Packing for this trip was by far the most challenging packing that I’ve attempted because I was traveling for a somewhat undetermined amount of time and would be covering several climates from hiking in freezing Patagonia to 100 degree Cartagena, Colombia.
My biggest packing decision was definitely choosing whether or not to bring a big backpack. I had previously backpacked through Southeast Asia with a Kelty Redwing 40L but ended that trip hating carrying that bag so much. This time I decided to go with a wheeled carry on with a small backpack. I’m glad I didn’t take more than that. I met so many people on the road struggling with their luggage everywhere they went.
Here’s is my South America packing list.
*Things I could have done without
(Things I wish I packed)
+Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 Carry-on: The perfect bag that isn’t a backpack. It had an expandable zipper that towards the end I used to fill my bag with souvenirs. It was a little bit rugged so it didn’t feel too fancy and was small enough to carry on.
+Jansport Compadre Backpack: I wish I brought a different one, my effort to be minimal ended up being too minimal. The biggest thing it was missing was a side water bottle holder. I recently discovered Lululemon’s All Day backpack and am absolutely obsessed.
THE DAY BAG
+Coach mini duffle crossbody bag: They don’t make this bag anymore but it was the perfect size to fit my daily essentials and camera and didn’t make me feel too frumpy. If you’re lucky you can find some still on eBay.
+Madewell zip wallet: This was perfect as a smaller wallet that could easily hold a few cards, some cash and coins without being too bulky.
Henri Bendel Card Case: Great for holding my backup credit card and any tickets/vouchers that I needed to easily access.
Travel ticket/passport holder: I actually got this for free with a random magazine in London a long time ago but have held on to it. It is perfect to keep my passport, tickets and extra cash in while I’m going to between airports.
*Barbour shell jacket: I actually thought I’d end up wearing this more as just a layer by itself when it was warmer but ended up just wearing my zip up instead.
+Calvin Klein down jacket
+Lululemon zip up
+J.Crew chambray shirt
+Rails floral chambray shirt
+Rails plaid button up shirt
+J.Crew striped boat shirt
+J.Crew grey linen tee
+J.Crew white linen tee
+J.Crew red cotton tee
+Gap black tee
+Gap body tanks (2)
+Gap black layering tank
+Black beach shorts
+Jeans: I brought lighter more casual ones but I wish I had brought dark jeans ineas
*Long underwear (sent home)
+(2) long black leggings
+(2) capri black leggings
*Dress (sent home)
(Maxi dress to wear under chambray shirts with belt)
+(10) cotton socks
(2) Smartwool hiking socks (needed only 1)
+(2) sports bras (needed only 1)
+(2) swimsuits (needed only 1)
*Beanie hat: I ended up sending this home with a friend in Bolivia. But it was actually a great camera protector/bag when my camera was loose in my backpack
*(2) pairs of earrings
Wool gloves: I only needed these for Patagonia so I brought an old pair knowing I wouldn’t mind throwing them out
*Face quick dry cloth
+2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner: I should’ve brought separate shampoo and conditioner. My hair was not happy after a week of using the 2 in 1.
+Face wash and scrub
+Face lotion, day and night
(2) Chapstick/Lip gloss
Makeup – Foundation and concealer stick, eyeliner
+Body lotion (bought this)
+Nail files & clippers
+Toilet paper (bought this)
+Sunscreen face and body
Anti bacterial wipes
Macbook Laptop and USB adaptor
+Sony Alpha Camera
+iPhone with Lifeproof case
Phone back up charger: I wish I had brought a shorter lightning charger, it was always getting tangled up in my purse.
+(2) luggage locks
Extra zip lock bags
*Money belt: I stopped using this about 3 weeks in.
Travel blanket: I used this as a towel as well.
Waterproof sleeve: I wish I just brought a waterproof bag instead.
THINGS BOUGHT ON THE ROAD
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