Packing for a two month trip can be quite a daunting task, especially when you are used to having an entire color coordinated closet to pick from. So after coming to terms with the fact that I was going to look like a hobo, I began the tedious process of choosing which items would make the cut. I knew what type of weather to expect and also realized that everything I was going to bring would be on my back so it had to be worth the weight. Over the last 3 weeks I´ve began discovering items I couldn´t live without and even some items I wish I´d left at home (everything that those little assholes stole…). Anyways I figured it might be useful to people planning on taking a similar trip to see the things that I am elated to have brought with me. I am hoping to post a couple more of these review type posts as the trip continues, maybe even one with the things I hate!
Nike Terra Kiger Trail Running Shoe
I really want to lie right now and say that I am some awesome trail runner who couldn´t envision travelling without galavanting through the gnar South American terrain. Unfortunately, my running mostly consits of briskly walking to make sure no one ate my prized peanut butter… However, I do run quite a bit at home so I figured it might be nice to bring a running shoe that could double as a hiking shoe to save space in my bag. This shoe is pretty minimalist and is very lightweight so it packs well. I love that even though they are simple they are still very durable and the soles have great traction. I hiked five days in them and was comfortable the whole time! Although if you have foot issues that require support or weak ankles I would recommend getting actual hiking boots with ankle support… I’ve only ran in these abroad 4 or 5 times but I’m very happy with their performance. I’ve ran on pavement, dirt trails, sand and gravel and they proved to be reliable on all terrains. So if you are someone who is looking for a versatile running shoe I highly recommend these!
The North Face Long Sleeve Tech Tee
This long sleeve tech tee has been a life saver! It kept me toasty as a base layer in Patagonia and sheltered me from the sun in Santiago. The material of this shirt provides warmth, especially of layered but it also is lightweight and breathable. Another great things is that I only have to wash it every few weeks. The fancy fabric hardly ever gets smelly and it dries quickly! The brand really doesn’t matter just make sure it is 100% polyester.
This fancy thing is so great for traveling! It is essentially a simple round piece of stretchy fabric that can transform into numerous types of headwear. I mainly use it as a headband or an “oh my god my nose is cold” face mask but you can use it as a beanie, hair tie, scarf, head wrap etc… It is perfect for those mornings when you wake up looking like a stray cat or even when you just need a little protection from the elements. You can buy the original buff brand, but the knock off brands are just as good. For about twenty bucks this beauty can be yours!
As frugal travelers, Jace and I have found ourselves relying heavily on meals cooked in hostel kitchens. This means going to the store and buying the cheapest food possible that can be prepared on a lousy stove with little preparation. For us, this usually plays out in the form of a rice/veggie sauté. Our saving grace has been our supply of seasonings. Most hostels only provide the bare minimum like cooking oils or spices left behind by previous guests so having you own supply is a must! Our favorites are taco seasoning, salt and cinnamon! Take note though that in many places, like South America, they don’t sell much in the way of pre-mixed seasonings but rather sell the individual spices. So I would recommend picking up a few bottles of Mrs. Dash from home to accompany you on your trip!