Top Gear to Take on Your Gap Year

Four guys friends sitting on mountain top

What gear should you take on your gap year? Here are some of the favourite things that gap year students take with them when they travel around the world.

Gaps years are a life changing experience. With a bit of preparation, you are going to have a fantastic time. But are there things that you should take that will make life so much easier for you?

This list of popular gap year gear includes the most valued and used items that gap year students take with them.

Paracord Pals Keyring

paracord pals keyring

Buy Paracord Pals keyring £3.50 including delivery


Paracord Pals are great little keyrings that look cool on your bag or rucsac. The beauty of them is that they are made from a type of very strong string called paracord.

Paracord is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes. Paracord is useful for many other tasks. It is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military and civilians. Paracord has even been used by astronauts to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

By having one of these paracord pals keyrings clipped onto your bag, you will always have a very handy length of paracord to use in an emergency.

I found out about these Paracord People at a ski competition, where one of the college students makes them to earn some extra cash to help get through college. I had to buy some. I have one attached to my work bag, and everyone who sees it asks where they can get one.

You can buy these paracord pals keyrings direct from her through the Paypal link on this page.

Gaffer Tape

Gaffer tape is a strong cloth-backed waterproof adhesive tape. Once you have used this, you will always keep a roll of it handy. It is easy to tear off without the need for scissors. It is very strong, and can be used for taping things together. Whether you have a tear in your bag, or need to keep something secure, gaffer tape is great stuff. It is used at gigs and concerts for taping cables to the stage.

Gaffer Tape is available from most DIY shops and online. A bestselling brand is Gorilla tape. You can buy a 32m roll of Gorilla Tape which will see you through many trials.


A small pen knife will always come in handy. Make sure that the one you get is permitted to go onboard planes. You don’t want to have to hand it over to airport security.

I have a couple of pen knives. I have a very small one that I keep in my trouser pocket. Often comes in handy when out and about. I also have one like the one in the picture. It has a decent thick saw blade on it that I use for cutting firewood. I am sure you will be sitting around a fire at some point on your travels, most likely on a beach somewhere tropical.


A multi tool usually comes in the form of folding pliers, that has a range of other tools that fold out from the handles. These will include screwdrivers, allen keys, a pen knife blade. wirecutter, saw, scissors, can opener and bottle opener. The Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is one of the best multi tolls available at the moment. I keep mine in my bike tool kit. It has come in use on various occasions, such as the time when a friend bent their bike gear derailleur. Out came the multi tool and with the pliers I managed to straighten it out and we were on our way again. without it, we would have had to drag his bike a rather long way.

Here is a full list of multi-tools.

Alarm Clock

A small reliable alarm clock is a must for making sure you wake up in time to catch that bus or plane to your next adventure.

Elastic Washing Line

A Travel Clothes Line comes in handy when you have to wash your clothes in the shower or bath. Also, there will be occasions when your clothes get very wet and you need to dry them.

Silk Sleeping Bag Liner

A silk sleeping bag liner is one of the most recommended things to take on your gap year. There may be times during your adventures where the place you sleep is not as clean as you might like. By having a sleeping bag liner, you can sleep in it knowing that you won’t be coming into contact with whatever bed covers you are lying on. It provides you with some modesty as well when sharing a room with others.

Set of Small Padlocks

Need I say more?

Travel Medi Kit

A travel first aid kit is the basics for your travel. You can add to it with your own medication, and any other medical things you use.

Battery Powered Speakers

The Rokono BASS+ Mini Speaker is a fab little speaker that will plug into any ipod, iphone or mp3 player.


Dioralyte is a powder that you add to water that provides rapid rehydration, with added relief from diarrhoea. With all of the exotic places you are going to visit, the food may not agree with you. Or it could be the water that gets you.

Recommended, but make sure you talk to your doctor first that you are ok to take it.

The Ultimate Gap Year Travel Kit

If you are not sure what else to take, why not check out this ultimate travel kit for Gap Years, Backpackers and Festival goers. It contains tons of stuff that will make your gap year a much more enjoyable experience. It is lightweight; The whole kit in its bag weighs no more than 990g. The best reason to buy the ultimate travel kit for gap years is because it will save you over £40 by buying everything you need in one kit.

Get More Tips From Gap Year Guidebooks

You can get loads more tips on making your gap year great in my gap year guide. The bestselling gap year guide is the The gap-year guidebook 2014: Everything You Need to Know About Taking a Gap-year or Year Out written by Jonathan Barnes.

Here is a list of the most popular gap year guides that will provide you with plenty of help and information for the year ahead that is going to be amazing.

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