Packing in Review

I’ve been home in Denver for four weeks now. It’s continues to be an adjustment as I finish up my “trip recovery”, move through lingering culture shock, and move ahead with family and friends, house projects, and income generation. I shared this analogy with a friend recently when he asked how I was doing after the trip. I told him I feel like a car moving 20 mph that gets plopped into the middle of the highway with cars going 70 mph. My travel was very much living in the moment with fairly minor decisions in the grand scheme of things versus the rush and multiple levels of decision items I’m experiencing back home.

It took me awhile to unpack my bags but that’s basically complete except for a handful of souvenirs that need to get placed.

Overall I was extremely pleased with my packing. I never felt like I was missing anything during my trip. I had a clothes, shoes, and accessories that flexed to meet all of my trip needs with the changing locations and environments. It was consistently hot and humid so that definitely eased things up…a mixed blessing! My backpack weighed in at 25lbs with about 5lbs in my day backpack.

What Worked Well

My favorites were my bandanas, day backpack, quick dry clothing, drybags and squeeze bags for packing, and my Costco sandals.

  • The bandanas for sweat control.
  • The 10L Eddie Bauer day backpack because it held all of my vitals for the day – camera, sunglasses, maps, guide book, snacks, water bottle, and health needs (Kleenex, hand sanitizer, any medicine like Imodium).
  • Quick dry clothing – Not only for sweat control but also easy for overnight washing.
  • Drybags for packing – I had three of different sizes and they were excellent for keeping things easily accessible and easily packed. Also the “squeeze bags” were great for shirts. You put your clothes inside and squeeze out the air to make a compact, easily packed container.
  • Sandals – so comfortable and versatile for city touring to trail hiking. Costco!

What Was Not Needed

This is a short list. I didn’t really have much for excess. I never used my power adapter. I rarely used my clothes line, Gold Bond powder as well as thankfully a rain coat and backpack rain cover. Overall they didn’t contribute much to the weight, but the raincoat and backpack rain cover did chew up some backpack space.

Packing List

Here’s my packing list from the trip. One of the things that eased the packing “stress” is that pretty much anything you need is available there from bathroom products to medicine including antibiotics to clothing. In addition, laundry service is readily available and you can drop clothes at night then get them back the following afternoon. I did buy a bigger day pack for overnight travel where I didn’t want to haul my full backpack and needed more space than the day pack provided.

Clothing – 1 pants, 1 zip off hiking pants, 2 shorts, 1 swimsuit/exercise shorts, 3 shoes – sturdy sandals, casual, flipflops, 1 sweatshirt, 4 undies, 3 socks, 3 tshirts, 2 collared short sleeve, 2 long sleeve, 1 belt, 2 bandanas, 1 hat.

Items – Drybags for packing, electric adapter, rain cover for backpack, tripod, headlamp, ear plugs, pocket knife, spork eating utensil, battery charger, SD card for camera, quick dry towel, padlocks for backpack/lockers, glasses and sunglasses, clothes line, day pack, carabiner clip, Kindle, journal, books,money belt, cards, rain poncho, rain coat, power pack charger, and electronic cords.

Bathroom protects – toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, razor, shave cream, TP roll, baby wipes, oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract, mosquito repellent, Cortisone, sunscreen, Imodium, hand sanitizer, baby powder, antibiotic cream.

Food – trail mix, bars, gel energy packets, electrolyte tablets.


During my research, I found these websites helpful for me for SE Asia oriented packing.


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