What’s in my backpack?

“The bags under my eyes are Chanel.”

I started out with way too much stuff. Yup, I made that mistake too. Everyone does, luckily we learn as we go. After 11 months of travel I had already donated a lot of items (one of the perks of packing too much) and sent home some more personal items that I love too much to give away, but don’t use enough to keep in my bag. In Malaysia though I finally said “enough!” and went through a brutal cleanup. I can now fit everything in ONE bag. (Not counting my camera which goes in the camera bag with my phone and wallet).



  • Shoes: Sandals (1 pair), Sneakers (1 pair) – Both pairs where expensive, but quality over quantity is what you need here.
  • Trousers: Jeans (1)
  • Shorts: Jeans shorts (1)
  • Tights: 1 short, 1 long
  • Tops: 3 shirts & 1 long top
  • Singlets: 1
  • Dresses: 1
  • Sarong: 1 – this is a must-have. A dress, towel, skirt and shawl all in one
  • Bra: 2
  • Panties: 3
  • Socks: 3 pairs

Protip: Panties can be washed in the sink of your hostel/hotel room every day. I wear one, wash yesterday’s and have one to wear in case the washed one doesn’t dry out enough for the next day. You -really- don’t need any more than that. Same with socks. Every once in a while I hand my stuff in at the hostel/hotel and they will run it through a “proper” laundry (maybe… you never really know *lol*). If this grosses you out, “messy” backpacking probably isn’t for you. But there is hope for you, doodz! There are usually opportunities to find laundromats or dry cleaners around that will clean stuff for you. If this if what you prefer I would bring a few extra sets.


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Hair brush
  • Deodorant
  • 1 small bottle (50 ml) of lotion
  • 1 small bottle (50 ml) of shampoo
  • 2 small, packed bars of soap (like you get in hotel rooms, good to have in some hostels etc – I used to carry around 23 of these(!) because I took them from hotel rooms I stayed in. During my final “cleanup” I kept 2 and gave the rest away)
  • A minimum of makeup – mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, lip balm
  • A small box (matchbox size) for earrings and necklaces (Don’t fill up your bag with jewelry of all things. You do not need it. Especially since earrings etc make great souvenirs)


  • Laptop (charger cable, mouse, I use a grey cardboard square for mouse pad and store it between screen and keyboard while travelling)
  • GoPro (charger cable, collapseable selfie rod)
  • Photo camera (charger, extra memory card)
  • iPod shuffle (charger cable, earplugs/earphones)
  • iPhone 6 (charger cable)
  • External Hard Drive (cable)
  • USB-to-socket adapter (with 2 spaces for usb)
  • Global adapter that has plugs for most of the sockets in the world
  • Extra adapter for places that just have to be different (lookin’ at you, Namibia, South Africa & Nepal!)


  • Money belt: This is where I keep my US dollars, passport and vaccination card. I always check that I have this with me when I leave a place. If I have this, my wallet and my phone, every other problem is easily fixable
  • File holder: A small folder with zip lock for various travel documents, currency, other stuff
  • First Aid Kit: The smallest one, just the basics + I put in Ibuprofen, nail scissors, tweezers and stocked up on Compeed (Blister relief plasters). These are essential if you go for hikes or do any sort of activity. I can’t recommend them enough! (I’m not sponsored, guys, speaking from personal experience here)
  • Head torch
  • Swiss Army knife (fits in my First Aid Kit. Thanks, Beate!)
  • Spork: 1, spoon/fork/knife in one.
  • Travellers size sowing kit: So handy for small repairs. (This fits inside my First Aid Kit)
  • Travellers size roll of duct tape: I don’t actually have this anymore, I used it up. Which is why I’m putting it on this list – to recommend you bring one. I used mine for all sorts of repair work and hanging stuff and I’m currently looking to replace it. Very handy.
  • Head gear: Santa hat, 1 pair of reindeer horns (I regret nothing!)
Repacking my bags in Kenya

Repacking my bags in Kenya – there’s SO much less in there now…

One thought on “What’s in my backpack?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s