Packing can seem to many like an arduous task – especially for a long trip where you will be living out of a backpack for an extended period of time.

Packing can also be exciting – it’s the time where your impending trip starts to feel very real and butterflies can set in.

Choosing what to pack and what to leave behind is an art form in itself. Most people return from holidays complaining that they over-packed their suitcase, and wish they had left more space for souvenirs or shopping.

The time of the year in Australia can definitely dictate how bulky your bag will be. Winter will mean thicker coats and pants (plus heavier shoes) while summer travel will mean you can get away with less in your bag.

So what are the must-have rucksack essentials for an exciting Aussie road trip?

Aside from clothes, a serious stash of snacks is mandatory for any long road trip. Always make sure to have a supply of water with you as well, both to stay hydrated on the road, but also to have on hand in case of a breakdown or emergency where help could be hours away.

By the same token, a first-aid kit in the boot is one of the most important essentials when packing for your road trip. Australia is full of insects that like to bite and sting (most are harmless but can cause discomfort), so include some antiseptic cream or wipes in your kit, as well as plasters, bandages, and insect repellent.

Make sure to take ample sources of entertainment with you to keep you alert along those long stretches of barren landscape. In many rural areas you won’t be able to get phone or internet service, so pack lots of CDs or audio books and maps to refer to if you get in a sticky spot. Without phone service, Google Maps will be useless to you, so splash out on a top-quality GPS unit (or rent one with your Thrifty rental vehicle) or go old-school with a manual map.