Deciding what to pack for a round-the-world trip is one of the most difficult steps required. With such limited space to pack all your worldly belongings, every item has to be scrutinized to ensure it’s truly necessary and not wasting space or weighing you down. We highly doubt we perfected this art straight out of the gates and expect to add and remove things over time as we figure out what works and what doesn’t.
The most essential gear are the packs we’ll be carrying on our backs. Originally, we hoped these would be small enough to qualify under airlines’ carry-on requirements, allowing us to keep our packs close to us on planes and buses and avoid the nightmare of losing a pack. Unfortunately, we quickly realized packs fitting this qualification would be too ultra-light for us. Instead, we’ve opted for medium-sized packs, about 40-45 liter capacity, that comfortably hold everything we’ve decided to pack.
Carrying a netbook, cell phone, iPod and other gadgets probably qualifies us as “flashpackers”. Regardless of the label, these devices help us stay in touch, keep us informed, and entertained.
- Small netbook computer, mainly for remaining “location independent” with Erik’s work – Asus EEE PC with 14hr battery life (1005PE-PU27)
- Unlocked GSM mobile phone with MaxRoam SIM card for emergency calls (more in-depth write up to follow) – Google Nexus One
- Digital Cameras – Canon S90 & Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS –
point and shoots, as we don’t have the patience to deal with SLRs
- Flip UltraHD Video Camera and Underwater Housing – for shooting small videos
- UV water purifier – SteriPEN Adventurer and spare batteries
Clothing & Footwear
Since space is limited, we’re only able to pack a few days worth of clothes. That means we’ll be doing a lot of laundry (think: hand-washing) and looking for items that dry quickly and pack down tightly. Therefore, anything with cotton is pretty much out – especially jeans! Most of the clothing we’ve brought is of the athletic/performance/camping type.
Some highlights include:
- Zip-off “convertible” pants – it’s a pair of pants, it’s a pair of shorts, no wait, it’s Ex-Officio Amphi Pants!
- One “nice” button-down short-sleeve shirt (nylon) – Mammut Finn Shirt
- Super-comfy Thorlo Experia socks (like walking on a cloud!) and Ex-Officio boxers
- Hard-Toe Sandals – Keen Newport H2 Sandals
Staying in budget accommodations and traveling off the beaten path requires constant attention to our personal safety as well as the security of our belongings. While nothing is ever 100% secure, these items should provide some degree of protection:
- Collapsible “safe” which can be wrapped around bed frames, beams, closet rods, or any fixed object – Pacsafe Travel Safe 100
- Neck pouch for important documents and cash (can also be worn around waist) – Pacsafe Pouch 100
- Mini Moneybelt – Eagle Creek Undercover Silk Moneybelt
- Wrist / Ankle Wallet – Sprigs Banjees Wrist Wallet
- Luggage Locks & Metal Cable – for tying packs together or shut