The Packing List

When I told my grade 1/2 class about the trip I was going on, they had some of the most honest questions I’ve had so far:

Are you taking your car there?

How are you going to carry ALL your stuff?

How many suitcases will you take?

Where will you live?

And my personal favourite:   Are you bringing your cats?!  (My kids had heard countless tales of my crazy cats, even though then now reside with my younger sister, I still call them “mine”)

I told them that I wouldn’t be taking all of my things, in fact I would be taking very few things with me.  Also, trying to explain packing up everything you need into a backpack (kid-translation:  but that’s where my lunch goes!) was an interesting feat.  They eventually accepted that I would be living out of a backpack, and were quite excited about the concept.

So … with that introduction, I bring you The Packing List.  This one has been edited many … many … many times.  My first test-pack resulted in me sitting and staring at the floor, covered with what I would live with for a year+.  I couldn’t decide if, I was thinking I need to cut back or I’m not bringing enough ________.  Confused.  My instincts steered me towards the former, so less it is!  Below is a categorized list of what will be in my backpack for our trip.

Backpack — Arc’teryx Women’s Altra 62 LT Backpackr

This is the pack I used when I visited Braydon on his motorcycle trip through Central and South America.  I loved the fact that it can be both top-loaded and zips completely open, making it super-easy to organize–particularly for getting at/storing those not-so-often-used items at the bottom of my pack, without having to unpack and repack every single time.

Carry-on bag

An old (I mean from the 8th grade old, about a decade) Dakine purse.  I couldn’t believe I still owned this when I found it, but it’ll be perfect for on the plane.  It has a big main pouch, several zipping pouches, an adjustable strap and a locking fold-over top.  This will hold my Kindle, iPod, and other plane-travel survival items for the trip to Tokyo.  I intend to buy a “regular” small purse while traveling (for nights out and such).




  • 1 pair jeans
  • 1 pair Lulu Lemon leggings
  • 1 pair Lulu Lemon Studio pant
  • 2 pairs shorts
     (black Lululemon and green shorts, I cut the brown ones)







  • toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • contacts, contact solution, glasses
  • Ecco Bella moisturizer
  • lotion, sunscreen
  • deodorant
  • q-tips
  • naiclippers, nail file, tweezers
  • comb
  • shampoo, conditioner
  • soap
  • razor, razor blades
  • Sea to Summit Dry Lite Towel
  • hair elastics, ponytails, Buff
  • makeup (powder and mascara)



  • Anti-malarials
  • benedryl, aerius (allergy meds)
  • allergy prescriptions (for allergic reactions to … anything)
  • inhaler
  • birth control

First AId Kit

  • band-aids
  • polysporin
  • athletic tape
  • Robaxacet
  • Immodium
  • Aleave
  • extra strength ibuprophin
  • Krazy Glue
  • gauze
  • alcohol wipes


Electronics Some of these things will be split between my and Braydon’s bags, but I’ll list all of it here)


  • mesh laundry bag
  • duct tape
  • lighter
  • hacky sack
  • frisbee
  • sewing kit
  • knife
  • multitool
  • Petzl headlamp
    (it’s a hands-free flashlight!)
  • parachute cord
  • journal, pens, Sudoku book
  • Lonely Planet Southeast Asia on a Shoestring
  • hammock
  • plastic covered cards
  • UNO cards
  • sunglasses (prescription and regular)
  • DEET
  • silk sleeping bag liner (for those not-so-great sheets in that hostel)
  • combination lock (for locking things in hostel lockers)
  • pack cover



  • passport
  • credit card
  • personal debit card
  • joint account debit card
  • drivers license
  • Saskatchewan Health Card
  • IAMAT list of hospitals
  • teaching certificates (for potentially working in Australia/New Zealand)
  • copies of all of the above items

And … the final product!  Everything I have in my backpack for adventures anywhere!

IMG_20130923_17155020130925_053015**Note:  All of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning if you follow one to Amazon and make a purchase, I receive a small amount!  If you are one of my fabulous Canadian followers and wish to check things out on, please follow this link (sorry, link coming soon!)


3 responses to “The Packing List

  1. This would be an amazingly helpful list for a first time backpaker. It was incredible to see all you packed in. I loved your kids’ comments! I can just hear them!


  2. Wow! You have amazing organizing skills!
    With kids, I seldom backpack now, but this list in parts is also useful for regular travellers.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    • Thanks Ausaf! I found other people’s packing lists so useful I figured I would share mine as well. I’m not always so organized for sure, but when you’re packing your life into a backpack you kind of have to be.

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