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!

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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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