my packing list for 6 months in india and southeast asia

For someone who has trouble packing a weekend trip into a carry on bag, fitting everything I would need for 6 moths into a backpack was surprisingly not that hard. Don’t get me wrong, I put a LOT of time into this list, and was very thoughtful about what I would actually need, what would make my life better enough to add that weight onto my back, and what would stay behind. I think my mindset for this trip was just on a whole different level.Arguably the hardest part of packing for me was choosing the right backpack. I could write a whole post about it (and might). But a few things were pretty important to me. 1.) I wanted something carry-on size. In the US the standard length is 22″. I have no idea if that will be true everywhere I go, but it has worked so far. 2.) I need something supportive, because I will be taking it trekking with me in the Himalayas when I visit Nepal. If it wasn’t for the trekking I might have gone with a “travel pack” versus a “hiking pack” but to be honest even walking around the airports, having the suspension system save my back a little has been nice to have.

I went with a 65L, 22″ frame hiking bag from REI. And I got a compact duffel bag to throw it in just in case I ever have to check it (the hiking bags come with about 100 straps that threaten to get caught on all of the conveyor belts). I also have a super compact rain cover because I’ll be in Southeast Asia for monsoon season.

So here’s what went into thebackpack:

-waterproof hiking boots (mostly for trekking in Nepal, I might ship them home after if it doesn’t cost too much)
-comfy walking shoes
-chacos sandals, aka I think I’m officially “granola” now
-rainbows sandals

-2 pairs loose yogi pants (I could have brought 0 because they sell really cute ones all over Rishikesh for less than US $4)
-1 pair crop leggings
-denim shorts and cotton shorts

-one long sleeve
-2 short sleeve
-2 tanks

-5 pairs quick dry undies
-3 sports bras
-3 pairs casual socks, 1 pair hiking socks, 1 pair warm hiking socks

-one piece bathing suit


-rain jacket

*it’s worth noting that I plan to rent or buy all of the warm weather clothing I’ll need for Nepal and the Himalayas

-my iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard and camera adapters (in lieu of a laptop)
-a GoPro and a few accessories (snorkeling floatie, selfie stick, handlebar attachment, and a couple adhesives, and of course a wrist strap!)

-Toiletries and all of the malaria/miscellaneous medicine took an honest 3rd of my backpack, and there’s no makeup/hair product/perfume/lotion in there, just the basics. On top of that I went for 6 months of daily contacts, which is about 6″x6″x4″. I think it’ll be worth it to not worry about keeping them clean, and as I use them I’ll make new space for small souvenirs!
-I also brought a small quick dry towel.

I have a small day pack and money belt/fanny pack. I also have a journal and one book (plus a fully loaded ipad).

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