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Building a Better Backpack: My Updated RTW Packing List

I’ve spent months refining my RTW packing list. Back in September, I used the prize money from a photography contest to stock up on the essentials, but thanks to the generosity of friends and relatives and a few fortunate turns in my budget, a lot of items on my backpacking B-list (stuff I’d love to have with me but don’t necessarily need) have been fulfilled. And I’ve also now had time to do packing test runs and think more about what I really want to take on the road.

So how has my RTW packing list changed?

  1. I finally chose a day bag. I knew a day bag in general would be part of my packing list, but I had a hard time settling on the perfect one. This was actually even harder than choosing my backpack. I wound up with TravelOn’s Medium Crossbody Bag. It’s the perfect size – midway between a purse and a messenger bag – and it has tons of anti-theft measures built in.
  2. I switched out my bulky packing cubes for compression sacks. Why didn’t I do this in the first place? Sea to Summit’s 10L compression sack shrinks my fleece and rain jacket down to half the size they would take up loose in my pack.
  3. I bit the bullet and bought an ASUS T100, so I can have a tablet instead of a full-fledged laptop in my bag. Love my Samsung, but it’s a lot of extra bulk and weight, which I just don’t need to travel with now that there are quality hybrids on the market.
  4. I’ve received several extra odds and ends as gifts from friends and family. At the top of that list are a headlamp, which I’m sure I would have regretted not packing, and a mini surge suppressor for charging multiple devices on the go.
  5. I’ve fleshed out a list to build my own first aid kit, instead of buying one of those prepackaged ones. I’ll have all the stuff I need and none of the stuff I don’t.
  6. I made a few other tweaks to my list of miscellaneous stuff like adding a couple emergency granola bars and a pillowcase, so I never have to put my face on dubious linens.

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WorldSmith’s Complete RTW Packing List

Disclaimer: This list contains affiliate links. These are all products I use and there’s no extra cost to you. But if you click through a link on this post and make a purchase, Amazon will send part of the proceeds my way.

The Bag: Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack

In the main compartment…

In the cold weather compression sack…
In the warm weather compression sack…
In the camera case…
In the toiletry bag…
In the first aid kit…
  • mini pill case filled with Advil, Sudafed, Pepto Bismol tablets, and vitamins
  • 1 year’s supply prescription medication
  • anti-malaria pills
  • azythromycin
  • altitude sickness pills
  • Band Aids
  • moleskin
In the packing cube…
In the quart-size Ziploc…
  • travel size saline solution
  • travel size clarifying shampoo
    to combat Blue Lagoon hair, so this will be used up and tossed after my week in Iceland
  • travel size toothpaste
  • sample size perfume
  • tinted moisturizer with SPF
  • Neosporin

In the internal mesh pocket…

In the front compartment…

In the top pocket…

  • document pouch, with passport, tickets, etc.

In the external pockets…

Clipped to the zippers…

That doesn’t seem like a lot of clothes does it? Find out how my RTW packing list actually gives me over 250 outfit choices.

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, that’s super comprehensive! I’m always on the lookout for helpful packing tips, given that I take a heck lot of a time to pack (and unpack/repack/pack differently and so on) my travel bags. Does that medicine kit have an anti-allergen? It saved me this one time when I got a bad itching breakout thanks to some bug or whatever it was on my bed.

    • Thanks Ami. I’m definitely an obsessive packer myself, especially now that I’m trying to prepare for a year’s worth of travel in one carry-on bag. I did not think of adding an anti-histamine or itch cream, as I rarely if ever need that kind of treatment at home, but I will definitely give it a second thought!

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