Fitting Your Life in a Backpack (RTW Packing List)

Those of you know me know that, while planning this trip, I was most apprehensive about what I was going to pack. I’m used to having a full closet at my disposal, and now I was going to have to downsize to one 40 lb backpack to live out of for the next year. Actually, apprehensive might be an understatement; I was semi freaking out. So, after discarding a gigantic pile of things I wanted to bring with me but couldn’t possibly fit, this is what I have with me for this trip. It was actually nice to unpack and repack everything today, because I don’t think I even realized half of what I was frantically throwing in the morning before my flight.

As I typed this list out, I was pretty amazed at how much stuff I actually managed to bring along. I also felt a little ridiculous as I filled up an entire bed with the contents of my backpack sprawled out, but once I put everything back in it’s compression bag home, I felt a little better. Those bags are probably one of the best inventions ever.

So, here it is. My RTW packing list:

Backpack (prob around 40 lbs all packed) & Day Backpack (both Osprey)

Cosmetic Bag incl. makeup, brushes, 2 necklaces 2 pairs earrings, perfume, etc.

Shower Bag incl. 2 quick dry travel towels (1 large 1 small) and 1 quick dry washcloth, eye makeup remover cloths, razor, razor heads, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, q-tips, face wash, body wash, shampoo & conditioner, Aquaphor

Medicine 2 Z Packs (prescribed), First Aid kit, Aspirin, Biotin, Nyquil, Dayquil, Airborne

1 Brown Purse (everyday)

1 clutch (going out)

1 skinny black belt

3 Pairs PJ Pants

1 Pair PJ Shorts

2 PJ Tank Tops w/built-in bra

3 Bathing Suit Bottoms & 1 Black Bathing Suit Top

1 Bathing Suit Cover-up

5 Pairs Underwear

3 Bras (2 regular & 1 strapless)

7 Pairs Socks (3 running, 2 regular, 2 hiking)

2 Sports Bras

4 Workout Shirts (3 short-sleeved, 1 long-sleeved)

3 Pair Workout Pants (1 short, 2 long)

1 Sarong

1 Buff & a couple of Headbands

6 Scarves

1 Skirt (casual, shorter)

1 Pair Shorts

3 Pairs Jeans (1 regular, 1 grey, 1 black)

5 Tank Tops

6 Short Sleeved Shirts

10 Longer Sleeved Shirts (3 nicer, 1 sweater-ish, 6 casual)

1 Black Blazer

1 Black Overshirt

1 Fleece Jacket

1 Thicker Jacket

1 Raincoat

1 Casual Brown Jacket

1 Pair Light Gloves (hiking)


Duct Tape


Locks for both Backpacks


Instant Coffee

Water Bottle

Trail Mix (indiv. bags) & Granola Bars

Dryer Sheets (for smell in backpack)

Laundry Soap (individual)

Laundry Bag


Pocket Knife

Extra Plastic Bags


Sleep Sheet

Small Cooler

Multiple Compression Bags

P90X Workout Book & Bands


Running Shoes

Hiking Boots

Hiking Sandals


Flip Flops

Tall Leather Boots (flat)



Nikon D3100 Camera & Lens

Sony Cyber-Shot Camera

Ipod Nano & Headphones


Reading Lamp


External Hard Drive

Plug Adaptors

Cords, Chargers, etc.

Australian WOOF Book

Deck of Cards

Portable Wine Glasses

Passport & Yellow Fever Immunization Records

Copies of Passport/Immunization Records

Things I’m really glad I brought:

Reading Lamp—I use this all the time, not just for reading. Apparently I’m a night owl, because I’ve been the last one to come into the room at night every night of my travels thus far. This lamp has probably been one of the main reasons that I’ve remained friends with the people I’m staying with. I clip it on to the bed and use it to find what I need in my pack without waking anyone up.

Crocs—I never would’ve gotten these if my Mom wouldn’t have recommended it. They’re super light weight but incredibly durable. I’ve worn them for everything from walking on a rocky beach to climbing up to Cape Reinga.

Instant Coffee & Snacks—Even though most hostels have free instant coffee, I drink one of my coffees every morning and know that they’re better quality. Another one of Mom’s ideas. The snacks have been great because they’re just convenient to grab when I don’t have anything else handy.

Separate Shower Bag—Just easy to take with my in the bathroom without having to put together everything every night.

There hasn’t really been anything that I’m regretting having taken with me, but I suppose I could’ve done without a few scarves 🙂 


5 responses to “Fitting Your Life in a Backpack (RTW Packing List)

  1. I realy admire your choice of things and chlothes to bring along-
    it shows that you have been thinkink about it a lot 😉

  2. You went with the D3100…awesome! 😉

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