First of all: Your needs are individual, though will your packlist be, but there are some things which are essential, therefore you can see my packlist here. You are invited to learn of my experiences:

  • Sunglasses, sun hat and sun protection

  • Swiss multi-knife (not allowed in Mexico), a spoon/fork/knife in titan and a foldable cup and foldable bowl (the dishes/kitchens at the hostels are not always clean)

  • Whistle, compass and flash light (don’t trust your iPhone or similar) and extra batteries

  • First-aid kit (put it in your big backpack during the flight because the scissors) with:
    – All the usual, which comes with a new one
    – A crepe bandage; one time gloves
    – A first-aid blanket (the kind you have in the first-aid kits for cars, it takes not so much space)
    – “safety pins” of different sizes
    – Tweezers for removing the tiny black-legged ticks (if you anyway got them)
    – Medicine you usual need
    – Batteries for my hearing aids
    – Repellent against ticks and mosquitoes with DEET (essential in some countries like Mexico and Central America)

  • 2 travel towels (a smaller and a bigger one)

  • 2 locks – I have one for my small and one for my big backpack, they are number locks because I never will lose a key that way. They are also approved of the customs.

  • Sewing kit, small

  • Extra purse with a visa card, banknote, old smart phone – none does work (for robbers!)

  • Money-belt (or in the looked pockets of your pants – mine has zips and a hidden pocket):
    Passport, visa card/mastercard, health insurance document and a list, what you are allergic about, especially medicines, the first flight ticket and ICE*-details – Don’t forget, that your passport has to be valid for almost more than six month, when you are entering a country!

  • A copy each of the passport, health insurance document, contact details of your ICE* and your visas as well as another visa card, another id, the other flight tickets and some money – that I put in my little backpack. Perhaps your driver’s license and IDP. – It is also possible, that you need a “letter of conduct” for each country you have been living in) – I also carry with me a USB-stick with all that documents and one with my health history.
  • Tablet (or notebook or laptop)

  • Camera (perhaps a tripod to take amazing photographs of amazing countries!, but think about the weight!!! – I’ll skip it next time)
    This time I have a smartphone instead and a selfie-stick 😉

  • Metal water bottle (“termos”)
    I skipped that this time, because I have anyway to buy bottled water of healthy reasons..

  • A little cooler bag, especially if you have medicines.

  • Extra battery each for the tablet and the camera smartphone and the cables I need as well as adapter for the foreign electrical system(s) – I minimized by using tablet and smartphone only: 1 adapter and two cables (if one brake)

  • Little note-book (don’t take one with hard cover – it is too heavy) and a pen

  • Clear bag with washing lotion, tooth paste etc. – your individual choice, what you need. I take a concentrated all-purpose detergent (all the same for your body, clothes, dishes, you name it).

  • If you will  sleep outdoors: Sleeping bag, insulating pad and an inflatable pillow

  • 4 pairs of pants (2 hiking [light weight], 2 leggings)

  • 1 scarf – good for everything: cold/warm – on shoulders, head, broken arm

  • 4 t-shirts with short sleeves – next time I will buy new clothes at destination, so I do not look like a tourist! That is especially important for Mexico, Central and South America.

  • 4 t-shirts with long sleeves – they protect for the sun and mosquitoes
  • 1 thin cardigan (wool prefered) a fleece jacket and a warm jacket – depending on the weather (layer on layer)
  • Thermal underwear: 4 shirt and 2 long pants (of Merino wool), because of the cold nights
  • 4 x underwear

  • 6 pairs of socks (4 thin = non cotton, 2 woollen)

  • Swimming gear

  • 1 pair of hiking shoes

  • 1 pair of sandals (which do not suffer to become wet – especially necessary for the rainy seasons)

  • 1 pair of flip-flops (for the showers!)
  • Rain poncho which also covers the backpack. I actually also packed my rain jacket and rain trousers.

  • Trekking poles (they are 60cm, when folded and just fitting into my backpack)

What you need to think about for hiking you’ll find here: Outdoor Safety Code

I will pack it all in my Eagle Creek Doubleback 26 (backpack 59 l) with wheels and day back (17 l). I am very happy about that backpack and it was a really good choice. Before I put all my clothes and other items in the backpack I put it in water-resistant bags. They were not cheap, but I think, they are worth its price, because when it is raining in Mexico, it is raining heavily and my backpacks did not even stop for a rainy day on New Zealand. In addition to that it helps me to find my clothes easily.

I put my documents in water-resistant envelopes plastic bags with zips and sorted them all after where they are for, that means I had one each for flight tickets, ferry tickets, visa, insurance, letters of conduct, accommodation etc. I even put my note-book in a bigger water-resistant plastic bag with zip. The paper editions I took for the case my tablet is not working. Didn’t need them, but once! Through away all the tickets where I already have been, paper is heavy! Therefore I take photographs of important receipts and back them up online.

My big backpack had a weight of 11 kg (including a tripod) and the little one 4,5 kg, when I left my home for the first part of my RTW-trip. I hope I can reduce it next time. This time I do not have a tripod. The weight of my big backpack is:    The weight of my small backpack is:   (I will fill this at the airport).

* in case of emergency contact