What I’m Taking to South America

How does one pack for

  1. an unknown length of time
  2. in the warmer parts of South America
  3. centered around reading, writing, running, and city life?

Here’s my best guess.

Luggage

  • large backpack (otherwise used for wilderness backpacking)
  • daypack (with laptop carrying slot)

Clothing

  • ~6 t-shirts
  • ~6 underwear
  • ~6 pairs socks
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 2 pairs of pants (1 synthetic, 1 jeans)
  • 2 pairs of running shorts (also for swimming)
  • 2 light hoodies (1 cotton, 1 synthetic)
  • 1 light jacket (synthetic)
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 2 buff headbands
  • 1 synthetic t-shirt
  • 1 respectable long-sleeve shirt
  • 2 pairs cheap polarized sunglasses
  • 1 pair Luna sandals
  • 1 pair street shoes
  • 1 pair running shoes
  • canvas grocery bag (for laundry, packing, and… groceries!)

Electronics

  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • bluetooth speaker
  • USB powerbank
  • external hard drive
  • laptop w/ soft sleeve (fits in daypack)
  • phone (with Google Fi for mobile data)
  • dongles, wires, and chargers (USB-C-centric)

Stationary, documents, $$

  • 2 paper journals
  • a bunch of nice pens
  • a few paperbacks
  • driver’s license & passport
  • color photocopy of passport (to carry on me)
  • credit & ATM cards

Miscellany

  • toiletries w/ case
  • discraft 175g frisbee (essential)
  • ultralight raincover for backpack
  • 2 water bottles (Nalgene + running)
  • snazzy fanny pack (acquired at secondhand shop in Germany)
  • first aid kit (includes bug spray, mini headlamp, multitool, basic meds)

Here’s how I organize things for the large backpack.

Laptop, passport, and some electronics/stationary go in the daypack:

The final weight is manageable, and there’s still empty space in both packs.

Boom!


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