What’s in my Backpack?

I love to read packing tips or articles about travel gear, so I thought I’d share what I’m taking on my almost six-week–Adventure in Africa trip– in April 2012.

I ordered this rolling duffel bag that converts into a backpack from SierraTradingPost for $69.95.

When I return from the trip…I’ll let you know how it held up.

Here’s a list of what’s in my bag…


Windproof/waterproof jacket,  swimsuit, (3) t-shirts (one of them came in the mail tonight…a smartwool medium weight), (3) lightweight (wispy/crinkly) dressier shirts, (2) Columbia long-sleeve quick dry/bug repellant omni-cool shirts, (1) yoga shirt, (1) quick-dry shorts, (1) jeans, (1) convertible hiking pants/shorts, (1) casual dress, (5) pair undies, (1) extra bra, (3) socks, long johns to sleep in, black cami


(2) hats, Northface hiking boots–$68 from the outlet mall (normally $140 at Northface), flip-flops, hairdryer, hair brush, Manduka towel, roll of toilet paper, Mountain Hardwear 32 degree rated sleeping bag (weighs 2 lbs. and compresses to 10″x6″) $112 from Sierratradingpost.com, flat sheet (in case it’s too warm for sleeping bag), gift for couchsurfing hosts, pocket knife and photocopies of passport/travel insurance/vaccination record w/yellow fever certification, itinerary, G adventures vouchers and pre-departure info.

Before deciding on a sleeping bag…I went with a girlfriend to Northface at the outlet mall and tried one out.

Items to give to children or barter with

(3) beach balls and (3) other small balls, (3) pairs of flip-flops, (2) used T-shirts, Bubbles with wand

Toiletry Items and miscellaneous

Face cream (daytime with sunscreen)(nighttime), shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, face wash, facial towelette, body wash, sunscreen, body lotion, deodorant, hand sanitizer, Wet wipes sanitizer, toothpaste, floss, tweezers, makeup (even in Africa), Imodium, Benadryl, q-tips, cotton balls, pre-treated pads to remove nail polish, shower cap, nail polish, laundry rope/plug/camp suds, 40% deet bug spray, and water purification tablets.

Total weight – 44 lbs.

Here’s a list of what’s in my backpack (carry-on)…

Columbia omni-heat (lightweight) fleece top, (1) Eddie Bauer lightweight travel/hiking pants, Gorillapod tripod, deck of cards, reading glasses, contact lenses, regular glasses, sunglasses, (3) Power bars (snack), travel clock, band-aids, reading light, Airborne tablets, matches, nail file/clippers, hair bands, small waterproof bag, medication (split between backpack and travel purse…in case one is stolen).

Mac book Pro, wireless mouse, Kindle, I-pod w/music & old I-pod with audio books, Camcorder, point and shoot Olympus camera, Olympus PEN Camera w/zoom lens, Chargers for above equipment, Int’l converter/adapter, binoculars, LED headlamp, flashlight w/extra Batteries, 300 watt DC to AC power inverter for cigarette lighter in overland vehicle (has 2 outlets), water bottle, pencils/pens /paper for children in Africa

Folder with Documents:  photocopies of passport/travel insurance/vaccination record w/yellow fever certification, itinerary, airline e-ticket, G adventures vouchers and pre-departure info.

Here’s a list of what’s in my travel purse…

Reading glasses, hand sanitizer, chap stick, lipstick, hand lotion, eye drops, pack of (4) mini throw away toothbrushes, dental floss, toothbrush, lens wipes, pens, sewing kit, kleenex, folding hair brush, ear plugs, mints, tums, Motrin, prescription drugs (including the one for Malaria prevention), Passport, visa photos for two of the countries that require visas, and wallet with $100 cash and drivers license

I’ll be wearing a black travel suit that doesn’t wrinkle with a pink sleeveless top, a money belt with $400, (2) credit cards, debit card and black Merrill Sports Sandals.

To some of you that may seem like a lot and to others…not much.  If I were going on an around-the-world trip or backpacking through Europe, I wouldn’t bring as much.  I know that seems odd, but I would be more concerned with weight and would purchase more things as I needed them.

If you noticed, I put a change of clothes in my carry on backpack…in case my luggage doesn’t make it!