Packing 101

Since our trial run with our bags, we’ve been asked a number of times, exactly what we are planning to put in said bags. Packing for a year is certainly a daunting task, especially when you need to carry everything that you need on your back. We’ve made a conscious decision to try to “follow the sun,” or travel in a direction in which we maximize good weather. Yet without ever venturing into winter, we’ll stay face a wide range of weather. Summer in Patagonia isn’t exactly warm, and it’s always cool at high elevations. The jungle, however, is going to be plenty warm, even if we were to be there in winter. We’ll also be doing an array of activities, from adventure trekking to museum and church visiting. Did I mention that packing isn’t easy? But we think we’ve come up with a pretty good packing list, and thus we’ve decided to share it here on our site. If you look at the menu bar at the top of the page, you’ll see a new addition called “Details”. Click on it and you’ll find a link to our packing list. (Although at this point it’s missing Jeff’s clothing list. He’ll be adding that himself soon. I have to at least pretend that he gets to decide what he’s taking šŸ™‚ ) As our planning progresses, we’ll be adding more information to this page, so check back regularly.

Now go ahead and critique our list. Leave a comment telling me what I forgot to include or what I ought to leave behind.

6 Replies to “Packing 101”

  1. This “boob department” you speak of, is it anything like the “architecture department” or the likes? Where exactly do I find this department on campus? Because I too don’t have much in the boob department. So sign me up. Speaking of the boob department, I found this article ( at very helpful. Its all about boobies. God, I am so immature. When its all listed it seems as though it would be impossible to fit all that in the two bags you all will be carrying on your backs. But its good to know you can squeeze it all in there.

  2. I can relate to the shoe problem Jeff might have. Even in europe, it was dificult to find a comfortable pair of size 48 shoes. Are you going to lug a pair of hiking boots around, or use your trail runners as a subsititute.

  3. Wow, so thorough! Are you at all worried about not being able to find the things you need on the road? The biggest thing I always had a problem with overseas was getting over-the-counter drugs or certain skin care products that I need (I have very sensitive skin and can’t just use any old moisterizer etc.). Sometimes it seemed so hard to explain what I wanted and different countries have different laws about what needs to be prescribed and what you can just buy because you want it. It was always so annoying to me that you couldn’t even buy aspirin in Germany without going to the Apotheke!

  4. Can I suggest a small, keychain style compass. Walking around an unfamiliar city with a not-so-great map is a lot easier when you can figure out which direction you’re facing.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys. Mitchell, we’re going with just trail runners as the major covered shoes, no hiking boots. And I like the idea of a compass Jeff. Laura, I totally agree with the issues about drugs. My awakening to that was having to go to the Apoteket here to get mouthwash. Yep, Listerine. But they keep the aspirin and tylenol there too.

    And have you heard about the issues people have had flying through Abu Dhabi? Where they arrest people and send them to prison for carrying certain prescription drugs (they are also targetting illicit drugs) with them through the airport as they make connecting flights? Craziness. We’re definitely avoiding any connections there. So yeah, big issues. But to answer your question, I have no idea what Theresa is planning to do about it =).

  6. Just got a chance to catch up on your blog and figured I’d leave a couple comments on this entry – for better or worse.

    You definitely seem well covered in the clothing department. That’s quite a bit more than I traveled with, but if you can fit all that comfortably into your pack, then I say go for it. If there was one thing I wish I had more of while I traveled, it was clothing….at least a few more things to put into the rotation so I didn’t feel like I was wearing the same t-shirt every 4 days (which I was). You guys have the good fortune of splitting the basics (toilettries, etc.) between two packs, so I’m sure that frees up additional space for more clothes.

    One recommendation: Jeff might check out the REI Sahara Tee, it’s a great t-shirt option. Unlike typical ‘technical t-shirts’, it looks like regular cotton tee (not that shiny material), wicks away moisture very well, doesn’t retain odor, dries quickly and actually looks decent.

    A couple small items I didn’t see on your list (or missed) that I figured I’d mention – travel alarm clock, small LED flash light, waterproof matches (although I only used these twice), a Tyvek or small plastic envelope for keeping important docs, tickets, etc. safe, dry and in one place. Also, I found a lot of the back-up items (batteries, laundry detergent, etc) were so plentiful everywhere that I could’ve left them out of my pack to just purchase as needed. Or, when I knew I was going somewhere where I’d need those items – and wouldn’t have ready access for a long period of time – only then would I purchase them.

    I noticed ‘phone?’ on the list. I used Skype and it worked reasonably well, but you could often tell you were talking over a computer and it didn’t always hold calls for long periods of time (depending on the wireless connection). Supposedly their stand-alone Wi-Fi capable phones are pretty decent and avoid the awkwardness of having to have your laptop when you make a call. BTW, in SE Asia, I found Starbucks to have the best, most dependable Wi-Fi…certainly not the cheapest. As a back up, check out Pingo, an inexpensive international calling card option that can be used virtually everywhere (no need for country specific cards), which I used as a back up.

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