What’s in Our Bags?

QUESTION: Did we forget anything that you would bring?

What to pack has been the backdrop of our lives for the last…two months? This post has been a long time coming.

First off, we are taking a total of 70 pounds broken into four bags. Both our backpacks are 50L, which is the maximum carry on size (but double check the measurements!).

Erin and Alex packed

We have  LOTS of small sunscreen bottles. From experience, we know that you can’t easily find it in Costa Rica, so we’re taking a bunch. In a pinch we might sell it to tourists for $50 an ounce.

We are taking both Cipro and Azithromycin general antibiotics for stomach bugs (in S. America/Asia respectively), which is how you can tell we are in it for the long haul. Our own bowl and spoon: always helpful, and great for avoiding wasteful to-go containers.

Our stuff

We will undoubtedly write more about how (or if) all of these items come in handy, but I want to touch on a few controversial items.

First, my running shoes. Erin almost asked my parents to leave the room yesterday so she could tell me I’m an idiot for deciding at the last minute to add my running shoes to my current luxury of sandals and light tennies. What can I say? I don’t want to run in non-running shoes.

Hair clippers. So controversial it’s not even in the list below. But when I’m looking clean and handsome after four weeks in the Amazon I’m pretty sure Erin is going to rescind her opposition. Oh and if we blow our budget, we can make some extra cash giving buzzcuts to other travelers.

Silk liners/bed sheets… We debated this at least five times. Cotton bed sheets weigh more, take more space, but are cool in hot climes. Silk liners are light and small and they encapsulate you from cooties, but aren’t helpful in 88 degrees and 90% humidity. So we brought two liners and one sheet. Go figure.

BagsFirst AidHealth/WellnessTechnologyMiscClothesDocumentation
Day BagBand AidsToothpasteiPhoneBatteries3 short sleeve shirtsDrivers License
Hip PackTapeFlossChargersPlaying Cards2 long sleeve shirtsVaccination Cards
ZiplockGauzeGlassesEarbudsPen and Paper3 pantsFlight Info
Ditty BagsTweezersContactsEarbud SplitterMetal Bowls2 shortsInsurance Info
Small Dry BagGlovesVitaminsCameraFork/Spoon Combo5 pairs socksCredit/Debit Cards
Pack CoversNeosporinToilet PaperCamera Battery ChargerWatch2 tank topsPaper copies of passports
Travel CubesPain MedsSunscreenCamera CaseInflatable PillowsRain jacket 
 Diarhea MedsShampooLens ClothsSilk Liners & Light sheetFleece 
 Antiseptic WipesEarplugsUniversal PlugBinoculars & Harness4 quick dry underwear 
 CiproHankiesSPOT LocatorMoney Belt/Pouch3 quick dry bras 
 XanaxPack Towels Duct TapeSandals 
 VicadinEye Mask Clothes LineSneakers + Alex running shoes 
 AzithromycinDiva Cup Door Wedge  
  Probiotics Keychain Flashlight  
  Bug Spray Sewing Kit  
  Lip Balm Carabiners  
  Water Filter Trash Bags  
  Nail Clippers Sunglasses  
  Emory Board Sink Plug  
  Hair Ties/Barrettes Laundry Bag  

Three last tokens from home that are neither practical nor controversial for either of us:  1) I clipped a small tuft of our cat Lily’s hair and brought it to remind her of us. It’s like carrying a small rabbit foot–soft and a little creepy. 2) Two little metal Hindu god statuettes from our friend Jessica. They are like religious Micro Machines, and I’m pretty sure they will bring us good luck. 3) Some “Bark More for Mt. Hood” stickers. Cause that’s what I do.

9 thoughts on “What’s in Our Bags?

  1. Looks like a good list. I always carry a small French press so I know I can make decent coffee. Also you can get a plug-in charger with 2 or 4 USB ports. Polyester stuff is good for wash and dry overnight. I carry a little plastic bottle with some laundry soap in it. For being g spray you may find localized products that are better. Our stuff doesn’t work on migies in the UK. I also carry rechargeable AA batteries. I also carry a Garmin GPS with some worldwide maps in it.


  2. OMG, you’re gone. You’re really gone. Can’t believe it!! I almost cried reading this post just realizing how real it all is. We’re going to miss you guys SO MUCH! Be safe. Take your vitamins, wash your undies often, protect your documents, use those heavy running shoes, ditch the hair clippers. It’s going to be an amazing year!!


  3. I think you walked off with one of our phone chargers! I hope it serves you well in your travels….

    It was so great to see you! Can’t wait to read about your adventures.


      • Doh! I found our charger like a week later. It had been plugged into the same kitchen outlet that you guys were using, but I guess Harlan had unplugged ours without telling me. So I thought you were using our charger, and thus confusion ensues….


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