Packing List

Going travelling? What are you going to take with you? You may have heard it many times before the Golden rule really is as little as possible! While we tried to pack light, we could have done a lot better. One day I’m going to attempt using just one 40L bag for the entire trip.  

A lot of the items below were included because we do a lot of hiking and camping. Most travellers shouldn’t require waterproof trousers, 3 season sleeping bags and a Trangia!

Before you leave, we suggest you lay out everything you’re packing and take photo’s. Also take pictures of valuables; rings and watches for example. Email all of these pictures to yourself for access on the road. This is essential if you ever get anything stolen and need to prove to your insurance company it existed!

It is also useful to scan or photograph all documentation; passport, driving licence, vaccine records, and email it to yourself or keep in an online drop-box service. Just in case the hardcopies are lost or stolen.



Make photocopies to be carried around with you abroad instead of the real thing.

Debit and credit cards.

We use Nationwide flex-account debit cards for cash withdrawals and the Santander Zero Credit card for point of sale transactions. When we left the UK these were the only way to avoid extortionate foreign transaction charges.

Driving licence & International driving licence (IDL)

We have never been asked to show our IDL although it’s only around £10 so maybe worth getting just in case.

Copy of complete itinerary

For proving to immigration officials you’re not going to stay forever.

Spare passport photos

Vaccination book 

Cheat sheet.

This has username and password reminders for every website you’re ever likely to need while on the road plus important phone numbers, i.e. for cancelling stolen bank cards, and insurance policy numbers etc.. We don’t suggest you write down the actual passwords or PIN numbers of course but think up some code or shorthand that you’ll be able to decipher. Email it to yourself as a backup too.


65 litre Atlantic travel bag from Blacks

Travelbags that open up like a suitcase are a much better option than traditional top-loading backpacks. You’ll agree with us after the 50th time of emptying your pack to get at something in the bottom! These usually have closeable compartments to tuck away the backpack straps for flights. Often come with a detachable daypack too.

Wheelie duffel bag

Only required for our sleeping bags and camping gear.

TSA combination lock (Zoë).

I’ve seen video’s of children breaking into these in 10 seconds with a paperclip so I use Zip-ties to lock my bag shut during flights.

Parachute shopping bags x2

For a daybag and food shopping. Packs down into a tiny ball.

1 x dry bag, 1 x compression bag – both for packing clothes

Crumpler Pretty Boy XL camera backpack


Nikon D300 camera

Sigma 10-20mm lens

Nikkor 18-70mm lens

Nikkor 50mm lens

Polarising and ND Grad filters

4GB & 2GB compact flash cards

Fuji Finepix F310 and 2Gb xD card

A bit old now. One of the new shockproof/waterproof/sandproof cameras would be our upgrade of choice. Ideal for travel.

Microfibre cleaning cloth


Asus 1000he – netbook with 9hr battery

Several 4GB USB pens for photo backup

Chargers, USB cables for cameras, ipods & laptop

Multi-country plug adaptor

20GB iPod

2GB iPod shuffle x 2

Belkin FM transmitter, for playing ipod over car stereo.

Headtorch x 2

Clothes – both of us took:

Waterproof Hiking Shoes – Not Boots

Running trainers

Flip Flops

Waterproof trousers

Waterproof jacket

Thin fleece

Sun hat



2 x running socks

2 x hiking socks

1 x toe socks – for mosquito avoidance in flip flops

2 x short sleeve hiking / exercise T-shirts

Travel Trousers that Zip-off at the knee to make shorts

Particularly good for New Zealand where the weather can change 4 times a day

Swimming Goggles

In addition Ben packed

Vibram fivefingers

Merino Wool sweater.

2 x short sleeve shirts

2 x T-shirts, 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve

1 x vest

2 Exofficio underwear

1 x chino’s

Speedo board shorts

661 mountain bike gloves – good for bikes, kayaks, yachts, paragliders etc..

2XU triathlon shorts – for running and swimming

In addition Zoë packed

lace up plimsoles

4 x tops

1 x vest

1 x skirt

1 x dress

1 x cardigan

1 x cotton trousers, 1 x ¾ length trousers, 1 x shorts

1 x bikini

1 x sarong

1 x pashmina

2 x bras, 5 x underwear. 5 x socks


Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Roll-on deodorant

Lip balm

Nail scissors

Hair scissors



Razor – can be kept sharp by running backwards on your forearm

Alcohol antiseptic gel

Microfibre Travel towel (Zoë).


First aid kit – Pills, bandages, plasters etc.. We’ve only ever needed the Asprin thankfully!

Basic Sewing kit – needles and thread

Ziplock bags – a selection of sizes

Orikaso bowl, plate and mug set

Serrated cheese knife x2

Spork x2

Manfrotto Tripod


3 season sleeping bags with silk liners

Both rated to -18C for camping in the mountains

Victorinox penknife

The tool that gets the most use by a long, long way is the can opener. Make sure your penknife has a sharp one as some penknives come with blunt ones that couldn’t open a paper bag.


1 each to start with. Can be exchanged in hostels or 2nd hand book stores and more bought on the road. We’ve now accumulated 25 books that we need to get through!


Another essential of travel. Especially if you want to remember any of it!

Playing cards

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