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05 Nov


Packing List

November 5, 2013 | By |

We realize that we should include a comprehensive list of everything we packed for our year of travel.  This includes items for both of us, and we’ve denoted Jewels’s items with a (J), Mitch’s items with a (M); everything else is marked as 2x for both of us having them, or unmarked as shared use.

If you have questions about brands or specifics on what we brought, just leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it.  For the most part, we went with slightly more expensive technical gear (we don’t want to add up how much we spent at REI), figuring it should last longer, be more functional, and pack down smaller/lighter, even if it does make us look more like tourists.  We have already been rethinking things on our list, so if we remember a year from now, we will add in some commentary on what was actually useful versus not useful!

  • 2x Large backpacks (75-77 liters each) which operate as either a roller bag or a backpack and have a detachable daypack
  • 2x Slashproof pouches that can be worn as belt pouches or a purse (love these, thanks to PacSafe)
  • 1x Self-contained grocery bag (that we filled up with snacks for the plane)
  • 2x Travel yoga mats
  • 2x passports + passport holders
  • 2x wallets, including debit & credit cards that have no international fees
  • Lots of travel pouches for misc stuff in our bags (these are already proving their value)
  • Clothing
    • 2x:  1 pr jeans
    • 2x:  2 pr quick-dry/hiking pants (one of J’s is zip-off)
    • 2x:  2 pr yoga/sleeping pants
    • (J) long sleeve shirts: 2 travel/quick-dry button downs, 1 cotton lightweight hoodie, 1 cotton shirt, 1 thermal
    • (M) long sleeve shirts: 3 travel/quick-dry button downs, 2 cotton botton-downs, 1 cotton, 1 thermal
    • 2x pashmina scarves (I love these because they can be used as a picnic/beach blanket, wrap-around, or scarf)
    • Undies:  (J) 9 pr; (M) 7 pr (4 quick-dry)
    • Bathingsuits:  (J) 1 bottom + 2 tops; (M) 1 bathingsuit
    • Socks: (J) 7 pr socks (2 smartwool, 1 knee-high); (M) 7pr socks (6 smartwool, 2 tall)
    • Short-sleeve shirts: (J) 7x tank tops; (M) 4x t-shirts
    • (M) 1 pr silk long underwear pants
    • (M) wide brim hat
    • (J) 1 dress (I brought a strapless dress so I can scrunch it down as a skirt)
    • (M) 1 pr shorts
    • (J) scarf for head
    • (J) gloves
    • (J) 1 pr warm tights
    • (J) 1 clean washcloth
    • 7x bandanas
    • 2x leather belts
  • Jackets
    • 2x down jackets
    • 2x lightweight jackets
    • 2x rain jackets
  • Shoes
    • 2x hiking sneakers
    • 2x Chaco’s
    • (J) ballet flats
    • 1 pr cheap shower flip flops
  • Books, language, literature
    • Spanish grammar cards
    • South America on a Shoestring book
    • (J) 1 novel (hoping to trade as we go along)
    • (J) journal
    • (M) Kindle paperwhite
    • Extra pens
    • Extra business cards
  • Gear
    • 4x water bottles (nalgenes) + 2x water bottle holders
    • 1x Steripen water purifier (already super grateful for this)
    • 1x binoculars
    • 2x travel towels
    • 2x headlamps
    • Safety pins
    • Combination lock
    • 2x TSA locks for our luggage
    • Scrubba wash bag (we have high hopes for this recent kickstarter)
    • Drysack
    • Mosquito net
    • Leatherman
    • Clothes line
    • Collapsible mini duffel bag
  • Electronics
    • 2x headphones
    • 2x external hard drives (stored separately in each bag)
    • 2x smartphones
    • Laptop, softshell, power cord, bluetooth mouse
    • Global power adapter
    • USB wall charger
    • USB back-up battery
    • Eneloop battery charger + rechargeable AAs & AAAs
    • 2x flash drives
    • Cords as appropriate
    • Computer lock cord
  • Camera
    • Camera (Sony NEX-6)
    • 16mm lens
    • 16-50mm retractable zoom lens
    • Fisheye conversion lens
    • 55-210mm telephoto lens
    • Gorilla pod
    • 5x Camera batteries
    • Camera battery charger
    • 4x 32 GB SD cards
    • 4x 16 GB SD cards
    • 3x 8 GB SD cards
    • 1x 2 GB SD card
    • Camera bag
  • Toiletries
    • 2x prescription glasses + cases
    • 2x sunglasses
    • Misc jewelry (1 necklace each, (J) 2 pr earrings)
    • Limited make-up (concealer, eyeliner, lipstick… it’s nice to be a girl every once in a while!)
    • (J) Hairbands & clips
    • Q tips
    • Bug spray
    • (M) Cologne
    • (J) Deodorant
    • 2x nightguards (we are hoping we both stop grinding our teeth after a year away from NYC)
    • Pocket mirror
    • 2x Razors
    • Hairbrush
    • Face moisturizer
    • Floss & picks
    • 2x Contacts
    • Vit E cream
    • Emery board
    • Tweezers
    • 2x Toothbrushes
    • Nail clippers
    • Visine
    • Shampoo, conditioner
    • Contact lens solution
    • Face wash
    • Dr Bronner’s (liquid)
    • Shaving cream
    • Toothpaste
    • Sunscreen (both face & body versions)
    • Hand moisturizer
    • Face moisturizer with SPF
    • Tissues
    • Chapstick
    • Hand sanitizer
  • 2x pinky balls for sore muscles
  • 2x contact juggling balls (to learn a new skill)
  • 2 collapsible hula hoops
  • Bunch of large and small ziplocks
  • Misc / rare-use stuff
    • (M) extra chapstick
    • Extra razor blades
    • Carabiners
    • Ear plugs
    • Extra dental floss
    • Sewing kit
    • Extra contacts
    • Extra contact case
    • Extra headlamp
    • (M) extra toothbrush heads (he likes an automatic toothbrush)
    • Personal checks
    • Password hints
    • 2x extra shoelaces
    • 2x copies of both passports (stored separately in each bag)
    • (M) Inflatable pills for neck & lumbar (for long planes)
  • First aid kit
    • Ace bandage
    • Athletic tape (both regular & waterproof)
    • Skinshield
    • Iodine
    • Bug sting stuff
    • Benedryl (cream & pills)
    • Neosporin
    • Bandaids (lots of sizes)
    • Water purifier chlorine pills
    • Moleskin
    • First aid booklet
  • Medical pouch
    • Flucanazole (yeast infection pills) x3
    • Dramamine
    • Cipro – 80 pills
    • Immodium – 100 pills
    • GSE – 100 pills
    • Diamox
    • Jade screen (apparently good when we’re in high-risk places for our immune systems)
    • Bug bite cream
    • Culing pills (herbs that are apparently good for nausea)
    • Zhong gan ling herbs
    • Gan mao ling herbs
    • Isatis herbs


  1. Eleanor Hanauer

    You have had an amazing adventure and haven’t even officially begun. This list is fascinating…what anyone needs for life!

  2. suzQ!

    I, of course, was checking things off in my head as I read. Wondering if you have pennies or other little AMERICAN gifties.
    The list is GOOD! xoxoxo

  3. Yay! I am so excited for you two! This is always a dream of mine. I hope that one point in your travels, I might be in the same area. I’ll check in with you when you are in India as I am hoping to go to Nepal in November for Yoga Nepal 🙂 Either way, I am following your blog like a fanatic fan 🙂



    • Mitch & Jewels

      Thanks all! It took us a lot of thinking to figure out the plan, and it’s not done yet. Today we decided to purchase a small umbrella, two plastic ponchos, and two rain covers for our daypacks (before we head for the 4-day Inca Trail later this week).

      April… YAY! We want to be in Nepal sometime next year, not sure when. Also, where did you go in the Sacred Valley? Recommendations? We are wondering about taking a couple of days there next week before we head toward Lake Titicaca.

  4. Debbi

    yay!!!! you are in for quite an adventure!! i spent a year on the road solo in europe and 6 months in new zealand (which involved way more outdoors time). I started with a very similar amount of stuff…i shed a LOT of it along the way, only to pick up more. 😛 i even got all the way down to just my daypack for the last month in morrocco/portugal/spain and it was so librerating. terrifying, at first, but ultimately, really satisfying to realize how little you actually need.

    a few helpful tidbits passed on to me that i will pass on to you…
    – don’t overload on toiletries. yes, you want to have what you need if you are particular about certain products, but most places will have them there and then you don’t have to carry them around. exception…sunscreen. it’s often SUPER expensive in places where you need it most so that’s a good one to have on you.
    – jeans are bulky and take forever to dry. (though I gave in and bought a pair in the UK at some point because i missed wearing them and i was doing tech work that would have destroyed my other pants.)
    – bag locks won’t protect your stuff, but they might help a would be thief move on to an easier target.
    – everyone in hostels hates the person who is rolling up and unrolling those damn plastic bags. yes, they keep things tidy. they are also horrendously annoying at 7am when you have to leave to catch your cheap bus. fabric pouches ftw.

    not stuff related, but was still helpful: don’t feel bad when you have to spend time on regular life tasks like emailing or finding a post office or laundry…it can feel like they are getting in the way of experiencing things but the longer you are on the road, the more you realize that they are part of the experience.

    and my two must haves as a woman…a good sarong (towel, sheet, skirt, blanket, coverup, dress in a pinch, etc, etc) and my microfiber hair towel (it takes up very little space and helps dry the long hair, esp in cooler temps where there’s no hair dryer avail.)

    you may have heard all this before, but i wanted to share anyway. 🙂

    i’m going to enjoy your travels from afar…i miss the road!!


  5. Eliza Loring

    This makes me want to fly tthe coop! Wow so much stuff, I need to put you in touch with my friend Johnny who rode his bike from Mexico to Peru with a 20 liter bag (he brought juggling balls too:) have so much fun and hope you brought your jsj books too!