Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Packing List! 6 months in South America

6-months backpacking in Central and South America

My (light) Packing List

- 1 MEC 60L travel bag
- 1 small backpack (which can fit in my large travel bag)
- 1 over-the-shoulder purse

- 3 sundresses
- 1 long skirt (which doubles as a tube dress when hiked up and belted)
- 1 pair of leggings
- 1 pair of jean shorts
- 3 short sleeve shirts
- 1 long sleeve shirt
- 2 bikinis
- 3 pairs of socks
- 1 bra
- 5 pairs of underwear
- 1 sunhat

- 1 pair of Blundstone boots
- 1 pair of flipflops
- 1 pair of Birkenstocks
- 1 pair of cute flats

- Acer Notebook
- iPhone 4s + charger + earphones
- 4 cameras (GoPro Hero, Canon ELPH 300, Canon F4000, toy film camera)
- extra batteries + chargers
- 6 memory cards of different sizes

- shampoo + conditioner (small bottles)
- face wash + lotion
- toothbrush + toothpaste
- tweezers + nail clippers (which double as scissors)
- makeup
- hairbrush + hair clips + elastics
- razor + extra blades

- passport (and photocopy of passport photo page)
- 2 credit cards
- around USD $100 in cash
- guidebook
- compass
- camera stand
- extra passport photos (for visas)
- 1 quick-dry travel towel
- 1 silk sleepsack (which I only used once)

- chewable Pepto Bismul tablets
- motion sickness pills
- Acetazolamide tablets for altitude sickness (Diamox) 

- red nail polish
- jewelry

Stuff I needed to buy while travelling:
- rain jacket
- sunscreen
- bug spray
- warm alpaca sweater

On this trip, I tried to pack light, and bring only the things that I would use at least once a week. I didn't bring any pants, and used my leggings as a substitute for pants (which actually worked out well). At times, I wished I had more variety in my clothing, as it got a little boring to wear the same clothes every single day. I went shopping a few times, and bought a few extra sundresses to add to my minimal wardrobe.

Overall, I would recommend a light backpack, as you naturally acquire lots of little extra things while you travel. Having a light bag allows you to pick up things as you go, without your bag getting too heavy. That being said, after I bought a giant painting in Cartagena, and then a huge poncho in the Otavalo market in Ecuador, my backpack got too full and too heavy to carry comfortably for long distances. At that point, I took those items out of my bag and mailed them home to Canada in a box through the post. It was easy, and not very expensive, either. I felt like a new person when I put my backpack on without those heavy items in it!

Are you a light packer like me?
Or do you like to pack for precaution and carry lots of stuff with you?


  1. How many times did you wear your clothes for? Did you have to wash your clothes a lot?

    1. I wore most of my clothes once or twice, and yes I washed things often. (Usually once every week/two weeks where I could find laundry). My leggings were probably the least washed item, as I needed them most days. I would have benefited from having a second pair. I also washed the small stuff by hand, too.

  2. I'm generally a pretty heavy packer although I keep trying to change my ways. I have that problem of getting bored with wearing the same things. I brought 14 different shirts with me for 5 weeks in South Korea and even then I was starting to get tired of some of them, even though I'd only worn them a couple times. I'll keep striving to not be the girl lugging the 50lb suitcase through the airport though.

    1. Wow! 14 different shirts! That's awesome. If you are willing to carry it, why not?? I would have bought a lot of clothes in Korea!

  3. I love when I tell people that if they just wash their clothes once a week, they can just bring one week's worth of clothes and it'll never be a problem. For some weird reason they never believe me. So I like pointing them to lists like these to prove it's not only possible, but it's also not a tragedy on par with volcanic eruptions or whatever.

    1. It's really quite easy to wash clothes weekly or by hand, especially in a warm climate! I suggest that everyone tries packing light at least once just to see how it feels to live without the things you think you need.

  4. Ummmm I must be the yin to your yang, or something, as we both know that I had about five times the stuff that you did. I was willing to carry it, though, so who cares, right? That being said, I took only a carry-on to Rome last week, and I'll do the same for my two weeks in Israel/Jordan. I'm trying to learn to travel light...er!

    Here's how different we were: http://www.thisbatteredsuitcase.com/2012/05/how-to-pack-for-long-very-long-trip.html

  5. I'm slowly learning to travel light. I learned my lesson when I studied abroad for a summer in Europe, I brought a huge suitcase full of clothes. It was so heavy I had to pay extra baggage fees, and was a major pain to lug around the UK and Spain. I recently packed an entire week of clothes in a carry-on and felt it was a major accomplishment haha!

  6. Very interesting post, you give some good suggestions. How much kg is all the stuff together? Would it be possible to walk relatively long distances with the luggage on your back?

  7. Oh my gosh, Kerri is comin again!!! yay! :D

  8. Lol you pack like me but I carry a few extra sundresses. I am planning to move to Korea for a year and initially I wanted to take a large suitcase but this might be better because it would allow me to take weekend trips without carrying a big suitcase every where. I also considered bringing the large suitcase and also packing a small backpack for when I need to escape.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...