What to Pack

I frequently encounter the question of how I manage to fit all my gear for a 2+ month trip into a small 40-liter backpack. It’s understandable because when you consider all the things you think you need to pack, it may seem like an impossible task to condense everything. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to look Instagram-ready every single day while traveling. There will be days when you repeat outfits and forgo washing. Embrace the adventure!

What to pack
Source: overthinkerspassport.com

To help you tackle the challenge of packing efficiently, I’ve put together this guide to narrow down your packing list. The goal is to ensure that you’re not burdened with a heavy load while traveling the world:

Your packing list looks quite comprehensive! Here’s a breakdown of the items you’ve listed:


  • 1 Pair of hiking shoes
  • 1 Pair of sandals/flip flops
  • 4-5 Pairs of T-shirts
  • 6-8 Pairs of underwear
  • 4-6 Pairs of everyday socks
  • 1-2 Pairs of thick/wool socks
  • 1-2 Sweatshirts/sweaters (warm and compact)
  • 1-2 Pairs of long pants (jeans, hiking, etc.)
  • 2-3 Pairs of shorts (gym, hiking, casual)
  • 1 Bathing suit
  • 1 Going-out shirt (decent button-down)


  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses (enough for your trip plus 10 days)
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash or bar soap
  • Shampoo
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Towel (microfiber, if possible)
  • Q-tips
  • Band-aids
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Tampons or pads (consider O.B. brand for compactness)
  • Altitude sickness pills (if traveling to high-altitude regions, prescription required)
  • Imodium (for diarrhea prevention)
  • Advil, Tylenol, or other headache medication


  • Passport
  • 3-6 Passport-sized photos (depending on the number of countries you’re visiting)
  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Headphones/Earbuds
  • Wallet
  • Camera and charger
  • Daypack
  • Combination lock (essential in hostels)
  • Reusable bag for laundry
  • Outlet adapter (if needed for different electrical outlets)
  • Paper copies of passport, flight itineraries, credit cards
  • Flashlight or headlamp (useful for camping/hiking)
  • Duct tape (versatile and useful item)
What to pack
Source: overthinkerspassport.com

Overall, it seems like you have a well-rounded list that covers clothing, toiletries, and miscellaneous essentials for your trip. Remember to adjust the quantities based on the length of your trip and personal preferences. Additionally, consider the specific climate and activities of your destination to make any necessary additions or modifications to the list. Safe travels!

Packing Tips:

These packing tips are practical and can help make your trip more convenient and efficient. Here’s a breakdown of each tip:

  1. Only pack for 2 weeks worth of travel: By limiting your clothing to a 2-week rotation and doing laundry along the way, you can keep your pack lighter and avoid overpacking.
  2. PPW (Passport, Phone, Wallet): These are the essential items that should always be kept safe and within easy reach. Everything else can be replaced if necessary.
  3. Laundry will be available: Many hostels offer laundry services, and local laundromats are often cheap and accessible, allowing you to keep your clothes clean and fresh during your travels.
  4. Keep liquids & gels to 3 ounces: Follow TSA regulations by using travel-sized containers for your liquids and gels. You can purchase these items locally if needed.
  5. Hiking shoes can double as casual footwear: Opt for versatile hiking shoes that can be worn for both outdoor activities and everyday use, reducing the need for additional pairs of shoes.
  6. Invest in a collapsible daypack: A collapsible daypack can be easily packed when not in use, saving space in your main backpack while providing a convenient bag for day trips or excursions.
  7. Microfiber towels are awesome: Microfiber towels are lightweight, compact, and quick-drying, making them perfect for travel. They take up less space than regular towels and can be easily packed.
  8. Outlet adapters are not always necessary: Depending on your destination, you may not need an outlet adapter. Some hostels may have outlets compatible with your devices, so it’s worth checking in advance.
  9. Phone flashlights work just fine: In the absence of a headlamp, the flashlight on your phone can serve the purpose adequately, especially for shorter hikes. Just be mindful of your phone’s battery life.
  10. Toilet Paper = White Gold: Carry toilet paper with you, especially on longer hikes or in areas where it may not be readily available. It can save you from discomfort in unexpected situations.
  11. Tours may provide some gear: If you’re going on guided tours or hikes, check if they provide necessary gear such as coats, gloves, hats, tents, or sleeping bags. This can save you from carrying bulky items.

These tips can help you streamline your packing, stay organized, and make the most of your travel experiences. Remember to adapt them based on your specific destination, activities, and personal preferences. Enjoy your journey!