Project Backpack: What are we packing?


It seems sharing packing lists has turned into some kind of sport among the travel bloggers. Secretly, I am competing with all of my fellow travelers to be the best packer out there . For me, being the best packer equals packing less. And then a little less.

Being female, packing light is probably harder than it is for men, just because there are so many things we absolutely “need”.  But on the other side, Jukka’s pants take 3 times more space than mine just because he’s bigger than me – so maybe we’re even?

My backpack will be 65 l (Jukka’s is 75 or 80 I think), and I have a secret (ssshh) goal of packing it half full. Yes, I said half full.

So what am I bringing? In addition to our survival kit, these lucky items will have the honor of traveling with me for the next few months:

  • Sunscreen
    • Probably sounds stupid to bring this from home, but I heard sunscreen is just as expensive over there as at home, plus I want to try Riemann’s P20, and it’s apparently difficult to find in Asia
  • Microfiber towels
    • Because we all know what half-rotten cotton towels smell like
  • Cargo pants (or something similar)
    • I only own slim fit jeans normally, and you can imagine how much fun those are to get on in hot and humid weather (some times you need to cover up)
  • A couple of summer dresses
  • Bikinis
  • A couple of shorts
  • A few t-shirts
  • Sandals
  • Silk sleeping bag
  • Mosquito net
  • Various toiletries
  • Underwear
  • A shawl or sarong
  • A long sleeve shirt
  • A light javket

Considering I am quite small, these items should not take too much space. I hope. In order to win this packing competition I am having with myself, I am excluding the extra daypack we will be carrying (which will contain computers, cameras and other stuff we don’t want to leave in the hostel room or out of sight). 

After successfully packing, getting on the plane and arriving in a foreign land – all we have to do is make sure our stuff doesn’t get stolen.

Budget traveling will translate into dodgy hostels and bungalows that will fall over if you knock on the door to hard – so we will have to keep our valuables with us all the time. In addition, we will be locking our big backpacks to bedframes etc, to make it just a little harder for a nosy thief. If we’re lucky, he will then move on to someone who didn’t bother locking it in place.

I generally don’t trust hotel safes, as most of them are so small you can just pick it up and take it with you – or the door and lock is so flimsy anyone who really wanted to get in can get in. So keeping our valuables with us seems to be the safest choice. So fingers crossed we don’t get robbed walking down the street.


What did you pack for your backpacking trip? What was the 1 item you found you couldn’t live without? What did you do to keep your valuables safe?