Packing Essentials for Asia

Happy New Year!

I’ve spent the last week in Vancouver, on the southwest coast of Canada preparing and packing for my journey to Asia. How did you ring in the New Year?

I’m surrounded by an ocean, forests and a constant blanket of fog and misty rain, but once in a while, a burst of sunshine pushes past the clouds.

Vancouver, Canada

I’m excited to share with you my packing essentials – mostly learnt through trial and error. I know there are packing ninja’s out there who can fit so many things into a tight and compact way, I’m mostly learning to live with less stuff and pack lighter or more minimally.

I’m not sure if “less is more” but less is certainly lighter. And for that my back and arms are happy! But I do like a good challenge and I like to make packing like a puzzle.

When I first backpacked solo in Europe I carried a lot of clothes – it’s almost as though I didn’t realize that Europeans do laundry too. Clothes are easily the one thing I’ve learned to let go, and when it comes to what to wear I go with quality over quantity. With clothes, I look for: versatility (can it be worn with other pants? Or other colours?) and durability (can this handle jungle treks? And city dwelling?).

I’m going to Asia (as you know!!!) and the places are as diverse culturally as they are for weather and climate. So I’m packing things that will carry me through sticky humidity, alpine altitudes, canopy jungles, and sandy shores with beaches.

Here are some of my packing essentials…

Staying clean:

  • Dry shampoo (handy when I can’t always shower)
  • Wet wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Toilet paper
  • Laundry powder (perfect if you need to wash something quick in the sink)

Staying organized

  • Packing cubes (I usually have a mix of different sizes)
  • Toiletry bag
  • Transparent bag for carry-on liquids
  • Universal adapter (don’t forget to check the voltages)
  • Hard drive

Staying healthy and safe:

  • Water bottle
  • Thermos
  • Lifestraw (to filter water)
  • First aid kit
  • TSA (Transportation Security Administration) locks, it’s better to find ones that are TSA compatible because if the officers at the airport need to open your bag, they are able to do that without damaging the luggage itself.

Staying close to nature:

  • Small sleeping bag
  • Solar charger power bank
  • Headlamp
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Hiking boots & sandals
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Bluff (multipurpose “scarf” that can be used as a scarf, hat… and more!)

Some other things I usually (almost always) carry with me are a sketchpad and notebook. I scribble ideas, images and thoughts along the journey. I also carry some cards to write thank-you notes and send letters abroad.

I’ll be taking bags of tea, as well as instant oatmeal and snacks bars.I’ll be taking several boxes of my favourite Canadian maple cookies as gifts! And I’ve learnt to always pack emergency food because layovers can be longer than you expected or you’re stuck on a bus.

I use a Kindle for reading books and an iPad for browsing. At the moment, the equipment for photography and videos are the heaviest items I will be taking in my bag. This trip I’m carrying extra equipment like a drone, tripod and mics. I’m thinking about going in more “depth” about the products I use for gear and clothing, as well as share sustainable travel tips – what do you think?

In the end, I believe that each journey is different – different countries and different purposes, so no two packs will look the same. What works for me, might not work for you but there are some items I can’t live without and I hope they might help you too! I can’t wait to begin this journey and I am looking forward to sharing this life-changing opportunity.

  • Namulime Sharon

    Wow! You must be a packing Ninja lol.
    Great tips, there is alot to learn from here, some things I could not even have thought of.

    Wish you an awesome five months stay in Asia. Lots of love.

  • Violeta Argentina

    YEPEEEE i can finally post my comment! (tried three times before haha) It was sth like this:
    I love the choice of adjectives “DURABLE and VERSATILE”, just as the experiences you will have: long lasting and different, for different purposes… and I think it´s great that by experience we learn to pack lighter and travel with essentials; it´s also a good metaphor for our “emotional backpacks” 😉 Keep the good for the road, and mostly ENJOYYYY 😀


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