January 15, 2013

What's in YOUR Wallet?

I keep thinking of that commercial that asked, "What's in your wallet?" I'm pretty sure it was a bank card ad, but it's got me thinking about what Tom and I carry in our bags each day. We're pretty proud of how we've packed - we have less stuff than most long-term backpackers we come across and, when we aren't loaded down with things we've bought, we can fit all of our things into our 2 large packs without even needing to carry a day pack. These days, we're traveling pretty light. The below list is just our essentials, though we do have a lot of other stuff with us. These are the things we use every day and recommend to other travelers. If you're using this list as a packing guide, please note, this list is what we've been carrying in India - in the south in October and November and in the north in December and January. (For a full list of what we brought with us, visit this page, but note that it needs a little updating.)
This is what we started with...

Always in our day bags:
The Flash18 has become an
extra appendage
  • REI Flash 18
  • Baggu Big Baggu Tote
  • Chapstick
  • Cameras (Canon G10 and Panasonic DMC-TS20D Tough Camera)
  • Cell phones
  • Deck of cards (We've become serious gin players.)
  • Notebook (either our journals or a small notebook)
  • Toilet paper
  • Sunglasses
  • Steph's reading glasses
  • Water
  • Pepto Bismol Tablets
  • Imodium
  • Hair ties
  • Small Swiss Army knife
  • Contact cards
  • Sarong (can be used as a scarf, a beach towel, a head cover, a skirt, a dress, a bag, etc....)
  • Pens and marker
  • Money
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Clip-on compass (this is surprisingly helpful when we are trying to figure out what platform our train is arriving on)

In the north, add:
  • Clothing layers, including a scarf and hat (it can be cold)
  • Eye drops (it's incredibly dry and dusty and our eyes are always bothering us)

In the south, add:
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent

For travel days, include:

Remember Beatrice?
Other things we couldn't live without…or at least wouldn't want to:

On Steph's Must-Have List:
  • Sports bra (when you're sweating non-stop, a regular bra is just torture)
  • The Mirena IUD. Tampons are virtually non-existent here and very expensive when you can find them, so not having a period has been key. This might be the best decision I made on this trip. Mirena = No period = No tampons, Mirena = No baby = No life crisis
  • Smith's Rosebud Salve Tin - great for lips, blisters, dry skin
  • Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Romantic' Red - My hair is never rarely combed and I never wear makeup, but this balm makes me feel pulled together.
  • Compartments, small bags, organization - We are constantly packing and unpacking, and lots of small bags give things some order! 

On Tom's Must-Have List:

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