My 55L High Sierra Backpack 🙂

Whenever next you are at the airport; flying off to some place and you happen to spot one lame person trying to juggle 2 big suitcases, 1 laptop bag, 1 carry on bag and a hand bag, come over and say Hi to ME. Yes, it most probably would be me. I am a bad packer, or at least till few months ago I was one. I could not decide what I needed to carry and in what quantity. Whether it was a 2 day trip or a 2 week one, I would most probably have packed the exact same stuff i.e. all of my closet. My exact thoughts would be-

“What if I have to go for a super classy dinner? Let me take my long, flowy silver gown.”
 
“What if I have to go the beach on two consecutive days?? Let me pack an extra swimming costume.”
 
“What if my heels don’t match the dress I want to wear?? Let me take an extra high heel pair.” and so on..
But this trip was different. I decided to be different. After all this type of trip, was the first of it’s kind in my life and thus was the perfect time to make a change in my set travel packing routine.
I was going BACKPACKING. The literal definition of a backpacking trip as per dictionary is-
“The activity of traveling or going camping while carrying your clothes and other things that you need in a backpack“.
 
The key words being- in a backpack.
 
And so I promised myself to travel light(would be the first time in my life). My mantra for this trip was going to be –
“LIGHT IS RIGHT.”
My Day Sling Bag(Totto)

So after a lot of deliberation, I came up with the perfect list for the absolute necessities for a month long backpack trip across South America.
(This list would more or less be applicable for a backpacking trip to any part of the world.)

I am carrying a 55L High Sierra Backpack(45L is also okay, but more than 55L would be a pain to be carrying around with you.) Other great backpack brands are: Osprey and REI.



Along with this, I am also carrying a mid size sling bag(Totto) for my day trips and a leather money belt(Totto) for ensuring that my money, credit/debit cards and passport are safely hidden under my clothes.

Now let’s start packing:

I) CLOTHES: Remember all hotels/hostels have a laundry service in or around, and that too very reasonable in S.America. So make the best of them whenever you can.
– 5 T-shirts (Mix of half and full sleeve shirts)
– 4 ganjis (Sleeveless shirts-extremely light to carry)
Most important possession- My Money Belt(Totto)

– 2 beach dresses(Can also accessorize and wear them in your evening outings).

– A pair of jeans(Ever wondered why they are called a pair???)
– 2 pairs of shorts
– 1 pair of comfortable travel/hiking pants
– 1 wind sheeter
– 1 swimsuit
– 1 sweatshirt/jacket(If you plan to go to a colder place)
– 1 muffler/stole
– 1 cap
– 1 pair of gloves(i.e. if you are planning to go trekking up the high altitudes)
– 5 knickers
– 2 regular bras
– 2 sports bra(More comfortable while traveling, trekking etc)
– 4 pair of socks
My belongings that I need to take

II) SHOES:

 
– 1 pair of sneakers(Comfortable yet sturdy)
– 1 pair of flip flops/slip-ins
– 1 pair of flats suitable for outings( Flashy ones would do just fine 🙂 )
III) TOILETRIES:
– 1 Toothbrush
– 1 Toothpaste
– Mini Shampoo/Conditioner
– 1 Shower gel
– Mini body lotion
– Lens solution(If applicable)
– Mini face wash(Optional)
– Basic Makeup(Optional)
IV) ELECTRONICS: If you can do without them, then that’s ideal. But most travelers like to capture and share their experiences with the world. And so stick to the basic yet important stuff.
– Mobile phone(If only going to used for keeping in touch with family & friends, then ideally just take along an old handset. I like to use my iphone camera a lot and hence would be taking the risk of carrying my iphone 6 with me.)
– Laptop/Ipad(Remember light is right. So avoid taking your bulky, expensive laptops along.)
– Headphones
– Camera/GoPro or both(While the serious photographers would not like to compromise their photo qualities and would want to have both their DSLR and GoPro with them at all times; I on the other hand like to just take my GoPro Hero4 Silver as it is the cutest, lightest and the best image capturer I have come across.)
– Universal Charger
– Portable Charger(Backup for all the long bus journeys)
V) MISCELLANEOUS: All the other important stuff that you must not forget.
– Sun Block
– Sun Shades
– Wet Wipes
– Hand Sanitizer
All ready and packed in my backpack 🙂

– Mosquito repellent(Hostels in S.America can be ITCHY at times)

– Torch(For camping or night treks into the amazon jungle)
– Medicine kit(Only basic pills and band aids. Don’t carry your complete first aid box)
– Neck Pillow(Bus journeys can be a pain in the neck at times. Better to be prepared.)
– Eye Mask
– Ear Plugs(If you are a light sleeper like me.)
– Few Books to read while traveling in buses.
– Munchies and Crunchies(For the late night cravings)
There you go. That’s all that you need to be carry with you for a ‘perfect backpacking’ trip. If you need anything else, you could always buy it in any of the shops you come across in the new city.
While the list looks long, when you start packing it in your backpack(use packing cubes preferably),you will realize that all of the stuff fits in nice and comfy in your backpack.
 Unlike those times when after a trip, while unpacking, you realize that you didn’t wear/use half of the stuff you took(happens with me a lot); this trip would be different.
You packed what you needed and you used what you packed.

Hope the information was helpful. If you have some more important essentials for a backpack trip that I might have missed, please do share with us. Would love to hear from you. Travel becomes more enjoyable when the experiences are shared with others :).Till then

Chao!
Adiós!
Hasta Luego!

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