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Packing is hard. Everyone knows that but packing for 6 years on the road seems insane and it was! We managed to get our bags down to a backpack, a carry on suitcase and a camera/electronic bag each and for this I am super proud of us. Some people may think this is a lot but remember we are the people who came back from Rome with 8 pieces of luggage over 50lbs each! This time all our bags are under 20kgs! Take that baggage fees!
And while it may seem like we have a lot of stuff there are definitely some things we cannot live without. Here is our ultimate 6 year round the world packing essentials, sort of….
Alex has always been a backpack person but I have been slow to convert and by slow I mean that I was absolutely 100% against them until I remembered that Europe is against escalators, elevators and anything that isn’t stairs. So in the end I caved and picked up a backpack; two, in fact.
I first picked up one from REI which was good but waayyyyy tooo small. So I returned it and in the end I went with a Deviate 85 liter bag from Eagle Creek. I love it! There are minimal straps which I love and it opens completely up so I can load things in like a suitcase which I appreciate. I also have found a lot of use for the detachable daypack as well aka as my shoes suitcase 🙂 Despite the fact that I have stuffed it to the brim it is not that heavy once it is on and it has handy zippered pockets on the hip belt to keep things like my phone handy. The bag also includes a secret pocket where I have been keeping my ids and extra credit cards for safe keeping.
Alex’s backpack is more of a traditional backpack from Deuter with the top loading opening but it also has the option to open the middle and the bottom via zippers. It also is much larger than mine even though they are the same size by liter. It also has all the straps you could ask for which is great since we are carrying camping gear around with us too.
Packing cubes have been my lifesaver so far on this trip. There is no other way I would be able to keep my bag organized without them. I also wear mainly dresses which can take up a lot of room so it is great for compacting all of them. If you haven’t thought about packing cubes but you hate digging through your bag I would highly suggest picking some up!
We have definitely expanded the amount of camera equipment for this trip specifically and it is actually taking up a lot of space in our bags but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I currently am using a Canon Rebel T3 with several lenses including my wide angle EFS 10-18mm, my nifty 50mm and my 75-300mm lens. I would say I use the nifty fifty and the wide angle lens the most although both the wide angle and the 75-300mm take video which is a nice plus.
To keep all my camera gear together I use a beautiful Kelly Moore bag that I received for Christmas last year. I absolutely love it as I can carry it around and it doesn’t look like a camera bag but it perfectly fits all my lenses and gear and my laptop too!
Alex has expanded his camera gear by the recent addition of a GoPro Hero 4 which he received for his birthday. Alex is rocking the GoPro with the head strap and also clipping it onto his messenger bag as well. Hopefully we will be able to get some videos edited and ready for sharing soon!
In addition to my camera and Alex’s GoPro we are also using our iPhones heavily (mine is an iPhone 5 and Alex has an iPhone 6) and I also have the Olloclip lenses for my iPhone. The wide angle and the macro lenses get used the most but I also will occasionally use the fish eye as well for fun effects.
Alex and I both have brought our Macs on this trip. Originally I was looking at a PC but it just made sense to both have the same type of computer and as I was computer less that meant I was investing in a Mac. I ended up getting a 13inch MacBook Air and it is so LIGHT! So far I am loving it as long as I keep all my photos on an external drive as the memory isn’t gigantic. Alex has a MacBook Pro which he has had for a few years but it is still going strong. We also have a time machine to keep all of our precious photos saved since we had a fiasco a year ago in which we lost all of our photos. We also have DropBox as well which is amazing because it automatically downloads all of our iPhone photos so we can access them on our computers.
The Power Monkey is our favorite random piece we have brought on this trip. We have used it in the past when we traveled throughout Southeast Asia and it is a lifesaver. The Power Monkey is a solar powered charger and it can charge anything from our phones to our kindles. It is going to be great for when we start camping around Iceland in a few days. It is also fairly compact as well. The Power Monkey can charge anything with a USB device. You can also charge The Power Monkey via a wall outlet and it is water proof which is always handy!
Clark’s Desert Boots are Alex’s new favorite pair of shoes thanks to Anthony Bourdain. These shoes are his hiking shoes, walking shoes and nice shoes for a night out. They are incredibly versatile and very comfortable as well.
Kindles are something that we hardly used back home but we always seem to end up using them on the road. Both of us are avid readers and have a huge library of books, pretty much the only thing we ended up putting in storage were books. So it is always nice to have our kindles while on long haul trips. We also both have kindle fires so they have twitter, facebook, ect…. if we stumble upon wifi.
Notebooks are another thing we always carry on the road. We always have a smattering of random notebooks in our different bags. Currently I am using two different Rifle Paper Co. notebooks and Alex has about 4 or 5 random notebooks we can’t remember where we picked them up. Alex also has these awesome wine notebooks (given to him by your’s truly so I am a little biased) by 33 Books Co. so we can keep track of all the wine we have. They are pretty cool little notebooks where you can jot down not only the name and grape varietal but it also has a tasting wheel so you can remember whether it was dry or sweet, tanic, acidic, ect….
So there you have it, our 6 year round the world packing list that isn’t clothing. 90% of our luggage is clothing and this is the rest of it. The clothes are great but these are the essentials we need to life on the road. Have you used any of these products? Any items you must have on the road that we have forgotten?
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