Travel Tip Background Info:
This packing list is for an adventure of indeterminate length to various destinations and climates, involving a huge variety of different adventure activites…. I suspect I may encounter issues when trying to cram everything into my pack!
I travel with two bags, a day pack and a hybrid hiking-travel pack.
My daypack is the 15″ laptop backpack, STM Drifter. It’s fabulous and has loads of pockets. It has a built-in raincoat too.
My travel pack is the MacPac Genesis Aztec 70, with the S2 harness. It has a detachable 15L daypack which I don’t use, without the daypack it’s 55L. I affectionately refer to my pack as Monster. So we travel together as Monster & Duck.
Anything marked with an asterisk is a factor dependent on something else, such as climate, specific destination, short duration holiday etc.
Lightweight, breathable raincoat
Quarter zip tech fleece
One merino thermal base-layer*
One merino thermal mid-layer*
Neat, thin jumper
Cute cardigan (a colour that matches everything else in my pack)
Four t-shirts (two cotton, two tech, quick-dry)
One neat shirt to wear out
A thin cotton, collared shirt
Two singlet tops
Hiking pants – lightweight, quick-dry
Merino thermal leggings*
Skirt that can be casual or neat
Cute patterned dress that doesn’t require ironing, is quick dry and packs small
NB: When going to muslim countries, ensure shorts/skirts are knee length
Two bras (one sports, one standard)
Seven pairs of underpants
Seven pairs of socks (four sports, two hiking, one fluffy warm pair)
Pair of stockings
Nike running shoes
Sandals (Chaco ZX2 Yampa)
Converse All Stars
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Hair Brush, hair bands and bobby pins
Perfume (yes I know that’s extravagant)
Lip balm with sun protection
Plastic Shower bag
Travel Wallet with passports, travel documents etc
Phone & charging cable
Tissues (in asia ALWAYS carry tissues as the toilets rarely have toilet paper)
Good camera and associated items: charger, spare battery, spare memory cards
Waterproof camera and associated items: charger, spare battery, spare memory cards
Power adapter with usb port for multiple countries
Kindle & charging cable
Laptop and charger*
Spare USBs for backing up photos*
Various sized Dry Bags to protect my gear if caught in a downpour
Permanent Marker (always useful for writing your name on your food bag)
Ibuprofen, Paracetamol & Aspirin (take an aspirin the day before flying)
Sleeping tablets (not hard core ones)
Broad Spectrum Antibiotics
Hydralyte or something similar
Elastic washing line*
Silk sleeping bag liner
Packing cells to organise all my stuff
How to pack effectively
Once you have decided what to pack, an important thing is knowing how to pack your bag effectively for weight distribution to minimise the negative impacts on the body when carrying it.
The important considerations are to keep things centred and to put the heaviest items as close to your body as possible.
Put medium weight items in the lower section of the pack. Put any heavy items centred and as close to the spine as possible, at a position which is roughly in the middle (vertically) of your back. Pack lighter weight items around and above the heavier items to fill out the bags.
I pack everything in packing cells to make it easier to find things. I have a cell for bottoms (pants, shorts, skirts, tights and dresses), a cell for tops (t-shirts, tanks, and sweaters) and a cell for underwear (socks, underpants, bras and swimwear).
I pack with the sleeping bag and medical kit at the bottom, the toiletries reasonably centred (this doesn’t always work out completely centred) and along my spine. I pad the remaining space with the packing cells.