What’s in my Backpack?

Many of you have been asking me what I traveled with for 4 months. Here’s everything I had:
Chelsea HPL
– Tortuga Backpack (carry-on size!)
– Deuter GoGo Daypack
Chelsea HPL3
– Small packing cube had all of my underwear (14 pair) and socks (8 pair) inside
– Large packing cube had all of my shirts inside (10 shirts total – 2 tank tops, 1 dressy top, 7 t-shirts – some of which I acquired while traveling and left behind)
– Long sleeve chambray button-down shirt
– Scarf
– 1 pair of yoga pants (I wore these anytime I got on a plane, bus or train and also wore them to sleep in when it was cold)
– 1 pair of light pants from India to wear when I had to dress conservatively when it was hot outside (I got rid of these after I left Asia)
– 1 pair of black jeans
– 1 pair of capris
The North Face Adele Triclimate Jacket
– Flipsters foldable flip-flops – an amazing invention! I used these as shower shoes when I stayed in hostels.
– 2 bras (1 black, 1 beige) & 1 sports bra
– 1 pair of black ballet flats
– 1 pair of Merrell hiking shoes (Salida Mid Waterproof)
– 1 pair of Teva Tirra sandals, which I can HIGHLY recommend! Every time I wore them, I was so happy to have them. When I was searching for a pair of sandals to bring on my trip, I was so hesitant to order these because I thought they looked too “grandma-ish”. I am so glad I got over that. I have plantar fasciitis in my feet and I cannot wear shoes that do not offer support. These were perfect.
– 2 pairs of shorts (one black pair and one pair of exercise shorts)
– 1 bikini
– 1 dress I purchased in Thailand and got rid of after awhile
– Toiletry bag
– Comb
– Mini brush
– Travel toothbrush
– Deodorant
– Face wash
– Nail clippers
– Tweezers
– Facial moisturizer
– Toothpaste
– Floss
– Aquaphor (lip care)
– 3 GoToobs (1 for shampoo, 1 for conditioner, 1 for sunscreen)
– Q-tips
– Tiger Balm
– Anti-itch liquid for mosquito bites
– Mascara (I didn’t even use this until my 3rd month of traveling!)
– BB Cream
– Eye drops
– Razor
– Nail file
– Lotion
*Not pictured:
– Ear plugs
– Eye mask
– Band-aids
– Mosquito repellent
– Lunatec Self-Cleaning Travel Washcloth (it dries within 30 minutes and is great!!)
– Small packets of tissues
– Medication (Pepto Bismol, Imodium, Ibuprofen, etc.)
– Small purse (Travelon Anti-Theft Signature Slim Pouch) – it is perfect for travel because it cannot be cut or slashed by thieves and has locking zippers
– Hat (Blu Bandoo – it has SPF & cooling beads so when you soak it in cold water it keeps you cool for hours)
– GoPro camera
– GoPro Backdoor Floaty (so I can take my GoPro in the water and not worry about it sinking)
ChicoBag (It takes up no room at all because it stuffs into its own tiny pouch and it opens up into a nice, sturdy bag that I find myself using often! It serves many purposes.)
– Point and shoot camera
– Small sweat towel – something I did not bring with me but bought in a department store in Thailand – I was SO happy to have it! I think it is a must when traveling in hot countries. This one is micro cotton – it is super soft and dries quickly.
Chelsea HPL2
*Not pictured:
– 13″ Macbook Pro
– iPod Touch
– Chargers for all of my electronics
– Copies of my passport
– Passport-sized photos for visas
– Small notebook & pen
– Sea to Summit DryLite travel towel – it dries much quicker than a regular towel
– Luggage locks
– Head lamp
– USB Stick
– My Passport External Hard Drive (I purchased this while on the road)
– 1 universal adapter
Tortuga HPL1
*Note: I traveled without a phone. I know I am probably one of the very few travelers without a phone. Many people think I am crazy, but I love the freedom of not being able to be reached and was absolutely fine without it. It is an extra expense I do not need.
Also, there was nothing I didn’t have that I wished I brought with me. However, there was one thing I often wished I could have with me – SLIPPERS! – but it wasn’t realistic (I did not have room for them).

14 thoughts on “What’s in my Backpack?

  1. You have plantar fasciitis because your basic structure is weak. Wearing clunky hiking boots will only exacerbate the condition. The more support you use the worse the condition will get over time…

    You can rid yourself permanently of plantar fasciitis with foot ankle and knee exercises plus gluteal activation drills.

    Read “Born To Run” by Chris McDougle. Stay far from regular doctors, especially podiatrists. Here’s another thought provoking article:

    I am a fiull time nomad that lives on the road, different countries every few weeks. I currently in Shnaghai. Not having to carry heavy shoes is awesome. I have several minimalist shoes that I can roll up and stick in my pocket. Footwear is the biggest space taker in packing.

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your comment. I didn’t have one issue with my feet when wearing my hiking shoes and my shoes aren’t heavy at all 🙂 I have plantar fasciitis from growing up in Florida wearing flip flops all of the time. I will take a look at what you recommended. Thanks for that 🙂

  2. Hi, You seems to have a smal daypack in your hands in the firts picture, witch model is-it? Did you use it at the same time as your purse. I’ma sking because I’m trying to figure if I need bot of them or just a daypack (ultralight or normal)

    • Hi Gen,

      Yes, it is a Deuter GoGo Daypack. I did often use it at the same time as my purse – though my purse was very tiny and didn’t fit much in it (only my essentials). I’d recommend a daypack if you’re like me and you like to carry around extras – such as water, snacks, maybe even lunch, sweat towel, etc. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Hi Austin,
      Great question. I did use my daypack as well. It filled up as my travels progressed. All of my clothes, shoes and toiletries were in the Tortuga, with the exception of my Teva sandals. I kept those in my daypack. I hope that answered your question 🙂

  3. How tall are you? Being a female does it hurt to wear the tortuga and I’ve seen around online some women say its way too big for them and uncomfortable .

    • Hi Jozelle,

      My sincerest apologies for taking so long to reply to you. I was on holidays for a week and completely forgot!

      I am actually quite tall – 5’11”. I know that probably isn’t what you were hoping to hear. I can’t speak for shorter females unfortunately. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact Fred (co-founder of the Tortuga) directly – he is very helpful and will be honest with you. In terms of your other question, the Tortuga did not hurt me at all and I don’t consider myself to be a very strong person and have had issues with my back for a long time. I found it very comfortable.

      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I promise I won’t take 12 days to respond next time!! 🙂

      • LOL ! No worries and thank you so much,. I am 5-6″ and only about 106 lbs.I’m looking into traveling more minimalistic and the determination to fit everything into a backpack. I always try to fit everything into a carry-on anyways but the tortuga looks nice but I would probably only carry it if i ever went backpacking or needed my stuff with me at all times through certain countries. Otherwise, I think I would go with Lipault foldable luggages.

  4. Hey there!! Thanks for all the awesome information! I’m looking into getting the tortuga backpack. I was wondering if you were able to carry on both your tortuga backpack and your gogo daypack on (at least) most of your flights? As well I heard the material used in the tortuga was not the best quality, did you have any issues with that? I am planning to go on another 3 month trip to SE Asia, and will probably continue on to Australia after that. Would this bag combination be a good fit for me?

    Thanks for any information you can proivde!

  5. Hey!!

    Thanks for all the awesome info! I’m really interested in purchasing a tortuga backpack. It looks like it has everything I want out of a bag! After many trips with a standard hiking backpack I know exactly what I want/ need in a travellers bag now. My questions for you are:
    1. We’re you able to carry on both your tortuga bag and your gogo daypack on to (at least) most of your flights?
    2. I read some reviews that the material quality wasn’t the greatest for the price point. Did you have any issues or notice any weakpoints in regards to this?

    I am planning my next trip back to SE Asia for about 3 months and then possibly off to Australia. It sounds like the perfect fit for me doest it?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • My sincerest apologies for taking so long to respond!! I was on holidays for a week and completely forgot to reply to you!!

      1. Yes indeed, I was able to carry both on I believe every single one of my flights except maybe one. Of course, an airline like Ryanair wouldn’t allow it but there shouldn’t be any issues on long-haul flights.
      2. Wow really? I am surprised to hear this. The high quality of the material of the Tortuga is something that really stands out to me in a positive way. My Tortuga has been through a lot and is still as strong as ever – still looks brand new!! Absolutely no weak points whatsoever in my bag. I really mean it! I think the material is very strong and durable.

      It really does sound like the perfect bag for you!!! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I promise I won’t take 11 days to respond next time!! Thanks a million for reading 🙂

  6. Ha! I just got my Tortuga in the mail. I love it. Can’t wait to use it on our 3 week trip to Spain in May. I also appreciate your picture. I wanted to wear leggings on that absurdly long trip (Alaska to Madrid) but I need to wear my Ahna hiking shoes. I didn’t think I could (the fashion police would ticket me) until I saw your picture with leggings and hiking shoes!

    • Hi Irene,

      Thanks so much for your comment. It made me smile 🙂 I’m so glad my addiction to leggings has helped someone else! You can definitely pull it off!!! 3 weeks in Spain sounds amazing. Will you be traveling all around?

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