Pack list, usable for trekking, surfing and general traveling

I am starting my trip in Argentina and Chile, spending (hopefully) many weeks in Fireland, Patagonia and other incredible areas in the south of Latin America. Of course, this means different packing from backpacking through Central America, where shorts, Flip Flops, bikini and hammock are the basic ingredients to make you happy.

Dana is starting in Peru, surfing those waves!

 

Let us give you some inspiration by going through our pack list(s).

First of all, your new best friend: your backpack! It is important having the perfect one for you. You can follow some tips, but seriously: go and test them!

Here are some tips you should have in mind when deciding for a backpack:

  • What type are you: I am small and more the slight build type, so I definitely need a special „women’s fit“ backpack. Those are more narrow than the normal ones. If you are tall and strong build, you will better fit to the normal ones.
  • What do you need it for? Do you change places every day? Definitely helpful are backpacks which open not only on top, but also on the front. Very helpful if you do not want to take out everything, every time you a looking for new socks of your tooth brush!
  • What are you doing with the backpack? Do you move a lot, walking around with the weight on you shoulders? Or do you just hop on the next bus? My recommendation: get one with a thick hip belt! That will keep the weight away from your shoulders
  • What kind of gear do you need to take? If you are more the warm region traveller like going to Bali or Central America, you will not need so many things. Keep it as small as you can. If you are planning on taking hiking boots, a tent and maybe a wet suit, you will of course need more space. What kind of weather will you face?

The golden rule: Keep it as light as you can. Do you really need those shoes?

All my backpacking life, I was traveling with the 40 year old backpack of my Mum. From the sustainability point of view: perfect! From the view of my back: not a good idea! It was not comfortable and had no extras like front opening. So I decided to get a new one from a company I can share the values with. It is a 35 Liter, women’s fit.

I will be starting in Buenos Aires in January, that means summer and hot weather. After a maybe trip to Uruguay, I will make my way down to Ushuaia, Fireland. That means a lot of wind and about 15 degrees. And from there, I will spend weeks in the Argentinian and the Chilean Patagonia, which means Glaciers, treks and national parks. My goal is Guatemala, traveling all through Latin America in about 6-8 months. That means, all kind of climate zones you can imagine.

And here is, what I gonna take:

Shoes:

  • light hiking shoes (I am taking my old ones, as you should never take new shoes on a trip before having them tested on some day tours at home!)
  • Sneakers for the daily run around in cities, traveling and small hikes. I can recommend the shoes from TOMS. They are incredibly comfortable, light and have a social benefit. For every shoe purchased TOMS is giving a pair of shoes to a kid in need. You can find out about their projects and products here! I am using the Del Rey.
  • Flip Flops: cause you need them on every trip!
  • Running/Sport shoes

Bottom:

  • 1 long pants
  • 1 leggings (also ideal for sleeping when its getting colder)
  • 2 Shorts

Top:

  • 2 Tops
  • 2 T-shirts.
    Tip for hiking and colder regions: Merino Wool Shirts! My all-in-one product for hiking and sports: it is a sustainable product made out of merino wool, doesn’t stink, fast drying! I can recommend a German brand focusing on bike clothes that can be used in other outdoor activities and in your spare time too. Plus, they have a fable for sustainability and the environment. The brand is called Tripple2! Ideal for hiking is the Merino Urban STOD shirt. super leight, great fit and color and as they say: „Who loves comfortable t-shirts and merino will love our STOD shirt. Our shirt is made out of 100% merino and has a great touch. It is made for any weather and will regulate your body temperature as you need it. Through its odour control and fast drying function you wont want to take this shirt off! 24/ 7 happy hour – What more can you ask for?“
  • 1 Base layer for Hiking and colder episodes: light wight and thermal is a must. I decided for the Patagonia WOMEN’S CAPILENE® THERMAL WEIGHT ZIP-NECK HOODY. As you might know, Patagonia is the pioneer when it comes to sustainable production and innovative gear. It only weights 184 g and Capilene Thermal Weight is bluesign® approved, has 30-92% recycled content.
  • 1 Merino wool long sleeve (my all-in-one product for hiking and sports: it is a sustainable product made out of merino wool, doesn’t stink, fast drying!)
  • 1 Hoody
  • 1 water and wind proof jacket: very important when traveling through Patagonia is having a wind and water proof jacket. Weather can change very fast and even in summer you might catch some strong winds (specially in Ushuaia region) and long rains. I decided for the Patagonia WOMEN’S REFUGITIVE JACKET. It combines fully waterproof/breathable with stretch and light weight for steep climbs and serious descents and only weights 374g.

Electronics and other gear:

  • stainless steel bottle – do you know how much plastic we waste while traveling just because of buying bottled water? Take a reusable bottle with you. We decided for the ECOtanka. Here is why: It is not made of plastic but stainless steel. You can fill hot and cold beverages in, you can even use it as a hot water bottle during freezing nights while camping.
  • Camera
  • Cellphone
  • Earplugs
  • Notebook (essential for More than Travel :-) )
  • Notebook sleeve. We decided for a green product of Hamburg label Pack&Smooch.
  • Adapter
  • Charging cables for every equipment
  • light or headlight
  • ear plugs (essential for getting your sleep at hostel dorms or noisy cities)
  • small pillow (this depends on your needs, I am very sensitive because of neck-problems so I decided to bring a small down pillow)
  • pocket knife
  • stainless steel cup (important for hiking, you can drink you morning coffee or eat your porridge or soup out of it)
  • small locker for hostel spints
  • one water proof bag (in case of hard rain, a rough boat trip or a day at the beach: put your electronics in a water proof bag!)
  • Sleeping bag inlet made of silk (extra light and small pack size as well as keeping you warmer/colder than cotton)
  • one day pack or shoulder bag: Not only for going to the beach or sprawling through a city. Also for having your electronics and other important stuff with you on bus rides. I am using the Canvas Trekker from TOMS. The social benefit: for every bag you purchase, TOMS is guaranteeing a safe birth for a mother and her child in need! It has a build in Laptop case, so your electronics will be safe.
  • about 10 passport photos: you need them often when crossing borders, so always have them at hand

Trekking think about: do you need a sleeping mat, a tent and a warm sleeping bag? Depending on the region you are going and your plans, you have to take your own stuff or you can think about buying or borrowing it there. My trip will take me to hot regions as well as Fireland and Patagonia. There, I will trek during many days through the national parks and sleep outside. Even in summer (around November-March), temperatures can drop below 0 degrees at night. A warm sleeping bag and mat are essential! Or can you get a rest, when shivering the whole night?

My choices:

  • I needed a lightweight yet warm sleeping bag. My last bag is about 16 years old and extremely heavy. Nothing that would fit in my backpack. And: it would not keep me warm enough! Plus: I wanted a responsible company for my new gear. I opted for the TALUS II down bag from Sea to Summit. Comfort temperature is around -3 degrees, but lower limit takes it to -10 degrees. You can get in in three sizes, the regular one is 1045g  (2lb 5oz).
  • You will also need a sleeping mat. Ideally one with isolation for cold nights. On the other hand, every gram counts in your backpack so would like to keep it light! I recommend the Sea to Summit Ultra Light Insulated sleeping mat. The tapered profile and single layer construction minimize weight and bulk. The regular one is 183 x 55cm (length x width) and weights 440 gram! A real lightweight solution!

Others: 

  • Bikini and maybe a surf shorts
  • Underwear
  • Socks (1-2 pairs of hiking socks)
  • 1 hat for sun and one cap for cold weather
  • Sun glasses
  • Travel towel
  • Light shawl (might be freezing cold in that overnight bus or scorching heat climbing that mountain!)
  • Something to sleep in
  • Maybe thin gloves

Hygienic stuff:

Important for me: also with your hygienic products you can decide weather to leave a bad footprint by using crude oil based products or organic ones without synthetic or artificial ingredients and on basis of natural oils. Better for you and better for the environment!!

  • hand antiseptic
  • first aid kit (depending on what your plans are)
  • pain killers (cause you never know)
  • tooth brush and paste (take an organic, biodegradable one if you are camping)
  • sunscreen
  • body lotion (ideally one that also serves as after sun)
  • girls: take Tampons with you, they are hard to get in South America
  • shaver
  • shower gel and shampoo
  • anti histamines
  • hair brush
  • deodorant
  • tweezer
  • nail file
  • Malaria Prophylaxe
  • tablets against diarrhea
  • maybe antibiotics

Extra pack list for surfing:

  • surfboard
  • surfboard bag
  • leash
  • wax
  • fin key
  • zink creme
  • neopren
  • rash guard
  • surfboarding straps
  • booties

What else: 

I am always taking a small diary with me to catch my thoughts, ideas or places I’ve been to.

Don’t forget your credit card!