Packing list for 6 months South and Central America

Yaaaay, we are going to South and Central America for 6 months!! This is definitely one of our most exciting (travel) adventures so far, if not THE most exciting ever. Our trip will be packed with outdoor hikes, city sightseeing, beach life, yoga and surf activities and lots more. Many different activities that require quite different equipment. So we asked ourselves: — what to pack? —

Well if you should ask yourself the same question for an upcoming backpacking trip you will find here my packing list.

Basics:

  • 1x backpack (60 + 10 litre) (11 kg)
  • 1x backpack (30 litre) for hand luggage and day trips
  • 10x underwear
  • 1x cotton inlay sleeping bag
  • 2x travel towels (large and small)
  • 1x jeans
  • 1x long-sleeved shirt
  • 1x comfy trousers (best for long distance flights, cosy days in the hostel, extra layer for sleeping etc)
  • 1x pyjama / sleeping shirt & shorts
  • 1x sneakers
  • 1x flip-flops
  • 1x sunglasses
  • 1x jacket (softshell)
  • 1x mulittool / Leatherman
  • 2x padlocks (eg. to lock valuables in hostel dorms)

Documents:

  • 1x passport
  • 1x driving licence (domestic)
  • 1x international driving licence (it turned out that there are different types for different countries and not “one size fits it all”)
  • 1x vaccination certificate
  • + couple of copies of all documents

For hiking / outdoors:

I packed the following items to be prepared for a 6 days hike (W-Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia). If you are planning day hikes with the option to do laundry in between, you’d rather pack a little less. After all the hiking equipment always depends on the type and destination of your planned treks.

  • 1x hiking shoes
  • 2x pairs of hiking socks
  • 1x leggins
  • 1x hiking trousers (zip-off)
  • 1x rain trousers
  • 4x hiking / sports shirts (with no or short sleeves)
  • 2x long-sleeved hiking shirts
  • 1x fleece cardigan
  • 1x down jacket
  • 1x rain jacket
  • 1x rain poncho (I am happy with my decision to invest in a more expensive one, which is supposed to also keep my backpack dry and should work as a mini tent as well)
  • 1x drinking bottle (thermo)
  • 1x headband
  • 1x cap
  • 1x pair of gloves
  • 1x skiing underwear (for cold nights in the tent)
    1x hot-water bottle (happens to be my cuddling duck at the same time)
  • 1x head-lamp

The list does not include camping equipment (tent, sleeping bags etc.), because we decided to rent the equipment whenever needed instead of carry it all the time.

For warm days / beach destinations:

  • 1x bikini
  • 2x shorts
  • 7x shirts
  • 1x dress

Electronics:

The electronics section very much depends on your personal needs. Obviously the less is the better when it comes to the weight of your backpacks and the attention you need to pay to your stuff while traveling. I personally wanted to have some equipment to keep writing the blog, do some studies, read ebooks, take high quality photographs and keep contact with my loved ones at home WhatsApp or Skype.

  • 1x iPad mini + extra keyboard
  • 1x Smartphone
  • 2x charger
  • 2x power banks
  • 1x headphones
  • 2x power adapter
  • 5x SD cards
  • 1x camera (Olympus Pen 5-EP) + 3 lenses + bag

I won’t list my cosmetics bag and travel pharmacy content as this is also very individual and depending on personal needs. I only packed the minimum – keep in mind that almost everything can be purchased during your journey as well!

Packing tip:

We used IKEA mini packs that bring a lot of order in every backpack. They are cheap, hardly weigh anything and seem to be very useful.

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