Yes--we know that you can sleep on your sweatshirt, or pack your extra clothes into a pillowcase, but let's be honest: it's just not the same. Find an outdoor store and splurge on the purchase of a nice little camping pillow. The one I purchased is slightly bigger than a baseball and it expands to a perfect pillow. I'll never go camping without it.
Do you plan on maintaining a blog while you're away from home? If so, we recommend bringing along an iPad and keyboard combo to serve as a lightweight computer. The purchase of an iPad keyboard allowed us to more efficiently write our blog and emails to friends and family as we traveled.
For me, this is the best travel investment one can make. I know, you like to have the physical book; you like to feel the pages. So do I, but carrying a backpack of books is just not feasible while traveling. I have hundreds of books on my Kindle, and when I connect to WiFi, I can buy more books that I want to read. Another great thing is that the Kindle (depending on the type you buy) has a backlight, so you can read at night, and the battery life can last up to a month or more.
This is a great device for tracking your route and allowing your friends and family to know that you are alive. The Spot GPS can track your movements throughout the entire day or you can manually send a tracking message to your account and to the email addresses of close friends and family members. The Spot website can also keep track of your overall route (also something you can share with others) and the company even offers emergency rescue services.
After doing this trip, we wish we would have had a GoPro. There are so many amazing moments that you just can't catch on a regular camera. The GoPro also has the added benefit of being able to capture both video footage and timed photos, and the company has many other special accessories that will help you grab the best footage of your trip.
During any extended travel, being able to relax at the end of the day and listen to your favorite music is a pretty great thing. We highly recommend bringing an iPod packed with music and some of your favorite podcasts.