South America packing list

things you should not miss in your backpack


Before you start your trip one of the most important questions is what do i really need while traveling? There is a thin line between useful gadgets and unnecessary weight. At first you should make sure whats the purpose of your travel, how do you sleep while being on the way, what special equipment you might need, with how many other persons do you travel, is there a chance to wash your clothes on the way?

According to this you could start a list with stuff you´ll probably need, in best case you already start some weeks before your flight goes. Afterwards you can start to search your things together, possibly buy what you still need and place everything on the ground. It might help to sort it in categories like clothing, electronics and so on.

We would recommend not to take more luggage than 25% of your body weight, if you need to carry it on your back each day on your journey. This should not animate you to calculate this weight and fill up your backpack till you reached the last gram of it, in this case less is more.

Usually we tend to pack too much anyways, so its time to sort some things out. Basically you don't need anything which you don't use at least once a week except of things which are super cool or might safe your life at some point.

If you are still not sure how and what to put in your backpack we provide the following list for you. This is basically what we took for our current trip to South America. With this setup you'll be protected for almost every weather if its not getting too much below zero. Its sufficient for a little hiking trip with camping in between and keeps you independent from seeking for hostels every day. Moreover, you'll find some useful things which you should not miss while being away from your habitual environment.

For your personal choice you should consider that we are traveling together, which gives us the opportunity to share the weight of some items.



- trekking Backpack (60l - 70l)
- compression Bag for clothes and loose stuff
- jute bag for daily trips
- tension belts to attach things like a mattress or a tent on your backpack
- washbag
- several zipper bags to separate your luggage, for example first aid kit
- belt bag for important documents
- a wallet


- Passport
- Identity card
- VISA or Mastercard (Check before if you need to pay any fees for withdrawing abroad or get an account here
- vaccination certificate (obligatory for entering some countries)
- drivers licence
- international drivers licence
- pen and paper
- additional passport pictures
- some Cash



- one pair light hiking boots
- flip flops
- outdoor jacket with removable fleece (winter / rain jacket combination)
- underwear and socks for 1 week
- functional underwear
- 7 T-shirts, tank tops, long sleeves or Dresses
- one light sweater
- a shirt (you never know)
- pair of Sweatpants, Jeans and shorts
- swimming trunks
- a Cloth to protect your head from sun or as a scarf



- tent Vango Helix 300 (small pack size really less weight)
- inflatable pillow
- camping mat
- sleeping bag



- SKROSS Travel adapter
- multi socket
- 10“ - 13“ notebook, tablet or netbook
- 1TB external flash drive
- smartphone without simlock
- DSLR Camera with 18-55mm & 70-300mm lenses
- Gorillapod (very light and useful alternative for a tripod)
- chargers for all devices
- a Headlight
- headphones


Useful stuff:

- multitool
- clothesline
- combination lock
- cutting board
- camping cutlery
- first aid kit (plaster, wound bandages, scissors, rescue blanket, painkillers, charcoal tablets, antiseptically ointment)
- travel mosquito net (for malaria areas)
- mosquito spray
- travel towel
- cable ties (to fix your backpack if something breaks)
- sleep mask & earplugs

Nice to have:

- La Siesta double travel hammock (small pack size and super light)
- powerbar with solar panel (to independently recharge your mobile devices)
- playing cards / travel games

After you sorted your things its time to get them into your backpack. The following list might help with that and gives some useful tips where and and how to store certain items.

- Organize your stuff in bags, when you got used to your system it will be way more easy to find specific things in there.
- Use compression bags for sleeping bags, use them for clothes, use them for god damn everything which you carry around with - you’re going to be amazed by how much air you carried around before.
- Try to fill up the bottom of you backpack as good as possible (for example with your sleeping bag), the less free space you have there the more stable will your backpack be.
- Place heavy stuff in the main pocket and as close to your back as possible.
- Take care that the weight of your backpack is spread evenly.
- Put important stuff which you might need to reach immediately like your rain jacket or a first aid kit in a position where you can reach it fast (top pocket).