We get a lot of questions as to what we are packing for our around-the-world journey. So we’re featuring a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ rundown of everything we’re fitting into our 40L Osprey Farpoint backpacks and our smaller hand luggage. After reading my and James’ thoughts on how to pack for around-the-world travel, you’ll be ready for your own simple journey across the globe! I’m sure we’ll revisit this list periodically with updates of what got ditched, what got added, and some of our favorite items.
In addition to my Osprey Farpoint backpack, I’m also carrying a smaller Osprey Daylite backpack for carrying items around town or as a smaller carry-on for essential items. Both bags can be carried on if you can meet the weight limits. Unfortunately, my Farpoint has been a little over the 7 kg (~15 lb) limit imposed by some international carriers, so he’s been getting checked and only the Daylite has made it in the cabin so far.
My Farpoint is my home away from home and the Daylite is my electronics, liquids, and catch-all bag. First up, what all can I fit in the Farpoint? Honestly a lot when you think about what is really needed and I still feel like I over packed a little. Most important to me was trying to get at least seven pairs of underwear packed to allow for a weekly sink laundry schedule. I can say I was successful! We took pictures of our packing spread from our Christchurch hotel, so not everything made it into the shots as we were using some of the items and we were wearing a full day’s outfit, so the numbers may not add up…but you get the idea :).
I feel like I shopped out REI and can’t wait to have my dividend when we return. My REI clothing includes:
- 6 REI Women’s Co-op Tech T-shirts in multiple colors,
- 1 REI Co-op Quarter-Zip Tech Shirt (long sleeve),
- 3 Patagonia Active Sportsbras,
- 1 regular bra,
- 2 pairs of prAna Halle Pants,
- 1 pair of Kuhl shorts (sorry, can’t find a link!),
- 1 Columbia Just Right Skort – a skirt with shorts underneath (new favorite for the hot weather and dipping my toes in the water),
- 3 pairs of SmartWool PHD Outdoor Light Mini ankle socks,
- 2 pairs of SmartWool Men’s Hiking Medium Crew Socks (James & I share these now and then),
- 8 ExOfficio Women’s Give-N-Go String Bikinis, and
- 1 pair Keen Sienna Canvas Mary Jane slip-on shoes.
Now for the packing. My lower layers are rolled in my bag and the rest is kept contained with the the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter packing cubes – other nomads swear by them and I have to say they were a smart purchase to keep stuff organized. I’ve also got a pair of Tevas acting as shower/beach shoes and my Oboz Sawtooth Low Hiking Shoes which I wear on all airplane flights to keep the bulky stuff out of my luggage. I also packed an old Columbia fleece jacket to use as a layer, a Patagonia capeline long-sleeve shirt, and a Marmot Precip lightweight rain jacket to use as another layer or protection from the elements. PJs are simple with another t-shirt and shorts and then a compression bag holding my mummy sleeping liner (I have an older version of this Sea-to-Summit Reactor Plus Thermolite Mummy Liner). Plus, I’ve got two swimsuits awaiting use on the beach and a scarf, buff, and hankie. We also brought with us two re-usable shopping bags which are handy for when you hit up a farmer’s market for local goods or as a container for loose items in a campervan or an extra carry on for the airplane when your big bag gets checked.
We’re using the XL size of Personal PackTowels where I have the pink version and James is using the grey version. For shampoo and conditioner, we’re trying out the Lush brand bar style units and so far I am a fan of the shampoo but still debating about the conditioner. Other toiletries include travel sized contact solution, toothpaste and toothbrush, full size deodorant, and a pick comb with a couple other miscellaneous toiletries tossed in my REI Micro Shower Kit travel container. I’ve got my 12 months of contacts stowed away along with some of our other medicines (Cipro, malaria medication, a small bug spray, etc.) for our year-long journey in my pack. For doing laundry on-the-go, we’ve got the Universal Travel Sink Stopper and my other new favorite, the Sea-to-Summit Lite Line Clothesline – this guy has come in very handy on our campervan road trip of New Zealand!
The outer pouch of my Farpoint holds my laptop when we’re not using it, a 13L Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack, my Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Light Pack Cover, a Pocket Monkey, the 55L PacSafe Backpack and Bag Protector to cover my bag if left in hostels, and some extra ziplocks, Kleenex, a small roll of toilet paper, and two Master Lock TSA-approved luggage locks to keep our items secure from opportunistic thieves. I also attach a 1-L Naglene bottle on the outside with a carabineer.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something in the list, but as you can read, you can pack a lot in a 40L bag. So far in three weeks, the only things still clean from when we departed the USA are one of my swimsuits, one sock pair, and my Patagonia long-sleeve, and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything yet. We did supplement with buying a big bottle of contact solution, toothpaste, and laundry soap once we arrived in New Zealand, otherwise we’re using everything we brought with. We also added two fleece blankets and a flat sheet found at the Warehouse, a New Zealand version of a Walmart or Target discount store, for our 23-day campervan road trip.
The Daylite is really my catch-all bag for everything ranging from electronics to personal items. I’ve got my sunglasses, glasses, headlamp, business cards, money pouch when not wearing it, Sea-to-Summit Aeros Travel Pillow, sleep mask thanks to a previous Emirates Airlines flight, earphones, extra medications, a miniature card deck, a couple of pens, two moleskin note pads, a travel guide diagram we got free where you can point to common images, and James’ old iPhone 5 that I use for wi-fi only. Occasionally, the Daylite also will carry both of our Kindles, all the electronic cables/power adapters/etc. in a small stuff sack, our Sony DSC RX100-IV Camera, a LensPen Camera Cleaning Kit, our Steripen for treating water, a collection of spare batteries in a Ziplock baggie, a Seagate 2TB External Hard Drive used as a back-up (James has the primary one), a 4-in-1 Travel Adapter, and the rain pack cover for the bag (purchased separately). Additionally, the Daylite turns into the primary laptop holder for our transit days when my duffle isn’t able to stay with me. It’s also going to be the transportation unit to hold our souvenirs we pick up along the way until we opt to ship a box home.
I expect to be exchanging out items as we traverse the world and start to wear out some of my favorites. Do you think I over-packed or under-packed for the journey?
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