Packing List

When one travels ’round the world there are certain things that MUST be brought along — at least this is what I have read. I have perused dozens of blogs and indie travel sites and have come across as many packing lists.  A few things appear to be standard requirements. Some make sense to me and others not so much. That is why it would be safe to assume it depends on which types of activities one intends to participate in during this time. Doing overnight treks and hiking snowpeaks would call for tents, cold weather gear and special climbing equipment. Spending days lazying on beaches, checking out museums and wandering city streets calls for swimwear, camera and good shoes. That is why, in my opinion, it is smart to see what the recommendations are and THEN tailor it to your particular needs and style of travel. No, I have not yet done this trip but to me, that is the common sense approach.

Another thing to consider is weather. So if you are up in Iceland during an frosty February then having thermal underclothes, toques and Northface or Columbia jackets is a consideration. Planning to be at your destination during summer months can avoid the toting of excess winter clothes. And remember to pack your hat and sunscreen. Regardless of winter or summer you do need to pack for….wait for it….RAIN!! Yes rain, something that I am all too familiar with (but don’t really mind). BC is often know as the “wet coast” as opposed to the “west coast”. Although some places do not get as much rain as BC, other places get more. Tropical climates have rainy seasons (often that is their winter). Spring in temperate climates may experience showers. Short of being in a dessert, expect rain at some point. So a rain cover for your backpack and one for yourself is a good idea.

So, what will I pack you ask? I do have a list. It is typed up in point form and as I acquire items I mark them “off” with the red strikethrough feature. I have posted it below. Now, keep in mind, that this is my list now, before I have even purchased an airline ticket or saved enough money to fufill my life’s dream. As the time comes close it may change. Even as I travel it will change. I don’t doubt that I will discover what I need more of and what I can toss/donate/swap. Of course, it is reassuring that in our modern world I can most likely buy anything that I do need while on the road.

When you see my list, it is very specific and quite long. I am wondering how I can manage it all into my 60L Asolo women’s backpack. It has plenty of pockets and compartments but I still am having a hard time believing I will be able to fit my life into that bag!! My whole life for a year!! Mindboggling! That is why I am convinced that packing well and as lightly as possible needs the utmost of attention.

Here are the few things that I have deemed essential and that I must not leave without*:

  • Valid passport and any Visa requirements and accompanying (ugly) photos
  • Documents (travel tickets, insurance, etc)
  • Backpack
  • First-Aid kit including prescriptions and copies of prescriptions
  • Rain cover for self and pack
  • non-breakable water bottle
  • toothbrush and toothpaste (I CANNOT travel without these)
  • Immunizations and records (if required)
  • Silk sleeping bag liner – even if I don’t bring a sleeping bag this will be good in a pinch, adds a bit of luxury and bugs can’t get through the silk
  • my iPod and charger. Even if it’s just my little iPod Shuffle….I need that iPod!!!

*If that changes I will update it

 (Items in red I now have)

  • Backpack w/ day pack (I have a women’s Asolo Travel Pack that my awesome sister gave me for christmas!!!) 
  • Compression sack
  • 15L sack
  • 12L sack
  • Documents
    • passport (with extra pages cause I’m traveling to plenty of places)
    • Visa’s, if required (*some you must apply for before leaving, others you can get at border)
    • Certificate of Immunizations
    • Extra passport pictures (for Visa applicatons)
    • ATM card and credit card – check with banks re: foreign usage fees
    • Hostel Membership Card
    • Hostelling International
  • Travel Insurance (I hope I never have to use these)
    • Out of country medical and trip cancellation/interuption
    • check for backpacker specific insurance
    • check for evacuation insurance (for medical reasons)
  • List of (emergency) contact
    • Canadian Embassies
    • Family and friends
    • Addresses and phone numbers of friends in different countries
    • Travel Agent contact
    • Flight Itineraries (if pre-booked)
    • copies for family member contact at home
  • First Aid Kit
    • First Aid pouch (soft sided w/ compartments)
    • Tensor
    • Gauze roll
    • Sterile gauze pads
    • Band-Aids and triangular banadge
    • Rubbing alchohol or hydrogen peroxide (small bottle)
    • Polysporin
    • pair of vinyl or latex gloves
    • adhesive tap
    • cotton pads and Q-tips
    • small folding scissors
    • sling
    • tweezers
    • water purification tablets – update: my sister gave me a handy gadget for purifying water, just like the one she uses camping)
    • oral re-hydration salts
    • bug repellent w/ DEET
    • Aspirin
    • Malaria pills
    • Allergy pills
    • Solarcaine (for sunburns)
  • Toiletries (have some with me but can buy more as needed)
    • Contact lenses and solution
    • include a travel size for carry-on flights
  • eye glasses and hard-sided case
    • copy of eye glass prescription
  • eye glass cleaner (good for camera lens too)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush and floss
  • deodorant
  • Nail clippers w/ file
  • Disposable razor(s)
  • soap & travel soap dish
  • shampoo and conditioner (mid-size bottles)
  • moisturizer (same for face and body)
  • sunscreen
  • hair elastics, clips, brush/comb
  • feminine products or invest in a Diva Cup
  • Mininal makeup (for those days I want to feel pretty)
      • pressed powder
      • chapstick and a lipgloss
      • tinted moisturizer
      • small mascara
      • neutral eyeshadow
    • Ultra absorbent towel
      • full size
      • hand towel
    • Clothing (to buy closer to departure date)
      • Undies
      • 2 travel undies (quick drying, wicks away moisture, odor repelling)
      • 2 regular undies
    • Socks x 4
      • at least 1 pair Merino wool socks
    • Bra and sports bra
    • Shorts x 2
    • T-shirts x 3
      • 1 by Icebreaker – keeps cool and warm
    • Tank tops x 2
    • Pants x 3
      • 1 pair of yoga pants/leggings
    • Sweater/sweatshirt (Merino wool)
    • PJ’s
    • Light jacket – water resistant
    • swimsuit
    • Hiking boots or running shoes (not sure yet)
    • flip flops or Keen’s sandals for use in hostel showers and beach
    • Pashmina (in case I’m in a country where head/shoulders need to be covered)
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat with brim or one of those multiuse bandana things (can’t remember the name)
    • Electronics
      • iPod or iPod shuffle and charger
      • camera, charger and memory cards (lots)
      • Voltage converter and adaptor
      • Tablet and USB stick – not sure on these yet
      • Cell phone (unlocked and buy SIM cards as needed)
    • Rain/Cold Weather Gear
      • Rain cover for backpack    (my pack came with one!)
      • Long underwear (Merino wool)
      • Rain cover for me
      • winter gloves, hat
    • Miscelleaneous
      • Mosquito netting
      • sleep sheets in silk (keeps out bed bugs)
      • Canada patch(es) for backpack
      • Utility knife
      • Deck of cards
      • Some duct tape
      • Carabineers
      • Luggage lock
      • Small notepad/journal and pen
      • Small sewing kit
      • Small flashlight and batteries
      • Ziploc bags – various sizes
      • Some twine and small bungee cords
      • Water bottle
      • Backpack lock – for the entire backpack
      • Superglue

      So that is my list. What’s that saying? Ah yes: “Pack twice as much money and half the clothes.” I just may need to do that. How I will fit all that in my pack seems daunting. And this will be a lesson in living with less. Exciting though! I will continue to buy my supplies and if anyone is so inclined to point me in the direction fo great sales for these remaining items I would appreciate it. As well I’m open to donations too! LOL….no seriously. Just kiddin’. But really….

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