All the Things I’m Carrying 

When starting the packing process I learned that I’d picked a pretty inconvenient mix of places: cold, usually rainy New Zealand (even in the summer, and especially down south where I’ll be spending more time) where you need real clothes to go someplace nice, and then warm, sunny, beach dominated Fiji where I’m guessing “no shirt no shoes no problem” is the general guideline. Add in a 4 day hike where I’ll be carrying almost everything except for a tent and I knew I was in for a packing challenge.  

Luckily, I attended the Mike Chance School of Packing for the first 18 years of my life. To reduce the temptation to overpack and lighten my load in the long run, I bought a relatively small pack (46L Osprey). Loaded up, it weighs between 19-23lbs, depending on what I’m wearing and if I’ve got stuff in a carry on. Totally manageable.


Everything. I just couldn’t crop out a mopey Cocoa in the background 🙂
In the end, this is what made the cut:  


  • 4 shirts  
  • 1 dress 
  • 3 shorts (one for running, one that is a bathing suit cover up, and one pair of jean shorts) 
  • 2 pairs of jeans (because it’s cold in New Zealand by my Texas standards)  
  • 2 long sleeve shirts 
  • 1 pair under armor leggings  
  • 1 pair of tights  
  • 4 pairs of socks  
  •  2 ‘sets’ of hiking socks- liners and then the big fuzzy ones.  
  • 1 fleece  
  • 1 raincoat 
  • 1 cool kid jacket  
  • 1 pair of pajamas 
  • 1 bathing suit  
  • Most of the underwear that I own.  
  • Hiking boots  
  • Running shoes  
  • Cool kid boots  
  • Flip flops (for Fiji and hostel showers)  

Personal hygiene:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, contacts, solution, Deodorant, Q-tips, Nail clippers, Bobby pin, Makeup (foundation, eyeliner), Baby wipes, Hair gel, Shampoo, Bar Soap, Lotion, Tweezers, Hand sanitizer, Razor (which I forgot, but he should have made the cut)   

Hiking specific stuff:

  • Mini first aid kit (for the hike parts and the general travel parts). Includes band aids, ItchX, heavy duty bug lotion (apparently Milford gets pretty bad), gauze, Benadryl, Advil, hydrogen peroxide, CiPro (for travelers diarrhea), iodine tablets for water, and tape.  
  • 1 pot for cooking  
  • 1 bowl, spoon and fork 
  • Pocket knife  
  • Extra batteries for headlamp 
  • Nalgene  
  • 2L water bladder  
  • Gloves 
  • Scarf  
  • Rain cover for pack  

Other stuff: 

  • Headlamp  
  • Cords and adapters for iPad, phone, and kindle.  
  • 3 way adapter so I can plug them in all at the same time 🙂 
  • 1 quick dry towel 
  • Several mesh bags  
  •  Several zip loc bags  
  • 1 HEB bag for separating out wet or especially smelly clothes (for those that don’t live in Texas, it’s a heavy duty plastic bag you get from the grocery store)  
  • Technology: iPad, kindle, and iPhone (I decided to use my phone as my camera. Don’t judge me.) 
  •  Packing cubes  
  • 1 giant duffel to toss my pack in when I fly.  
  • Backpack that I’m using as a carry on 
  • Playing cards 
  • Small notebook and pen.  

No nook or cranny is wasted in my pack–the heavy duty socks and the rest of my cookware are stuffed in the pot, and the scarf is stuffed in the Nalgene. Toiletries and the first aide kit each fit in their own ziplock Baggie. Everything is rolled up to save on space.


Behold the power of the packing cubes.


I also decided to rent some of the bulky, one time stuff like a sleeping bag and hiking pants to save $ and space.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually got some room to spare. Maybe I’ll have to get my dad a gift for teaching me how to pack so well. 🙂


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