Packing List – Europe

One question that always seems to come up is “What do you pack for a long-term trip?”  There are a ton of resources on the internet with different people giving different opinions.  All we can do here is tell you what we’re taking and why.  Then, as the trip progresses, we’ll update our list with anything that was added or removed. Note that, unlike many travel bloggers out there, we are not being paid to “push” any particular products!

Our “practice” backpacking trips to Chile in November 2015 and Portugal/Spain in April 2016 definitely helped prepare us for our larger trips.  The key lesson we learned was “less is more”.  Take whatever you think you need, throw at least a third of it away, and you might be fine.

Unlike when you go away for a week, and pack a week’s worth of clothes, when you travel for an extended period of time you have to accept that you’re going to do laundry from time to time.  In our case, that means packing for ~5 days, and accepting that we’ll likely be washing some clothes every few days.  Having said that, I realize we could trim our list down even more….but whatever, lol.  It’s easier to pack light when you’re only packing for one season, but since we’re doing Iceland, then the European summer, then European and Middle Eastern autumn, we needed to bring a little more than we would if we were just spending the summer in Europe or going to SE Asia.

In Portugal/Spain, we both carried a 55L main pack and a 15-20L day pack.  Each of our main packs weighed about 20lbs.  The weight got to us (remember you’re walking to/from trains or planes and lodging a lot, and having to manage your bags on said trains and planes).  And we realized that we had packed some clothes that we didn’t even wear until the second week of the trip.  So on this longer trip, we’ve both downsized to 40L main packs (Osprey Farpoint 40).  Trevor is also bringing his 24L day pack and a small Pacsafe shoulder bag (which will fit inside the day pack when he’s carrying both) and Christine is bringing only a Travelon shoulder bag.  Our goal is for our main packs to each weigh less than 15lbs.


So here’s what we’re bringing:



  • Osprey Farpoint 40 back pack (Buy here)
  • Osprey Escapist 24 day pack
  • PacSafe Metrosafe 200 shoulder bag (can fit inside my day pack when needed) (Buy here)


  • 1 pair of jeans (yes, yes, I know they are heavy and take ages to dry, but sometimes I want to wear something comfortable and that makes me look slightly less like a tourist)
  • 2 pairs of quick-dry, lightweight hiking pants (I prefer the Eddie Bauer Guide Pro pants)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 5 t-shirts (mixture of cotton and merino wool)
  • 1 collared shirt (for when we dine in 3-Michelin Star restaurants, lol)
  • 5 pairs of underwear (mixture of cotton and merino wool)
  • 5 pairs of crew socks
  • 2 pairs of ankle socks
  • 1 Gore-tex hooded jacket (you can’t go wrong with Arc’teryx, although they have sold out somewhat)
  • 2 long-sleeve shirts (quick-dry and merino wool)
  • Lightweight hiking shoes (will wear these on all travel days)
  • Waterproof light-weight sandals/flip flops
  • Swim trunks
  • Light gloves and toque (for Iceland only)


  • Macbook 12″
  • Unlocked iPhone 6
  • Various chargers, adapters, and a multi-USB plug
  • Camera (currently using a Sony CyberShot HX-60V) and accessories (Buy here)
  • 2TB back-up hard drive
  • Kobo e-reader (Buy here)


  • Eagle Creak Pack-it Specter Compression Cube Set (one small, one medium)
  • Lewis and Clark Compression Packers (Buy here)
  • Toiletries
  • Over the counter medications (Ibuprofen, Peptobismol, Immodium, Gravol)
  • Quick-dry camping towel
  • Extendable cable combination lock
  • Luggage locks
  • Hat
  • Notebook
  • Wahl travel hair trimmer (I’ll make a post on this later) (Buy here)
  • Moneybelt
  • Bose SoundSport headphones (Buy here)
  • Small flashlight
  • Reuseable water bottle
Trevor's main pack
Trevor’s main pack



  • Osprey Farpoint 40 back pack (Buy here)
  • Travelon Anti-theft Classic Messenger bag (Buy here)


  • 1 pair of dark jeans
  • 2 pairs of light-weight hiking pants (I like Eddie Bauer’s Horizon roll-up pants)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 skort (I’m not much a dress wearer)
  • 4 t-shirts (combination of cotton and dry-fit)
  • 2 long-sleeve t-shirts – dry-fit
  • 1 lightweight hoodie sweatshirt
  • 1 light-weight compact rain jacket
  • 3 bras – 1 regular, 2 dry-fit sports bras
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 5 pairs of socks – 3 hiking, 2 ankle
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 pair of lightweight trail running shoes
  • 1 pair of lightweight sports sandals



  • Quick-dry camping towel
  • Hanging toiletry bag
  • Toiletries – basic makeup, tampons, shampoo & conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrush & paste, Q-tips, Gravol, Advil, small packs of kleenex, purel, razor, shaving cream, bandaids
  • Very small, lightweight travel hair straightener
  • Small comb, hair elastics, headband
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel clothesline and small travel detergent packs
  • Earplugs and sleeping mask (always comes in handy at hostels!)
  • Luggage locks
  • Moleskine notebook and 18-month weekly agenda
  • Small reusable water bottle (fits well in my Travelon shoulder bag)
  • Eagle Creak Pack-it Specter Compression Cube Set (one small, one medium)
  • Ziploc bag and plastic bag (always comes in handy on the road!)
Christine's pack
Christine’s pack

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