Backpack Breakdown – Kerry’s Packing List

When we initially left for this trip we intended to put together packing lists. That never happened. Now that we are getting more settled and into a routine we are making it happen. This list isn’t as detailed as I originally intended, mostly because it’s a pain to unpack every tiny bit of my entire life, but you get the idea. Since we had some down time in Perth, I snapped photos of the majority of my gear to share. This is after a few shopping sprees in Auckland and Fiji… and also some down sizing when in Honolulu and Perth.

Bags and Locks
I packed a big bag full of smaller bags. This was hard for me as I’m an organization freak. I wanted everything contained in bags, but that adds more weight on my back. So I tried to cut back to what I felt I needed. You’ll see more bags through the next few sections, but these are my main bags that I used daily.

  1. Gregory day pack. This is actually part of my hiking backpack, but it rolls up tiny and serves its purpose for day hikes and beach trips.
  2. Locks for my backpack. Both are TSA approved. Links are here and here.
  3. Shoe bags (from Amazon, of course). I use one for shoes and the other for dirty laundry.
  4. Travelon cross body bag. I wanted a purse for this trip that wasn’t hideous and also had some safety features. So far I’ve been really happy with it. It’s funny since I rarely carried a purse back home, but now this is a staple in my life.
  5. Osprey Porter 46 from REI. I love this bag. It’s comfortable, the straps tuck away when we check our bags, there are compression straps on the outside to make it a wee bit smaller, there are pockets inside for organization and it’s made by an extremely reliable company. Oh, and there is a laptop sleeve and some organization pockets (that I rarely use) on the outside pocket.

This is my problem area. I over pack on toiletries all of the time. I constantly worry I might need something or won’t have enough of something. I use way too much conditioner so I always have tons of it. So far 4 different toiletries have exploded on me, leaving me with a mess to clean up. I also got exceptionally lazy taking photos here and didn’t care to unpack all of my toiletries.

  1. Sunscreen. We use tons of this. Typically there are 2-5 bottles of this in my backpack.
  2. Sea to Summit large toiletry bag filled with goodies. Some of the things that are currently crammed in there include: toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, qtips, extra contact case, nail clippers, tweezers, comb, tea tree oil, a wide variety of travel sized toiletries, a very messy shampoo bar in a container (I really need to ditch this), girly things you don’t want to know about but if you really want to know I will tell you, contact solution, loofah and probably more things that are lost in the bottom of the bag.
  3. Nerd glasses. Because I’m blind and sometimes I have to take my contacts out.
  4. Face wash and skincare products. I’m terrible about taking care of my skin, but now that I’m getting old I feel the need to spend too much money on things that say they will help and then randomly remember to actually use them. I use whatever face wash we can find, but then also use these products: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye Treatment, Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream, Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream, Lucas Paw Paw Ointment (thanks to the girls we roomed with in Cairns or introducing me to this!) and good ole Vaseline.
  5. Stuff in baggies. I got so lazy here. Things such as face sunscreen, bug repellent, antibacterial hand gel, etc. These are in bags to reduce mess from explosions. Also in a bag is my makeup. I brought this for who knows what reason, as I hate makeup most of the time. Currently there is a Bare Minerals powder that is too white for my tan face, a free eye shadow (thanks, Sephora!) and a mascara. I whine any time I put any of them on.
  6. Toiletry bags! I told you there would be more. The blue one is a Sea to Summit dopp kit. Inside there are my extra prescriptions, first aid supplies, a few random medications like Dramamine, my extra contacts and random other toiletries I rarely use. The clear bag is for when we carry on and I shove my liquids in a TSA approved bag.

This is another weakness of mine in the packing realm. I’ve gotten better though. I just love electronics. I started with a lot more than this and have cut back quite a bit. I think these items will be just right for the remainder of the year. 

  1. Samsung Chromebook with cover. I opted to buy a cheap, small, lightweight laptop for this trip. It is not the best when it comes to memory or doing things quickly, nor does it run on either Windows or iOS operating systems, but it serves its purpose. It lets us research, blog, watch YouTube videos and if it ends up in the bottom of an ocean or in the possession of someone I do not know I won’t be heartbroken.
  2. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp from REI. I have yet to use this… but it looks pretty. It spends all of it’s time stuffed inside the Toms I never wear. I like to think that they are becoming good friends. Maybe one of these days I will use it in a hostel instead of tripping over things in the middle of the night. Also pictured: jump drive. I haven’t used this either.
  3. GoPro and associated gear. I have a GoPro Hero+ I purchased a few years ago, so of course that came on the trip with us. I may upgrade soon to something fancier since we are spending so much time in the water. In addition, I have a magnetic Joby GorillaPod and a waterproof floating grip. Then of course the basics like extra memory cards and another mount for the tripod (for my phone).
  4. Seagate Portable Hard Drive and associated cable. So I can back up all of my photos from the GoPro and also files from my slow laptop. Just in case things get crazy.
  5. Kindle. I go through phases where I read like crazy and I didn’t want to carry a lot of books. I also purchased some travel guide ebooks so this makes it a lot easier and lighter.
  6. Cords and wall plugs and other fun things. There’s a wall adapter (over to the right of the laptop), a charging cable and wall plug specifically for my phone, a generic USB wall plug, a longer USB charging cable for my phone/kindle/backup battery, charging cable for my iPod, my tiny iPod, 2 sets of headphones and a small backup battery.
  7. Not pictured: Nexus 5X. Because I needed to take these photos somehow. This phone is contanstly with me and also ends up being how most of my photos are taken on this trip

This is constantly changing. Originally I had a pretty limited wardrobe, but thanks to a few shopping trips I have more options and can also look somewhat presentable when I need to. Any time I buy something new, I try to donate/ditch something else to make space. That doesn’t always happen. Honestly, I have too much clothes right now. 

  1. Tank tops. I have two Under Armour tanks that are getting put to very good use. They are lightweight, pack up small, hide sweat and dry super fast. I also have a Gap Body tank top that makes me feel like it’s slowly suffocating me whenever I wear it and get hot. It’s likely this will not make it far into SE Asia. Also shown below the tanks are 4 pairs of socks (1 hiking, 3 running) and 3 sports bras.
  2. Workout/casual bottoms. There’s a pair of Lululemon capri leggings that I LOVE (aka naked pants), 2 pairs of Nike running shorts and 1 pair of Lululemon running shorts.
  3. Beach attire/sleepwear. When my bag was lost for a bit in Fiji I bought some shorts and a tank to get my through. Not shown: the PJs I was wearing when taking these photos.
  4. Fancy pants. For when I want to dress up. A pair of J. Crew jeans and a pair of H&M black shorts.
  5. Rain Jacket. I bought a Columbia rain jacket with a hood for this trip and forgot to wear it every time we have been rained on so far. It also serves as a fairly decent jacket for warmth.
  6. Shirts. Ranging from Target brand to Gap to H&M. Some of these will be finding a new home soon since SE Asia is too hot for sleeves and thicker shirts like these.
  7. Fancy clothes! From left to right we have my muu muu dress from some random store in Auckland, H&M romper that requires me to fully undress to go to the bathroom and H&M floral tank that is really the only one of these three that I wear often. I recently added another tank from a random store in Bali.
  8. Unmentionables. But I’m mentioning them. Casual bra, underwear (I LOVE these so much) and a normal bra for when I get really, really fancy.

If you have ever met me, you know I have a major bikini problem. It’s an addiction. I started this trip with just 2 (wtf was I thinking?!) and now it has grown to this. It’s likely this will grow even more and I’ll sacrifice clothes for bikinis. I cannot help it.

  1. Victoria’s Secret bikinis. I keep a variety of patterns to mix and match. I’m loyal to one style of their bottoms, but swap out top styles to keep the tan lines hidden around my neck.
  2. Rip Curl bikinis. These were acquired in Fiji when my bag was temporarily lost. They are growing on me. Jenny laughed when I panicked and wondered if they sold bikinis as small as I like in Fiji. Turns out they do.

I tried to keep it simple here (read: black). The goal was to be able to run, hike, walk, look fairly cute sometimes, to have shoes that work with all my clothes and are also durable. Here’s what I’m living with right now.

  1. Ipanema sandals. I originally bought these on a Rio visit and love them. They work for showers, beaches, wandering the city, boat trips, etc. They are super comfortable and seem to be holding up nicely.
  2. Black Toms. I haven’t used these too much; maybe in Europe (if they make it until then). Usually if I’m not in my tennis shoes, I’m in sandals.
  3. Nike Free TR5 training shoes. I had these shoes before this trip, in a few different patterns. They have always been reliable and comfortable, and also have worked for both running and training. They are getting a lot of mileage on them and have survived several hikes so far.

Because I like to look fashionable. Or look like a dork. 

  1. Sunglasses straps. I have never once used these. I bet I will say I should use them once my sunglasses end up at the bottom of the ocean.
  2. Casio watch. I wear it running and on travel days. Then any other time I constantly ask Jenny what time it is because I forgot to wear my watch.
  3. Hat. Another find when my bag was lost in Fiji and I panicked. It comes in handy and makes me look really trendy.
  4. Sunglasses. Don’t be fooled, those aren’t Ray-Ban sunglasses in there. They are Oakleys. They protect my eyes, hide how tired I am, have a really cool reflective lens and also hide wrinkles. Essentially they are miracle workers.

Scuba/Snorkel Gear
We got talked into buying some personal gear to carry along for diving trips, so here it is. Since this photo was taken I also added in my own snorkel so we can go snorkeling anytime we want without having to rent gear.

  1. Mask. I have no idea what brand this is. All I know is I bought it from Scuba Toys in Carrollton, TX and they were awesome and helped me find one that fits just right, doesn’t leak and actually goes over my ginormous head.
  2. Diving socks. Oh man these make me look so cool. And they keep my feet warm when we dive and keep fins from tearing up my heels or any other part of my foot.
  3. Dive computer. I didn’t want to carry a dive log or anything else, so this logs and stores everything for me. I don’t know much more about it other than it is useful and beeps at me a lot if I start breaking underwater rules.
  4. Dry bag. I take this on any outing that includes water. We can drop our cell phones and wallets in it and call them safe. Mostly for peace of mind.

Towels & More
Really exciting stuff here. These are things I use to protect or dry my body. 

  1. Sarong. A big thanks goes out to the beautiful girls I worked with in Rio who bought me this. This functions as a cover up, a towel, a beach blanket… whatever I want it to be. It dries quickly and comes in handy on a daily basis.
  2. Sleep Sheet. I think I’ve used this twice so far when the bedding on hostel bunks were questionable. I hear it helps if we encounter bed bugs, too.
  3. Microfiber towel set. One full size and one hand towel. These are used on a daily basis as well. They dry me off quickly and sometimes dry quickly themselves, when they want to.

Random other crap
This could also be called “List of things I sometimes, but rarely, use”. They didn’t fit nicely into any other category, or I forgot to include them in the appropriate photo shoot, so here they are.

  1. FlipBelt running belt. I use it when we go run and I don’t have shorts with pockets. I could potentially use it as a money belt if I ever want to look really silly/fumble around in my waistband awkwardly/lose my purse/over pack my purse/etc.
  2. Eagle Creek packing cube. Love this thing. I shove all my clean clothes in here and then compress it down (if I can). This was part of a set, but I sent home the smaller cube as I really only needed this one.
  3. Collapsible hangers. These are part of a larger set and also make me look like a giant dweeb. But they come in handy when drip drying clothes or bikinis, particularly in dorm rooms when I hang them from my bunk. I’ve even hung clothes from them on my bunk to make a screen near my head so I don’t have to make awkward eye contact with a guy with a man bun.
  4. Wallets. I have two. The larger one has my passport and is a bit bulky, the other has just some cash and cards and is much smaller. Both include RFID blocking.
  5. Trtl neck pillow. Jenny had one of these before our trip and once I was done laughing hysterically, I caved and bought one. I cannot sleep on planes (or any other form of transportation) so I figured I would give it a shot. It’s helped me doze off a few times, but currently it’s the victim of an in-bag body wash explosion and it might not survive.
  6. LifeStraw water bottle. I haven’t necessarily needed this at all yet, but I use it a lot. And sometimes I’m dumb and put it in an overhead compartment on an airplane with my laptop and it leaks all over my laptop.

In the words of Porky Pig… “That’s all, folks!” It’s likely I forgot a thing or two, but this is my life in a bag. I plan to update this list later in our trip and again when we get back home! Send any questions my way.


2 thoughts on “Backpack Breakdown – Kerry’s Packing List

  1. meg tormey says:

    What an inventory and how do you carry it all?? you will look back and wonder ,,,where are you?? I try to keep track.,,, stay well both of you Granma Meg


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