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What to pack the question I have been wrestling with ever since I first started planning my trip. I have read many other blog posts on what to take on an extended backpacking trip and the general consensus tends to be “Whatever your thinking of packing your probably packing too much”.

With that kind of  in mind 😛 here it is. the list of all my possessions that I will be taking with me in my backpack that I will soon call home for 6 Months


All The Stuff I’m Taking!

 Important Items

  • My Passport (Still need to Scan it and send it to myself and wanted to make 5 photocopies to take with me)
  • Pen and Pad
  • My wallet  with Australian and Canadian Debit and Credit Card (My money is split up in 2 places, Ill keep both sets of cards in different places so if I get robbed Ill hopefully still have a access to some of my money)
  • Documentation (My Vaccination certificates once I get them done next week)


Deuter 50+10l Backpack
  • Rapid Dominance Messenger bag with custom strap and insert  for day pack (check my post on how to build your custom dayback for DSLR and Laptop)
  • A small gym draw string bag (This is mainly to be used as my dirty laundry bag but it has a zip pocket on front and room bottle holders also so could use it for trips to beach etc.)
  • Bag Organization

    After hearing a lot of positive reviews on Packing cubes and also not wanting my bag to be one giant free for all I decided to take the plunge and buy some eagle creek pack it cubes

    1. 2x
    Eagle creek Pack it Folder 15” (I opted for a folder in hope it would keep my one dress shirt not wrinkled :P)
  • 1x
  • Pack It sac (For all my electronic cables etc)
  • 1x MEC toiletry bag (You can
  • get a similar one from Eagle creek)
  • 1x tiny Mesh bag (Not Exactly sure what this is for but its super light weight and could be good for dunking clothes in or throwing some dirty underwear etc in)
  • 1x tiny little pencil case size sac for first aid stuff
  • Clothing

    • 7x Pairs of Socks
    • 8x Pairs of Underwear
    • 8x T Shirts (1 long sleeve)
    • 1x Collared Dress Shirt
    • 1x Pair of Jeans
    • 1x Swimming board shorts
    • 1x Long Cargo pants
    • 2x Shorts
    • 1x Light gym shorts (These are to sleep in or if I feel like going for a run)
    • 1x Pair of Thongs (Flip Flops for you non Australians :P)
    • 1x Jumper (Or Sweater for you non Australians)
    • 1x Cross Trainer running shoes (These are my main shoes but they already have holes in them, Im tossing whether it’s better to replace these before I leave or wait till I get there and get cheaper ones)
    • 1x Hat


    • 1x Toothbrush
    • 1x Small Travel Toothpaste
    • 1x Razor blades
    • 1x small bottle of shaving cream
    • 1x Electric Razor + Charger
    • 1x Nail Scissors
    • 1x Thermomater
    • 1x Can Of Deodarant
    • Small bottle of after shave
    • Band aids
    • Soap
    • 1x small  tube of styling gel (For when I wanna look SEXEH)
    • 1x bottle of 2 in 1 conditioner and shampoo
    • 1x bottle of shower Gel
    • Condoms
    • Small Tube of Sunscreen
    • Comb
    • moleskin (for blisters)


    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Pain killers
    Anti- Diarrhea pills
  • pepto bismol
  • Water purifying drops


    Everything that fits into my Messenger Bag!

    Canon Rebel XS DSLR Camera with 2 lens (18-55m and 50m 1.8) + Spare battery + Charger
  • I have a wrist strap and a neck strap for my DSLR still cant decide which one to bring So I may bring both seeing as wrist straight is light
  • Compact
  • Sony Cybershoot 14.1 Mp Camera + Spare Battery + Charger (For those times I don’t wanna lug my DSLR around)
  • 3X SDHC Memory cards (16gb,8gb and 4gb)
  • Gorilla Pod portable Tripod (I didnt wanna take a full on tripod so I compromised with this.)
  • Iphone +Charger + Headphones
  • Netbook  HP Mini 5103 + Charger + Small Wireless travel mouse and Neoprone case
  • 500gb Portable Western Digital Hard Drive (To help me back up my stuff.)
  • 1x 2gb Usb Memory stick (For easilly sharing  photos with friends etc)
  • Other Stuff

    • 3x D20 Dice (Thats how I roll, No Really this has a purpose I swear.)
    Small Metal LED Torch(In Hindsight I could have gotten a lighter one but I already had this)
  • 1x Pack of playing cards
  • 1x
  • combination lock for locker
  • 1x Small combination lock with wire cable (The small lock stays on my messenger bag and is used to lock it if I’m ever sleeping on a bus etc. Wire is if I ever need to lock any of my bags to anything)
  • 1x keychain style Bottle opener (I bought this in San Francisco after becoming frustrated at not being able to open any of my beers at the hostel 😛
  • Ear plugs and Eye mask (Wasn’t going to get these but they were free on a recent flight from Australia so why not)
  • Between 5-10 small sealable plastic bags in case I need to keep things from getting wet.
  • Sunglasses (For when I wanna be cool)
  • Books

    I have yet to purchase these books but will be doing so before I leave, I am still debating whether I should get

    Lonely Planet South America on a shoestring book before I leave or not. I’m guessing it will be more expensive or harder/impossible to get in Panama or Colombia when I need it, but then at same time i’ll be carrying this book around for 2-3 months without actually using it.

    Everything All packed up and Ready to Go

    Things I might be missing?

    • A
    foldable day pack (I noticed a few travelers have a foldable day back pack, my messenger bag is fine for walking around towns but might not be so good on a hike?)
  • Water Purifying Tablets and some kind of water bottle I know the drinking water is probably not going to be safe to drink so should I be bringing my own tablets and bottle or will I be relying on bought bottled water?)
  • More Comprehensive first aid kit (All I really am going to have is band aids and some antibiotic ointment, Do I need more?)
  • Business cards  (Ok this really is a luxury item, I just think it would be cool to have plus make it easier to give my details to other people I meet, Plus I’d feel fancy having business cards :P)
  • Alright so that’s it. Looking over this list I may have too many clothes, I probably don’t need  that many socks, underwear,shirts and shorts. However I’m on the fence seeing as how much can a few extra pieces of clothing weigh. Feel free to lay into me in the comments about this :P.

    I had a similar amount of stuff in my pack when I did California  and it wasn’t too bad, But then again I wasn’t carrying my pack much as I got shuttle bus’s between hostels and airports. I’m guessing Ill be doing a lot more walking between hostels with my pack in Latin America.

    Any feedback on my list would be much appreciated Have I packed to much (Probably) What things don’t I need, What things have I forgotten in my list?

    For your convenience I have included links to amazon to as many of the items as I could find, I also get a small commission on any items that are sold through links in this post, So if you found this post helpful and are thinking of buying anything on this list it would be super awesome if you used did it via one of the links here.

    2017-08-29T01:43:32+00:00 16 Comments


    1. Joseph Bicevskis October 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm - Reply

      Yeah you definitely need to grab some malaria tablets, just go to a GP and they can set you up. Need to get them soon too cause you have to take them for a little bit before you head off usually.

      • Brendon October 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

        Ill have to look into it. Not really looking forward to going to a GP seeing as I haven’t been to one over here before and last time I heard of a friend going it cost him a couple of hundred dollars to set up his account and just see a GP 🙁

    2. Joseph Bicevskis October 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      I think i took some doxycycline when i went to Vietnam, just had to have it once a day with food.

    3. jill October 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      Unless you’re heading to the jungle, you don’t really need malaria tablets. But if you really feel like you need it, it’d be cheaper to get the right type of malaria tablets once you get there. Check here for list of areas in each country where you need med and which anti-malaria tablet to get:

      OR what we did when we were in Africa was simply be religious with bug spray.

      You’ll have a blast. We spent 6 months in South America and it was wonderful!!
      jill recently posted..What’s It Like to Live in San Francisco?My Profile

      • Brendon October 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm - Reply

        Thanks for your reply Jill, Ya your probably right I had another friend that did South America also and he said he started taking them but then gave up half way through. I don’t plan on doing lots of jungle trekking. I was also reading that doxycycline makes you more sensitive to the sun. I already burn bad enough as it is so don’t know if I want to be even more prone to sun burn.

        I cant wait to get started on my trip 😀

    4. Ayngelina October 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      I spent 14 months in Latin America and I can tell you with confidence that if you forgot anything you can get it on the road for much cheaper than ever at home. When sailing from Panama to Colombia I just went to a pharmacy and asked for non-puking medication (I had to mime it as I didn`t know the spanish word for vomit). I also bought clothing and toiletries along the way – even birth control pills which were 4 bucks compared to 20 in Canada.

      I never took Malaria medication once.
      Ayngelina recently posted..Back in the saddle againMy Profile

      • Brendon October 9, 2012 at 12:22 am - Reply

        Thats good to know Ayngelina, that its easy to pick things up along the way. haha would have been funny to see you miming that out :D. I too was planning to get sail from Panama to Colombia. I like to think there is just this one pharmacist in panama that gets foreign backpackers in every miming non puking medication at them haha.

        Ya Think i’m gunna skip on the Malaria tablets, Even if I do get Malaria which is unlikely it will make a good blog post 😛

        So you think im better of holding getting south america on a shoestring book till im in panama or colombia instead of lugging it through central america?

        I was curious about travelling from panama to Colombia by boat. Isnt Panama pretty strict on already having a forward ticket when entering panama? Did you have any trouble with this? or any other countries wanting forward travel booked in advance?

    5. Agness (@Agnesstramp) October 24, 2012 at 5:02 am - Reply

      Don’t worry about malaria pills, you won’t need it. Less is more, but it’s cool you are not taking too much stuff with you. Angelina’s right. You can get pretty anything on the road for the cheaper price than at home.

      P.S. Have the same camera 🙂

      Don’t forget to pack your smile :))))
      Agness (@Agnesstramp) recently posted..Dinner and Lunch with Desserts for Two in Siem Reap on a Budget ($10)My Profile

      • Brendon October 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

        Ya Agness, I’m sure a few extra things will sneak onto the list in the few days before I leave hehe. Thats cool that we have the same camera 😀

        Oh I won’t forget my smile, its been hard to get it off my face the past few days. Sooo excited to be leaving in less than a week 😀

    6. Curious Nomad October 27, 2012 at 6:49 am - Reply

      In regards to buying books, there are PDF Lonely Planet guides and you can buy it for the entire region, country, or city. I’ve bought a few chapters to places I visited which was cheaper than buying a physical book. Plus I only printed the pages I needed or viewed it on my Kindle. It will reduce your weight significantly than carrying around books you’ll use for a short while. Good luck!
      Curious Nomad recently posted..Balloon Fiesta WeekendMy Profile

      • Brendon October 27, 2012 at 7:10 am - Reply

        Thanks for advice Curious Nomad, I would have got kindle versions but I dont have a kindle :(. In the end I got the Central America on a shoestring and latin spanish phrasebook only.Im lucky the central american guide is smaller than south america. Ill see how I go in Central with a physical book. I might even pdf the south american version if it gets to painful or I guess I could try trade it for a south american book when im in panama or colombia

    7. KC July 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply


      My name is KC Owens, I’m a college student and I love to travel! While cruising the Internet, I found your site and really enjoyed reading your posts. I have been to countries all over Europe with just my backpack and a camera. Since I am a college student and I have significant bills, it can be difficult to find ways to travel the world. However, I have done this several times, with less than ten pounds of luggage and while on a college dime!

      I was hoping that you would allow me to write a post for your site to share my tips and tricks with your readers. I put a lot of time into my traveling, it is my biggest passion and I would love to inspire others by sharing my stories, mistakes and triumphs. I look forward to hearing from you!


      KC Owens

    8. Brigid May 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      Hey Brendon! Great list, very helpful.

      I’ve been backpacking through Latin America for about a year and a half now, and have to say, traveling with a 30L backpack has been just awesome. It’s been especially great for chicken bus journeys (just pop the bag on my lap) and when I can’t check into a hostel until the arvo (can still walk around and see the sights without too much hassle). Haven’t missed any items yet (ok maybe some pretty shoes!), and as Ayngelina and Agness said, I’ve always been able to buy anything I’ve needed on the road.

      Best travel investment I made was buying a rechargeable portable charger. Also glad I brought altitude sickness medication with me…didn’t cope to well in Cusco and La Paz.

      Love the blog btw 🙂
      Brigid recently posted..6th Festival of Street Dance FinalsMy Profile

    9. emily August 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      Hello. Nice post – how did the gorilla pod work out?

      On the malaria tablets issue, I just wanted to add a bit more information and raise some awareness. As a doctor, I’ve noticed a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding malaria in Latin America, and our need to protect ourselves. Although it’s perfectly possible to travel here and not contract it, malaria certainly exists here (and not only in jungles) and people do die.
      The best advice is to take precautions, visit a travel clinic with your route in advance and, in most cases, take the prescribed anti-malarials. It is a horrible disease and these can save lives.

      For more information, check out my posts on the myths and the medicine:

      Safe travels!

    10. John February 22, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply


      I was wondering did you get the holders for all your t shirts etc? Look very handy.


    11. LoneBackpacker August 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Nice list man. While everyone is their own person, I must agree with Brigid above. I personally would never carry half that much stuff. I used a 20L for months of travel and I will also be doing 6-12 months in Central and South America and will be hauling a 28L for that one. My advice is to cut half the clothes and buy all of your hygiene products and medications as you need them. Most of the time I buy cheap clothes on the road and either donate my old ones of toss them. But again, that’s just my personal liking. I hate weight! Great post though!

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