Packing to Roam

Aug 15, 2014

Written by Guest Roamer: Kelly O'Connell


Quite a bit of planning can go into travel, or as I prefer, hardly any at all.  One aspect that I do not skimp on however, is my pack and what goes inside of it.  My over arching goal is to pack nothing more than what I can easily fit into the overhead compartment of an airplane.  To enable myself the hands-free luxury of minimalist travel, I carefully consider the pockets, zippers, size, and comfort of my pack.    

The pack I use is made by Gregory – it is the Women’s Jade 38.  The capacity is 37 Liters or 2258 cubic inches.  It is not the “perfect pack,” but it’s the closest one I’ve found so far, and it has been serving me well.  I did recently begin looking at the Women’s AT35 from LLBean, but I haven’t had much of a chance to review it.  EBags 3 piece packing cubes have helped me to stay organized and they also help to distribute the weight in my pack well.  I would definitely recommend them, or any other packing cube of your choice.

To begin packing, you need to identify the climate zones you will be entering: Where are you going? Is it hot, cold, rainy, snowy, windy, sunny, mountainous, rocky, sandy, etc?  The list I have comprised is based on the idea of avoiding extreme weather variations but accommodating for surf to snow.  Additionally, what do you enjoy doing? Snorkeling, Hiking, Photography – will you need to bring any equipment? And always, trying to figure out what do you NEED vs. what you WANT and how to reduce the space of both!

Cotton/Linen vs. Synthetic Blends - often when packing I find cottons to be more comfortable in hot, muggy weather than their synthetic counterparts, but synthetic blends tend to dry more quickly and retain their “wrinkle-free” status after being washed in a sink and laid to dry on a line.

The following packing list has been tweaked numerous times and is my compilation of what I deem necessary for travel.  My usual length of stay, or leave as the case may be, ranges between one and two months.  There is always room for improvement and for some the list may not have enough of the “WANT” types of items.  Just remember, you have to carry everything you pack.  Pack light and be fluid.  


Essential Clothing Items:


The non-clothing items that are necessary seem to be a bit more dependent on the needs of an individual, but my recommendations would be the basic toiletries beginning with any medicine you take regularly.  Dental care items, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, a comb, a razor, deodorant, sunscreen, a small medical kit with tweezers, band-aids, etc.  Required documents, passports, credit cards, lists of medications/vaccinations, and emergency contact information are also necessities.

The items I have found most important to bring, aside from the basics, include my camera with necessary chargers/flash cards, an international phone, an iPad for navigation, email, games – you know the purposes – a metal water bottle, and a collapsible day pack or purse for daily outings.      


Roam on!


Kelly is the sister of Roamer Teague and has expereience with extended travels in Iceland, the Philippines, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Austria, Ireland and a handful of other countries! 

Category: Resources

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