What’s in My Backpack – After 6 months of full time travel

If you are a traveler I’m sure that you relate to the nightmare that is packing. What to take? what to leave? What if I forget something?? Over six months of travel I have gained a little experience on what is absolutly necessary to bring and what I’m able to live without. I hope you find these tips helpful when packing for your own adventure.


In reality you really only need about half of the gear you think you need. Really, and this is coming from a 16-year-old girl. My backpack weighs a whopping  6-8 kilos, sometimes less depending on the airline carry on restrictions of the month. Right now we are traveling by train so it weighs a solid 8 kilos (17 pounds).

Generally for packing clothing I try to follow the rule of 3’s. Three types of each clothing. Wear one, wash one, dry one. The pros are that my backpack is super light and I never have to do much laundry. The cons are I need to wear things more than once and fashion is not of top priority.

Remember that travelling light is a process of elimination that takes a while. Six months ago I had around 40% more stuff than I do now. I originally had around twice as much clothing. I later discovered that I wear nearly the same thing everyday. And if necessary nearly all of this can be found abroad.

Here is all the stuff I carry:

4 shirts: 1 tank top, 2 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve.

4 pairs of pants: 1 athletic short, 1 pair of jeans, 1 lightweight pants (picked a pair of these up in Thailand for 2 bucks to go into temples. I highly recommend getting a pair on site), 1 pair of warm leggings

3 pairs of socks, some undies, two bras

1 zip up sweat shirt

2 pairs of shoes: one teva sandles, one pair of running shoes

1 swimsuit

1 small towel: can be used as a pillow or blanket

1 enu nest hammock: Awesome for south/central America where hammock hanging hooks are built into many houses. 

1 inflatable sleeping pad

1 extra sheet and pillow case

Notebook and pens

toiletries: chapstick, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunblock, deodorant, small multipurpose soap (works as soap, detergent, shampoo…ect.), comb, razors, emergency tampons (an essential to carry in SE Asia where they are nearly impossible to find).

Other: headphones, passport, earplugs, emergency toilet paper (essential), poncho, nalgene water bottle, sunglasses, fan, assorted plastic bags (for laundry,camera protection in a rainstorm, trash, ect.)

basic first aid kit: ibuprofen, Benadryl, band aids, iodine, deet, wrap, gauze, aloe, super glue

electronics: chromebook laptop, Nikon DSLR (and case), fujifilm waterproof camera (and case), phone (no service so just works as an iPod), assorted chargers and cords, lens cleaner.

My packing list is in no way perfect… there are somethings that I wish I had brought including…

a rain jacket: or any lightweight jacket.

a scarf: to cover the shoulders in more conservative countries.

a sarong: this one has sooo many uses

a skirt/ dress: It would have been nice to have something that is remotely fancier than say jeans or athletic shorts.

Happy travels XX -Iz