What’s in my backpack?
So you want to travel for a long time? You picked the date, you told your friends, you booked your flight and now its time to pack. Or maybe not now but tomorrow, or maybe next week, you still have some time. Ok, so eventually it’s the day before your flight and you’re stressed out about what to take (or not to take!!!).
Yep we all have those moments. When we needed to pack we were stressed as well. We needed to pack for at least a year, and since every item you take means additional weight, decisions had to be made. We tried to pack as light as possible. This was difficult (don’t forget that one of us is a girl :P). We managed to do it, but still have taken a few things we wish we didn’t bring. Now, more experienced we wanted to write a blog about it so it may help others. In this post you will read about the things of which we believe are essential and the things we shouldn’t have taken to our trip.
Just for your information: We have 4 bags in total, 2 big backpacks (75lt and 65lt) and 2 smaller backpacks (for daily use and our valuables such as photo camera and passports, etc.).
1. First aid kid
The number one item and the item we are most thankful for taking with us, is a first aid kid. We packed our first aid kid way before we hit the roads. This was on top of our priority list. When we got our vaccine shots we first asked our doctor about them and also about medicines to take with us. The medicines we took are:
- Pills for nausea
- Different lotions (for insect bites/ burns/ infections)
- Diarrhea pills
- Band- aid
- Mosquito repellant
So far we had to use the painkillers, band- aids, the nausea pills, lotion for infections and of course the mosquito repellent. So packing these items was a good move. We haven’t used the antibiotics and we will only use them after consulting a doctor.
2. Electronic equipment
The need for these items can vary very much from person to person. In our case, we want to capture our travels and therefor need the equipment for it. In your case it might be different. Sometimes we leave some stuff behind at a place we stay for a long time and only take our smaller backpacks when we go on 2 day trips around the area. Here is our list of electronics we carry with us.
- External Hard-disk (2 TB)
- Kindle (substitute for heavy books)
- Canon D600 camera
- Casio compact camera
- Addionals such as USB sticks
- Travel speakers
- Chargeable lamp
- Electric convertor and adapters
We planned our trip to be very long, and various. Just India alone has different climates. It gets colder when you go up. Therefor for us it was an extra challenge to pack. We needed summer and winter clothes but only have 2 backpacks to fill (with the knowledge that every pound counts when carrying them).
- T-shirts (biggest part)
- Raincoats (waterproof for 4 hours)
- Shoes (trekking and casual)
- Trekking trousers
We don’t recommend you to get a lot of things here but only the necessary personal care/ hygiene items. Especially for ladies this can be a tuff one, but try to keep it minimal if you wish to have a light backpack. Remember that you can find most items at your destination as well.
- Shampoo (+ conditioner)
- Toothbrush and paste
- Hair comb
- Nail clippers
- Face cream and body lotion
- Hair trimmer
Some items we also have digital and sent it to our emails. You never know, you could forget your bag somewhere and before you know it, your most important things can be lost. Imagine being in a different country and losing your passport! This could ruin your whole trip. Therefor we made a list of all the copies and documents we have just in case something happens.
- Passport copies
- Visa documents
- Bank account summaries
- Travel documents
Last but not least, there are some key items which will make your trip much more comfortable. With nice weather comes a lot of mosquitos. These could definitely make you turn and toss at night when you try to take a good rest. Or imagine that the (cheap) hostel you took doesn’t look to shiny, or your flight got delayed and you need to spent a few hours at the airport. Here’s a list of items we have for these kind of circumstances you might need too.
- Mosquito nets
- Water bottles
- Sleeping bags
- Locker (for hostel lockers)
7. Things we shouldn’t have brought
Now that we are actually traveling, we can say that the casual shoes (besides the trekking shoes) are not used. We mostly have been wearing flip-flops. Next to this we haven’t used the warmer clothes (yet) and think one hoody per person would have been more then enough. Also, even tough we wear a lot of t-shirts, we have our favorites and some t-shirts never got to see the daylight. So a few less would have been perfect.
Shorts are another item which could have been less. Shorts are only good with beach places, usually when we go exploring in cities and smaller villages, it is not suited to wear shorts. What was more suitable is the sloppier and longer versions of clothing we bought for a few USD here in Asia.
So in short, you will need way less then you think, pack light. Also remember clothes in Asia are so much cheaper. We can buy a lot of stuff here for good prices. So don’t bother taking everything from your home country.