

The world is changing every day. It’s a different place than it was five years ago. Lifestyles have changed incredibly in developed countries over the last fifteen years. The internet is everywhere. Everyone has a smartphone. There’s an app for everything. You can do business with someone on the other side of the world in real time, having online conversations, working on the same projects, exchanging money and data. You can get by without humans but you rely on machines.

When you decide to live out of a backpack, you need to think about where you might end up, especially in terms of climate. You need to protect your belongings from the elements as much as possible. Nothing should be irreplaceable, but having to replace anything might be a nightmare.

First up, you need to get vaccinated against all the nasty diseases to which you could succumb in the deepest jungle or the fieriest desert. Buy worldwide health insurance if possible, to avoid any nasty unexpected hospital bills.

Next, pack your passport, cards, currency and other documentation in a safety belt which stays under your shorts or pants, in case you lose your backpack or end up getting pick pocketed or mugged. You might also decide to keep your smartphone in the same place. Make sure your smartphone has been unlocked so that it can take foreign sim cards.

Your clothes should reflect the climatic conditions you expect to have to deal with. You’ll usually need something to keep the water off you from time to time if it rains a lot. A hat and sunglasses, plus long sleeved, light material tops are the way to go in hot climates. In your bag, you pack two changes of clothes. When you stop for a few days somewhere, you have one set of clothing to wear, one to wash and one being dried each day. There is no point in packing soap as this can be found in one form or another in most places.

The most important thing you will pack is your laptop. It’s from here that you will conduct your business, do your work, connect to the internet, transfer money and do your banking. Ensure the laptop is physically protected from the elements as well as protected from hackers, viruses and thieves. Have encrypted backups of your data somewhere you can get access to it, perhaps on another server or on a small USB stick.  Think about where and how you’ll connect to the internet and make provision for it.

Pack some items for basic hygiene, such as a toothbrush etc. plus any medication and basic first aid items. Be aware that these items may give you problems when trying to pass through airport security and you may have them taken off you.

If you want to travel more independently, avoiding planes, trains and buses, and sleeping outdoors regularly, you can buy a fold-up bike like these ones at Cycling Plaza. You will need to take a puncture repair kit, too which will add more weight to your backpack, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to carry around. The idea is to ride it more than you carry it anyway. Lastly, you’ll need to protect yourself from bugs and the elements when you sleep. Most tents, even the smallest ones are cumbersome and so you’ll have to create part of your shelter, but using a mosquito net, a sleeping bag, your clothes and your hat, after you have chosen a sensible place to sleep with natural protection, should enable you to get the rest you need.

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When you try to conjure up an image of the type of person who lives out of a backpack, you might imagine a dread locked, unwashed, disheveled, drug abusing, penniless, hippy type. While some might agree with you, it might be better to describe that kind of person as...