BootsnAll Travel Network

Don’cha wish your backpack was packed like mine?

One of the negatives of being a retentive planner is that eventually, you finish planning. Then you get bored.

Right now, there’s nothing left to buy (dangerous, b/c then I might start buying what I don’t need). There’s nothing left to figure out how to pack. There’s nothing else to do but obsessively re-read guidebooks and travel websites.

In the absence of anything better to write I’ll answer the burning question of what am I bringing with me. Well, that’s the backpacker’s “half full” perspective. The friends/family/normal people “half empty” perspective is – what aren’t I bringing with me? Or, more usually, “you’re only bringing how many [of whatever]???”

Now, for those of you who don’t backpack, this may seem like the most bizarre post ever. Who cares what I’m bringing? Who cares how to make it fit into a pack? Who the heck wants to see photos?

Well, in fact, no one. BUT, I’m using this as an excuse to test out my photo downloading equipment, gallery-making ability, and how it will all work with my blog.

Plus, I’m kinda proud of my packing prowess and would like to show it off. Meanwhile, for those of you who couldn’t give a damn about what I bring with me, go back and read my post about shampoos, which is apparently one of the most popular on the blog. Amazing what a reference to STDs in the title will get you…

Of course before any backpackers take this as advice, what remains to be seen is at the END of the trip how good a list this proved to be.

Below is the list of what is coming with me. If you want to see how this process gets from Pre-packing photo to Post-packing photo, then click here to see the blow-by-blow of what packing this up looks like, and associated commentary.

[If the other link doesn’t work try this one: ]

Meanwhile, here’s what I’m bringing:

Clothes Packing List
2 convertible pants/shorts
1 broomstick skirt
1 yoga pants/PJ bottoms
2 thermal underwear (1 top/ 1bottom)
1 long-sleeve shirt (permethrin treated for mosquitos)
1 long-sleeve button-down shirt/use as day jacket (permethrin treated)
3 short-sleeve/tanktop t-shirts (1 permethrin)
1 warm yet compressible jacket
1 smartwool socks
1 permethrin socks
1-2 lightweight socks
1 worlds softest sock
1 bathing suit
Underwear (undisclosed quantity – a girl’s gotta have some privacy)
2 hats (1 warm cap, 1 sun hat)
2 permethrin bandanas
1 belt (also money holder)
1 neck money holder
1 garden gloves (for gorilla trekking)
1 sandals
1 Tevas
1 boots
1 sneakers
1 boots
1 sneakers
1 hiking sneakers (cross-trainers)
tiny sewing kit
nylon cord
head lamp
swiss army knife (with nail file!!)
zipper attachment w/ clock/compass/thermometer/light
toiletries/first aid kit/antiseptic wipes/etc
face microfibre towel
big microfibre towel
drain stopper to do laundry
ipod/ipod case/charger/battery extender/2 headsets
plug converter
travel alarm clock
u3 flash drive
sleep sack liner
Mosquito net
2 locks (1 retractible cable lock, one regular cable lock)
collapsible biconulars
travel pillow (deflatable)
2 sunglasses
1 reading glasses/clips/case
stickers/pens for kids
Yellow Fever cert/vaccination card
photos for visas
atm card, credit card, various IDs
photocopies of all cc, atm, passport, health cert, reservations, phone #, etc
1 Bradt guide to Uganda
Ripped out pages of LP Egypt/East Africa

Note that a lot of these things will be discarded along the way. The pages of guide books get thrown out after you leave the area; the gloves are dumped after I go gorilla trekking, mosquito net can be left behind once I go to Egypt, etc.

September 2007 addendum:
The above was all written pre-trip. I have since published a post-trip analysis of the success or failure of my packing list.

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3 responses to “Don’cha wish your backpack was packed like mine?”

  1. bluestar says:

    Thanks for posting this Snarky! I was interested in how you packed for a trip like this. The photos were quite good! I had never considered using the packing cubes, but after looking at your method I did order some. Best wishes for a wonderful trip, and I look forward to following your adventures online. You are a very entertaining writer.


  2. Ron Plaisted says:

    Thanks for the list of things to bring. My 18 yr old daughter is heading for Ireland, Germany then France with only a backpack on her back in 3 days and she has nothing packed or planned. This will come in handy when last minute she begins to stress. nrRon

  3. Natalie says:

    Hey Snarky!

    I love the post title, now I’m singing the, “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was…” anyway, great title. Just like Bluestar said, “You are a very entertaining writer”, it’s true, you are!

    Your list is pretty awesome too. My husband, Justin and I leave 09-30-08 to backpack and explore various countries for a year or so. Follow at as we plan, travel and work our way around the world.

    I would love any and all advice that you could offer us through your experiences in Africa. Your packing list seems like you know your stuff! Thanks for sharing!!!

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