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One Month, One Backpack.

Ever wonder what it’s like to live out of a backpack for a month? I recently found out! I used an REI Flash 58 Women’s Pack during my 23-day trip to Australia, & was very happy with it. I tried to keep my packing list pretty basic, knowing that I could purchase items as needed once I got there (which I did!)

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Here’s what I brought, what worked well, & what I would do differently next time-

Clothing:

  • 2 pairs of black leggings. Versatile & comfortable. All ladies know -these are a must!
  • 2 pairs of jean shorts. I figured that since it was summer there, that I would put these to good use. On the flip side, I ended up barely wearing them, & would probably leave them at home if I had to do it all over again.
  • 2 skirts (1 short, 1 long maxi). I wanted to make sure I had at least a couple of dressier options, which is where these came in. When it came time to have a nice dinner, these were good for a change of pace. Both very light and didn’t take up much room in my pack at all.
  • 1 pair of jeans. Important to have for the cooler days.
  • 4 tanktops. Lightweight & go with virtually everything!
  • 1 light cardigan. Australia’s a big country, and with that comes fluctuating temperatures. Even though it was summertime, some days got into the low 50’s. I quickly learned that you can experience all 4 seasons in a matter of hours in Melbourne; hot, cold, windy, rainy, you name it. So it was important to have this option.
  • 1 pair of Crocs “Sexi Flip” Sandals. I was so excited to have come across a more stylish, feminine Croc option! They came in such handy, whether I was showering in the hostel, having a beach day, or wearing them to a nice dinner. Can be dressed up or down, and are the lightest pair of shoes I own.
  • 1 pair of Sneakers. Necessary for the long days of walking, and coastal hikes. I have the Nike Juvenate Women’s Shoe, which are ridiculously comfy. Love them!
  • 1 pair of Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals. These were my go-to; the shoes that I found myself wearing most often throughout the trip. They’re so darn comfortable, and sturdy as opposed to the rubber Crocs which provided 0 ankle support.
  • 2 pajama pants, 3 pajama shirts.
  • Plenty of socks & underwear. These were the only items that I refused to skimp on, for fear of not being able to do laundry often.
  • 2 bikinis. If we’re being honest, I should’ve just brought one.

Technology:

  • 13″ Macbook Air & charger. So that I could post pictures & content on here!
  • GoPro. All-time favorite camera to use during trips 🙂
  • iPhone 6 & charger. My GPS, notepad, camera, & link to everyone back at home.
  • Mophie Portable Charger. I think that every traveler should have one of these. They’re a great precautionary item. I kept mine charged and in my purse everywhere we went.
  • Travel Adapter Outlet. One of those necessary evils.
  • Beats by Dre PowerBeats. I was hesitant about these at first, but I really really have grown to like them. They’re totally wireless, and it’s nice not having to constantly untangle cords. They operate with Bluetooth, and are very easy to use. The downside is that they require charging, but 2 hours of charge-time lasted me days.

Toiletries:

  • Cosmetics Bag. Hand sanitizer, eyeshadow, mascara, lip balm, foundation, toothbrush, razor, deodorant, glasses & contact lenses.
  • Sunscreen. I like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen.
  • First Aid Items. Band-Aids, Neosporin, Epi-Pens, inhaler, Salonpas Patches, Dayquil/Nyquil, Claritin, Pepto Bisol, personal prescriptions. All of the not-so-glamorous stuff.

Miscellaneous:

  • Combination Lock. I got one for just a few dollars in the travel section of TJ Maxx, and it definitely came in handy to safely lock up our valuables while staying at a hostel.
  • Copies of all important documents. Driver’s License, Passport, Health Insurance Information, etc.
  • Sharper Image Memory Foam Travel Pillow. While this pillow did provide some added comfort to my very long plane rides, I won’t be bringing it on another long trip. It took up way more room than I would’ve liked.
  • GuideBook. I received Frommer’s EasyGuide to Australia 2015 as a gift, & highlighted the life out of that thing in preparation for my trip. I only pulled it out once while we were there, though, so that’s another item that will be staying home next time.
  • Notebook. I’m constantly writing things down, so I always make sure to have a notebook with me.

 

I do wish that I’d brought a lightweight raincoat. It rained a couple of days while we were in Melbourne, & one of those would’ve come in handy. We ended up purchasing a flimsy umbrella, which was a waste of money and unnecessarily bulky and awkward for packing purposes.

One thing I’d like to add is that I used a large Eagle Creek Packing Cube, which is now one of my favorite travel items. It kept all of my clothes tidy & in one place, and made it simple to separate the clear from dirty.

I thought I did relatively well, considering this was my first time (1) backpacking & (2) taking such a long trip. I still had room to bring home plenty of souvenirs, along with a handful of items that I bought for myself. It was a tight squeeze by that last day, but I made it work! Do you guys have any packing tips that you’d like to share? I’d love to know how I can do even better the next time around! If so, comment below!

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8 Comments

  • Reply Angela

    I do wonder how it would be to backpack for a month so thanks for sharing. We’ve only done short-term backpacking and plan to do more long-term in the future so I enjoyed reading. You should put links to your favorite items so we the readers can take a look! Sounds like you were able to manage pretty well. How was walking around with the pack?

    January 2, 2016 at 7:18 pm
    • Reply navigableworld

      Definitely! I’m in the process of becoming an Amazon affiliate, so I’ll have links to all the products that I mention pretty soon here 🙂 Walking around with it wasn’t too bad at all, until the last stretch of the trip. It got heavy with souvenirs, but other than that, I managed just fine 🙂

      January 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm
  • Reply Alice Teacake

    I’d be lost without my travel adapter and it’s great that you included the recharge pack in your list: travelling as a solo female, it’s really essential when you need to make a call or find somewhere on google maps. Congrats on successfully finishing your first backpacking trip! Here’s to many more 😀

    January 3, 2016 at 6:10 am
    • Reply navigableworld

      An absolute must! Thank you, it was such a great time! 🙂

      January 5, 2016 at 1:38 am
  • Reply Jo

    I don’t use a backpack but only ever travel with one carry-on bag regardless of where I’m going and how long I am away for. Your list is good but I suggest fewer bottoms and more tops. Having grown up in Melbourne I’m not surprised you needed a raincoat. I usually suggest light rainwear from camping shops as they pack down very small.

    And aren’t packing cubes just the best thing ever?

    January 3, 2016 at 8:26 am
    • Reply navigableworld

      Packing cubes are the BEST! One of my favorite items for sure. And thanks for the suggestion, I’ll definitely do that next time around 🙂

      January 3, 2016 at 5:34 pm
  • Reply Alyssa | Adjust Your Focus™

    I have wondered what it’d be like and although I have gotten better at packing less I still haven’t traveled without a suitcase. Perhaps next time. Between camping and travel adventures lining up, I am looking for a new backpack… will have to check this one out! Thanks for sharing.

    January 4, 2016 at 7:11 pm
    • Reply navigableworld

      It’s really not too bad! Definitely check out that backpack, it’s sturdy and just the right size 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      January 5, 2016 at 1:37 am

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