This week, I’m packing a backpack again!
But, this time, I’m going some place new for me –>
I’m by far no expert on packing, but I have packed a bag a good number of times and have learned a thing or two along the way. After my year off, I definitely learned a good deal (*thanks to having to pack for extremes – blizzards in the high Himalayas and a summer in India) and have a general idea of how to pull things together and make it work. Plus, a lot of friends often ask about the great packing dilemma!
So. . .
What to pack:
(*Note: Recently I’ve been spending most of my time in warmer climates, in particular Asia, but this is a list of things that can be handy most anywhere. Also, if you are traveling less than a month, consider making do with less, much, much less. You’ll be surprised just how little you can live without! ALSO, remember, traveling can be rough on everything including your body, so travel with things you like but never what you LOVE and cannot live without, because it is almost guaranteed to get lost//stolen//broken//etc. You can always find things you need, yes, even if you are in the middle of what seems like nowhere. Often nowhere is someone else’s somewhere and you’ll make it work. I promise you that!)
+ + +
+ One fabulous backpack and daypack (REI, you rock! My REI-brand men’s pack comes with a removable daypack! Brilliant)
+ One hat (Who needs showers)
+ One sarong// lungi// or large scarf (because it becomes your everything from a scarf, a towel, a blanket, a yoga mat, a skirt, a dress, etc. )
+ One hammock (because nothing is better and they can also serve as a bed *depending on the circumstances)
+ One pair of waterproof shoes (J’adore my $1 rubber flats from Indonesia b/c they’re light and flexible, but I also often travel with my old, ugly, though trusty Chacos too)
+ One pair of running shoes or hiking shoes (Few shoes beat Salomon trail running shoes)
+ One water bottle (and water purification tablets or drops)
+ One watch
+ One film camera and film (*If you’re in to that sort of thing)
+ Camera. Batteries. Lenses. More memory cards than you think you need. Cleaning cloths. Filters. Audio equipment. ETC. (*If you’re a photographer, you know what you need AND a good way to transport everything! I use a Lowepro bag and it’s great, although a little too big for a bus or train! Cameras are always the best and worst part of the experience!)
+ Sunglasses (I travel with two pairs generally b/c they also get lost//stolen//broken AND b/c you can quickly change your look without taking up much space in your pack)
+ Good books (I find the book question the hardest. When I started traveling this past summer, I had nine books in my bag. And read twice that. One great thing about travel, especially if you are ever following the tourist trail is that there are always bookstores. Often these bookstores understand your dilemma and offer to sell and exchange your books. It really is a fantastic system. Maybe one of these days I’ll buy a Kindle, but for now, I love having a collection of books on hand)
+ One travel yoga mat (I believe that this travel mat is one of my best friends in life. It is the inspiration for my practice on the road and I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times it has served as far more than a mat – it is as a great bed, a train seat cover, a cushion on the floor, etc.)
+ A Diva Cup (Because! *That is, if you are in need of something like this)
+ A small, fold-able world map . . . or blow up globes (*it will come in hand. promise).
+ A laptop (*if away for more than a two months. once again though, it’s all up to you. Wifi exists in strange places. But if not, there are often friends or internet cafes not too far within your reach)
+ Journals (Nothing beats a stack of blank white-paged Moleskines)
+ Good pens and pencils
+ Travel paint palette (*if you’re into that sort of thing)
+ Black clothes. Especially black leggins (*Mine got stolen early on in the journey this summer and I missed them terribly).
+ Clothing you like, that is mulch-functional and only a few white things (*White will not stay white. Ever).
+ Travel speakers (*a great way to make friends)
+ An ipod (*full of your power songs//meditation songs)
+ A multifunctional power adapter
+ A pocket knife (*hungry? need to defend yourself on a train in India? You never know)
+ A short length of durable rope (*Clothesline//safety//tying your bag to the top of jeeps//etc)
+ A small sewing kit
+ A pack towel
+ Medicines you might need or want (*Eye drops are always good to have, as well as allergy medicine)
+ Candied ginger (*Amazing for upset stomachs)
+ + +
Most everything else you can get, find, or make!
And get out there!
[Photos: Travels through Bali, 2012//Grace Farson]