The Things They Carried

So, how does one pack for a year long trip around the world?  It involves a lot of weeding.  Annoyingly, we planned to hit both cold and hot climates, as well as do some trekking, so we have more gear than we might otherwise have packed.

Sometimes being a guy is nice.  One of those times is when you’re trying to pack for a year of traveling, and you want everything to fit into a single backpack.  It helps if you’re not very fashionable and don’t mind being a bit scruffy also.  Luckily, I fit into all these categories.

Erik’s Pack

Yep, that’s everything.

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Tops

  • 3 button up t-shirts (nylon and polyester.  no cotton!)
  • 1 long sleeve button up hiking shirt (good for town too)
  • 1 wool t-shirt (mostly for running)
  • 1 wool long sleeve shirt
  • 1 Patagonia half-zip capilene sweater
  • 1 Marmot windshirt jacket (only full-zip jacket I brought)
  • 1 Patagonia primaloft pullover
  • 1 Arc’teryx Goretex rainshell

Bottoms

  • 2 pairs long pants (good for trekking and mosquitos)
  • 1 pair longer shorts (showing knees can be disrespecful in many countries)
  • 1 pair shorts/swimsuit (nylon, quick drying)
  • 1 pair lightweight capilene long underwear
  • 1 pair running shorts
  • 1 pair Marmot rainshell pants (mostly for wind/cold)

Socks and Underwear

  • 2 pairs ex officio boxer briefs (wash one / wear one.  But you have to remember every day!)
  • 3 pairs wool ankle socks
  • 1 pair wool ninja socks (wearable with flip-flops)
  • 1 pair running socks

Footwear

  • 1 pair trail running shoes (I hate you size 13.  You don’t fit in my pack.  Mostly for trekking.)
  • 1 pair flip flops (great for SE Asia)

Other Clothing

  • 1 fleece winter hat
  • 1 cotton bandana (also good as a water pre-filter)
  • 1 sun cap

Toiletries

  • 1 microfiber medium towel (kinda small)
  • contact lenses + case + solution + extra lenses (brought big bottle of extra solution in case it was hard to find)
  • travel toothbrush
  • sunscreen (can never have enough and is expensive locally)
  • facewash (extra supply)
  • aloe vera (extra supply)
  • hand sanitizer (extra supply)
  • 98% deet insect repellent (a little goes a long way)
  • small deodorant (just for traveling days)
  • SPF chapstick
  • anti-chafing cream (for running)
  • tweezers
  • nail clippers
  • tea tree oil
  • toilet paper (always carry this with you!)
  • medications (see separate post)

Camping Gear & Accessories

  • 15 degree F down sleeping bag with compression sack
  • silk mummy liner
  • backpack rain cover (mostly to deter theft while walking in the city)
  • titanium cooking pot (hoping to do some camping)
  • Orikaso plate/bowl (so versatile!)
  • Light My Fire spork
  • Lexan knife (can bring on a plane, and cuts fine)
  • backpacking stove (no canister fuel in SE Asia, at least)
  • glasses + sunglasses+ case
  • ear plugs
  • 1L wide-mouth Nalgene fold-up bottle (water filter fits in mouth)
  • 1L Platypus fold-up bottle (better for drinking out of)
  • watch
  • vacuum pack bag (for compressing cold weather clothing)
  • extra ziplock bags
  • 2 heavy duty garbage bags (for waterproofing pack when trekking)
  • several stuff sacks (to separate laundry or make a pillowcase)
  • travel neck wallet (holds passports, money, health card, etc.)
  • carabiner
  • Steripen Freedom (the magic wand of purifying water)
  • clorine dioxide water purifying tablets (backup water cleaning)
  • lighter
  • matches
  • emergency blanket
  • headlamp + extra batteries
  • rubber bands
  • mini sewing kit
  • duct tape
  • technical fabric repair tape
  • super glue (repairs just about anything)
  • compass
  • 20 ft clothes line
  • travel combination luggage lock
  • combination cable lock (lock your door, or your bag to something solid)
  • 20L sil-nylon daypack (superlight and super packable)
  • small container of fake sugar (to make drinks sweet)
  • annoying Belgian chip card reader (I need this to check my Belgian bank account online.  What a pain in the ass)
  • pen + mechanical pencil
  • Osprey packable duffle bag (pack goes in here and gets locked up for traveling on airplanes or buses.  Also good for leaving things at a hostel while off on a trek)
  • Granite Gear Vapor Trail 60L backpack (It all fits in here)

Electronics

The trick with electronics is to reduce adaptors and cords.  Luckily everything is micro USB these days (except the iProduct cable), so you only need two cords.  And you need only one adaptor, the one with the biggest wattage (iPad).  Everything else will just draw the maximum current its rated for with no problems.  Or just plug them into the USB slots on your laptop.  Check Alina’s list for the rest of the electronics.

  • 32GB USB stick (mostly to backup photos)
  • GSM unlocked cell phone (cheap $30 samsung.  Add local SIM cards as necessary)
  • iPod shuffle + USB dongle
  • earbuds + extra buds
  • Sony DSC-WX150 ultracompact digital camera+ 32GB memory card + 2 extra batteries + case (smallest one I could find with a good zoom and great ratings)
  • mini camera tripod
  • micro USB cable
  • iPad + wall adapter + USB cable (don’t need two full computers, plus it doubles as an eReader
  • Bubbleope (custom fitted to store the iPad and Kindle)
  • Amazon Kindle eReader (thousands of books at my fingertips)

This is everything we brought, electronics wise.  Pretty compact split between two people.

 

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Alina’s Pack

Alina’s packing list looks much the same as mine, but there are a few differences, so we thought we’d share both.  Note that there are some shared items split between us, notably toiletries and electronics.

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Tops

  • 3 T-shirts
  • 5 tank tops
  • 3 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 button up hiking shirt
  • 1 long sleeve wool shirt (acts as long underwear)
  • 1 zip up wool sweater
  • 1 windshirt jacket
  • 1 primaloft puffy jacket (doubles as pillow!)
  • 1 Goretex rain shell

Bottoms

  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 pairs hiking pants
  • 1 pair gaucho pants
  • 1 pair lightweight fleece sweatpants
  • 1 pair long underwear pants (also for running in the cold)
  • 1 pair stretchy running capris
  • 2 convertible skirt/dress/tops
  • 1 pair rain shell pants

Socks and Underwear

  • 3 pairs ex-officio travel underwear (probably smarter than only two)
  • 2 normal bras, 1 sports bra
  • 1 pair running socks
  • 2 pair ultralight wool socks
  • 1 pair thicker hiking socks
  • 1 pair wool ninja socks
  • 1 pair dance leg warmers

Footwear

  • 1 pair Brooks trail runners
  • 1 pair Jinga lace up flats
  • 1 pair Chaco flip-flops

Other Clothing

  • winter fleece hat
  • gloves
  • bikini
  • BUFFF microfiber infinity scarf
  • original BUFFF scarf

 Toiletries

  • Microfiber Travel Towel
  • small basic makeup kit
  • travel perfume bottle
  • small drawstring bag of jewelry
  • SPF chapstick
  • extra hairties
  • lunette!
  • travel brush/comb
  • lush solid shampoo + tin (seems to last forever)
  • body soap
  • aloe vera
  • face wash
  • toothpaste
  • travel toothbrush
  • deodarant
  • lotion
  • scrubbie
  • disposable razors
  • sunscreen (bring a big bottle)
  • hand sanitizer
  • wet wipes

Camping Gear & Accesories

  • 2 lace up ankle braces (with running shoes creates hiking boots)
  • orikasa plate/bowl
  • light-my-fire spork
  • platypus 1L water bottle
  • roll of toilet paper (no cardboard center)
  • glasses / sunglasses / case
  • headlamp (w/ extra batteries)
  • packable Chicobag Sling (shoulder bag)
  • travel neck-wallet + card sleeve
  • combination luggage lock
  • earplugs
  • eye blinders
  • pen
  • rain pack cover
  • 3 ziplock bags + garbage bags
  • a few small stuff sacks
  • plastic documents folder (for tickets, visa photos, etc.)
  • a bunch of passport photos (~30)
  • medications
  • 10 degree down sleeping bag + compression sack
  • silk mummy liner
  • 65L osprey aurora backpack

Electronics

  • Toshiba N255 netbook +power adaptor (gets the job done as is tiny and lightweight)
  • bubbleope laptop case (cut to size)
  • iPod touch (great for putting local maps and information on)
  • earbuds w/ extra earpieces
  • iPod shuffle (w/ usb adaptor)
  • convertible plug adaptor (most SE Asian countries actually accept US style pluts)
  • GSM cell phone (unlocked, w/ charger)

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