Few months ago I shared with you 10 essentials items I couldn’t do without on my backpacking trip to South America. I also promised you to come back with a bigger article including my complete packing list. I know it took me a while, but here I am! 🙂 I hope this article will help you pack for a backpacking trip. It doesn’t matter if you are heading to Southeast Asia or South America, this list is very universal and should suit all of you. Especially girls 🙂
Packing up for a two-month trip to South America turned out easier than I expected. I remember my friend and I had a real dilemma what to take with us and make sure we would not run out of anything. At the same time, we didn’t want to take too much, because everything had to be carried on our backs! In practice, it turned out that packing went quite well for us for the first time with a backpack, and not, as always before, with a comfortable suitcase on wheels. At the end there were not too many unnecessary things that we took with us, so the mission was a success 🙂
Before we start, remember that whatever you forget, you will find it in your final destination. Unless you are planning a trip to some desert of course. The most important are documents and money, the rest you can always buy. For the same reasons, it makes no sense to take extra cosmetics, double pairs of the same shoes in case of damage, etc. Only what is most necessary. And if you think that maybe something will be useful to you there (and you are not sure), don’t take it either. It is also important to take light things, anything that weights too much should be discarded. So… let’s go with the list!
I think clothing is the most difficult part of backpacking. Before you read my list, keep in mind that for me it was important to keep my style on the road. For example, I preferred to take two comfortable pair of sneakers rather than mountains shoes because I would never wear this kind of shoes. I also took few pairs of leggings instead of trekking trousers because again, I wouldn’t wear them. I don’t have „mountain clothes” in my wardrobe and I bought only a few, really essential clothes in Decathlon for that trip. The rest was from my daily closet. Again, the list below includes what I personally took on my backpacking trip. Feel comfortable to change anything you need.
During my trip I bought some local clothing as well, such as e poncho, hand knitted scarf, a warm headband, wool sweater and extra pair of gloves. As I said, don’t worry if you forget something, the local people will be super happy if you buy something from them 🙂
Being a girl on the road requires to take more staff, especially if we want to stay fresh and beautiful. We totally can go on adventure trip with style the same way we do when we go for a weekend to Paris. I don’t want this post to be longer than expected so if you want to know more about my top travel beauty products, check this article!
What did I miss during my backpacking trip?
I have to say there were very few things that I missed and didn’t pack for my trip. First of them was an electric tourist heater. I like to to start my day with tea, and access to boiling water in hostels was not always included. It is also useful for heating water for powdered medicines. If we didn’t have access to the kitchen, we were usually asking some good soul from reception to heat water for us. Another very important item is a tourist knife, which was taken from me during baggage control in Madrid. I really believe our daily routine would be easier with knife, not only to cut the string we used to hand laundry, but also to cook. We used small scissors and plastic knife instead. The last thing I missed during night routes in a bus was a warm blanket. At the end I bought a big scarf in Bolivia which fulfilled both functions. As you can see, there is a solution for everything!
This would be all when it comes to my ultimate backpacking list. I can imagine it seems like a loooot of stuff to pack, but you can easily fit in 10 kg backpack with this list. My last advise, don’t take more than 10 kg with you. It’s really not necessary and you will avoid a backache. Remember you will carry everything that you take with you on your back throughout the entire trip.
You can obviously give up on some items from my list or add some extra. Maybe you prefer to travel with tablet rather than traditional notebook and that’s also cool. I was thinking about taking a tablet but it required additional USB, cables etc, so I finally gave up on that idea. But hey, it’s up to you! Just remember about 10 kg limit. You can also check my beginner’s guide to backpacking South America here. And now I think you are ready to buy a good backpack and go! 🙂