Packing List – Updated!

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UPDATE (April 2006) – My pack is too heavy! I was sick of lugging the weight and hand to send some stuff home. I’m considering doing a portion of this trip without my electronics gear, which would mean this website would be put on hold, but there are serious benefits to travelling light that I feel I’m missing out on. But don’t fret, it wouldn’t be until July at the earliest! Updates are marked in red.

Obviously everyone will bring different things with them if they decide to travel long term. Much of my stuff is geared towards the region I’m starting in. For example, I didn’t pack many warm clothes and I brought stuff to sterlize water with. Weight is a big issue when backpacking. I thought my bag was a decent weight until I had to walk a couple miles in it. I’ve sent stuff home twice already and it’s still too heavy. I’ll be updating this list as what I’m caryring changes. If you’re thinking about travelling with only a backpack, I hope this helps.

published a story I wrote. They really do make the most resourceful and up to date travel guides.

Other Miscelaneous Book – See right hand column for list. As I finish eading new books, I send them home. It costs more than it makes sense, but books are about the only thing I collect. April 2006 – I’ve sent home about ten books now.

Healthy Travel – Asia & India – Jammed inside my first aid kit. Worth keeping in case I need to attemp a self diagnosis.

iPod – Playing the guitar is something I really miss when travelling, so with this at least I can listen to music anytime. Also when going weeks without hearing a familiar accent, music is a nice reminder of home.



This entire section adds more than half the weight to my pack. It’s not stuff most people would bring, but it’s all necessary for my photography, website and making money while traveling.

Sony VAIO TX-650 Laptop– The smallest and lightest laptop I could find at the time. It has a DVD burner, so I can mail home images as my hard drive fills up, wireless internet and a memory card slot for easy transfer of images.

Nikon D200 Camera– Amateur Professional Digital SLR

Nikon 18-70mm Zoom AF Lens – Standard lens with nice wide-angle for landscape shots.

Nikon 70-300mm Telephoto Lens – I use this primarily for shooting portraits of people without them knowing.

Panasonic SD-100 Video Camera– Smallest video camera I could find with a somewhat professional quality picture. It takes no tapes or discs, just a miniature memory card. The less wires the better.

Wide Angle Lens – Mini Camcorders never seem to fit everything I want in view, so this was a must. The lens has some fish-eye distortion to it, but the massive field of view makes it worthwhile.

USB Jump Drive – 512megs. I’ll often work on my laptop in private and then bring the files on this jump drive to an internet café and upload to the internet. The less gear people see me with, the less likely something will get stolen.

International Cell Phone – Initially I was going to bring a phone only for emergencies, but then I learned about “unlocking”. With my, unlocked Motorola RAZR (thanks to my friend Jeff who owns some cell phone stores in Philly), I can buy prepaid SIM cards in foreign countries and make calls at local rates.

BACKPACK – Osprey 7075 AL

This pack has a ton of great features, like strong zippers, tons of places to attach things and two compartments. These main reasons why I chose it.

1. It’s bigger than I need, but highly compressible, which means I have room to carry more stuff when need be.

2. There’s access from two places. It becomes a pain trying to fish stuff out the top of a backpack all the time. This pack has a zipper that goes right down the front, which makes everything in the bag quickly accessible.

3. The colors are dull. My previous pack was bright yellow, making it difficult to blend into a crowd.

4. The support system was the most comfortable I tried on. I knew I’d be carrying more weight than I had before, so this was extremely important.

Everything I have is in this bag and and wherever it sits is my home for that day, which is kind of weird, but I like it.


DAYPACK – Camelbak H.A.W.G.

My friend Eric and I both bought this pack before our trip to Thailand last summer and it worked out very well. Camel packs are great for staying hydrated, plus if I take the bladder out, my laptop slips right into the padded compartment. This makes it a great daypack with plenty of room for my cameras and guidebook. It also has lots of straps to attach a sweatshirt, flip flops or whatever else. April 2006 – Sent home the bladder. I hadn’t used it at all and water bottles will suffice in exchange for the saved weight.



Many people wouldn’t be happy living a year on this amount of clothes. At the same time, many backpackers would snuff their noses at such an extensive wardrobe. I (April 2006 – “may again in the near future”) like to feel fresh and clean and I don’t want to do laundry every other day, so that leaves me somewhere in the middle. I try to wear clothes that aren’t too bright or flashy, to attract less attention. This is mostly important to me when I’m taking pictures paparazi style. I’ll probably be replacing some of these items as they get worn out.

T-Shirts (6) – Regular $10 cotton t-shirts.

Superwick T-Shirts (2) – Fast Drying, cool in the heat, warm in the cold. Great for hiking and wet weather.

Zip Up MicroFleece – Very warm, windproof, fast drying, lightweight. I bought this fleece at EMS almost five years and it’s still in great shape. The only thing warm I have for when I encounter under 70 F weather.

Jeans – I only wear one pair of jeans when I’m home, so no need in bringing more than that. April 2006 – Hadn’t worn once since I left the country, so I sent them home. Instead I purchased some light weight hippy travel pants in McLeod, Ganj, India.

Cargo Shorts (2) – Lots of pockets with buttons. Great for carrying maps, securing my wallet, etc.

Bathing Suit – Board shorts are my style. One pair is enough, since they dry fast.

Quick Dry Underwear (6 ) – If things are getting out of hand, these can be easily washed and dried for a burst of freshness in the pants.

Quick Dry Socks (7) – Same deal, but not in the pants.

Compressible Raincoat – Packs into a very small ball. Kept easily accessible for sudden downpours. Also great for trekking in the rain.

Rain pants – These compress very small and are good for getting caught in the rain, which happened in Malaysia. I had to catch a flight and the roads were closed for some reason, so taxi’s couldn’t get to the hostel, so I walked. It was pouring huge coconut sized raindrops. The pants kept me a nice and dry for the flight.

Backpack Rain Cover – Also packs into a very small ball and easily accessible for sudden downpours to keep my bag dry.

Sneakers – I just wore the Puma’s I’d been wearing at home. I’m planning on buying some running sneakers for better cushion while walking with my pack on and so I can start running again.. March 2006 – I’d been wearing only flip flips, so I left these in Bangkok.

Flip Flops – Cheap Old Navy pair that I got for free at my Neighbor Kate’s brother’s wedding. They’ll probably fall apart and need to be replaced soon, but they’re super lightweight.

Hiking Boots – My ankle is in rough shape, so I need good support for trekking. Otherwise I’d have brought much lighter, low-top hiking shoes. Most of the trekking I’ll do will be warm climate and wet. Goretex is a must for keeping my feet dry.

Clear Ziplock Compression Bag (2) – I got these as a gift. All my dirty laundry goes in one to keep everything else clean. The other one I put my electronics in when I get caught in the rain. April 2006 – Both popped after about a month.



US Passport – Its estimated only 20% of American’s own passports. Get one and you’ll be more likely to leave the country. Plus if you don’t want to pay a load of extra fees, it’s worth doing months before you think about going away.

Copy of Passport – In case my passport is lost or stolen, this could help speed up replacement.

Drivers License – For renting cars to peel out with & motorcycles to pop wheelies with while abroad.

International Driving Permit – Some countries require this to accompany your driver’s license.

PADI Certified Diver Card – I’ll be in lots of tropical spots, so diving is likely.

US $100 Bills (2) – I’ve read and heard that US currency can be used as a nice lubricant when crossing sticky borders. April 2006 – Spent them!

International Certificate of Vaccinations – Required for entry into some countries.

Passport/ID Photos (20) – Some countries require a photo to get a Visa. I even needed one to get a three day pass at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. April 2006 – I have about half left! Very glad I got them in advance, because their need has come up unexpectedly a few times.

ATM Card – Cirrus ATM’s are almost worldwide and are the primary way I access cash. I tend not to carry more than $200 in foreign currency at any time.

Credit cards – I brought a few that I keep in different places, in case of loss of theft.

Notepad & Pen – I brought a few that I keep in different places, in case of loss or theft.

Ziplock Paperwork Holder – For keeping tickets or other important documents dry.

April 2006 – Jouranl – Bought a small one in Pushkar, India. For those times I’m suddenly inspired to write, but it’s not a good place to use my laptop.


Personal Hygiene – The basics plus some toilet paper, since it’s not found at many South Asian toilets. April 2006 – Trashed the non-essentials.

Travel Towel – A large fluffy towel when I get out of the showers is one of the things I miss most. However, a regular size towel is just too heavy and takes too long to dry to carry around in a backpack. Barely big enough to hide my cash and prizes, but this travel towel can dry me and a friend off no problem. It kind of feels like rubber, but one hard twist will drain most water leaving it damp and dryable in an hour.

First Aid Kit – Mine has a bit more stuff than most other peoples would probably carry. I got it at REI and then added some of my own stuff. I suppose I’m fairly cautious when it comes to health stuff. Cuts and scrapes need to be well taken care of when travelling, because foreign bacteria’s will more quickly cause infections. I’ve already used Bandaids, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes a couple times.

Salt Based Water Purification – Iodine takes up to an hour to kill all viruses and bacteria. The system I got at EMS is faster, safer and doesn’t taste like Iodine. I don’t use it often, but I figure even if I save myself once, it’s worth it. April 2006 – I used this once, but only because I wanted to try it out. Plus I’m not doing as much out in the wilderness travelling as I’d expected, so I sent it home!

Medication – Ciproflaxin for the inevitable Diarrhea, Tamiflu in case I get the flu, Mefloquin for protection against Malaria, Advil, Tylenol, Imodium AD, Antacids and Benadryl for all the likely annoyances. April 2006 – Stopped taking Mefloquin!

Deet Bug Repellent – For more protection against Malaria

Misquito Netting – Last time I was sleeping in the jungle in Thailand , there were holes big enough for me to fit through in the netting, so I brought my own this time.

Sunscreen – I didn’t have any on a three hour ferry ride and I paid the price. Now it’s staying with me.

Silk Sleeping Bag Liner – For nights I need some extra warmth or the bed bugs are too creepy crawly.


Bicycle Playing Cards (3) – Still working my magic and Bicycle cards are my favorite. April 2006 – Considering it had dirt and germs from six different countries on it, I finally trashed my first deck.

Expert Card Technique– Best combination of weight and information I could find on card magic.

Lonely Planet Guide – I’m a committed fan of Lonely Planet and not just because they

3 Thoughts on “Packing List – Updated!”

  1. -eric- Says:

    when your flip-flops break, remember to buy flip-flops and not “chic-flops”!! and don’t pay more than 100 baht or you’re a sellout!

  2. -eric- Says:

    ummm…using US currency as “lubricant” to cross “sticky borders”….let’s keep the content PG here man, my mom reads this stuff! get your mind out of the thai gutter!

  3. Jeff Says:

    I am sitting in my kitchen with your uncle Tim. He is so proud that you escaped over the RI border! We took your car out last weekend. You should wash the salt off of it. What is Blamo?
    Enjoy your travels.

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