Long-Term Travel: What to Pack / by Joshua Berk

Traveling for an extended period of time requires a unique approach: this list attempts to synthesize and condense the result of my research, with a few major themes in mind: independence, comfort, and sustainability. My itinerary consisted of moving between areas frequently while also living affordably, which required discipline and minimalism. If you find this useful, please make purchases from the provided Amazon affiliate links.

A few caveats — what you pack will be determined by many things: the region, type of trip, sleeping accommodations (hostel vs. camping), travel partners, etc. Feedback welcome!

Fundamental Organization: Step #1

  • Boreas Muir Woods 30L: Ultralight, compact, durable, and versatile. Choosing a pack might be the greatest challenge — time invested in this choice will be VERY well spent. Important: Choose what suits your body fit. Most people would suffice w/34L!
  • MountainSmith Rain Cover: If a cover isn’t included w/your bag, useful for other “bag like” purposes than covering your pack (e.g. laundry).
  • Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Specter Cube Set (2): Beyond essential for remaining organized, maximizing usable space in the pack — these are ultra-light and water-resistant — try nesting your cubes. #inception
  • Aloksak Bags (Multi-Pack, Small): Stores assorted items/toiletries. Waterproof seal.
  • Eagle Creek Undercover Money Belt: On-person storage for your passport, wallet, money clip, and miscellanea. Don’t get robbed.

Clothing/Laundry: Step #2

Emergency Preparedness/Nutrition: Step #3

Random Electronics/Gadgetry/Gear: Step #4


What NOT To Bring (but I was seriously considering): Step #5

  • Pacsafe 35L Bag Protector: Not enough space; too heavy. Low risk.
  • Sabre RED Pepper Spray: Theft is preferable to jail time. Simple trade-off.
  • CDC Vaccination Record: Bring if you have it already, otherwise: get all the necessary jabs from International Red Cross to save $$.
  • VISA: Get them at each border. Easy, quick, zero confusion, w/exceptions (e.g. Burma).
  • Thule Gauntlet MacBook Sleeve (Black): Waterproof, damage-resistant encasing.
  • Bowtie: Smaller than a normal tie and can dress up an outfit, if done properly.
  • Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Sunglasses: You’ll be walking under the sun a lot.
  • Monster Outlets To Go Travel Power Strip (Black): Unnecessary, given that I’m taking the Apple adapters. Might be worthwhile, since it requires just one wall outlet + converter.
  • Sea to Summit X Tupperware Set & Soto Pocket Torch: No camping on this trip.
  • Avon SKIN-SO-SOFT Bug Guard PLUS IR3535: Lotion/repellent/sunblock in one bottle.
  • GoPro Hero: Overkill, but would be really sweet.
  • Food: Consider the flavor, cost, size/weight, and nutritional composition. Everything in developing worlds will be interesting & inexpensive.
  • Medication: Whatever I would need to buy is readily available at much lower prices (than the U.S.A.) in capital cities of Bangkok, Singapore, etc. (e.g. Malaria, Antibiotics)
  • Travel Insurance: the renter’s policy covers theft (importantly, outside of your home/apartment, often at 10% of the total policy coverage), and health-care is inexpensive elsewhere in the world.

Pack your bag to gauge available space — double check that everything’s snug. Also: Buying all this from Amazon records the transactions in one place, making any possible insurance claims quick/painless. Worth noting: this list is TSA compliant for carry-on. Happy travels, friends!

Want some help planning your next trip? Get in touch!

Further Reading: www.travelindependent.info