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His Packing Guide for (Long-Term) Travel

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In this post, we describe what Jon packed in his 40 liter backpack for our 18-month-long trip.

We split the trip into six month segments and refreshed our gear along the way.

Also check out our guides for preparing for long-term travel:

Part One: You Might Want to Travel the World. Now What? Considerations for Long-Term Travel

Part Two: The Logistics of Travel Planning — What You Need to Do Prior to Departure

About the trip:

  • Weather averaged 50-70°F/10-21°C
  • We were mostly in cities, with day trips for light hiking out to the countryside
  • We walked an average of 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) per day over an 18-month period
  • Many in bigger cities we walked on average 7-10 miles (11-16 kilometers) per day
  • We “one bagged” during this trip — packing for no more than seven days even though we were on the road for six months at a time


  • Kelty Redwing 3100 Hiking Daypack 50L
  • Quecha Arpenaz 10L Daypack
  • TSA Approved Bag Lock – for backpack security
  • Masterlock Padlock – for hostel lockers
Jon carrying his backpack (back) and mine (front)

In flight outfit

  • UNIQLO shirt
  • Patagonia pullover sweater
  • Lightweight jogging pant
  • Waterproof Rain Jacket
  • Balega Mohair socks
  • Merrell Turbulance Performance Footwear

Eight in-flight essentials to bring on your next trip

Packing in-flight snacks

Packing cubes

  • 1 Eagle Creek small packing cubes for socks and underwear
  • 1 large packing cube for bottoms
  • 1 small packing cube for tops
  • 1 Eagle Creek dopp kit

Since our return from the trip we now exclusively use Eagle Creek packing cubes.

Here’s what clothing and toiletries look like packed their respective cubes.

Every day carry items

  • Wallet
  • Identification (passport only in countries that require it)
  • In-ear headphones
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Fork
  • Wet wipes
  • Eye mask
  • Sunglasses
  • Reusable waterbottle


  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Earplugs
  • Razor
  • Razor Blades
  • Lotion
  • REI Light Multi Towel

We purchase and share a full size shampoo, conditioner and body wash upon arrival.



  • (See In-Flight Photo) Patagonia pull over
  • Nike quarter zip pullover
  • REI quarter zip pullover
  • Not pictured: rain jacket


  • 5 Uniqlo Shirts – blue, black, light gray, dark gray, white
  • 1 sleeveless light weight beach shirt


  • 1 pair of cotton shorts
  • 2 pairs of athletic shorts
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 2 pairs of board shorts

Jon lost a pair of board shorts along the way and we did not replace them.


  • 7 Uniqlo Airism Boxer Briefs
  • Balega Mohair socks
  • Smartwool socks
One of Jon’s go-to outfits. Note that the shoes featured here did not make it on the packing list.
Shoes may just be the single most important item you pack — they need to be comfortable, durable, and lightweight. The shoes shown above are nice looking but meet none of the aforementioned criteria.


  • Merrell Turbulance Performance Footwear – a year and 2,000 miles of walking later, he switched out his Merrell’s for New Balance
  • Teva Hudson sandal
  • Not pictured: shower sandals for the hostel


  • Nikon Camera (shared)
  • Sandisk Extreme Pro 32GB memory cards (shared)
  • iPhone
  • Universal plug adapter (shared)
  • 32GB external USB
  • MacBook Air 13″
  • Aqua Quest Storm Waterproof Laptop Case
  • Assorted charging cords and cables

Identity, insurance & money

  • Passport (with relevant visas)
  • Driver’s License
  • Charles Schwab Debit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance

What do you pack for when traveling (long-term)?


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