By guest blogger, Alisa

As soon as Martha and I decided to take this trip, I knew I was going to be the one to take on the task of packing.  Whether we’re going camping or taking a trip to the coast, I love to create lists, shop for supplies and make sure everything we could possibly need is organized and packed in the car.  And I mean everything.  From beach chairs to cast iron skillets (for gourmet campsite cooking) our car becomes a four-wheeled closet for all the things that bring us comfort and joy.  Knowing that we would have significantly less room on this journey, I became intrigued by the concept of packing light and fully immersed myself in the challenge.  

Like every armchair researcher, I consulted the great oracle for advice.  Search Google for variations on “packing light for world travel” and you’ll know how I’ve spent my free time for the past several months.  After pouring over packing lists and watching too many low-quality videos, I was hooked on the idea of packing super light. I even began to envision myself breezing through the world with nothing more than a 21 liter backpack and toothbrush with the handle sawed off and a pair of tire treads bungeed to my feet. And then I got real.

Even though blog posts about packing light are full of good ideas, thoughtfully composed pictures and heartfelt debates on the merits of wearing jeans – I decided that I was going to take the advice that works for our circumstances and ditch the rest.  When I felt myself getting worried that I wasn’t going to pack as light as Leo or James, I reminded myself that this is our journey, not theirs.  I decided that taking a few extra pairs of underwear was worth it.  And that a fully stocked first aid kit and a few packets of instant coffee didn’t make me a bad person, just a little extra prepared for us to enjoy our trip.

So for now, these pictures and lists have most of the things we’re packing.  A few things have made it in and out since last week but what hasn’t changed is that we are each bringing one carry-on sized rolling bag and one backpack.  Consider this a draft post.  I’ll update it again during our trip so you can see what we left behind, added or would have done differently.

Alisa’s clothes (packed in a run of the mill Samsonite carry-on two wheeled roller bag)

– Long sleeve Coolibar UPF 50+ Chambray Shirt  to help protect my sensitive skin

– Long sleeve, lightweight J Crew cotton voile shirt

– Coolibar Board Shorts for swimming, running and occasional in-town use and swim top

– Columbia Arch Cape capris x2

– Mountain Hardwear Yuma pants

– Columbia Just Right Capris for sleeping, working out and hanging out

– Gap Authentic Real Straight Jeans – go ahead and debate. I like jeans. Do I wish they were lighter and easier to hand wash? Sure. But I still like jeans.

– Lightweight Columbia sweatshirt hoodie

– Two boring t-shirts

– Icebreaker merino t-shirt

– Eddie Bauer zip up fleece

– Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket

– The North Face Nimble Jacket

– Enough underwear and two regular bras, one sports bra

– Wigwam Rebel Fusion Trekker and Trail Trax socks

– Brooks Adrenaline GTX running shoes (will be wearing when traveling)

– Birkenstock sandals

– Nike slides (not shown) for pools and showers

– Outgo Ultralight Compact Towel

– TSA Approved Luggage locks

– Eagle Creek packing cube and one random one purchased at Goodwill

– Steri-pen

– Trigger Point Performance Massage Ball (because my hips and back need help)

– Extra ziploc baggies for thingies

– Laundry supplies – Sea to Summit pocket wash and laundry wash (using up what I had), thin paracord for hanging clothes, small clothespins (just cute) and one packet Tide for use in an actual washing machine.

Alisa Toiletries and First Aid for both of us, also packed in Samsonite bag

– Antiperspirant

– Toothbrush and toothpaste to share

– Skin Trip lotion

– Hair gel

– SPF 20 face lotion

– Razors x2

– Vitamin D

– Chapstick

– Lipstick

– Repel Sportsman Repellent 40% Deet Bug spray – for when it gets serious in SE Asia

– Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Pump Spray

– SPF 30 + 50 Sunscreen

– Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS Probiotic

– Antibiotics

– Cold and allergy medicine

– Stomach medicine

– Ibuprofen

– Band-Aids and first aid cream

– Hydrocortisone

– Alcohol prep pads

– First aid packed in Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack – 2 liters

– Toiletries packed in Montbell Travel Kit Pack M

Miscellaneous in Alisa’s backpack (The North Face Recon, old model)

– Macbook and Iphone 6s Plus and the chargers

– Soft cover book for reading actual words on a page.  To be gifted once finished.

– Nite Ize DoohicKey QuicKey Tool (includes bottle opener and small screwdriver for fixing luggage)

– Head lamp

– Streamlight Nano Light for when I can’t find my headlamp

– Bucky Eye Mask

– Flight 001 Carry On Clear Quart Bag for liquids

– Moleskine notebook and Sakura pens

– Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth with Loop Top Cap – 27 Oz

– Kikkerland and Flight 001 universal travel plug adapter

– Travelon packing cubes – for the small things

– Walnut Studios cribbage board and playing cards

– Magazine

– Folio with travel papers

Martha’s clothes (packed in a Victorinox almost carry-on size)*

– 1 pair of jeans

– 1 khaki hiking pants

– 1 pair of capri’s

– 2 sport t-shirts

– 2 pair quick-dry shorts

– 2 tank tops

– 2 lightweight cotton button-down shirts with roll-up sleeves

– 1 Columbia omni-heat jacket

– 1 set of pj’s

– 1 running sport hoodie

– 1 sports bra

– 1 running tights

– 5 pair wool socks

– 5 pair wool underwear

– 3 bras

– 1 pair Brooks gore tex running shoes

– 1 pair Birkenstock walking sandals

– 1 pair Crocs house/beach sandals

– 1 swim suit

– 1 lightweight beach towel

(currently debating bringing Teva’s for water crossings on NZ hike)

Martha: *Under advisement of the packing goddess, I’m purposefully packing light, so I can pick up a few things and perhaps even part with a few things on the journey.  I currently have my heart set on buying a sweatshirt in Australia with a koala on it.  Wish me luck.

Martha’s other stuff

– Gifts for friends/dignitaries in NZ

– Headlamp

– Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair gel, face cream)

– Hygiene products

– Biofreeze (for sore muscles!)

Martha’s backpack (Osprey Kestrel 32)

– Passport

– Wallet

– 4-in-1 adapter

– Iphone 6, charger, and earbuds

– 1 24 oz hydro flask (for hot and cold beverages)

– Columbia rain jacket

– Bucky Eye Mask

– neck pillow (inflatable)

– medications

– book (Seabiscuit)

– pocket sudoku

– 2 pens, 1 pencil

Kitchen supplies

– All packed in 2 takeout containers nested together for leftovers and planned picnics

– Starbucks Instant Via Coffee packets

– Crushed red pepper flakes

– Miscellaneous tea bags and honey packets

– Human Gear Go Bites Utensils

– 1 packet of taco spice 



8 thoughts on “Packing

  1. This is so fun. I’m relieved from the photos that you aren’t packing the cat. I totally agree about jeans! Proud you will have baggies for thingies. Toothbrush and toothpaste to share…either add a comma or reconsider and don’t share the toothbrush. 😜. This is impressively light packing. Where are we going? I’m looking forward to “traveling along with you”. Travel safe and travel happy. Best.


  2. Awesome. My only suggestions as a doc are on the first aid kit. I’d vote for benzalkonium chloride wipes instead of alcohol; they don’t sting and they don’t kill healthy cells. I’d add some tegaderm (like the clear stuff that goes on top of IV’s – you can get it at any reasonable drug store). It’s breathable, waterproof, and can stay on for about five days, which makes it perfect for scrapes & open blisters. Also includes band aids, moleskin, and some antibiotic ointment. Let me know if you want any other first aid ideas.


  3. Taco spice? =) I’m so excited for you both! I’m hoping for a koala post because I love them! We’ll see you soon! Xoxo


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