As you’ve probably already realised, I’m quite into planning – lists / spreadsheets, you name it, for planning this trip, I’ve done it all. Rob on the other hand tends to be a bit more laid back… almost horizontal in fact so relaxed is he about this trip! And amongst all of the research I’ve done and the time spent sorting through the details, nothing was quite so intimidating as The Packing List.

8 months, 1 50l Rucksack (more on that later) and a need to actually be able to lift my backpack without collapsing, definitely one of the biggest challenges I’ve taken on.

Whilst we planned our route timings quite carefully to avoid the cold weather as much as possible (I hate winter) – with time spent at altitude, plenty of trekking, and hitting China and Japan in mid winter, we’re having to cater not only for a pretty long time, but also a range of climates.

There are tons of packing lists out there already, ranging from those who take nothing but a toothbrush and a couple of days of clothes, to those who plan for every eventuality.  I’ve strived to end up somewhere between the two, and thought it would be interesting at this stage of the game to list out our ‘His and Hers’ packing lists, based on what we’re going to be taking with us.  I’ll then update at some point with what we’ve ended up finding useful, what we were missing and what ended up being chucked out or discarded on the way!

Sarah’s Packing List

I’ll preface this by saying it is much tougher to pack for 8 months as a female traveller, particularly one who wears daily contact lenses, has an unhealthy number of trainers and settled on taking a smaller backpack so I can actually carry the damn thing.


  • Dark denim jeggings
  • Compression leggings
  • Thin black jean type trousers
  • 2 x shorts – denim & chino
  • 3 dresses
  • 8 t shirts / tank tops / blouses
  • 2 long sleeve tops – 1 thermal, 1 everyday
  • 1 checked shirt
  • 1 black cardigan
  • 1 hoodie
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • PJs
  • 4 socks (2 running, 1 trainer, 1 thermal)
  • 3 bras – inc. 1 sports bra
  • 8 pants
  • 2 bikinis
  • 2 black tights


  • Hiking trainers
  • Flip Flops
  • Black ballet flats
  • White toms style pumps


  • 1 belt
  • Scarf
  • Tote bag (easily foldable)

Rob’s Packing List

Rob on the other hand drew the short straw, with a 60l capacity backpack, and a more minimalist approach to leave room for the bits that wouldn’t fit in my bag.


  • 1 lightweight jeans
  • 1 hiking / cargo trousers
  • 2 shorts
  • 1 swimming shorts
  • 7 t shirts
  • 2 long sleeve top – 1 thermal
  • 1 short sleeve shirt
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 jumper / hoodies
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • 8 boxers
  • 8 socks – inc. thermal and hiking


  • Hiking Trainers
  • Normal Trainers
  • Flip Flops

Other Items

Having looked at my list, I think I’ll do another post on makeup / toiletries etc as that is a tough call! But some of the other handy things (hopefully) that we’ve packed that aren’t clothing include:

  • Torches
  • Portable washing line
  • Detergent / soap leaves
  • Microfibre towels
  • Water bottle with in built purifier
  • About 100 ziplock bags
  • Playing cards / pass the pigs
  • Padlocks
  • Sleeping bag liners
  • Money belts
  • Paperwork – visas, insurance, passports, driving licenses, yellow fever certificate, tickets, spare cash, bank cards & secure keys, spare passport pics, and a travel journal each
  • Electronics – cheap but decent digital camera, phones, headphones, kindles, a netbook/small laptop (not yet purchased) and loads of adaptors / cables etc.

Also, I know everyone says this, but seriously get packing cubes, they are amazing and really the only way to take your whole life away with you in a rucksack for an extended period of time without major packing stress every time you need to pack / unpack something.

Again, some of the other blogs we found really useful for packing lists are below: