Packing for South America

So I've started preparing for my one-month trip to South America and here's what I've currently got on the list of things to bring along:

- Money Belt
- Money Leg Stash
- Whistle (when I get separated from my friends)
- Headlamp (for hands-free accessibility in the dark)
- Keychain LED Lights (when a headlamp would be overkill)
- Sunglasses
- Second Pair of Eyeglasses (just in case)
- Lens Cleaning Cloth
- Rechargeable Batteries (AA and AAA)
- Camera
- Camera Memory Cards and Accessories
- Battery Chargers (so I can charge multiple sets at the same time)
- Joby Camera Tripod
- Power Plug Adapter (for Bolivia)
- Silica Gel Packs (to theoretically suck up moisture in the camera bag)
- Mosquito Head Net (just in case the bugs start driving me insane)
- Hooded Poncho (in case there's an unexpected deluge and I don't have my raingear handy)
- Stretch Utility Straps (so snakes don't go up my legs)
- Elastic bands
- Digital Watch
- Combination Locks (one to lock belongings left behind at the base hostel and another one for the road)
- Spanish Phrase Book
- Medic Alert Neck Chain (with English / Spanish notices of my penicillin allergy)
- Emergency Blanket (just in case it's freezing cold at night in the desert)
- Water Bottles (1.5L and 1L)
- Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets (100 1L tablets)
- Pocket Knife  
- Swiss Army Knife 
- Carabiners (to hang stuff off my pack)
- Plastic Fork
- Plastic Spork
- Plastic Knife
- Plastic Spoon
- Duct Tape
- Clothesline (a.k.a. grass trimmer line)
- Ear Plugs (for noisy hostels and buses)
- Stereo Earbuds (to listen to movies on the plane)
- Twist-ties (to tie together zippers to make pack accessibility a tiny bit more difficult to curious fingers)
- Compressible Pillow (my luxury item)
- Fast-Drying Towel
- Facecloth
- Bandanas (serve multiple uses)
- Clif Builder's Protein Bars and Granola Bars (to keep me energized during the long flight and airport stayover)
- Sealable Plastic Containers (2)
- Thick Needle and Strong Thread (in case a pack needs to be stitched back up)
- Sunscreen (Scent-free SPF 60 and SPF 50)
- Don't Bite Me Patches
- Watkins Insect Repellent Lotion (28.5% DEET; in case the patches don't work) 
- Extra Soft Moleskin Padding Roll (to keep blisters away)
- Q-tips
- Kleenex
- Toilet Paper (1 Roll for the Amazon as suggested by the tour operator)
- Sanitizing Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Disposable Razor (in case my beard starts driving me crazy)
- Antiperspirant
- Bodywash
- Toothbrush
- Toothpaste
- Tooth Floss
- SPF 15 Lip Balm
- Zip Lock Bags
- Plastic Shopping Bags
- Laundry Bag
- Notebook
- Pens / Pencils
- Backpack (70L)
- Raincover / Airport Bag (to protect my pack from airport conveyor belts)
- Small Backpack (for day-trips)

Medical Kit:
- 1 Glove
- 2 Gauze Bandages (7.5cm x 5m)
- 12 Sterile Non-woven Pads (5cm x 5cm)
- Waterproof Adhesive Tape
- 6 Blister Cushions
- 10 Heavy-Duty Fabric Band-Aids
- 10 Large Water Block Plus Band-Aids
- 15 Finger-Care Tough-Strips Band-Aids
- 20 Waterproof Adhesive Bandages
- 1 Fabric Bandage Wrap
- 1 Tube of Polysporin Complete (30g)
- Polysporin Eye and Ear Drops (10mL)
- New-Skin Liquid Bandage (10mL)
- AfterBite (14mL)
- Scissors
- Cuticle Scissors
- Pointed Tip Tweezers
- Tweezers
- Benadryl Allergy Elixir (100mL)
- Imodium Quick-Dissolve Loperamide Hydrochloride Tablets (20 tablets) for rapid relief of diarrhea
- Extra Strength Acetaminophen (20 gelcaps) to rapidly relieve headaches, fever and pain
- Extra Strength Allergy Sinus Medication (24 caplets) to relieve runny nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, sinus pain and pressure
- Extra Strength Cough, Cold and Flu Daytime Non-Drowsy (10 caplets)
- Extra Strength Cough, Cold and Flu Nighttime (10 caplets)
- Extra-Strength, Non-Drowsy Reactine for 24 hour allergy relief
- Prescriptions

And this is what most of it looks like before it's all packed...

Besides the obvious clothing, footwear, tickets, passport stuff, what did I forget?


  1. have a super trip MIKEMay 14, 2010 at 8:55:00 PM EDT

    one glove? really? ONE? ONE GLOVE? Woh, that's really underhanded, i mean, one-handed, i mean, a bit non-committal, like, oh, i'll help you, with my LEFT hand, cause there's no way i'm going to help you with my RIGHT hand and RISK INFECTION from your bleeding head, i mean really.... i'm a one glove guy!!!!

    ummmm. maybe bring a second glove. i've heard they're not too heavy. it's not like it's put you over the top on weight in your backpack!!!!

  2. ok... three gloves it is!

    plus a sleeping bag and one hammock!

  3. Not even one glove was required but I guess that's a good thing! Better safe than sorry.

    Other things I didn't use and would not pack if I were to go back:

    - Whistle
    - Stretch Utility Straps
    - Combination Locks (there were no lockers anywhere)
    - Sleeping Bag (it took up a lot of room and wasn't necessary as they were available for rental where needed and even there, they really weren't needed)
    - Hammock (there was no where to reliably hang it up).

    A bunch of other things were not used or rarely used but nevertheless were comforting to have on hand (just in case).

  4. I tried to be "off-the-grid" as much as possible but looking back on the trip, there were times when listening to my favourite songs would have been re-energizing so I'd pack a cheap mp3 player next time.

  5. Always put TP in Zip Lock. Take cheapest watch or buy one there. Bought one for $1 at market and a $3 leather strap after first strap made my wrist stink. Also, don't take many shirts. Buy them at the mercados and hope to blend in (less likely to be target). Also look at in filter bottles sold at REI.


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