What to pack!? We focused on what our travel style was and began from there choosing and researching what to bring.
- Everything needed to fit in one backpack.
- Backpack must be able to be brought as carryon and put in overhead airline bin.
- Focus on bringing things and clothing that will be used frequently and can not easily be bought while traveling.
We knew we couldn’t bring everything we’d ever need for six months of travel, so instead we focused on essentials and purchase whatever else we needed on the road.
The Best Travel Backpack
The open air mesh on your back is a godsend in hot tropical countries. Not only does it reduce the “sweaty back syndrome” but it is an easy place to shove a jacket without stopping and struggling with pockets or opening the pack.
I’ve found this is the perfect pack size forcing you to be conservative with what you bring but it is the perfect carryon dimensions so you never risk losing your bags by checking luggage.
The goal for me is to take the absolute minimum I need. I can buy clothes along the way and this is where I always tend to bring too much.
- I brought 2 Kuhl pants, 1 Kontra Air and 1 Revolvr. I love their cotton nylon mix that feels nicer than typical nylon traveler pants and don’t hold the smell like full nylon does.
- I also have a 2 pairs of shorts and 1 swimsuit.
- 5 pairs of underwear and smartwool socks.
- 1 Patagonia ultra-lightweight thin fleece long sleeve pullover
- 1 Down long sleeve jacket
- 1 Patagonia lightweight rain jacket and pants.
- Knit cap
The combo of a base layer, down jacket, and rain shell has kept me warm in freezing weather, yet packs down very small.
Natalie brought far more clothes than I did but women’s clothing is certainly smaller and packs down easier. Here is her clothing list:
- 1 Down long sleeve jacket
- Rain jacket and pants
- 2 pair shorts, 2 stretchy yoga pants/capris
- Teva sandals, leather sandals, sneakers
- 1 cotton dress
- 4 cotton tops, casual and sporty
- 2 longsleeve underlayers
- 1 long cotton skirt (for conservative areas of India and Indonesia)
- 1 scarf (lightweight warmth and to cover skin in conservative areas)
- 1 cotton zippered cross-body bag
- 1 knit hat
- 3 pair sunglasses (I have a very small face and can never find shades that fit!)
I don’t have many tips here for you except leave most of them at home as you can get most everything you need on the road. My one favorite travel container is the GoToob as they don’t leak and are easily refillable.
Tip: If after you pack everything into 3oz containers you find not everything fits into a 1quart ziplock or tote, split it into two bags. Put one in your daypack and keep one in your main pack and you won’t get hassled for being over the 1 quart limit if they check your bags.
Gear and Gadgets
This is my favorite and I am constantly looking for cool travel gear. This list is specifically to suit our needs of taking lots of cool videos and photos without having a DSLR.
Macbook Air 11″ – What we’re writing our blog and editing videos on.
Unlocked iPhone 6 – Our main video and photo taker. While I certainly would love a DSLR, it is a major investment and we’re not taking NatGeo level content. Maybe someday if we were paid to travel.
Movo Stabilizer – This makes all the difference in making videos. Would buy and even better one if I find one.
RodeVideoMic Me and Dead Cat muff – The key to better videos is better sound!
Lume Cubes – Incredible 1500 Lumen lights controlled by bluetooth and goes down 100′. With GoPro Mount.
ShoulderPod – Works as both a smartphone to tripod mount and handle with wriststrap. This is one of my favorite tools as I never feel like I’ll drop my phone while taking video and pictures. The cheap smartphone tripod mounts are not that secure.
Joby Mini Magnetic Tripod – The magnets are more useful than you think when taking shots in an urban area.
iPhone Telephoto Lens – So not the highest quality, but we have loved the ability to get a decent shot when the alternative is a tiny spec on a high res photo.
PhotoJojo iPhone Magnetic Lenses – Surprisingly fun and versatile lens system for the iPhone.
Essential Travel Gear
Kindle Keyboard – The old style that has free 3G internet access anywhere in the world.
Personal Travel Notebook
Hidden Wallet – Clips inside your waistband for a more discreet wallet.
TIP: Bring some expired credit cards and a bill or two of currency in your normal pocket to give if you get robbed. Keep your money split between several hidden wallets or spots to prevent losing it all.
Money Belt – Most discreet money belt I’ve ever found. I can’t recommend this one enough!
Case Hardware Bitcoin Wallet – Great new product to carry/send/recieve bitcoin anywhere in the world. Like the blog? Give us a Bitcoin tip: 3BkvV6VBfA1YRJk4eVXsvuNztntW43L6a4
PacSafe TravelSafe 5l – The best medium security way to secure your valuables. High strength steel wire embedded bag that can be secured to anything with a TSA compliant travel lock.
Combo and Luggage Locks – For lockers and zippers on our daypacks.
Etymotic ER20 Earplugs – For any loud trains or music and concerts. I intend to keep whatever hearing I have left and I find more and more places I use these. These selectively filter different frequencies of sound so the damaging ones are reduced and voices and speech actually come through well. Not for sleeping or total noise reduction.
USB External Batteries – Whatever size and weight works for you but I find these invaluable to extend our devices.
Brainwavz Earbuds – Very nice highly rated low cost earbuds that don’t come in “Rob me of my iPod!” white.
Maglite – With Nighteiz headband.
Spork – BPA free combo knife/spoon/fork with full spoon.
Lightweight Drybag – Sea to Summit makes a wonderful lightweight drybag that is a must have for traveling with any electronics, whether to the beach, on the water, or in the boat.
6 Slot USB Charger – With international plug adapters. Everything charges USB these days and there are never enough plugs to charge them one per plug.
KangerTech Nano – My favorite travel vape. I rebuild my coils and have an extra Subtank Nano.
We’ll be shipping this stuff back after our New Zealand trip.
Mountain Hardware Down Sleeping Bags Ratio/Heratio – We got left and right zippers respectively so we could zip our bags together for extra cuddle time. This is a far better option than those giant two person sleeping bags or letting our bags isolate us from eachother.
Ultralight Butane/Propane Camping Stove – Can’t carry fuel on planes so we’ll pick fuel up on the ground.
MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot – Also a nylon bag so the soot doesn’t get everywhere.
GSI Outdoors Glacier Metal Cup – Can be used on a stove or fire.
Buy when arrive:
- Foam Ground Mat
- Camping Food