I put a lot of thought and time into my original packing list, but as expected, I've made a few changes along the way. Since we've been on the road for nearly four months, I have picked up a few new items and tossed a few that weren't being used. I've become pretty much a pro at packing my bag, and I am still amazed at the amount of stuff that I cram into a 40 liter pack. To date, we have not met a single traveler who has a smaller bag than us. At times I've wondered if the bag is excessively small, but it is SO nice to be able to toss the bag on busses, or just walk down the street without being in danger of toppling over. All bolded items are additions to the original packing list.
- 1 Shorts
- 2 Pants/Capris I ended up bringing only 1 pair of convertible pants, and swapping the other for a pair of jeans. It is nice to have some non-"travely" looking clothes, and I wear the jeans all the time.
- 2 Running Shorts
- 1 2 Running Shirts I brought both a running Tshirt and a running tank top.
- 2 T-Shirts
- 2 Tank Tops
- 1 Light Hoodie
- 1 Thick Hoodie
- 1 Waterproof Shell
- 1 Base layer long sleeve shirt
- 1 Pair leggings
- 1 Bra
- 2 SportsBras
- 3 Underwear
- 3 Socks
- 1 Swimsuit
- 1 Running Shoes
- 1 Keens
- 1 Flip Flops - I don't know why I didn't bring any, so I picked up a cheap pair in Ecuador for $5
- 1 lightweight scarf - Purchased in Ecuador, I wear it almost every day.
- 1 pair gloves - Purchased in Peru after some cold hiking. It is expensive to get good gloves, so I recommend bringing a decent pair from home
- 1 Hat
- 1 Towel
- 1 REI compression sackThis ended up breaking before I even left, so I replaced it with a medium sized Sea to Summit compression sack. I love it.
The medical bag has evolved a lot. I actually laughed when I looked at the "before" picture for the first time in months.
...In case you forgot what was in there before
- Malarone (enough for a small army)
- Transderm-Scop (motion sickness) - I am hoping we can find more once we get back to first world countries, because they work remarkably well on long bus trips and don't knock me out the way dramamine does
- Azithromycin (traveler’s diarrhea)
- Acetazolamide/Nifedipine (altitude sickness) We took these in Bogota
- Acetaminophen - purchased after my bout with Dengue (ibuprofen is bad for potential internal bleeding)
- Omeprazole - purchased after Daniel's food poisoning
- Cough medicine
- Clindamycin gel (acne) Relocated to toiletry bag
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Naproxen, Sudafed, Immodium, Dramanine,and Benadryl all mixed in one container - In hindsight, I would bring a zillion tablets of Sudafed. We've gone through about half of our supply already, and we have not been able to find it (except in combination products) anywhere. Also, we both get motion sickness on busses, so we should buy stock in Dramamine.
- Butterfly bandages
- Gauze (pads and rolled)
- Medical tape
- Hydrogen peroxide
The toiletry bag has also grown a bit. I will admit it... I have a problem. I have become a free hotel soap hoarder. At one point, I had almost 45 bars. We are down to eight, so I am getting my problem under control. Blogging about it will hold me accountable.
- Hair putty
- Travel hair dryer - Actually purchased to aid in drying our soaked shoes after hiking in the rain. I use it only on occasion for a "special treat"
- Shower scrub gloves - Seriously, these things are amazing. They are like a loofah that you wear, but more exfoliating. After a multi day hike, they get you squeaky clean!
- Hair ties
- Bobby pins
- Shampoo bars
- Soap - Hoarded soap is for showering, glycerin soap is for doing laundry by hand
- Diva Cup
- Ear Plugs These have been relocated to my purse for easy access on busses with obnoxiously loud, violent movies.
- Nail Clippers
- Clindamycin/Adapalene cream
- Apple wireless keyboard with Origami case/stand I bought this last minute before leaving for the trip, and it has been fantastic
- Garmin with charger
- Kindle cable
- iPhone/iPad cable
- Hard drive with cable
- USB dongle This was originally in my bag, but it's home has moved to Daniel's camera bag
- Bose headphones
I actually didn't detail what was inside my purse last time, but here is what I'm usually carrying around.
- Field notes notebooks
- Spanish/English dictionary
- Tiny toilet paper roll
- Transderm Scop patches/Dramamine/Imodium - for bus emergencies
- Band aid
- Duct tape
- Ear plugs
- Lighter - to light gas stoves in hostal kitchens
- Emergency candy
- Tiny pill bottle with assorted goodies
- Deck of cards
I also forgot to take a before picture of the miscellaneous stuff that is floating around in my bag.
- Water bottle - Originally had a nalgene with a flip off top, but it kept randomly opening and spilling everywhere. I replaced it in Cuenca, Ecuador for $3
- Money belt - I've only used it once so far, so it will probably be the next item to get tossed out
- Handheld waterbottle holder
- Toilet paper
- Sewing kit
- Sunblock - Of note, in South America, we can only find ridiculously high SPFs, all usually marketed toward babies
- Bugspray - Daniel doesn't need it, because all the bugs in a 1 mile radius are already busy feasting on me
- Silk sleep sack
- Inflatable travel pillow
- Passport/travel documents
- Plastic bags - Again, I have begun having hoarding tendencies. I try to only save the "good" grocery bags. I know this is ridiculous.
Whew! Like I said earlier, I am amazed that everything fits into a 40L backpack. All of the gear is holding up well so far, with the exception of the cheap pair of leggings I bought in Peru and the REI compression sack that was replaced before departure. I'm sure that as we change continents, the bag contents may change slightly. For the most part though, I feel like I've hit the sweet spot of having just enough, without much excess.