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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

Gear

  • 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.

IMG_20171114_083424.jpg
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

Toiletries

  • 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.

IMG_20171114_074603.jpg

Outwear

  • (See In-Flight Photo) Patagonia pull over
  • Nike quarter zip pullover
  • REI quarter zip pullover
  • Not pictured: rain jacket
IMG_20171114_081500.jpg

Tops

  • 5 Uniqlo Shirts – blue, black, light gray, dark gray, white
  • 1 sleeveless light weight beach shirt
IMG_20171114_081750.jpg

Bottoms

  • 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.

Underwear

IMG_20171114_081255.jpg
IMG_20171114_074744.jpg
  • 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.

Shoes

  • 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
IMG_20171114_074316.jpg

Tech

  • 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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