Packing List – An Updating Packing Guide for a Long-Term Trip

Posted By Jeremy in Planning


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Sold, Moved, RTWHooray!  We've sold all our furniture, moved out of our apartment, and have begun packing our final few travel bags for our upcoming long-term trip.  As this is Living the Dream's second long-term adventure, we have the opportunity to revisit our long-term travel packing list.

For this go around, we're trying to include the theme “multi-purpose” in as many ways as possible.  But what does that really mean? Let's find out!

The Multi-Purpose Packing List

On this trip we will be on a “chasing summer” itinerary like most other long-term travelers.  After exploring the world in previous adventures, both short and long-term, we have found that we are what you would call over packers.  While our bags are light, our packing list is extensive.  As this trip will have us not only going to summer destinations throughout the trip, we are hitting a few places that could get quite chilly or down right cold.  To accommodate, we tried to develop a packing list that would be multi-purpose to cover us in all environments without requiring any extra gear.

How can a packing list be multipurpose?  Most of our gear is rated for all weather conditions: extreme heat to bitter cold, hiking grade and waterproof at the same time.

A great example of this is our KEEN shoes and sandals which are not only built for hikes, but also waterproof and fast drying.  The rest of our packing list follows this same logic.  We may not be taking thick winter gear, but our jacket is thick enough that will protect us from most cold days but thin enough that we can pack it easily.  Angie's long pants tie up to double as a pair of shorts for use on the many summer days we see, without the need for another pair of long pants.

We tried to apply this type of logic in the selection of all of our gear to make our packing list ideal for any weather environment we may face – short of the extreme cold weather during our hike in Nepal and potential Antarctica excursion.  In those destinations we may buy more heavy duty gear and resell as soon as our cold days are over with.

So, what goes into a 14 to 18 month packing list for a couple? Lets find out!

Angie's Bag – Guerrilla Packs Voltij (55L)

Angie's bag is a respectable 55L backpack by Guerrilla Packs.

The Guerrilla Pack comes with a nice detachable day pack that will double as Angie's carry-on bag when traveling.  The following items are featured in her daypack:

  • Documents
  • Sony HX20V Digital Camera  (Later Replaced by HX50V)
  • Acer AOD250 Netbook
  • Allergy Medicine
  • Cables and other equipment for above gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • Business Cards
  • Tripod (Small)
  • Power Adapters
  • Travel Pillow
  • Passport Photos
  • Journal and Pens

Jeremy's Bag – High Sierra AT Gear Access (95L)

Jeremy's bag is a beast and, at 95L, is the largest bag that you can check in an airplane without paying oversize fees.  While we already know that this bag is large, our packing list that goes inside it is not. This bag was bought entirely with souvenir acquisition in mind and has tons of room to load up with great purchases before we ship a box home.

Jeremy is also the lucky one to get to carry all the toiletries due to having the obscenely large bag (yay?).

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  • Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
  • Deodorants
  • Face and Body Soap (one of each)
  • Razors
  • Shampoo
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Floss
  • Mouth Wash
  • Medicine (Allergy, Motion Sickness, Immodium, Advil, Anti-Bacterial/Itch Ointment)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Bandaids
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Bug Spray (with 15% DEET)
  • Contact Cases, Solutions, Extra Contacts

The High Sierra bag that Jeremy carries does not have a detachable day pack and he uses an old school backpack that is large enough to fit in his favorite Tripod.  The following items are featured in his daypack:

  • Documents
  • Dive Log and ID
  • Nikon D80 SLR with Lenses
  • Canon D20 Dive Camera
  • Acer 722 Netbook
  • External Hard Drive
  • iPod Touch
  • Cables and other equipment for above gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • International Driver's Permit
  • Business Cards
  • Power Adapters
  • Tripod (Large)
  • Oscar the Roaming Gnome
  • Umbrella
  • Travel Pillow
  • Playing Cards
  • Passport Photos
  • Journal and Pens

Final Weights

In the grand scheme of things, we still cannot get over the feeling of being over packers.  I know I could take a few less shirts and one less pair of shorts.  The same is true for Angie.  But we hate doing laundry, and carrying a bag around for 20-30 minutes with a few more pounds twice a week is much better than a few more laundry loads.

Angie's pack weighs around 10 kg (22 lbs) when it is all said and done.  My pack weighs around 17 kg (37 lbs), primarily due to the load of all the toiletries.  Not bad when you consider my last long-term trip's bag weight was 14 kg.  I blame the extra toiletries.  A necessary evil.

Have you been on a long-term trip before? What do you think of our packing list?  Join the conversation by commenting below!

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3 Comments

  1. what are packing cubes?

    Post a Reply
  2. @NZ Muse – I second that statement. They are heavy, and I’m the husband who carries them. Although I volunteer since I have the larger bag!

    Post a Reply
  3. My husband carries all the toiletries too – they’re surprisingly heavy 😉

    Post a Reply

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