The secret’s out: you guys know I’m a serial overpacker. As I prepared for my South America adventure, starting with at least two months in Peru, I briefly fantasized that this might be the trip. The one where I pack like one of those people, those people who travel the planet for years on end with little more than a quick-dry tee-shirt and three pairs of seamless underwear. I’ve read their six point packing list posts and thought, could that be me?

Well, ladies and gentleman, I don’t want to keep you in suspense here — that is not me. Part of me wants to just slink away in my obscenely oversized backpack filled with not two, not four, but twelve pairs of socks and rock back and forth on it like an overturned turtle and hiss at all those carry-on toting travelers that sashay by. But then I decided to just own it, ’cause I figure I must not be the only one out there. In fact, I’m going to start us a support group. It’s going to be called Yes In Fact I do Need Both Styles of Jeggings Thanks For Asking and we’ll meet at the Extra Baggage Fees counter. Yup, that’s right, come and get us you light packing enthusiasts! I packed THREE paperback novels!

So, ahem. My system. Clothes, shoes, toiletries and accessories go in my Osprey Aether 85L Backpack. I have such a huge pack because typically I have my dive gear stuffed in there as well — as I have such a long dive-less stretch for this trip I’m planning to have it shipped to me once I hit Central America. Gear and electronics, also known as my mobile office, go in my new Eagle Creek Afar Backpack. I have a simple canvas bag that is my day-to-day travel purse, where I carry my wallet and other daily essentials. When I fly, I check the Osprey and carry on the Eagle Creek and the canvas bag — Eagle Creek in the overhead, canvas bag at my seat. When I travel overland, I throw the Osprey on my back and the Eagle Creek on my front with the canvas bag tucked inside.

I’m also bringing a few things that are temporary and therefore I’m leaving them off my main packing list. Those include notebooks, notepads, and pencils for the village visit on my Iquitos cruise itinerary, a pile of travel magazines I’ll read in transit and give away, and some seriously threadbare warm weather clothes that I’ll toss on my way out of my first stop, Iquitos.

Read next: all my Peru posts in one place.

Backpacker Packing List

Clothes and Shoes

Note: I’ve updated this post with changes I made to my packing list along the way!

With the exception of the Lululemon jacket my mom gifted me and the Calvin Klein leggings I bought at Marshalls for $20 (and had hemmed for $10, yay for short people taxes) nothing in this category is new for this trip. Certain things like socks and underwear I purposely overpacked, as those anyways seem to go missing when I get my laundry done and if you ever tried to shop for underwear in Indonesia you’ll understand why I like to have spares.

• 2 dresses (one evening-friendly and one daytime sightseeing-friendly)
• 2 skirts (one black cotton pencil, one gray cotton a-line)
• 4 dress tops (this may sound like a lot, but these are mostly silky little things and truly tissue-weight!)

• 3 long sleeve tops
2 1 tee shirt (one got tossed for being threadbare)
• 6 tanks
• 3 layering tops (one Lululemon jacket, a generous bon voyage gift from my mom, one Scottevest that I received at TBEX, and one shrug-like thing I take everywhere as seen in this post)

4 3 shorts (one pair of jean shorts, one pair of khaki shorts, two one pair of exercise shorts)
5 4 pants (one pair of full length black leggings, two one pairs of athletic capri leggings, one pair of ultralight jeans that I bought last year from Forever 21 for about $10, and one pair of light cotton pants)

14 12 undies, 3 bras, 2 1 bandeau, 3 2 sports bras
12 8 pairs of socks, 1 pair of gloves (I’m mostly planning to pick up whatever cold-weather scarves, hats etc. that I need once I hit Cusco)
• 2.5 bathing suits (three tops and two bottoms)

• 1 pair running shoes (what I’m planning to hike The Inca Trail in)
• 1 pair (fake) Keds
• 1 pair black flats (tossed at the end of the trip)
• 1 pair dress sandals (tossed at the end of the trip)
• 1 pair flip flops

A note about packing cubes: As you can see from the photos below, packing cubes are going to change my life. I’m sure of it. A year ago I picked up two Eagle Creek Pack-It Half Cubes and they were awesome for keeping my undies and bathing suits sorted. So I was overjoyed when Eagle Creek sent me a Pack-It Specter Cube Set and a Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set to add to the mix. Already I feel I’ll soon be a full-fledged member of the Packing Cube Cult. These things are amazing!

South America Packing LIst

Peru Packing List

Toiletries and Accessories

• 1 bag of jewelry (one belt, one bracelet, two earrings, three necklaces)

• 2 bags of toiletries (basically everything in my toiletries post except I left behind the baby powder and the dry shampoo)

• 1 bag of makeup (Again, everything from my toiletries post, except the perfume samples and lipgloss ran out and I didn’t replace)

• 1 shower bag (Once again, see that toiletries post… however, I’m making one major change. I’m really excited to be trying out solid shampoo! Lush is my favorite kind of company — they don’t test of animals, they use eco-friendly, plastic free packaging, and they’re reasonably priced. The sales guy estimated based on my hair length and wash frequency that this will last me two months! Also in this bag is a sarong and a small ultra-absorbent hair towel.)

• 1 medicine bag (I know everyone says, ‘Oh, just buy that stuff as you go!’ But really, when I get a blister I don’t want to run around town looking for band-aids and when I’m having an allergy attack I don’t want to search for a pharmacy. So I have a small stash of band aids, blister pads for hiking, Neosporin, anxiety meds, Emergen-C, a few allergy pills and antacids, etc.)

• 2 spare sunglasses (My thinking is, I know I can find sunglasses most places I’m traveling. But if it is a scientific fact that I will lose a pair within a month, and I already have two spares at home, why not bring them?)

• 1 visor

• 1 small crossbody purse for evenings

• 1 collapsible tupperware (I eat takeout frequently when I’m pulling long hours in front of the computer. I’m hoping this new addition to my packing list ensures I can cut down on styrofoam and single use containers!)

• 1 bag of food (Just some leftover granola and instant oatmeal I had at home, and Pedialyte packets to help fight altitude sickness. I’ll be happy as I use this stuff and my bag gets lighter!)

• 1 towel and 1 sarong

Peru Packing List

Gear and Electronics

If someone could create a universal charger that would juice up every camera, computer, and battery operated item in my bag I would fully kiss them on the mouth. This stuff is heavy and often stressful to travel with but it is how I run my business on the road.

Canon Rebel T2i + Charger + 15-85mm lens + 32 GB Memory Card + UV filter

Canon 70-300mm lens (I don’t love this lens, but at this point I don’t want to shell out for an upgrade. I debated not even bringing it, but I think I’ll be happy I have it when wildlife spotting in the Amazon.)

Canon PowerShot S100 + Charger + Spare Battery + Leather case + 16 GB Memory Card+ Underwater Housing (Debated not bringing my underwater setup as I only have two activities planned where I know I’ll use it, but I’m also nervous to have it shipped down with my dive gear.)

Dive Computer (See above!)

Mini Memory Card Reader

• Macbook Pro + charger + portable mouse

• Time machine backup hard drive + 2 USB memory sticks

• iPhone + Mophie battery casewaterproof case + 2 charging cords

• Basic unlocked phone + charger (for putting a local SIM into)

Solar USB charger (hoping this will help me listen to music throughout the Inca Trail!)

• Headphones + Headphone splitter (not pictured)

• Adaptors (I’ve read Peru varies between two-prong round and flat outlets, so these are for my three-prong laptop charger)

Electronics Packing List

Lonely Planet Peru + 3 books (I’m in the middle of two of them and will read and give away along the way)

• Folder with travel and work documents + pens

Travel pillow + eyeshade + earplugs (Kind of thrilled about this pillow and it’s secret inner pocket for all the overnight bus rides I’ll be taking)

• Passport + Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate

• Pouch with spare credit cards + emergency cash

• Day calendar + notebook

SteriPEN + reusable water bottle

• Super tiny headlamp (Thank you Anders!)

Camelbak + spare mouthpieces

Eagle Creek Packable Backpack (So excited about this new bag. I think it will be perfect for biking, quick hikes and other day tours when I don’t want to unpack my entire backpack to bring.)

Pacsafe Luggage Travelsafe 12L Pack + Padlock

Kensington Laptop Lock

• Eagle Creek Silk Undercover Bra Stash (I’ve never used any kind of money-belt before, but I think this little system for stashing credit cards and cash on long distance bus rides will be great!)

• Personal alarm from the 80’s (I laughed a little when my mom insisted I take this on my last solo backpacking trip, but it actually can be comforting when I’m walking down a street alone at night.)

Peru Packing List

Okay then! Ready to tell me I did everything wrong and I’m looking at several infractions with the packing police? Want to confess that you, too, are a wild overpacker and join my support group? Let’s do this thing in the comments!

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Find the rest of my Peru posts here.

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I am a partner of Eagle Creek and was provided with complimentary items as part of that partnership. I was also provided with the following items in this post by the manufacturers: the waterproof iPhone case, the travel pillow, the Island Company luggage tag. Please note that all Amazon links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission from anything you buy. I truly appreciate your support in keeping this site running!

  • Laryssa
    October 8 2013

    Great packing list. I’m an overpacker too!

    I tried to be the person with 4 shirts and 1 dress, really I did, but then I was spending SO MUCH time doing laundry. HUGE waste of time! I’d much rather bring a few extra pieces.

    Your point about medicine is spot-on and I never understand the people that argue against bringing it. Surely you CAN buy that stuff as you go, but you’re usually not in the mental capacity to try to find the stuff when you need it, especially if it’s in another language. I needed cough drops in Ukraine and THAT ended up being a mini-circus.

    Also… I brought all my favorite toiletries with me and I was SO MUCH happier for it.

    So, needless to say, I would be happy to join your club. And I’m excited to read about Peru! 🙂

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      That is a really good point Laryssa. Laundry is a PIA when traveling (well, at home too!) And I feel you on the meds. I get to play hero to my travel buddies ALL the time when it comes to that stuff!

  • Wow Alex I cannot believe you can carry all that!!! How heavy are all your bags all together?! Seems like so much stuff! I wish I could bring as much with us but simply couldn’t bring myself to carry so much!

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      That is a really good question Vicky. It must be less than 20kg as that was the limit on Star Peru, and I made it here! But I will take a peek when I fly back to Lima and report back.

  • Krystle
    October 8 2013

    So glad to know that I’m not alone in the “overpacking” category. Support group UNITE!
    Last Christmas I took only a carry-on for our trip to Kauai and I was so impressed with myself, until I froze throughout the trip because I didn’t bring enough long sleeved shirts and pants (who would have thought that one can’t just get by in Hawaii with bikins and sundresses).
    Anyways, for as long as you are going I am VERY impressed with you girl! I think you did a fabulous job with your packing.
    By the way, I’m off to check out the travel cubes now, thanks for the great advice.

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Krystle I’ve only been on the road for about five days but let me tell you I am in LOVE with these darn cubes! You need some in your life! As for Hawaii being cold… we were bundled up in hats and scarves at the top of some of those mountains. Who would have thought.

  • Okay I seriously envy your packing skills. I know you say you say you’re an over packer but genuinely you are 10X better than I am hahaha. I’ll be taking a backpack, crossbody bag & large suitcase for my move abroad & refuse to take less… x

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Glad to hear I’m not alone, Jacquie 🙂 Good luck with your move!

  • Daisy Wong
    October 8 2013

    Great post!! cool gadgets and product list. Do you check in your back pack or carry on the plane?

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Hey Daisy, thank you! As I mentioned in the post, I check the Osprey backpack and carry on the Eagle Creek!

  • Dad
    October 8 2013

    Nice job!!

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Thank you Dad 🙂

  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    October 8 2013

    As a chronic overpacker, I would like to join your club and also congratulate you on a job well done. When I went to Peru I was so.frickin.proud that I did it with a 45L backpack and little daypack… to this day I still have no idea how I managed that. I know I froze my ass off in Huaraz with no pants though.

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      I am still pretty scared about the cold parts of the trip! Luckily I have lots of threadbare warm weather stuff I can ditch to make room for hats and gloves!

  • Camels & Chocolate
    October 8 2013

    Seriously, when you travel with as many electronics as we do, how could you possibly pack any lighter?!

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      You don’t know how many comments I get about the weight of my front pack. I do want to upgrade to a MacAir at some point as that would really lighten the load, but I don’t think it can handle the video editing I do. Le sigh…

  • TammyOnTheMove
    October 8 2013

    Believe me Alex, you are not the only overpacker. I always have the additional problem that I need to take dressy type clothes for my NGO contracts, so I need to find T-Shirts, blouses etc. that are lightweight, can be worn for sightseeing and in an office environment. And if you go to South America of course you also need to take some warmer clothes, so I always take my trusted Icebreaker tops as baselayers. I have a 65l backpack, plus a daypack in which I put my laptop and camera gear etc.

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      I occasionally have to dress up as well, or just want to, hence my “dressy top” category 🙂 Luckily for me those items weigh basically NOTHING. They are just silky nothings! But if I had to bring a blazer or something, forget it.

  • Sam
    October 9 2013

    Hahaha you make me laugh! I’m so excited to read about your Peruvian adventures xx

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Thanks girl 🙂 So many photos already!

  • Alana - Paper Planes
    October 9 2013

    Oh my goodness…packing takes me long enough without laying everything out and photographing it – I’m impressed!

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Ha, that was actually kind of fun! But I’m a weirdo. I used my mom’s guest room as my packing base camp for the week before departure and then on the final morning just piled, photographed, and packed!

  • You cannot imagine how delighted and relieved I am to find another overpacker just like me!:D

    Despite the fact that every piece of item have been scrutinized for their own purpose, just cannot help it to bring them along for comfort and security sake.

    Have a great trip to Peru and travel safe! 🙂

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Thanks Pamela! Welcome to the club 🙂

  • aftri
    October 9 2013

    I’d say you have everything you need there. Yes, girl, I’m on your team! I carried almost 40 kg of stuffs when I came to Europe, for my 2 years master course, included all the electronics and jackets and shoes and snow boots.. 😆

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Welcome to the support group, Aftri 🙂

  • Katherine
    October 9 2013

    I’m IN on your support group!

    Wow this is a great list though I’m really curious how much your 85L weighs up to! I’m now carrying about 14kg on my back for my 3 months in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia and I kept thinking to myself who do I have so much stuffs. One thing I didn’t bring but really wish I did is a small vial of Chinese medicinal oil to keep bugs away and sooth bug bites!

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      I will weigh both bags at the airport when I fly back to Lima and report back here! I’m afraid to see the numbers though 🙂

  • Renata
    October 10 2013

    Another great post Alex!

    Personally I think, if you can carry it all then you’ve packed perfectly. Who cares if some people can travel with one outfit for three months – have you meet those people? They stink!

    Literally read this article just after reading your post and had to share though:

    Have an amazing time in Peru, can’t wait to hear more about it!

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Haha, thank you for this comment Renata… you made me laugh! 🙂

  • Grump Old Man
    October 10 2013

    When I’m backpacking, I travel with a 40L pack and everything fits in that pack. And I’m big guy, and that’s for two-season travel.

    When I’m visiting some place for some time and staying in one place for a long time, a month or more, I use an Eagle Creek ORV trunk because wheels, right?

    I’m big and strong, but I can’t imagine struggling with whatever crap an 85L backpack and a 34L “day pack” can hold, in addition to handbags, purses, etc.. That’s a massive turtle right there.

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Luckily, being a small girl, most of my clothes and shoes are very tiny as well 🙂 Unfortunately that means a smaller frame to carry it all with! And luckily without my dive gear I’m nowhere near filling all 85L.

  • Beth
    October 10 2013

    So when’s the first meeting?

    While I overpack, it’s generally when I’m using a suitcase. I don’t think I could ever carry that much on my back, but kudos to you for being able to!

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Keeps me fit on the road 🙂 Just kidding… probably keeps a chiropractor in business somewhere along the line.

  • Lauren
    October 10 2013

    Yet another awesome post; I’m the opposite of you on the packing front, but I love the humor and the fact that you own it—dude, when you’re traveling what’s most important is whatever makes you feel good and comfortable, and if that’s 2 styles of jeggings, then so be it.
    A tip on the Lush solid shampoo (I love mine)– I find it gets mushy in the tin that Lush sells. The most awesome solution I’ve found is to keep it in a Hubble Bubble Gum dispenser (remember that gum that’s shaped like Scotch tape…yeah…) Maybe you won’t find it in South America, but I picked mine up in Romania, so it’s possible. And cheap. And it’s way easier to keep the shampoo bar dry and usable.

  • Lauren
    October 10 2013

    *Hubba Bubba gum, not hubble bubble. But you know what I mean ;D

    • Alex
      October 11 2013

      Awesome tip, thanks Lauren! I’m not sure if you are the one who suggested the solid shampoo to me but if so… THANK YOU! Day five and I’m loving it already. Great stuff. May try the conditioner next time I’m stateside…

  • Eliza
    October 14 2013

    This is totally not overpacking for a long trip!
    Although I’m surprised you don’t travel with a Kindle. Good books are so hard to find while traveling. Carrying my Kindle with me totally changed my life, now I don’t mind all the waiting around for late buses, delayed flights, etc etc.

    • Alex
      October 14 2013

      My mom has been trying to get me on the Kindle train as well! I don’t know why I’m so resistant to new technology. I think I just get overwhelmed at the thought of yet another electronic to try to not break/lose/get stolen!

  • Ashley of Ashley Abroad
    November 19 2013

    I also can’t resist overpacking (mostly on tech stuff!) One question- did you bring a PacSafe?

    • Alex
      November 19 2013

      Yup! You’ll see it in the last photo, and the fourth bullet point from the bottom.

  • Miriam of Adventurous Miriam
    December 20 2013

    Great packing list! I’m packing for Peru myself at the moment. Just wondering – did you bring your laptop with you on the Inca trail?

    • Alex
      December 22 2013

      No, and I’m very glad I didn’t! I considered it for a whole five seconds as we were spending the night in Aguas Calientes after and I knew I’d be desperate to reconnect. But I wouldn’t have wanted to carry it on my own back and the porters definitely aren’t expecting valuables in the packs they give you, so they are seriously slung around. My iPhone was more than sufficient for that one night in AC! Hope that helps!

  • Miriam of Adventurous Miriam
    December 22 2013

    Thanks for the advice, Alex!

  • Jessie
    February 1 2014

    Thanks for sharing your list! I feel you on the sunglasses and Tupperware! haha. Thanks for making me feel good about my travel packing habits:) hahaha

    • Alex
      February 2 2014

      I have an update to this post coming up this week… stay tuned!

  • Clothes and Creativity
    March 6 2014

    Thanks for providing a link to this post, Alex! 🙂

  • Anastasia
    April 14 2014

    Great post, I referred to it several times while packing for my own trip to peru, only 24 days and no jungle. When I saw that I had more clothes than you, that was a sign to reevaluate. I got myself down to 1 dress (knee length t-shirt dress from H&M), 1 skirt, 6 t-shirts (1 quick dry, 3 short sleeve, 2 with 3/4 sleeves), 3 pairs of pants (2 jeans, 1 capri athletic), 3 layering sweaters, 1 blazer (beige), and 2 jackets (a rainjacket from Northface and a jeans type earth-colored jacket).

    The only item I’m still questioning as potentially unnecessary is the rain jacket. I’m taking an umbrella, isnt that sufficient?

    • Alex
      April 15 2014

      I’m so glad this was helpful, Anastasia! Actually I would bring a light rain coat over an umbrella. I think it would be a better method to staying dry when you’re hiking or out on some kind of activity. Hope that helps!

  • Tiffany Schebesch
    April 29 2014

    Hey Alex,
    I’m so glad I just found your blog, amazing packing tips!! I’m heading to Ecuador in two weeks but I’ll be spending my month and a half working with animals in the rainforest. Struggling to try and adapt to the inevitable muddy, wet conditions I’ll be living in. I guess layers is the best solution?

    • Alex
      April 30 2014

      I would recommend quick drying materials, as the rainforest is so humid nothing ever really wants to dry out! Also, I’m sure you know you’ll need long pants and sleeves, so I’d go for lightweight and breathable stuff so you don’t keel over from heat! And a light rainjacket, of course. Good luck and enjoy!

  • Admiration
    May 2 2014

    Just ended up on your website while checking what I could bring over to Peru for a 5 months stay or so. You won me after the first paragraph.

    Peace and love and happy travels,


    • Alex
      May 2 2014

      Happy this post was helpful, Martina!

  • Vi
    September 29 2014

    Hi Alex, I will be hiking next month on the Salkantay trek with Llama. I have been looking for pack lists for October and came across yours. Did you bring a jacket other than your Lululemon? I’m trying to figure out what I need, how cold the weather may be at night and During the day this time of year. I know it’s their spring/summer season so not sure I’ll need down. Any suggestions will be great. Thank you!

    • Alex
      September 30 2014

      Hey Vi! I bought the knockoff salmon-colored Northface that you’ll see in many of my photos from the trek on the cheap in Cusco. If you look at my budget breakdown for the Inca Trail (in my final post about logistics and tips) you’ll find it included in that list. Hope that helps!

  • Cuni
    February 6 2015

    Hi Alex,
    What is the small bag you use to store the clothes? Where do you buy it? Thanks!

    • Alex
      February 6 2015

      Hi Cuni — those are packing cubes, linked to in the post!

  • Anne
    February 22 2015

    Hi – wondering what sort of bag you pack your electronics in? The ones with all the cushioning are so…bulky and I just find them cumbersome. I was hoping to find a good laptop/camera bag combo. Do you travel with a 15″ MacBook? Have you thought of switching to a tablet to make things lighter? I really want to get less heavy and more mobile.

    I love your site, all of your advice and your spirit. Thank you for everything and Happy Birthday!


    • Alex
      February 25 2015

      Hey Anne! I definitely wouldn’t be able to do all the work I need to do on a tablet — my laptop is definitely non-negotiable baggage 🙂 I just use a generic laptop sleeve and slide it into the laptop pocket of the Eagle Creek backpack listed in this post. My cameras go in there too! I forgo a case for my dSLR — like you said, too bulky, and it’s super banged up already anyway!

  • Andrienette
    April 21 2015

    Hi Alex, love your list! Well done. I am doing the Choquequirao Trek from Cachora and then on to Machu Pichu in June and want to know about jackets? What is best to take? Have you any experience about weather there? Any tips on solar charges for cameras and or phones? Thought to maybe take only iPhone for pictures but then need to charge? Hope to hear more about your trip too? Where are you now?

    Many thanks


    • Alex
      April 23 2015

      Hey Andrienette! I did take a solar charger on the Inca Trail but it was too cloudy for it to work. You might be interested in my Inca Trail posts — you can find all my many many Peru posts here. Let me know if there’s anything you didn’t find there!

  • Andrea
    May 25 2015

    Hi Alex

    your blog is amazing! I have a question for you ;D I’m choosing my backpack but it isn’t easy to decide. I don’t know if it’s better a Ospray Xenith 75, Xenith 88 or Aether 70.
    What Size Backpack Do I Need for 1 month of backpacking?



    p.s from Italy

    • Alex
      May 26 2015

      Hey Andrea, that’s hard to say! How much do you like to pack and how much can you carry? 🙂 That all factors in. Personally I travel with an 80L and can’t imagine carrying anything bigger. Perhaps the 75?

  • Maki
    September 6 2015

    Wow, am I the only person in the world that does back-packing type trips with a big suitcase? (I blame it on the dive gear too…)
    I’ve travelled through Central America and South America several times, I’ve thought of getting a backpack many of those times, but I just cannot imagine myself walking any sort of distance with 20kg on my back!

    • Alex
      September 10 2015

      I find backpacks easier for walking on piers, shuffling onto buses, and carrying over dirt roads. But yup, there have definitely been some long walks where I longed for a suitcase!

  • Emma
    December 26 2015


    I absolutely adore your blog. I’m heading to South Korea to teach English for a year and am attempting at getting my own blog up and running for my travels in Asia. I often find myself wandering back to your page to get some inspiration.

    This packing list will be clutch to help me with packing for ONE entire year. AH! But I recently just got my Osprey backpack and am ready to start breaking it in.

    Safe travels wherever you’re heading next, Alex!


    • Alex
      December 26 2015

      Thanks Emma! Mostly, just hanging here in Thailand 🙂 Good luck with the packing — I know what a nightmare it can be.

  • Alayna
    January 7 2016

    The collapsible tuperwear is genius! I am currently living in China and whenever I ask for takeaway from a restaurant, they just dump the food (soup and all) into a plastic bag…. ew.

    Question… you’re like 5’2” right? How were you able to carry an 85 L backpack? I’m 5’1” and when I went to Africa, I had a 65 L with me and I felt like I was going to topple over and my back was killing me. I’m thinking of downsizing between a 46-55 L Osprey bag, but what would you recommend?

    • Alex
      January 8 2016

      Ha, yeah I’ll probably have a chiropractor to answer to someday but I just muscle into that 85L and go for it! It’s really only all the way full when I’m traveling with my dive gear, otherwise I think I leave plenty of it unused. I think of it as my weight training for the trip 😉

  • Sarah
    January 23 2016

    I LOVE Eagle Creek! I haven’t traveled without their cubes in years. I always start with socks and underwear in one and bring an empty for dirty ones. They are even color coded: green is clean and black goes back! They are one of my favorite gifts to give! The smaller shallow rectangular ones are perfect for cords, Chargers and spare batteries, too.

    • Alex
      January 25 2016

      I’m with ya — I’ll never travel without them again!

  • Lisa
    February 11 2016

    Yesterday I went to REI to see if there was a way I could possibly downsize just my airplane carry on/daypack to the Eagle Creek daypack you suggested instead of a 40 liter one.
    I met ‘those’ people in the backpack department….an adorable young couple who were getting married and leaving on a year long trip around the world. They were there to downsize too…from their 40 liter to a 35 liter pack for everything….the whole year in one small daypack. Oh..and all they were bringing was one change of clothes and seemless underwear.
    I started cracking up and all I could think of was ‘why thank you very much but I do need two pair of jeggings’…lol!
    Even though I haven’t met you you add to my life 🙂

    • Alex
      February 16 2016

      Ha ha, glad I could give you a giggle while backpack shopping 🙂 Man, 35L between two people?! That is just never going to happen for me!

  • Laura
    February 28 2016

    Thank you so much for all your posts regarding Peru and the trek to MP. A few questions.

    Did you end up using the power outlet adaptor(s) for round/flat outlets?

    How good was the steri pen and was this what you used to purify all your water on the trek and otherwise throughout Peru?

    Did you have any additional water bottles besides the hydration bladder (what size?) I’m not understanding how the Machu Picchu trek works in terms of water supply. Where do we get drinking water after the first day when I have to bring my own? I know we buy it ourselves on day 2. Then what?? How did you fill your water bladder?
    Ps- I’m booked with llama path and found your posts based on a search for someone who has trekked with them specifically.
    Can’t wait!!

    • Alex
      March 3 2016

      Hey Laura! Unfortunately I can’t remember about the outlets, sorry. The Steripen was awesome and I used it all over South America — see a new review of that and a self-filtering bottle here. From what I recall Llama Path supplied our water each morning and meal. I poured it right into my Camelbak. Don’t worry, you won’t go thirsty! Enjoy!

  • Kat
    April 2 2016

    I did the bare minimum packing thing last year when I went home for Christmas. Guess what? I hated it. I was so tired of washing clothes by the end that I proudly swore my allegiance to over-packers everywhere on my way home.
    Why yes, I do need four pairs of pants, two dresses, and six shirts for a month’s stay. Mind your own business. 😉

    • Alex
      April 6 2016

      I hear you Kat. There’s nothing worse than feeling stuck without that one thing you know would be perfect… and left at home.

  • Anji
    August 27 2016

    Hey Alex

    Love this! It is so helpful, I started packing this week for my trip to Peru next week and it seems I am right on track with you 🙂

    Just wondering what you thought and how you went with your rain coat? People have been telling me to take a poncho or raincoat but all I can think of when I hear that is a cheap $2 clear ones that you throw away (how sexy are they!?) And I would really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions..


    • Alex
      August 27 2016

      I used one of the cheapies, too! (If I recall correctly.) Having a nice one is probably a good idea at some point as I hate being wasteful with the throw away ones, but I think when I left for this trip I just didn’t have time to shop and really look for one.

  • Megan Wright
    September 2 2016

    EEEEK I’m going in 3 weeks and this has made me feel much better prepared and less guilty. I too struggle with the 30L backpack life – I just bought a 60L Osprey and I think that will do me.

    Thanks for such an informative post!

    • Alex
      September 3 2016

      Yeah, 30L is never going to happen. Not for this girl! I probably could stand to downgrade to a 60L if I didn’t occasionally stuff all my dive gear into it!

  • Niraya Mendez
    October 13 2016

    I have been reading your blog for SE ASIA and just saw this… I was happy to see your Pratt Tote bag. Yeah Pratt! Im a
    M. Architecture Alumni 2009! Awesome!

    • Alex
      October 15 2016

      That’s awesome! Go Pratt indeed! I graduated in 2011 from the Communications department. Rock on!

  • Sandy
    May 4 2017

    I love these kind of posts its like window shopping and I love neat practical stuff! Oh I don’t know if it’s just me but the links for the Eagle Creek items are returning as invalid.

    And a question What did you do with the giant Osprey bag when you hiked the Inca Trail?

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Thanks for the heads up Sandy! I’ll check those links out. I left my bag in a hotel in Cusco with whatever I wasn’t hiking with!

  • Ravyn
    January 18 2018

    Hi, Alex!

    I am studying abroad in Cusco. Do you have a link for the best converter to buy for my phone and laptop?!


    • Alex
      January 18 2018

      Hey Ravyn! Do you just mean an adapter or like a voltage converter? For an adapter, I recommend one like this, which allows you to charge a laptop and also phone or other USB devices as the same time!

      • Ravyn
        January 19 2018

        Thank you so much! I think I am confused on the converter vs the adapter. If I purchase the adapter, I will not need to buy anything else, right? I can simply plug it into the wall before my computer or phone?

        • Alex
          January 23 2018

          Yup! Indeed 🙂 Hope that helps!

  • Sofia Yassine
    May 21 2018

    Hi Alex, I love you blog so much and this list has been the perfect jumping point for my trip 🙂 I have a random question.. I have a limited amount of time in the cusco area and I’m doing a 2day trek to Machu Picchu, then I have half a day one whole day to explore Cusco, Mara, Ollaytaytambo and other places. I was wondering if you recommend going to the Rainbow Mountain? I know it’s a long trek and I don’t want to be overly ambitious, but I don’t want to miss it either. Do you think it’s worth it and did you visit? Thanks!

    • Alex
      May 23 2018

      Hey Sofia! Actually funny enough back when I was in Peru, no one was talking about Rainbow Mountain, so I’ve never been and don’t know anything about it! Funny how Instagram can really make a place famous so quickly!

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