What to Pack

One of the biggest obstacles new backpackers face is how to pack smart.  It doesn’t matter how long you are taking off.. most of the same items apply.  No need to stress out if you forget anything, you can always buy something similar abroad (or something similar.. if they don’t use it.. it’s probably not necessary anyway!)

Here’s a list, Most of these things you can pick up at REI
What to Pack
  • Medications/ Vitamins/ Supplements– bring more than enough to last you your trip. Good to ask your doctor for a prescription of an antibiotic just in case you get a bad infection. (Only use if real emergency)
  • Oral Rehydration Salts– in case you get travelers diarrhea… this will save your trip!
  • Flat Playtpus Water pack treatment & filtration system– if you are going to remote countries with poor water system
  • Travel Towel– dries fast, packs tight.. must have!
  • Small Lightweight Sleeping Bag– you pull it out and can sleep anywhere! Depending on what climate y0u are going to, check out the temperature rating.
  • Electronic converter– Research the electrical standards in the countries you are visiting. Then pick up a converter
  • Lonely Planet– a travelers “Bible”… pick them up at your local bookstore
Merrell Pace Crosstrainer

Merrell Pace Crosstrainer

Footwear is important because if your dogs are barking you’re not going to be a happy camper. (Thats cowboy speak for “tired feet suck”). So with footwear, you need to bring 3 types of shoes:
Athletic– You need a lightweight cross-trainer shoe that can get wet, dries fast, breathable and can scrunch in your backpack no problemo. For example, this shoe is by Merrell “Pace Glove Crosstrainer is perfect- it weighs  5 oz. and dries really fast!  Even if you are going to cold climates, this kind of shoe is what you need. The reason is your feet sweat. If it is cold, the sweat will just stay inside your shoes (or boots) and make you colder. You need to push the sweat outwards.  I hiked Patagonia’s glacier territory with shoes like this and were perfect.
Hiking Sandals-something that is supportive, extremely comfortable and preferably has a back strap that can come off (so you have a 2-in-1 deal.
Flip-Flops-some lightweight, rubbery, Havvianas that can get wet and you can also wear as a shower sandal if you are staying in hostels. This is also your “going out sandal so you don’t look like such a tourist!
Note: in all your shoes, make sure you spend many days walking around and test-wearing your shoes


Layer, Layer, Layer! Make sure you wear-test (and wash) everything before you pack it. You want to think lightweight items that are breathable (think rayon/ poly blends). I always like to have organic cotton or bamboo tanks and tops as well. A great thing to buy are convertible pants (that zip off and turn into shorts).  Only pack things that meet the following criteria: dry fast, wick away sweat and breathable,  so comfortable you could wear for pajamas, you look sexy feel like a million bucks. Finding clothing that meets all of these criteria is not that easy…  Choose wisely!
Don’t bring a lot of clothes! Below is all you need as a guideline:
  • 2 Pairs lightweight pants (no jeans unless they don’t have to be washed  often and extremely lightweight)
  • 1 Yoga/ comfy lounge pants or capris 
  • 4 lightweight tank tops, 3 tee-shirts, 2 lightweight long sleeve
  • 1 Lightweight Fleece (depending where you go, maybe a heavy fleece)
  • 1 Waterproof Jacket that can be small when rolled up
  • 2 pair of shorts that you feel comfortable in
  • 5 pair undies (we love the travel undies from REI)
  • 2 pair thin socks
Dr. Bronners Magic Soap

Dr. Bronners Magic Soap

Note for the ladies- tank tops with built-in sport bras are a great to have. Don’t bring any jewelery. You will probably lose whatever you bring and you’ll probably buy some cool stuff abroad anyway.  As far as dressing up- since you’ll probably fall in love on your adventures you want to look nice at some point. If you must, you are allowed to bring one lightweight dress that is also comfortable to travel in along with a flat pair of flip-flops . (like Haviannas these are your “dressy” shoes!)
So as you can tell you will be washing your clothes throughout your trip. One thing to not forget is 2-3 small travel bottles of Dr. Bronners Magic Soap. Why not just bring one big bottle? Well, this way you can toss out the little bottles as you use them so you make more space for yourself in your bag. Plus you will not want a half-empty bottle of anything taking up space in your bag. 
This brings us to the next subject- body care. As far as shampoo, face wash and body wash you are covered. Dr. Bronners Magic Soap acts as your wash for everything. It is amazing. Need to wash dishes? Dr. Bronners Magic Soap is the answer!
Leave us a note and tell us what your “must-have” travel item:


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