What to Pack for South America?

With one month left to go I’ve collected about 95% of my packing list for my upcoming backpacking trip to South America.

Looking back I really didn’t have a clue when it came to budgeting for gear and first aid and other travel accessories. Things that I thought couldn’t cost more than a couple of pounds turned out to be triple the price. For example, a pocket microfibre face towel – £7! It’s smaller than my fist. And mosquito repellant – £5 a bottle, and I had to buy three. The biggest horror of all was reluctantly forking out £30 for a sleeping bag liner – a thin liner that just protects the inside of my sleeping bag. Ugh. My 3-season sleeping bag only cost £20 itself.

In the past few weeks whilst I have been collecting together things for the trip I’ve been thinking about what I’ll do when it comes to hair and daily make-up routines. At home I can be fairly high maintenance, rarely leaving the house without putting on a full face of make-up or straightening my hair. As you can imagine, this kind of lifestyle doesn’t sound great to upkeep whilst backpacking for three months across a foreign continent. Therefore my aim is to travel completely without the use of a hair straightener or hairdryer. So in recent weeks I have been ‘experimenting’ as such, trying to forego my use of straighteners and hairdryers and instead towel drying my hair and tieing it up into a bun. After a couple of hours when I let my hair down it comes out naturally curled and (generally) frizz free.

Now if I think going for 3 months without styling my hair is bad, wait till I get onto my clothing! When planning which pieces of clothing to take I have decided to keep a certain colour scheme in mind, in order to maximise the number of outfits I can throw together without the colours clashing. I went with a palette of black, grey, shades of cream and shades of magenta.

To minimise the amount I take but still retain a range of clothing to suit all climates, I will be packing: 1 x long sleeve thermal top, 1 x merino wool microfleece, 1 x vest top, 2 x t-shirts, 1 x maxi skirt, 1 x shorts, 1 x bikini, 2 x leggings, 1 x jeans, 1 x 3/4 length shirt, 1 x sleeveless blouse and 1 x dress/short black skirt (undecided which to take), plus a week’s worth of underwear and socks.

And here are all my clothes squished into a really great compression sack - see my usual daily handbag on  the left for scale.

And here are all my clothes squished into a really great compression sack – see my usual daily handbag on the left for scale.

Guess I’m going to have to get used to handwashing!


One thought on “What to Pack for South America?

  1. Pingback: What You Should (And Shouldn’t!) Pack For South America | A World Worth Exploring

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