What to pack for 4 months in South America: Light & Easy

Omg, what am I gonna pack? I’ve read ALL the blog posts on this topic and know all about the super geared-up people who have the smart travel stuff which dries fast, is waterproof, windproof, stupid-proof and all that. And I felt silly all throughout the process because I’m not into fancy travel stuff.

Some people make excel sheets and lists, some watch videos to get inspired, some ask their friends. And you should totally find what works best for you.

But if you’re like me and don’t really care about your so-called gear then this is how to wing it.

What to pack: for light travelers with low maintenance travel standards

I knew I wanted a few things:

  • an easy to open-suitcase style backpack that’s still comfy
  • I have given in and decided to get hiking boots
  • to travel light
  • to look like somebody who lives where they travel

Bearing that in mind I’ve made a few smart purchases and then used my wardrobe to stretch it out so I can figure it out on the way. I also knew I might pick up things on the way and that hardcore hiking is not my thing. But I also don’t like shopping and get overwhelmed by too many expensive options for stuff I’m not I’ll use.

So here’s what I packed, pam pam.

  • 8 pairs of undies
  • 6 pairs of socks: 2 hiking, 2 sports, 2 happy socks because they have pretty colors
  • 1 pair of stockings
  • 1 sport bra, 2 normal bras, 1 bralette
  • 8 tank tops and t-shirts: 1 sports quick dry, 2 basic cotton, 2 nice tank-tops, 3 neutral cotton t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeve shirts for wearing with jeans or shorts
  • 1 sports zipper hoodie, 1 fleece, 2 cardigans
  • 1 pair of jeans (travel gurus say no no to denim when traveling but I’ve just discovered jeans and these make my butt look extra good so there’s that), 1 pair long pjs, 1 short pjs, 1 summer Indian-style pants, 2 leggings, 1 pair shorts
  • 3 dresses: 1 cotton, 1 for dressier occasions, one for whenever I wanna feel like myself
  • 1 pair sandals, 1 pair hiking boots, 1 pair Nikes, 1 pair flip flops
  • 1 big scarf, 1 wind-proof, rain-proof, fleece interior jacket (for when it’s really cold)
  • Toiletries: anything you would take on a city trip in a ziplock back plus mosquito repellent with DEET, travel towel, sunscreen, coconut oil, manicure set because I’m still a lady

My gadgets are quite minimal: Cheap Asus Eeebook, Samsung 7, power battery, 2 chargers, 1 head lamp
Extras: a lonely planet (man, it’s heavy), a book I’ve already finished and gifted to somebody else
Safety: band-aids, paracetamol, diarrhea pills, painkillers, rehydration sachets

Comfort: a neck pillow, travel cotton sheets

Gifts so far: a thermal long-sleeve shirt that I adore and a mate cup *insert much love*

Stuff I’ve ditched on the way: one book

Things I’ve never worn: the 2 nice dresses *insert puzzled face*

Things I’ve used the most: leggins, jeans, jacket, fleece, thermal shirt, undies haha

All of this goes into the Osprey Farpoint 55 which is actually a 40 L backpack with an attached 15 l daypack. So the main stuff goes into the main compartment and the electronics plus a change of clothes and food go in the daypack. The awesome idea behind it was to carry them together on my back as the daypack zips on the main pack but so far I haven’t really used it like that. My favorite trick is that you can simply clip the daypack on the straps of the main pack so it hangs on your front.

This way you won’t put the straps of your small backpack on the shoulders and it will make everything easier to carry. Also, less pain!

Carrying stuff around hassle-free yay

I’m missing a few things, I’ve decided to just improvise or pick them up on the way: one of those small pack-away rain jackets, a sleeping back for cold nights I’ve been warned will come, a hat and gloves which I intend to get from Peru because alpaca wool d’oooh.

So I’m on day 35-ish of traveling and so far I’ve complained about missing the small rain jacket but then yet again I discovered my zippered hoodie is not too bad in the rain so I’ve got that going on for me.

Enjoy! And yes, do tell me about the hiking pants, I’ve yet to need those but I have a feeling I need to put them on the list of picking up stuff too.


  1. How to stay fit and healthy while traveling - Life with Mada

    May 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    […] since I’ve last been in a gym, done squats or lifted something heavier than my backpack. And my backpack is a mere 9 kilos. So, really, how do you keep healthy and fit while […]

  2. Ioana Calin

    May 18, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Keep the 2 nice dresses with you, I’ll take you dancing in Medellín until your feet fall off <3

    1. Madalina

      May 27, 2017 at 12:03 am

      Dar papuci, Ioana, I have no shooooes!!

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