Tomorrow I will leave and begin my trip through Southeast Asia, and like all good procrastinators, I’ve waited until the day before to finalize my packing. Sure I’ve checked and double checked multiple lists of things in preparation for my 6 months abroad, but until now I haven’t made an effort to make sure it’s all in the same place. So this post is really serving a dual purpose for me since I’m writing it while I pack, and since your backpack is basically your life on the road, it’s probably best that we start there.
After some consideration I decided to downsize my backpack and returned the 60 +10 liter pack I bought at REI, and purchased a 46 liter one off of their website instead. Having now carried it through the Denver airport at its heaviest during my move from Tucson back to my hometown, I can already tell that downgrading the size of my pack was a great decision. Not only did it fit into the overhead bin while fully loaded, but despite the issue of weight, it was really easy to carry.
After reading an exhausting amount of packing lists online I finally narrowed down the amount and types of clothing I’m going to be taking with me. In my pack will be 1 fleece ( wearing tomorrow on the train/plane), 3 T-shirts, 1 long sleeve shirt (also wearing on the train/plane) & 1 long sleeve cardigan, 3 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of jeans (wearing on the train/plane and may be tossed after arriving), 1 long skirt, 5 tank tops, 2 pairs of sandals and 1 pair of canvas shoes. I also packed the necessary underwear, swimwear, and socks that I’m going to need during my trip. On a side note I may have to pack my parents dog Ellie… she’s been relentlessly adorable as she lies on all of my clothes and gives me her best puppy eyed look.
Toiletries & Extras
Admittedly this is where I ended up over packing. I used what I already had at home as a way to save some money (and to keep from wasting perfectly good stuff), so I’m packing a larger amount of stuff than I had initially intended to. In my toiletry kit are the basics like toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, soap, deodorant, mascara, eye shadow, lip balm, lip gloss, razors, fingernail clippers, a small mirror, mouth wash, dental floss, some q-tips, and a ridiculous supply of tampons. I also have larger bottles of lotion, sun screen, bug repellent with 40% Deet, cleansing wipes, 2 small bottles of hand sanitizer, aloe vera, after sun lotion, a bottle of dry shampoo, and a container of hair gel since I made the wise decision of getting a high maintenance pixie cut before taking this trip.
In my medical kit I have cortisone cream, aleve (regular and pm), pepto, zantac 75 and imodium, my malaria medication & azithromycin from the travel clinic, band aids, alcohol wipes, antiseptic cream, motion sickness medicine, cold/flu medicine, a thermometer, and vitamins. I also have my guide-book, phrase book, both travel scissors & a knife a friend gave specifically for this trip, an alarm clock, a small flashlight, 2 journals, a travel sheet, an umbrella, travel towel, laundry bag, small tote bag, adapters, a military grade can opener, a small calculator, ear plugs and eye mask, 3 carabiners in case I need to secure things to my pack or my pack to something, and 2 locks.
Lets also not forget about my cell phone, camera, laptop, external hard drive, and cross body purse for day trips, that will be with me on the plane. I am going to have to check my bag in order to smuggle some American junk food into Thailand for a friend of mine, so there will be a little extra room available after I unload his goodies.
Despite how long of a list I just crammed into this post, I’m happy to say that despite being at capacity right now, everything fits in the pack. Luckily I’ll be able to rearrange a few things once I’m in Bangkok to maximize the use of the external pockets.