Packing like a ChampApril 9 in the United States
I wasn't planning on blogging this trip, especially since it's just a two-and-a-half weeker, but then I read someone else's blog about how to pack for a trip and I was motivated. In her advice, amongst others, she said she brought 12 pairs of underwear. 12. Backpacking. The entire concept behind backpacking is being self sufficient and clever about what to bring, pieces that have multiple purposes. I have 3 pairs of underwear - 2 of which I like and rotate between everyday, one of which is likely to stay in my bag until the very last day when I give up on laundry and wear them for my return. Side note - why is it called a pair of underwear if it's just one piece?
I have with me my brand new, never been broken into Lowe Alpine Z Duo 30. 30L of beautiful, sleek black organization. Although truth be told - I don't know if it's actually less then 30L or if Jack's 20L bag is actually bigger then that, but my things fit quite snug in my bag, and fit in the exact same "snug-ness" in Jack's bag. Who knows.
Before every trip, I pack everything I want to bring with me inside the bag, to make sure it all fits, and then I remove what I'll be wearing on the flight. That way I'm 100% sure everything will fit along the way. Pleasures of a small bag - no overhead compartment is too small, no mini bus is too packed, I can keep it with me on any transportation instead of paying the fee to stick it underneath or on top, and it's light enough to carry with me during the day if we don't plan on returning to the same accommodation at night (which is always because for some reason, Jack likes to 'switch it up' everyday).
Packing list (for warm weather, where we plan on hiking) - keeping in mind, my clothing is mostly men's, so this list is more user friendly for the masculine folk, I'll include a list of Jack's packing after :
Sexy backpack (30L)
Pacsafe day bag (with my anxiety, this is my security blanket, definitely not a must, but gives me peace of mind - it has these theft proof features like you can't cut through the fabric and zippers clip shut)
3 shirts - one long sleeve for cooler days, 2 short sleeve t-shirts (quick dry, antimicrobial to stop them smells)
2 sports bras (one which looks decent as a swim top)
3 underwear (quick dry, antimicrobial)
1 pant (quick dry again, always important to dry overnight)
1 pair of shorts (you know it, quick dry)
2 pairs of socks (antimicrobial is most important, it's impressive how long they won't smell)
1 pair of hiking shoes
1 pair of walking sandals
1 belt (my weight fluctuates everyday when traveling, mostly since I can't eat for my first few days, yay anxiety)
1 thin sweater (since it will be mostly warm weather)
1 rain jacket
1 bathing suit bottom (shorts for me)
1 bluff (that round neck scarf thing - useful for neck sun protection during hikes, can be shaped into a hat if cold, and classic sweat rag)
1 sarong (my towel, my pillow cover, my added bus padding, my beach cover, anything!)
All of my clothing fits in 2 packing cubes. Packing cubes are a must - keeps everything organized and compact. So when it's colder I can wear my long sleeve t-shirt, my sweater and my rain jacket while using my bluff as a tuque. Layers.
Cosmetic bag includes all mini travel size bottles - shampoo (my short hair can live without conditioner for a few weeks), soap bar in a soap box, sunscreen, hair jel, toothbrush and paste, pill bottle of mixed pharmacy, razor, tweezers, and a 'mini' first aid kit which basically consists of 2 band-aids and polysporin (my nursing friends would be ashamed).
I have a 'laundry baggy' which has a laundry soap bar (not liquid), a travel clothe line, a universal sink plug and I threw in a couple hydration tablets in case Jack decides to get food poisoning again.
Odds and ends :
Steripen (our new baby - look it up, this thing sounds awesome - with our water bottle, we should be able to sterilize any tap water abroad and therefore avoid buying bottled water)
3-way plug splitter (if fighting for a plug in a dorm - I can split one 3 ways)
Pack of MiniEggs - a must.
In the day bag:
Camera (I used to have a DSLR but found it too heavy and big, I now have a Sony a6000)
Tablet (mostly used for airport entertainment)
Pens (literally only for immigration cards)
Phone and tablet chargers
That's it, that's all. Never bring an 'in case', never over think it, everything is washable and dries overnight. Always keep up with laundry - washing underwear and a t-shirt every night takes 4 minutes and allows you to carry a much smaller load. You just have to get used to seeing each in the same outfits on repeat.
Jack's variations - she's in a 20L Osprey Tempest backpack. Her packing cubes are higher quality then mines which allows her to really keep her clothing compact and organized. As for clothing - she has a summer dress, 1 pant, 1 tank top, 1 undershirt, and 1 t shirt, and has a dress shirt to throw on top of her tank top or undershirt. Obvious all quick dry, mostly antimicrobial. 2 socks, 2 underwear. She keeps her makeup to bare minimum - mascara, eye shadow and lipstick. She has hiking boots, they're huge when comparing to my hiking shoes but with the volcanoes she plans on hiking - apparently necessary. And believe it or not - they fit inside her bag, none of this tied to the outside and flopping around non sense. Her 'day bag' is a miniature purse the size of the travel book. Oh ya - she has the travel book. And an eye mask - princess needs her darkness to sleep.
That sums it up. That's advice from two very light packers. And when I cross other traveller's with 50-60L bags, my shoulders hurt for them. You take away the movability when you add all that weight and size.
Have fun travelling! I'll let you know how Guatemala goes! Booked the tickets Friday, left Monday, don't have our first night booked because we're hoping to arrive at 645pm as scheduled, and head straight to the bus station for an overnight bus to Flores. We'll see how that goes!Read more