With my new adventure now underway I thought I’d share my updated packing list with you all.

Having massively overpacked for Australia a few years ago, successfully completed my 25 litre backpack challenge in Thailand last September and then cramming in too much surf kit for Ecuador and Peru I realised I needed to do some serious thinking n my original kit list.

There were a few key points I narrowed it down too; location, duration, weight and extras.


After scoring some cheap Bangkok flights Asia was to be my first stop on the second part of my RTW adventure. And after chatting to some travel buddies from South America I’ve extended it from my original plan (I foresaw this may happen and booked flexi tickets!) so this is now one of the biggest stops.

All Packed And Ready to Go…

That means I’m going to be in summer wear for the bulk of the trip, and will now be trailing into summer on my jump into Australia and NZ at the end too.
With this in mind along with a prolonged surf stop in Indo clothing needs to be light and leaning heavily in favour of boarded and wife beater tshirts!


Having extended the Asian leg of my trip to around 5 months I’m going to be enjoying heaps of sun.
This also means my whole trip is longer too though so I had the bear in mind I’d be buying clothes on the go to replace those I inevitably destroyed! However this also meant I wouldn’t be experiencing winter climates for a while so I could cut out heavy hoodies and trousers – not that I wear them much anyhow!
Due to the extended time limit before I got to NZ I also decided that once I’d landed I’d get the lovely parentals to ship over a few warmer pieces of clothing, or even pick them up before leaving Asia.


With bouncing around quite a few countries I was very conscious of weight whilst packing. This resulted in me retiring my 80+20litre rucksack (which was borrowed off my brother anyway!) and slimming it down to a 60+10 Berghaus Jalan courtesy of the guys from Blacks – which I shall review in a couple of weeks.
This immediately meant weight was cut down significantly and I was forced to rethink my packing.


I’m a sucker for taking things “just in case”. There’s always kit in my bag because in the spur if the moment it seems like the sensible thing to pack! I used South America as a test run to see what I would and wouldn’t use – and it resulted in a lot of things being stripped out.
Even still I have a few added extras like snorkel kit and medi kits because they’re always handy things to have – even if you don’t use them for a while!

The Final Cut

With all that considered my final kit list is as follows;

backpacker gap year kit list

The Contents of My Rucksack


Tshirts x 6
Wife beaters x 2
Boarders x 3
Walk shorts x 1
Boxers x 5
Socks x 2pairs
Flip flops x 1pair
Trainers x 1 pair
Hiking Sandals x 1 pair
Hoody x 1
Flannel shirt x 1
Heaps of fake Ray Ban Sunnies from Montanita!
Spirit hoods x 2


Micro fibre travel towel
Snorkel kit
Medical kit
Portable speakers
Head torch
Toiletry bag (paracetamol, Imodium, rehydration sachets, condoms etc…)
ENO portable hammock
Water bottle

Tech kit

MacBook air
Portable hard drive
GoPro HD2 + Mounts
Canon 40D
Canon 20D
10-22mm lens
17-55mm lens
Chargers and Cables

Luckily my little brother is coming to join me in Thailand later next month so I have a fall back plan if I suddenly realise I have forgotten anything major – or even better that I’ve packed too much!

Anything extra you guys would be packing?!

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19 Responses

    • Chris

      That would be one of my Spirit Hoods Mon…they’re AMAZING! (have a quick google!)

    • Chris

      No such thing as a stupid question Lindsey! I’ve never personally travelled with a sleeping bag…a good hostel will always provide sheets.
      Unless your planning on camping or doing anything specific I’d leave the weight out of your kit list!

    • Chris

      hey Laura – its a WD passport drive, think its 250gb and its super slim and light weight, perfect for travel

  1. Kirsty Stickler

    Heya I’m struggling to find a decent backpack any advice where I should look and how much to spend

    • Chris

      hey kirsty!

      I’m using the Berghaus Jalan 60+20 and its a greta piece of kit! Got mine through Blacks.co.uk and they’ve got a heap to choose from. Cost wise to get a solid pack you’ll probably spend around £100 – but that investment should last you a solid few years! Try on a few and see how they feel, and I personally suggest getting one that opens like a suitcase – really handy!

  2. Vinny

    Hi Chris, I am going backpacking East Coast Australia 3 weeks and 7 weeks SE Asia, I need to take my 11″ Macbook air with me as I am a writer. Should I take a separate laptop back pack with me to protect the laptop and take it on board planes/buses or is there a smarter all in one way to do this?

    • Chris

      hey Vinny, I’d make sure it’s in a protective sleeve and I’d definitely recommend keeping it on you in your hand luggage. My hand luggage is a Dakine photo mission bag which has a laptop compartment – might be worth looking at their range?

  3. Vinny

    Hi Chris, I bought A G-Force protective sleeve for my Mac, so will let you know how many pieces it broke in to after my Indo China Tour

  4. Jo

    Hi chris, i was just wondering if it was worth taking a hammock and where/when you used it? also i see from your picture that you take another rucksack aswell as your backpack, do you not just use the day pack attached you your backpack as hand luggage?

  5. Tom

    Hi Chris,

    I am traveling through SE Asia for 9 weeks and I’m deciding what shoes to take. Would you recommend walking shoes or trainers?



    • Chris

      Hey Tom – to be honest I spend all my time there barefoot or in flip flops! Too hot for shoes!haha! Depends if you have any hiking planned though?

  6. Ben

    Hi Chris,

    I’m going to be travelling South America next year and my research into backpacks keeps pointing me to the Berghaus Jalan II 65+15, but I can’t seem to find a new one anywhere! A different bag which I’ve found which looks ok – the Berghaus Wilderness 65 + 15 but I just wondered if you knew anything about it? All of the reviews look good but I haven’t found a website yet which directly recommends it.




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