There are two kinds of travelers: those who pack too much and those who pack too little. I am one of the former, but I’m desperately trying to change my ways. I have had far too many bad experiences with over-heavy packs that ended with me throwing away loads and loads of clothing and miscellaneous items on the road. Unfortunately, I’m still going to have massive amounts stuff at the beginning of this RTW trip because my first stops involve a great deal of outdoorsy goodness, all of which requires specialized gear that I already own and don’t want to re-purchase (I’m talking $$$).

I traded in my 2001 Osprey backpack for a slightly smaller version this week and have been trying desperately to figure out how I’m going to pack everything in. I’ve been cutting things left and right, but am still worried about space. Initially I was hoping to just have the one pack and no extra bag for my tech stuff, but it’s not looking good. This is why I’m here. I thought perhaps some of you could give me some advice and/or talk me out of bringing some of this junk. I need reasons to cut some of this stuff. Things with question marks next to them are things I’m already considering cutting and will likely end up leaving behind. Please give me any magical packing tips you can offer. PLEASE.

OK, here it is – and, yes, I’m embarrassed at the sheer amount of crap I think I need to bring. Like I said, I’m an over-packer. Remember my first stops are Australia and New Zealand in their spring, and that I will be camping, rock climbing and running three (half) marathons (haven’t decided yet if I have the nerve to train while traveling).


3 T-shirts (wear one on plane)
3 Tank tops (wear one on plane)
2 1 Technical Tank (for running/marathons)
1 Long-Sleeve Tech T
1 Long-Sleeve T
1 button-up shirt
1 Cardigan (?)
1 Fleece Jacket
1 Rain Jacket
2 1 running capris
1 sports pants (climbing/yoga)
1 jeans (wear on plane)
1 hiking pants
1 leggings
1 PJ Pants (?)
1 summer dress
1 scarf (maybe 2 because I love them so much)
1 beanie
1 running cap (?)
4 sports bras
1 bra
8 5 undies
2 hiking socks (Pack inside hiking boots when sending to Australia)
2 1 regular socks
3 2 sports socks (running – thick/climbing – thin)
1 Running Shoes
1 Flip Flops (I’m grossed out by strange showers)
1 Casual Shoes
3 pairs earrings
1 sports watch


Body Glide/Vaseline
First Aid Kit
Hand Lotion
Contact Lens Case
Contact Lens Solution
Sample-size perfume
Hairbands/Bobby Pins
Minimal makeup

Outdoor Gear

Hiking Shoes (mailing ahead of time to Australia – hopefully)
Minimalist camp stove/cookware (may send ahead to Australia)
Climbing harness/shoes
Climbing rope (?)
Belay device/caribiners/quickdraws
Camelbak Hipbelt for marathons (?)
Camp Suds (?)
Clothesline (?)
Sleeping Pad
Camp Pillow (?)
Sleeping Bag (send ahead to Australia)
nalgene bottle (?)

Tech Stuff

iPhone, headphones
iPod, Nike Running Chip
Netbook + Charger (?)
Plug Adapters
Camera + extra batteries and memory cards
Fisheye lens
Cheapo phone + charger

Documents (on thumb drive and will email to myself)

Scan of passport, driver’s license, college degrees, visas, birth certificate
Scan of passport photo for making more copies on the road
Cover Letter Sample
Eye prescription for glasses/contacts


1 Book
1 New Zealand Guidebook (I know it’s heavy, but I already have it)
1 Sarong (for use as towel/scarf/picnic blanket/any number of things)
1 Extra pair of glasses
Small Travel Journal and Pen
Travel Tripod (?)
1 small purse
Kevyn (not optional)

Not Bringing – will buy or rent as needed

Sleeping Pad
Toilet Paper
Fuel for camp stove
Insect Repellent

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I wish I had a travel partners so we could split the outdoor gear and have more space for more fun stuff. I’ve gotta keep my main bag under 40 lbs. So, advice?