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.