I’m obsessive about backpacks. Completely obsessive. I have the same backpack that I bought when i was 13 and starting high school. It’s an Eagle Creek bag rucksack. Nothing special, meant to hold books. I’ve had it for 12 years now and it’s covered with scars the scars of memories. I travelled with it for a month and a half in South Africa and Lesotho. It was wonderful to travel so light but it was embarrassing that every time I went to open it there was a loud “pop” as the contents of my bag exploded over the floor. I essentially wanted a small backpack that had side pockets for water. Well, I found it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Porter 30L. It’s only 30 liters which means… not much room. Packing my backpack is almost like organizing very complicated military manouver and, sadly, it still makes a popping sound when I try to open it. It’s about the same size as my old one but has an internal frame for back support, tons of little straps, and side pockets for water so i don’t have to open my pack to drink something.

The following is going in the backpack:


  • toothbrush and paste
  • some anti diarhia medicines
  • mosquito repellent (100% DEET)
  • soap
  • razor and blades
  • shaving cream
  • grapefruit extract
  • dr bronners magic soap (dilute!!!! dilute!!!! dilute!!!!)
  • deodorant

CLOTHES (in backpack)

  • 1 pair pants
  • flipflops
  • 3 pairs socks
  • 4 pairs underwear
  • 3 shirts
  • swimsuit
  • jacket


  • sarong
  • sewing kit
  • sleeping bag
  • ziplock bags


  • tape recorder
  • one music tape and 3 blank tapes
  • camera and camera supplies
  • lonely planet guide to south america
  • pen and ink supplies
  • cards
  • 2 books
  • guitar strings


  • passport
  • shots record
  • important phone numbers and addresses
  • SERVAS papers and lists
  • envelopes
  • pens and pencils

and of course… my guitar

All of this obsessing about stuff strikes me as a little obsessive for someone who is bringing less cause he doesn’t want to be weighed down by stuff. And it’s really interesting how travelling can do that to you. A lot of what travelling about is finding a sense of home where you are and with what you have. With some luck (and a lot of time) I hope I can learn to do without. My bag is full now but my sleeping bag takes up about 1/3 of the room so when I leave the Andes and ditch my sleeping bag, I’ll have a lot of room, which is very exciting to me. It’s very odd thinking about packing for 6 months. It’s hard to fathom.

Oh, and I talked to my first SERVAS people on the phone. They’re in Lima. It was super exciting and I’ll write more about it later. I’m looking for ideas of some small something to bring to people I stay with. Any ideas?

I think a little about stuff I should pack but it’s all pretty much covered I think. No worries though, I still have one more day.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply