Packing for my 5 month trip

As you are reading this, Shannon and I are starting the first day of our RTW trip in St. Petersburg. It’s been a crazy couple of days – moving out of our apartment, packing for our trip, finishing our last days of work and saying goodbye to family and friends.

If you had asked me a few months ago which of these things would have been the least difficult, I would have hands down said “packing for the trip.” How many trips have I packed for? How many times have a waiting until the midnight hours before, thrown a few items into a bag and been fine? This time should be no different.

How wrong I was.

It started out well enough. Shannon and I had a quick conference regarding what we each planned to pack and we assembled the things we planned to bring in our apartment’s (newly) empty room.
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This picture above shows both Shannon’s and I things. What you can probably spot (which we at the time could not) is that it was WAY to much for this trip. But, we set it all out and felt good about our situation. We congratulated ourselves and headed out for some good bye drinks.

It wasn’t until we got home that we started thinking we had too much. So we carefully went through and eliminated about 40% of our planned items. Then we packed our bags.

It in no way fit. It didn’t even come close to fitting.

Uh oh.

This time, there was no careful elimination. We simply threw things out our bags and randomly attempted to narrow down our choices. Here’s what I ended up with:

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Still a lot huh? But at least if fits.

Here was the main issue of our trip. If you remember our RTW itinerary, you remember that we are traversing several different climates and participating in several different activities. We needed warm clothing, layers, hiking boots, swim suits and summer clothing. We need modest clothing for temples and sun dresses for beaches. We need cards and food for the Trans – Mongolian and thick socks for our trek to everest base camp. We needed it all.

Here’s a quick break down of what I am brining:

Shirts
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  • Four V-neck t-shirts (one for sleeping and one work “working out.”)
  • One warm sweater
  • One white long sleeve shirt
  • One loose patterned long sleeve shirt
  • One thermal black shirt for layering
  • Four tank tops

Pants

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  • One pair of jeans
  • One pair of light weight khaki pants
  • One Pair of khaki shorts
  • One pair of sweat pants
  • Two pairs of atheltic shorts

Dresses

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  • Three sun dresses

Electronics

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  • Macbook air
  • iPhone
  • Kindle
  • Digital Camera
  • Headphones (not pictured)

Not so bad right? Then we have the chargers (ugh)

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Luckily I was able to contain it all pretty well:
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Shoes and Socks


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  • One pair Hiking Boots
  • One Pair of Keen water/walking shoes
  • One pair of flip flops
  • One pair of converse walking shoes (not pictured)
  • Two pairs of hiking socks
  • One pair of white ankle socks

Other Clothes

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  • Two bathing suits
  • One rain jacket
  • One scarf
  • One cardigan
  • One thick black jacket

Food (Mostly for the Trans-Mongolian)

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  • Two boxes granola bars
  • A bunch of tea
  • A bunch of oatmeal
  • One jar peanut butter
  • Four packs beef jerky
  • Camping Mug (Not pictured)

Other Stuff

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  • Universal Converter
  • Lip Gloss
  • Flashlight
  • Flash Drives (3)
  • Passport Photos
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Hair Clip
  • Head lamp (not pictured)
  • Extra Plastic Bags (not pictured)
  • Playing Cards (Not pictured)

I also have a toiletries kit, underwear and a first aid kit which you can see in the picture above.

I’ll spare you the details of my underwear and my toiletries but here’s whats in my first aid kit:

  • Aspirin
  • Altitude Sickness Pills
  • Malaria Pills
  • Sleeping Pills (for overnight trains and the like)
  • Ciphro antibiotic
  • Band Aids
  • Anti-Itch Cream
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Bug Spray
  • Anti-Infection Cream
  • Benadryl
  • Nasal Congestion Pills

Here are the three bags I am bringing:
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And here’s me in the airport looking a hot mess ready to go:
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In case you are wondering, my big pack weighed in at 11.6 lbs.

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8 Responses to Packing for my 5 month trip

  1. Megan says:

    you got all of that in those three bags?? im amazed!!! nice job and best of luck on your adventure. can’t wait to follow it!

  2. Ugh. Packing is the worst. Seriously, we are just shy of 2 weeks into our trip and I still dread having to pack my bag whenever it has to happen… I’ve already lost a pair of sandals somewhere…

    I will say, however, that it is true what all veteren travelers say: if you really need something you’ll be able to buy it wherever you are. At this point I am seriously considering ditching some of my colder weather stuff because it is SO hot here in Japan that it seems unlikely I will ever need a fleece zippy ever again in my life!

    What is the main pack you are taking for your trip? I am very impressed with how compact all of your luggage is!

  3. memographer says:

    Good luck, Liz! Can’t wait for your updates from this trip.

  4. Ruth says:

    That is very impressive. Hard to believe that the big pack only weighed 11 pounds! Bon Voyage!

  5. Mary says:

    11 lbs, that’s impressive!

  6. Lindsey says:

    I always overpack. The last time I went overseas I knew what I was packing waaaay in advance, and I took far more than I needed, cause I could.

    This time I’m leaving for at least a year and I’m planning on travelling carry on… I suspect that denial about both leaving and the space I have will result in a lot of last minute shuffling!

    What size are your packs? At least they’ll get smaller as you eat the food ;)

  7. memographer says:

    Liz, there is no Comments in your “Our Russia Itenerary”. I just wanted to say that you may wish to go to Pitergoff while you are in St.Pitersburg. I feel sorry for you. You should stay at least a couple of days in St.Piter.

  8. Vicky says:

    Packing is the one thing I am definitely not looking forward to. Looks like in the end you were able to get it all to fit!

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