What’s in Our Bags?

QUESTION: Did we forget anything that you would bring?

What to pack has been the backdrop of our lives for the last…two months? This post has been a long time coming.

First off, we are taking a total of 70 pounds broken into four bags. Both our backpacks are 50L, which is the maximum carry on size (but double check the measurements!).

Erin and Alex packed

We have  LOTS of small sunscreen bottles. From experience, we know that you can’t easily find it in Costa Rica, so we’re taking a bunch. In a pinch we might sell it to tourists for $50 an ounce.

We are taking both Cipro and Azithromycin general antibiotics for stomach bugs (in S. America/Asia respectively), which is how you can tell we are in it for the long haul. Our own bowl and spoon: always helpful, and great for avoiding wasteful to-go containers.

Our stuff

We will undoubtedly write more about how (or if) all of these items come in handy, but I want to touch on a few controversial items.

First, my running shoes. Erin almost asked my parents to leave the room yesterday so she could tell me I’m an idiot for deciding at the last minute to add my running shoes to my current luxury of sandals and light tennies. What can I say? I don’t want to run in non-running shoes.

Hair clippers. So controversial it’s not even in the list below. But when I’m looking clean and handsome after four weeks in the Amazon I’m pretty sure Erin is going to rescind her opposition. Oh and if we blow our budget, we can make some extra cash giving buzzcuts to other travelers.

Silk liners/bed sheets… We debated this at least five times. Cotton bed sheets weigh more, take more space, but are cool in hot climes. Silk liners are light and small and they encapsulate you from cooties, but aren’t helpful in 88 degrees and 90% humidity. So we brought two liners and one sheet. Go figure.

Bags First Aid Health/Wellness Technology Misc Clothes Documentation
Backpacks Moleskin Toothbrush iPad/Keyboard Headlamps Hat Passports
Day Bag Band Aids Toothpaste iPhone Batteries 3 short sleeve shirts Drivers License
Hip Pack Tape Floss Chargers Playing Cards 2 long sleeve shirts Vaccination Cards
Ziplock Gauze Glasses Earbuds Pen and Paper 3 pants Flight Info
Ditty Bags Tweezers Contacts Earbud Splitter Metal Bowls 2 shorts Insurance Info
Small Dry Bag Gloves Vitamins Camera Fork/Spoon Combo 5 pairs socks Credit/Debit Cards
Pack Covers Neosporin Toilet Paper Camera Battery Charger Watch 2 tank tops Paper copies of passports
Travel Cubes Pain Meds Sunscreen Camera Case Inflatable Pillows Rain jacket
Diarhea Meds Shampoo Lens Cloths Silk Liners & Light sheet Fleece
Antiseptic Wipes Earplugs Universal Plug Binoculars & Harness 4 quick dry underwear
Cipro Hankies SPOT Locator Money Belt/Pouch 3 quick dry bras
Xanax Pack Towels Duct Tape Sandals
Vicadin Eye Mask Clothes Line Sneakers + Alex running shoes
Azithromycin Diva Cup Door Wedge
Probiotics Keychain Flashlight
Bug Spray Sewing Kit
Lip Balm Carabiners
Water Filter Trash Bags
Nail Clippers Sunglasses
Emory Board Sink Plug
Hair Ties/Barrettes Laundry Bag

Three last tokens from home that are neither practical nor controversial for either of us:  1) I clipped a small tuft of our cat Lily’s hair and brought it to remind her of us. It’s like carrying a small rabbit foot–soft and a little creepy. 2) Two little metal Hindu god statuettes from our friend Jessica. They are like religious Micro Machines, and I’m pretty sure they will bring us good luck. 3) Some “Bark More for Mt. Hood” stickers. Cause that’s what I do.

Categories: Uncategorized | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “What’s in Our Bags?

  1. John Springer

    Looks like a good list. I always carry a small French press so I know I can make decent coffee. Also you can get a plug-in charger with 2 or 4 USB ports. Polyester stuff is good for wash and dry overnight. I carry a little plastic bottle with some laundry soap in it. For being g spray you may find localized products that are better. Our stuff doesn’t work on migies in the UK. I also carry rechargeable AA batteries. I also carry a Garmin GPS with some worldwide maps in it.


  2. Carrie Richardson

    OMG, you’re gone. You’re really gone. Can’t believe it!! I almost cried reading this post just realizing how real it all is. We’re going to miss you guys SO MUCH! Be safe. Take your vitamins, wash your undies often, protect your documents, use those heavy running shoes, ditch the hair clippers. It’s going to be an amazing year!!


  3. Aubrie

    Bon voyage, travelers! 🙂 Looking forward to following your adventures here.


  4. Tom Madden

    I would have to agree with you on the running shoes but all you need is a razor for your head and face.
    Dad Madden


  5. Stacey

    I think you walked off with one of our phone chargers! I hope it serves you well in your travels….

    It was so great to see you! Can’t wait to read about your adventures.


    • Oh no! We will check our bags, but hopefully you can live without it for the next 11 months. Thanks so much for taking care of us on our last night in the U.S.


      • Stacey

        Doh! I found our charger like a week later. It had been plugged into the same kitchen outlet that you guys were using, but I guess Harlan had unplugged ours without telling me. So I thought you were using our charger, and thus confusion ensues….


      • Yay! I’m glad you found it. We definitely weren’t packing anything extra so I’m glad the mystery was solved.


  6. Dan

    Oh god, the dreaded double backpack. I did that way too often on our trip…


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