There’s a million different ways someone can tell you to pack. There the minimalist, just the clothes on my back, to the over-prepared stuff in everything under the sun and inevitably forget the one thing you needed. I like to refer to the later as “the Boy Scout” method of travel. And while there is no doubt certain travelers will tell you their way is the right way…I have absolutely no idea what’ll work for me let alone anyone else. So I figured I’ll give a quick run down on what all I decided to bring and maybe we can check back in a month or so of travel and see how much of a “Boy Scout” I was.
The bag. Originally I was planning on using my 65L backpacking backpack, my staple for all things from tramping through forests to bicoastal living visiting family on holidays, but there was always one thing about it that bothered me…it is top loading only. Finding anything inevitably means unpacking everything for that pair of pants I knew I needed immediately but packed on the bottom by accident anyways. The idea of living out of that for a prolonged period of time did not excite me. So, I splurged and bought a Cotopaxi Allpa 35L. It has a full length zipper on the side and opens like a suitcase. Easy access plus the tons of built-in compartments and organizers were a huge win for me.
The bag comes with a bright yellow rain cover, two stuff sacks for clothes and shoes, and for a limited time a Luzon 18L day bag which I’ve managed to store perfectly in the external laptop compartment on the side for easy access. Not to mention it was designed to be the largest possible dimensions that will fit any overhead / carry-on restrictions in the world. That, and I figured 35L instead of 65L would make me a little more deliberate with what I wanted to bring.
Lets start with clothes; easier for this trip because it’s going to be HAWT. As a matter of fact very few clothes needed: 2 tank tops, 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 board shorts, 4 pairs of underwear, and a single pair of thick merino wool socks for the rare occasion it gets cold. For the elements I’ve got an old Patagucci R1 fleece and a rain jacket and rain pant to stay dry.
Electronics. The most important of any travelers gear, the “instagram equipment”. I brought my Sony a6000, 2 lenses (16-50mm and a 55-210mm telephoto), a GoPro 4, a small tripod and enough SD card space to keep me bust for a while. I also have a 200gb flash drive, extra batteries, and of course a home made bubble wrap and duct tape camera case.
As for everything else here’s a quick list and some photos:
- beard trimmer (for that elegant look)
- first aid kit
- Steripen (UV water purifier)
- International drivers license
- South East Asia backpackers guide book
- one Costco photo pack with an ungodly amount of cheap printed visa photos
- neck pillow
- sleep mask (looks like a bra for your eyes)
- sleep sack for those less than perfect hostel beds
- money belt
- **top tip** a surge protector with 4 outlet ports and one converter (charge everything at your single bedside outlet)
- bucket hat
- baseball cap
- 32oz Nalgene
- 3 L hydropack to maintain hydration
- journal for pre-blog thoughts
- dry bag just in case
- home made bag lock from Home Depot
- quick dry towel (Hitchhikers’ Guide would never let me forget it)
- camo buff
- portable battery pack
- an ancient black diamond headlamp
- a spork
- old glasses case stuffed full of charging cables so they don’t get lost
I think thats about it. If you’ve travelled more than me and can think of something I’m missing…well too late because we fly out to Tokyo tomorrow! Thanks for reading and check out the time-lapse packing video Athena made on our youtube channel at