Packing for such a long trip presents a few challenges. With limited space, every liter counts and items need to be carefully chosen such that they are lightweight, compact, and adaptable to different climates, living conditions and activities. After months of researching and planning, here is the finalized collection that amounts to my 35 liters, my life, shelter and necessities for the next 14 months:
If you are wondering why I chose 35 liters, or more specifically, why this specific backpack, you can refer to the preparations page, which will also include more specific descriptions of the gear and technology listed below.
So let’s break it down, starting wih clothing.
● 1 raincoat
● 1 pair of travel pants
● 1 pair of jeans
● 1 pair of shorts
● 1 sweatshirt
● 1 dress shirt
● 1 long-sleeve shirt
● 5 t-shirts
● 6 pairs of socks
● 4 pairs of travel underwear
● 1 pair of sport hiking shoes
This selection takes up most of the main compartment of my backpack, approximately 18 liters of space. However, since I will be wearing a number of these items at any given time, there will always be a little extra room. In choosing how many of which articles of clothing to include, I tried to allocate a reasonable, challenging combination which, if proven to be insufficient, can be modified and added to during the trip. As someone who excessively perspires, I am sure the heat and humidity of the European summer months will call for a few more t-shirts, at the bare minimum.
The bottom compartment of my bag, which has a capacity of roughly 10 liters, fits all of the camping basics:
● Sleeping bag
● Bivy sack
● Travel pillow
● First aid kit
Once I begin to test out the gear, I am sure that I will need more supplies depending on the weather conditions, terrain and other factors, but in the interest of conserving space, I will acquire and leave those items behind as necessary. For example, the sleeping bag I have included is only rated to 55F+, and since this bag has been stored, fully compressed, in my closet for the past 4 years, that rating is definitely not valid anymore. Therefore, if I choose to camp in slightly colder conditions than those presented in Southern Europe during the summer months, I will have to upgrade the sleeping bag and invest in a sleeping pad (for comfort, but more importantly, insulation)…but for now, it should do the trick!
This leaves about 7 liters, of which very little is taken up by hygienic essentials (toothbrush, deodorant, sunscreen, etc.). The rest is dedicated to technology, which will allow me to blog, document my experiences, and stay in touch with loved ones and new friends while on the road.
● Tablet – Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch
● Dual-SIM world phone
● Camera – Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
● Video Camera – JVC Addixxion action camera
● Camera accessories – chest mount, extender, mini tripod
● Extra batteries, chargers, SD cards and adaptors
This is a much longer list than what I had originally planned, with the latest additions including the action camera, accessories and extras. However, apart from finding good deals, I realized after some thought that these additions would open up many new doors, presenting opportunities to capture certain moments more easily while also providing more storage capacity and easier processing.
In the end, I am sure I have overlooked a few things or made certain underestimations, but I will attempt to make this pack last as long as possible, and am interested to see how it will evolve over time. Stay tuned!