Though it looks like a lot all laid out like this, it actually packed up rather small. For their backpacks, Theresa carried an Osprey Ariel 55, and Jeff carried an REI Ridgeline 65. As carry-on bags, Theresa carried an LL Bean Travel Touring Bag (which they sadly no longer seem to make), and Jeff carried a Northface Offsite messenger bag. We also carried an REI Flash UL Bag (old version) that rolled up to nothing and lived inside Theresa’s backpack until we need a daypack for hiking.
For a few tricks & tips on packing, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
1 pair khaki North Face Convertible Pants
1 pair Target brand black workout pants
1 pair brown Lole capris
1 pair Reebok athletic shorts
2 skirts—black Lole Breathe skirt (mid-calf) and khaki Lole Charm skirt (knee-length)
1 long-sleeve, light weight button up shirts
3 short sleeve shirts—1 Lole Morocco, 1 Under Armor, 1 button-up H&M
1 Lole Candid sleeveless shirt
1 set Cuddle Duds silk underwear
1 Patagonia Capilene 3 Zip-Up baselayer
1 REI lightweight fleece
1 REI ultralight rain jacket
7 pair Ex-Officio underwear (1 pair lost in the laundry in Bangkok)
3 pairs socks (1 pair lost in Mozambique)
2 Target brand sports bras
2 regular bra
1 bathing suit
1 pashmina scarf
1 pair Teva flip-flops
1 pair North Face Hedgehog trail runners
1 pair Keen Newport H2 sandals
1 pair Keen Amsterdams (met their death in Uganda)
wide-brim hat (sent home with Jeff’s parents)
watch (lost while washing elephants in Laos; replaced in Malaysia)
basic jewelry (plain silver band to replace wedding band/engagement ring, three pairs earrings)
**In Nicaragua, I bought a pair of cheap rubber flip-flops for showers, as my Tevas were fabric. I lost this pair in Malawi and replaced them in Uganda.
**When my parents visited us in Buenos Aires, they brought me another short-sleeve button-up shirts and two tank tops. One tank top was promptly lost in the laundry in Cape Town. The other two shirts remained with me throughout the trip.
1 Pair North Face Paramount Pants
1 Pair White Sierra Pants
1 Pair Ex-Officio Pants
2 Pair Shorts (1 Pair REI Slick Rock, 1 Pair Quicksilver Pants)
1 Pair Under Armor Workout Shorts
1 Oobe Long Sleeve Button Up Shirt
1 White Sierra Short Sleeve Button Up Shirt
2 Under Armour Short Sleeve Loose Fit Shirts
1 Quick Dry Polo Shirt
6 Pairs Underwear (Ex Officio, Under Armour, & C9)
4 Pairs Socks (2 Pairs REI Hiking Socks, 2 Pairs Cotton Socks)
1 Pair Swim Trunks
1 Columbia Rain Jacket
1 REI Fleece
1 Pair Thermal Underwear
1 Pair Northface 103XCR Tennis Shoes
1 Pair Keene Newports
1 Pair Teva Flip Flops
1 Pair Old Navy Flip Flops (lost in Malawi, replaced in Uganda)
hair bands & bobby pins
bar soap & soap container
contacts & solution & case + glasses
basic makeup (mascara, foundation)
All toiletries were carried in an LL Bean toiletry kit. Most toiletries were in 3 oz. Nalgene containers and were shared whenever possible. We were able to pick up replacements for all products along the way. The hardest thing to find was stick deodorant.
First Aid Kit
bug spray with DEET (REI Jungle Juice)
Cipro or other general antibiotic
needle & thread
other prescriptions as necessary
large quick dry towels
DreamSack silk sleep sheets
Light My Fire sporks
SteriPen water purifier
sink stopper (used a flat rubber jar opener)
laundry detergent (small Tide packets for sink)
retractable laundry line
Swiss Army Knife
duct tape and repair tape
small wallets that zip close
deck of cards
Flip N Tumble market bag
Nikon D80 DSLR + Tamron 18-200 lens + UV filter + polarizing filter
Gorillapod SLR Zoom tripod
Canon SD800 point and shoot camera
SD cards (many, many, many)
MSI Wind computer
LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive
credit cards/ATM cards (split between us)
extra passport photos (for visas, etc)
Moleskine journal + Moleskine small notebooks
international phone numbers for credit cards
plastic folder for all documents
(We scanned & emailed copies of all important documents to ourselves and to each of our parents.)
Tips & Tricks
1. Forget that you’re packing for a year. Instead pack for a week. Then plan to wash and re-wear.
2. Even if you’re traveling to cold weather locations, leave the bulky gear at home and plan for layers. Theresa’s combination of a Patagonia base layer, an REI fleece, and an REI rain jacket packed up rather small but kept her warm in temperatures in the teens. (And she can somehow manage to be cold when it’s 80 degrees out, so this is saying something.)
3. Remember that you can buy some things on the road…and probably for cheaper than you can buy them in the U.S. The exceptions here might by shoes and clothing for those on either extreme of the size scale.
4. Pack something you like. Sure, functionality is key, as is durability and how well it packs up. But every once in a while you’re going to want to feel like the “old you,” so pack something that makes you happy.
5. Choose clothes that you can mix and match. Your wardrobe will already be limited. Don’t restrict it further by packing “outfits” that can’t be deconstructed.
6. Use stuff sacks or packing cubes to organize your gear. Emptying out your entire bag to find one item will get old very quickly.
3 Replies to “Packing List”
What great advice to pack for a week. It really put things into perspective. I’m starting in Mexico and I’ve been stressing that I can’t find tank tops in Canada in January and then I found out there’s a Wal-Mart there. Even if there was no Wal-Mart I’m sure I’ll find more shirts along the way.