In our backpacks

What do I want to carry on my back for a trip around the world?


Like other occasions in life, here not only size does matter but also weight.

Taking that in account, what is essential? what is not?
What will make us feel comfortable, what is going to cost us a back pain?

Here goes the list of items we will be carrying with us.



Helena:



  • 1 Cuban guide book (lent by the casa in Havana, replaced in Guatemala for a Central American on a Shoestring LP book, replaced again in Panama for a SA book and then in Auckland for a NZ book. At the moment we are travelling with a LP Southeastern Asia book that we bought in Sydney - the first bought guide book)
  • 1 small netbook with an extra battery
  • 2 USB keys, 3 memory cards for camera
  • 1 mobile phone
  • 1 tiny ipod shuffle in a small China bag
  • 1 bigger China bag with chargers for netbook, camera and mobile phone
  • 1 Spanish grammar book, 1 Spanish-French dictionnary, 1 Latin American phrase book (these 3 were all left in Rio to be brought home by Nuno's brother), 1 point-it picture book for unknown words
  • 3 big notebooks (only 1 left), 3 small, 1 agenda
  • 1 big fat novel (the plan was to finish it in Cuba and leave it behind, but it is still with me - really good book though), 1 thin novel (both books have been exchanged about 50 times perhaps - very easy in CA and SA as almost all hostels have book exchanges), a few pens
  • 1 box of tiny chargable cars for gifts, 2 small boxes of coloured pencils, some more pens (most have been given away)
  • 1 sun chapstick, 1 Swiss army knife (lost in the security check in Bogota, the second time we went through), 1 hand disinfectant, 1 blue dinosaurie key chain (very much used)
  • 1 baseball hat (lost halfway to Machu Picchu, replaced in Aguas Calientes), 2 pairs of sunglasses (1 pair replaced)
  • 1 pair of swim goggles
  • 1 tupperwear box with medecin, antibiotical cremes etc., 1 small China bag with daily pills
  • 1 toilettery bag (stolen) with the following articles:
    • big shampoo bottle
    • cooling creme for feet
    • conditioner
    • body lotion (stolen, replaced by a less good substitute in Xela)
    • showergel
    • toothbrush (stolen, replaced by a gift from a Swiss girl in Havana)
    • toothpaste (stolen, replaced by a gift from a Swiss girl in Havana)
    • facial night creme (stolen, replaced by a Guatemalan brand in Xela)
    • facial sun creme (stolen, replaced in Xela)
    • cotton pads and cotton buds (stolen, replaced in Xela)
    • dental floss (stolen, replaced in Xela)
    • scissors (stolen, replaced in Auckland)
    • sun creme (stolen, replaced in Havana by a bad Cuban brand that works well but leaves a sticky white layer on the skin, replaced anew in Xela)
    • mascara (stolen, replaced in Havana by a bad Cuban brand, and then again in Xela)
    • make-up (stolen)
    • nail file (stolen, replaced in Ecuador)
    • creme for insect bites (stolen)
    • bandages for wounds (stolen)
    • bandage for strains (stolen)
  • 1 headlamp
  • 1 blue umbrella (forgotten in the train station in San Paolo)
  • 1 red travel pillow
  • 1 blue silk sheet
  • 1 rain protection for backpack
  • black thin gloves
  • 1 small scarf
  • 1 knitted hat (sent back from Rio, new one bought in Quito)
  • 1 rainjacket rolled into its bag (one of the jackets pockets)
  • 1 thin black fleece sweater
  • 1 thicker and slightly wind protected white and grey fleece sweater
  • black leggings
  • 1 white undershirt
  • leg parts of my green hiking trousers (wearing the shorts while the picture was taken)
  • 1 pair of black linnen shorts
  • 1 pair of grey linnen trousers
  • 1 pair of black jeggings (thin jeans)
  • 1 black and white dress
  • small packing bag with underwear including
    • 8 strings (about 5 left, the others have mysteriously gotten wings), 3 pairs of underwear
    • 4 pairs of short socks, 3 pairs of long socks
    • 2 bikinis
    • 2 sports bras (1 has broken), 1 normal bra
  • 1 thin black cardigan (broken, not replaced)
  • 1 long-sleeved blue blouse
  • 1 long-sleeved turcoise tunika
  • 1 white and grey t-shirt
  • 1 short-sleeved pink blouse
  • 1 short-sleeved turcoise blouse
  • 1 black sport top
  • 1 long-sleeved white blouse
  • 1 day bag (2 day bags at the moment, 2nd one bought in Xela but now with broken zip)
  • 1 turcoise pareo
  • 1 light blue travel towel
  • 1 pair of red hiking sandals
  • 1 pair of purple converses
  • 1 pair of hiking shoes
  • 1 backpack of 60 litres, ca 12-13 kilos
Missing in the picture:


  • 1 camera (for obvious reasons) (broke in Bogota as I fell from the sidewalk without reason)
  • 1 pair of hiking shorts (as mentioned above)
  • 1 black t-shirt (wearing)
  • 1 pair of purple flip-flops (wearing) (have been exchanged twice, first as the purple ones were taken by the sea while I had a short nap, then as the nice Roxy ones I got in replacement started to stink - current status, a pair of beautiful and really comfortable Hawaianas bought in Rio)
  • 1 pair of sleeping shorts and 1 sleeping top (probably under the pillow) (a silk pyama has been added to the sleeping gear as it finally arrived from the producers a coupld of months late)
  • 1 travel money bag (wearing)
  • 1 pair of shorts (bought in Havana after realising that's what everyone was wearing due to the 35 degrees, 80% humidity climate)
  • 1 extra novel (bought at San Jose airport, Costa Rica)
  • 1 green scarf weaved the Mayan way (bought in Xela)
  • 1 jeans skirt (bought in Cordoba, currently broken)
  • 2 t-shirts, 1 from the death road biking trip, 1 from skydiving in New Zealand
  • 5 bracelets (bought in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru and Bali - the easiest souvenir to carry along)
  • 1 small box of black pepper (most hostels provide salt, but few provide pepper)
  • mosquito repellant




  • Nuno: