Packing for Wanderlust

Preparing for a journey can be great fun, but it can also be a great pain. Wanting to be prepared for any situation South America throws at me, and needing to pack lightly don’t go well together.  Packing pushes my sanity to the edge. Yesterday I sliced my finger open trying to halve a bar of soap to fit into my soap case. The wound and timing feels disastrous, and accompanied by the nerves approaching Tuesday,  it’s reasonable to say I’ve had my first meltdown. My bag laughed at me as I reopened the cut trying to push in all my belongings. And we’re talking about a Kathmandu 70L here!!

I thought it’d be worthwhile to share some of the things I’ve packed for my four months away, developing a vague picture of how life will be.


  • An array of t-shirts, a thermal long sleeve and a nice singlet top
  • Hiking pants, thermal pants, jeggings, leggings, cargo shorts, jean shorts and my favourite baggy, hippie pants
  • A two-in-one Columbia jacket that has a warm inside/ detachable jacket inside a waterproof outer coat.
  • Wind jacket
  • Woollen cardigan
  •  Underwear for a week and a half
  • Many pairs of socks ranging from hiking, merino and warmth
  • Beanies and gloves
  • 3 dresses (day dress, maxi dress & day/evening dress)

Now that all seems normal according to other travel blogs I’ve read. As recommended I rolled my clothes and used plastic ‘travel cubes’. Pushing as much air from them as possible, I’d really thought I’d done well. Wrong. Now I have two huge bags which fit fine by themselves, but now add in other.


  • Sleeping bag (Kathmandu pathfinder)
  • Sleeping mat (Hi Country 3/4 self inflatable)
  • Microfibre towel
  • Washing kit
  • Mosquito net
  • Toiletries bag
  • Thongs
  • Sandals

The sleeping equipment is bulky and not flexible. Neither are my vacuum sealed clothes. It’s a game of Tetris to fit everything in, with not many ‘little things’ to fit snugly in the gaps. And for a girl that prides herself on having ‘souvenir room’ in the bag, things are looking dismal. I’ll be keeping my more valued things such as electronics in my day pack.

Exhausted and rather grumpy, I’ll give my finger another day or so of healing before I engage in battle two with my luggage. Wish me luck!


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