Space at a Premium (Packing notes)

(Just a short rundown of how I’ve packed for my long-term South American trip that starts with a 1-way ticket to Brazil)

Packing a backpack for long-term travel can be challenging and that’s putting it mildly!  My backpack is a travel-bag i.e. the straps are covered for when the travel is by air or road (bus/taxis). Quite handy this as there’s less risk of the straps being used to catapult your bag to the other side of a packing area. 

These bags do present a small problem though when packing pre-flight as a sleeping bag is best off inside the bag. Personally I don’t feel like getting my bag back minus the sleeping bag at the other end. Once out walking or trekking, it can be attached to the bottom of the backpack. With the sleeping bag inside though, space is suddenly at a greater premium than before.

I’ve managed to squeeze quite a bit of things in mainly made possible by rolling clothing items up really tight. In addition to that, what many people won’t have, my SMB & reel (inflatable buoy & reel for diving) and dive log are in there as well. You want to take certain things with, you have to be willing to compromise on others. So here’s photos showing the 3 levels of packing that I went through with the back pack…;

In this bag other than the sleeping bag, clothes, and the mention dive log and reel, there’s also a small 1st Aid kit, Mozzie net, Sleeping bag liner, gaiters, rain trousers, toiletries (including a few extras/spares) and a few smaller bits and bobs like small screwdrivers, AA batteries etc.

As for the tripod, Manfrotto have a really cool bag for their tripods which I’m using to put a few other bits and bobs plus a hiking pole in. This is in a ‘net’ dive bag which could later on serve as an extra bag if needed. If airline allowances only allow one bag, then I just strap the tripod bag to the backpack.

Cameras, lenses, hard drives, other gadgets and laptop go into my day pack that’s my carry-on for the flights. Obviously, also a clear plastic packet with my travel size toiletries (as required for security checks after checking in).


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