As I pass from a country to an other, without going back home, I needed stuff for all kind of weather. But, I also got back injuries, so, it was not possible for me to get a very heavy bag ! After some research and a few months testing it, I can now give you my list for a travel (almost) everywhere, for less than 12 Kg/26 lb.
- Hidden belt. For your money and important papers. Always do a separate copy of your passeport and cards. Also, send yourself a picture of all your papers by email.
- Sleeping mat. Not necessary if you project to sleep only inside. But can save your couchsurfing night. I also use it to do my Yoga 😉 !
- Swiss knife. My country’s proud. Choose one knife with scissors.
- Lighter. Even if you don’t smoke, it’s gonna be useful, and more than once.
- Sunglasses. It can be expensive, but choose a very good protection, that’s your eyes’s health we are talking about.
- Padlock. Very useful in a lot of guesthouses.
- Sleeping bag. Choose a light one but very good one. It’s gonna be your bed for a long time…
- Silk bag. You can put it inside your sleeping bag, it’s gonna keep the warmth. Way more easier when you want to wash it than cleaning your sleeping bag. And you’re gonna use only this one if you sleep in a hot country or inside a doubtful bed…
- Inflatable pillow. Not completely necessary as you can use a sweater instead of it. But still, worth it when you have to spend hours in a night bus.
- Rope. When all your clothes will be wet, you’ll be able to improvise a drying rack wherever you are.
- Survival blanket. It doesn’t take any weight and can save your life from cold. You can also use it to isolate your tent.
- Sewing set. You’re gonna wear the same clothes for a looooong time.
- Cooking set. It helps to save a lot of money to cook yourself in hostel. You don’t need a lot of stuff, one pan, one spoon, one sponge
- Camping stove. Not necessary if you only sleep inside.
- Filter Bottle. No sickness, and you don’t use 2000 plastic bottles. You can also get an aluminium bottle and some water purification tablets.
- Vacuum bottle. If you purifie your water by boiling it, you can keep it hot for your tea or coffee. And when it’s cold outside, it’s priceless.
- 2 or 3 Waterproof bags. I use these bags to keep everything organise in my backpack. Also, if it’s raining, your clothes will be safe !
- Small plastics bags. Same concept. Keep everything organise, dry and clean !
Remember to choose dark colors, as it is less salissable. If you choose some colors, every piece should be accorded with the others.
- 2 Microfiber towels. One normal size and one very small that you can use for your face (when the big one is dirty), your hair, or to keep it close, to have a wet towel when it’s too hot (it’s gonna save your life in summer in Asia).
- 1 Silk scarf. You can use it when it’s cold for your neck and when it’s hot as a hat. Silk is beautiful, it keeps you warm and and it dries very fast. I recommend you this video to learn a lot of different ways to wear it.
- 1 Winter hat that can be open on the top. So you can use it as a hat and also around your neck. –
- Thins gloves. If you want to do a lot of mountain, you will also need bigger ones.
- 1 Compact down jacket. It’s so small than you can keep it in your small bag in bus, plane, or everywhere the air conditioning is too strong.
- Light jeans. I recommend you the pants from DUER performance. They are beautiful, made for movements, light, they dries quickly, and they don’t smell ! –
- 1 Pant for trekking than you can convert in shorts. If you’re like me, you will enjoy a lot of trekking all around the world.
- 1 light Shorts.Duer gets nice shorts, I also recommend you the clothes from Lolë that are made for trekking but look like town clothes.
- 1 Dressthan you can wear in different ways. If you’re not too preoccupied with style, you can skip this part. I recommend you the dress from KSL.
- 1 Leggings in merino wool. Keep that in mind : merino is your friend. It keeps you warm when it’s cold, keeps you cool when it’s hot. It’s soft, it dries very quickly and it doesn’t smell. Everything you deeply need while you’re traveling ! You can use the leggings as tights, pyjama, or under your pant if it’s really cold. You can find a lot of merino clothes in Icebreaker collection.
- 2 Tops in merino and 1 T-shirt. There is a lot of places where you’re not allowed to come in if you don’t have your shoulders covered. – 1 Thin sweater in merino. It’s important to work by layers. Like this, you can easily combinat your clothes to reach the perfect temperature. –
- 1 Big sweater in merino. Try to find one with a hood.
- 1 Very light wind jacket and 1 plastic raincoat. Buy a real solid rain plastic coat that goes upon your clothes and bag. The thin raincoat will broke the first time you gonna use it.
- 1 Bra and 1 swimsuit in two pieces. You can use the swimsuit like underwear, specially during hot weather.
- 2 Pairs of short socks, and 1 pair of long socks in merino. If you project to do a lot of mountain, add one pair of big socks.
- 2 Panties and three thongs in merino. Be careful with synthetic underware when you travel, it’s maybe prettier but it can increase the risk of infections.
- 1 Pair of Vivobarefoot shoes. Theses shoes are amazing. They are so light (mine are under 200 Gr/7 oz) and they don’t look like trekking shoes. I did all my hikings with that, just be careful to choose shoes that will also protect your ankle.
- 1 Pair of sandals. The best would be to buy some sandals in plastic (so you can keep them while you take your shower in dirty places) but avoid the flip-flops shoes that will not hold your feet correctly for a big day sightseeing.
- Dr Bronner Soap. This bio soap can be use for almost everything.Shower, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste (yes), laundry and dishes.
- Brush and elastic hairband. Even if you have short hair, it can be use for fixe a lot of stuff.
- Skin oil. Useful for your skin, hair, and nails.
- Sunscreen, mosquito repellent and hand disinfection.
- Tooth brush, and dental floss.
- Face moisturizers that you need in small pots.
- Cotton swab. I found one washable in Japan but nowhere else…
- Razor and epilator. I use a wire epilator, like this I don’t need anyelectricity. But it can be very long.
- Cup. For menstruation. Only this, for ever.
- Earplug. If you want to sleep more than 2 hours in a dormitory.
- Essential oils. Very helpful for a lot of different causes, like insomnia, headache, stomachache, infections and way more. I personally use tea tree, pepper mint and lavender. As it can be toxic if you overdose it, learn how to use it before.
- Pansement and second skin. Believe me, you’re gonna walk a lot.
- Condoms. Safety first.
- Reusable cleaning Wipe. For your face and your makeup.
- Universal Adapter.
- Go pro. Or a light camera.
- Earphone. Take one with a micro to facecame your family
- Kindle. I love real books, but that’s impossible to take so many with me.
- Headlight. Absolutely necessary pretty everywhere you go. It can be useful to have a safety battery or an other flashlight.
- Rechargeable Battery that can be use with all your electronic.
- Make up kit. BB cream (try to choose one with sun protection), powder with a mirror, lipstick, black pencil, lips pencil, perfume sample.
- Discreet jewelryand a small kit to stock them. Remember that it can be dangerous according to the country.
- Wallet. Don’t keep all your money and all yours credit cards in the same place. Try to divide them in different safe places. I recommend you the N26 bank to get a very cheap and safe credit card. It’s an online German bank that will provide you a card that can be use everywhere without any withdrawal fee. The online application is also very convenient to get a track of your spending.
- Carabiner. To lock your bag on you.
- Map. To keep a track of places I’ve been. I also use MapsMe on my mobile phone.
- Travel notebook. So I can share with you my good plans.
- Pencils and pens. Depend on the country, but it can be a really good gift for children.
- Postcards of my home. I give them to people I met. Always a good memory, and takes no space.
- Paint palette. Cause I draw and paint a lot.
Ok, now your backpack is ready !! Choose a good one for your size and back, it’s gonna be your home for a while. So, let’s choose a country to start and….bon vent !