What’s in my backpack for 3 years of traveling?

Probably one of the biggest questions I get asked about my trip other than ‘How the heck can you afford to do that??’ is ‘What the heck are you bringing with you??’

The answer is not a whole lot but actually quite a bit more than you’d expect.

I promise it’ll make sense by the end of this post.

I hope to answer all your burning packing questions and leave you thinking I’m a bit out of my mind.  Which I’ll fully own up to.

So without much further ado I present to you my amazing packing list for long term travel – 3 years to be exact.

The backpack

I waxed poetic a bit about my handy dandy backpack early on in the creation of this blog.  It’s a Gregory Jade 38 (meaning it has a holding capacity of about 38 L) and is a just a bit bigger than your standard school backpack except with more support and cooler looking.

I’m not the largest of people, and I knew from the get go that I didn’t want to be lugging around 50 lbs of luggage on my back day in and day out.  Not appealing sounding.  So going with a smaller pack insured that I’d be forced to keep the amount of items I brought with me to a minimum.

gregory jade frontClothing



3 tank tops (2 with built-in bra)

3 t-shirts (all quick drying material)

1 long-sleeved shirt (medium weight)



1 black dress

1 pair of yoga pants (can be used for hiking and sleeping)

1 pair of regular pants (fairly quick drying and can be cinched at the bottom to turn into capris)

1 pair of running shorts



1 Exofficio Women’s Chica Cool Hoody

1 black 3/4 length cardigan

1 quick dry Merino wool pullover top from Stoic

1 Marmot Women’s Precip Jacket that folds into its own pocket

all clothes

All of the above clothes fit into an Eagle Creek packing cube!  The t-shirt, sweatshirt, and pants outside the cube are what I plan on wearing on the plane so naturally they won’t be in my bag.

*Packing secret!  Roll your clothes instead of folding them and you can fit so much more!*


undapantsAll of the following fit into a smaller red Eagle Creek packing cube (which you can see in the second to last picture).  Seriously packing cubes are the bomb.

5 pairs of underwear (2 ExOfficio Quick Dry)

1 sports bra

2 regular bras

2 pairs of regular socks

1 pair of hiking liners

2 pairs of Smartwool Women’s Hiking Socks

2 bikinis


toiletries Deodorant




Stick sunscreen

Razor and extra blades

Face wash

Dawn soap

Face moisturizer

LUSH solid shampoo

LUSH solid conditioner


Diamox (for altitude sickness)

Ciprofloxacin (antibiotic)


Bobby pins (in tic tac container)

Diva cup/panty liners/tampons


Nail file

Nail clippers


Ear plugs

Duck tape mini roll


Pepto Bismol

Rehydration salts

Alcohol wipes


Triple Antibiotic cream

Jewelry (in pill box container)

Hair ties and headbands



1 pair of KEEN Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boot

1 pair of New Balance Minimus sneakers (weigh hardly anything)

1 pair of Havaianas Flip Flop


electronicsCarrying case from Amazon Basics

1 750 GB external hard drive

1 camera charger

2 spare camera batteries

2 spare GoPro batteries

iPhone charger

Kindle charger

Spare AAA batteries for headlamp

32 GB SD card for camera

8 GB SD card for camera

16 GB microSD card for GoPro

A few random GoPro accessories

More Electronics

electronics and shoes Not all the electronics I’m brining fit in the above container so, in order to make use of the little space I have, I put most of the remaining electronics I have into my shoes!

Macbook Air charger

GoPro camera

GoPro battery charger

Universal adapter

Stuffable day bag

Paracord (I used this stuff at work all the time and it’s amazing.  I’ll be using it as a laundry line, extra shoe laces if needed, and for any other tying needs that may arise.)electronics IN shoes See it all fits nicely!

Extra stuff

misc. stuff in bag Not everything in my backpack has a nice organized place to go so I have a few remaining items that just kind of go wherever I can fit them.

13′ Macbook Air (not pictured here – forgot about it…oops!)


Laundry bag





Face microfiber towel

Body microfiber towel (not pictured – I suck)

Surge protector with USB ports

Face wipes

Money belt

Red Sox hat


Carry-on/Day bag

carry on Pacsafe Metrosafe 200 GII Anti-theft shoulder bag

Canon Powershot SX510 camera (not pictured b/c it’s taking the photo)

Unlocked 4S iPhone

Ear phones and case


Hand sanitizer

Passport/Passport photos



Small 16 GB USB drive

Deck of cards


Mini deodorant

Sunglasses and case



Kindle Paperwhite

Everything that’s going!

everything in bags Well that’s everything that’s going in my backpack plus my carry on bag and the clothes I’ll be wearing on the plane.

I’m wearing my hiking boots on the plane because they’re heavier (though still pretty light for a hiking shoe) and I’ll be able to fit my flip flops in my carry on for later.

all packed upSee it really does all fit!

My backpack plus shoulder bag weighs about 25 lbs.  Hopefully I’ll be able to bring this puppy carry on the whole way (edit: I was able to!).  That’s why I got this size backpack in the first place!  And anything I forget or need I can simply pick up along the way.

When I write it all out it sounds like a ton of stuff…and I guess in reality it kind of is.

But then again it’s really not a lot considering this is almost everything I own.

Have you ever packed for an extended trip away?  How much did you bring?  See anything on the list I left off?

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6 thoughts on “What’s in my backpack for 3 years of traveling?

  1. So great to see how much can fit in your Metrosafe 200! I’ve just purchased one online and was feeling very hesitant about the size but from what I can see, it looks like it can fit everything I plan on carrying daily on my trip coming up. Thanks! Love how much you can fit in your backpack too, amazing! 🙂

    • Yes the Metrosafe 200 is great! I still wear it even when not traveling. The lighter you can travel the better…you back and shoulders will thank you for it!

  2. Pingback: August '14 Pre-Trip Travel Budget Roundup - Home Behind - The World Ahead

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