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So I’m now on a backpacking adventure through Asia for 3.5 weeks before flying to Europe and backpacking and working in UK/Europe for the next 2 years.

In my last trip when I backpacked for over 4 months through Central America and South America on my first long term backpacking trip I did countless hours of research. Reading other bloggers packing lists, trying to determine the perfect packing list. Eventually I came up with a list I was pretty happy with “What To Pack For A 6 Month Backpacking Adventure In Latin America.” and accompanied with my awesome DSLR/Laptop bag I set of on my adventure.

When packing I always have a bit of a struggle, As all the advice I ever seem to hear from anyone is that I should pack as light as possibe. I wondered whether this was always the best choice, I recently wrote a post discussing “Packing your Backpack, Why Goin g Light Isn’t Always Best“. Because for me I have a  bit of a backwards approach to to packing.  I am in the situation where I will be leaving overseas for 2 years or more. I don’t plan on doing any multiple day treks, For the most part I will be travelling from hostel to hostel short distances. I place no value on the clothes that I leave behind. So I would rather pack more clothes than less and ditch/donate any excess clothes I don’t use/want

Challenges of packing for multiple climates

As the departure date approached I had the task to pack my bag for both a hot (Asia) and cold (Europe  in fall/winter) climates. When I last traveled through Latin America I was lucky because for the most part everything was pretty warm. However now being faced with colder temperatures I had to make a decision. Either pack no winter clothes and just buy them when I got there or pack my winter clothes in my bag and carry them for the 3.5 weeks through Asia.

I decided to take my winter clothes with me, As 3.5 weeks isn’t that long. Plus with the help of a compression sac all my scarves,beanies, jacket etc compress down really small.


My compression sack with, 1 beanie, 1 wooly hat,1 jacket, 1 jumper(sweater),2 scarves.

So what’s different in my packing list compared to last time?

More or less my packing is very similar to last time, The main changes are that I upgraded my laptop so I am now travelling with a 14″ laptop instead of 10″. Clothing wise I obviously have all the added winter clothes for Europe. I also have upped the amount of collared shirts I have in my pack as I am anticipating the need to dress more smartly in a lot of European cities.

I’ve also added a tiny backpack that can be rolled up in my main bag, As while I love my Messenger bag for carrying my DSLR and  Laptop, It just isn’t practical for short day hikes. I’m going to see how the combination of these two bags go, It’s a bit wasteful on space and in all honesty I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up ditching both of these bags, in favor of a 20-25L decent backpack to use as my daypack at some time in the future.

My Messenger bag

My Messenger bag

Then there is all the silly items I have in my pack. These are the things that I bought during my time in Australia that I’m taking just for fun, The two main things are my spinning poi glow balls and my Kalimba.

For those of you that don’t know a Kalimba is, it’s a little wooden south African instrument, Here’s a video from Nerd Travels Vine of me playing it. While this is a bit silly, I love the idea of travelling with an instrument, In my last trip I even bought and traveled with a drum for a few months, and while I didn’t use it a lot it was still a fun thing to carry around.

 What’s in my backpack this time!

backpack contents

 Important Items

  • My Passport (Including, travel vaccination book and 5 photocopies)
  • 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)
  • Drivers licence + international drivers licence


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.)
  • A small day pack that folds up (Ok this is a bit excessive but from my last trip going on day trips with a messenger bag sucks, This is small and doesnt take up much room and I already had it so figured id bring it along.)
  • Bag Organization

    Before leaving for my last trip I got put onto packing cubes and I have never looked back. I can’t see how people can travel without them. I love my packing cubes and although I lost my 15″ packing cube somewhere during my last trip  I still have 3 and recommend them to everyone.

    • 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
    • 1x
    Dry compression sacDry compression sac 14L (This holds all my scarves, jackets, beanies and other winter gear)
  • 1x
  • Dry sac 10L (This is currently un-used but it still compresses down so figure it would make a good laundry sac to maximize space)

    Both my bags all packed up and ready to go.


    • 6x Pairs of Socks
    • 8x Pairs of Underwear
    • 8x T Shirts (1 long sleeve)
    • 3x Collared Dress Shirts ( 2 long 1 short)
    • 1x Pair of Jeans
    • 1x Swimming board shorts
    • 1x Long Cargo pants
    • 2x Shorts (One dress, one cargo
    • 1x Pair of Thongs (Flip Flops for you non Australians :P)
    • 1x Jumper dressy (Or Sweater for you non Australians)
    • 1x Soft shell jacket (For hiking and keeping rain and cold out
    • 1x Hippy baby alpaca sweater from Peru (Omg this is so soft)
    • 1x Hippy Pants
    • 1x Hippy Leather Belt (bought this in Guatemala)
    • 1x Dress belt
    • 1x Hiking/everyday shoes
    • 2x Scarves (One is silk and tiny I swear :P)
    • 3xBeanies (Ok this is excessive but…. I use one to store my Kalimba in and one to store my DSLR in)
    • Fuzzy Canadian hat (Ok this is a bit silly but I love it :P)
    My awesome Canadian hat I bought during my time living in Montreal :D

    My awesome Canadian hat I bought during my time living in Montreal 😀


    • 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 jar of styling wax
    • 1x bottle of 2 in 1 conditioner and shampoo
    • 1x bottle of shower Gel
    • Condoms
    • Small Tube of Sunscreen
    • moleskin (for blisters)


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


    day pack

    Bit of an Australian background there for you 😀


    Canon DSLR Camera with 2 lens (18-55m and 50m 1.8) + Spare battery + Charger +Strap
  • Compact
  • Sony Cybershoot 14.1 Mp Camera + Spare Battery + Charger (For those times I don’t wanna lug my DSLR around)
  • 6X SDHC Memory cards + case (4x16gb,8gb and 4gb) (I use these to backup photos and store in money belt while travelling)
  • Gorilla Pod portable Tripod (I didnt wanna take a full on tripod so I compromised with this.)
  • Extra macro/Wide Angle Lens + a bunch of filters in a case .
  • Remote control for DSLR
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 waterproof/shockproof camera +case+ charger (for times I don’t wanna take DSLR out
  • Iphone +Charger + Headphones
    HP Laptop Envy 14″ touchsmart + 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 easily sharing  photos with friends etc)
  • 1x Crappy $5 phone I picked up in Guatemala (Good for decoy phone or party phone)
  • X Mini II Portable Speaker (I love this thing)
  • Audio splitter cable to share music with a friend.
  • 1x 2gb
  • Usb Memory stick (For easilly sharing  photos with friends etc)

    Other Stuff

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NIBZB0W” locale=”US” tag=”nerdtrav-20″]Large Travel Towel[/easyazon_link]
  • 1x Small Metal LED Torch (In Hindsight I could have gotten a lighter one but I already had this)
  • 1x Pack of playing cards
  • 1x Eagle Creek Money Belt
  • 1 x Big [easyazon_link identifier=”B00004SQLJ” locale=”US” tag=”nerdtrav-20″]combination lock[/easyazon_link] for locker
  • Hippy headband to go with hippy gear
  • 1x headlamp
  • 1x Pack of playing cards
  • 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 (I never used these last trip but who knows maybe this time)
  • Between 5-10 small sealable plastic bags (in case I need to keep things from getting wet.)
  • Sunglasses  (My “Totally Legit” Oakley glasses from Ecuador)
  • Notepad with pen to write stuff down.
  • Calculator (For handing to people to write the price of things when you cant understand how much something is)
  • Books

    Only one book this time. I’m only in South East Asia for 3.5 weeks and didn’t feel that short amount of time warranted carrying a book for it. I ended up getting Europe on a shoestring as I figured it would be a good thing to read on a bus or just when sitting around hostel in Europe to work out where I want to go next.

    Silly Things

    So there you have it . Everything that fits into these two bags, The main pack weighs in at around 16kg and the day pack is about 6kg.

    Still sad that I couldn't fit my sloth Onesie and Ukulele in my pack :(

    Still sad that I couldn’t fit my sloth Onesie and Ukulele in my pack 🙁

    This list is by no means a very optimized minimal list. I could literally half the amount of clothing of this list,ditch half of the electronics,all the silly things and save over half of my bag space. To be honest my bag is packed pretty tight, I only really have to get through 3.5 weeks in Asia with it before arriving in Europe, There  I have plenty of friends that would be more than happy to store a few of my items for me, At least that way I still have access to them, where if I leave them in Australia it’s not worth the postage to send them over.

    How do you prefer to pack? Light? Heavy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

    2017-08-29T01:42:47+00:00 4 Comments


    1. Josh Gaskin September 4, 2013 at 3:10 am - Reply

      You definitely don’t like to pack light!

      • Brendon September 4, 2013 at 3:32 am - Reply

        haha I’m terrible for it. Least my bag is like 9kg lighter than it was when I left South America and there is no tent + sleeping bag hanging off outside of my bag haha

    2. Agness September 5, 2013 at 2:55 am - Reply

      Packing has always been my challenge. I pack way too much, but I love your idea of bag organisation. So simply and I see you keep travelling light, so nice 🙂
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