Mar 122012

So, what does one pack for a 4 month trip?  I’m making this a lengthy post, as I felt it was helpful when we were researching to see what other people packed to use as a reference list against ours.


The hardest part was packing for the cold weather in China and Nepal, which gets down to 30 F, and hot weather in Thailand and Indonesia, which can be up to 90 F.  The other big limitation we had was we needed both of our packs to be carried in Nepal, where we are going on the 3 week Annapurna Circuit Trek.  For 3 weeks, we will be hiking around 5 hours a day in a circuit loop from teahouse to teahouse.  It would also be most convenient to be able to be pretty mobile and not weighed down by bags when we’re getting from city to city.

The Packs

Both packs we had needed to be able to be carried like a backpack, so we were limited in that. Nepal is the only leg of our trip where the packs will be carried every day.  So for bag 1, we opted to go for a wheeled backpack to make it easier to get around in all other cities.  The trade off is that it’s heavier.  We chose the Osprey Meridian which was one of the lighter ones and came with a daypack that you could zip on and off.  For bag 2, we went with a duffel backpack which is super lightweight and the straps tuck in nicely if you wanted to use it as a carry-on bag.  We chose the Osprey Porter 42 liter bag and I got an additional small daypack from REI to carry around my DSLR during the day.

The Gear: What We Packed

This was the hardest part!   Narrowing down your items to fit in a carry-on size bag and keeping the weight down as well.  Some of the items are shared between the two of us, but I just split them out here mostly by whose pack it’s in (Mike gets the heavier wheeled backpack hehe).  Here’s what made the final cut:


  • 3 pairs of pants: jeans, lululemon fast-dry pants, Columbia zip off pants
  • 4 pairs of shorts: boardshorts, 2 lightweight shorts, 1 running shorts
  • 5 shirts: 3 cotton shirts, 2 quick-dry adidas shirts
  • 4 tank tops
  • 1 set long underwear, top and bottom
  • 7 pairs underwear, 3 bras, 2 sports bras
  • 7 pairs of socks: 3 wool, 4 cotton
  • 1 fleece hat
  • 1 pair Nike gloves
  • 1 turtlefur neck gator
  • 1 lightweight Nike fleece jacket
  • 1 lightweight REI down jacket
  • 1 thin Patagonia rain jacket
  • 3 pairs of shoes: hiking shoes, leather sandals, flip flops
  • Toiletries: travel-size shampoo, moisturizer, razor, toothbrush, sport sunblock, limited makeup, my beloved Garnier face towelettes
  • 120 day supply of daily-wear contacts  (contact solution too heavy)
  • Multi-purpose wet towelettes (a lifesaver)
  • Malarone (for Indonesia)
  • Medicine: multivitamins, vitamin C, allergy, Tylenol, anti-diarrheal, Sudafed
  • Insect repellent: REI has this sponge applicator tube so you don’t have to inhale the DEET and I’m going to try the plastic band as well (bugs love me)
  • Scuba mask and snorkel
  • 2 cameras: Nikon DSLR, 18-200mm lens with polarizing and UV filter, 2 spare batteries, 1 spare memory card, Nikon waterproof point and shoot Coolpix AW100, 1 spare battery, 1 spare memory card
  • Waterproof cover for duffel backpack
  • Microfiber chamois towel
  • Sleep sack
  • Headlamp
  • Combination lock
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Nokia SIM card compatible phone



  • 3 pairs of pants: jeans, 2 zip-off pants
  • 2 pairs of shorts: 1 boardshort, 1 sleep shorts
  • 8 shirts: 3 quick-dry adidas shirts, 4 cotton, 1 dress shirt
  • 1 set long underwear: top and bottom
  • 7 pairs of underwear: 2 synthetic, 5 cotton
  • 8 pairs of socks: 3 hiking, 2 cotton, 1 wool, 2 dress
  • 1 fleece hat
  • 1 fleece gloves
  • 1 fleece neck gator
  • 1 lightweight fleece running jacket
  • 1 lightweight REI down jacket
  • 1 lightweight Marmot rain jacket
  • 3 pairs of shoes: hiking shoes, casual loafers, flip flops
  • Toiletries: travel-size shampoo, razor, toothbrush toothpaste, concentrated camp soap, laundry soap flakes/leaves
  • Scuba mask and snorkel
  • Leatherman
  • Headlamp
  • Sleep sack
  • Waterproof cover for wheeled backpack
  • Iodine tablets for water purification: we got the 2 bottles, 1 for purification, 1 to make it taste better
  • Duct tape wrapped around a plastic card
  • Extra ziploc and garbage bags
  • Laptop
  • Kindle
  • Moleskin travel journal
  • Travel binoculars
  • Combination lock
  • Nokia SIM card compatible phone


Whew!  That’s the list.  It all averages out to around 30 lbs a person in the packs.  The weight limit for porters in Nepal is actually around 40 lbs I believe, but lighter is always better!

What We’re Planning on Renting in Kathmandu for the Nepal Trek:

  • Sleeping bags
  • Heavy down jackets
  • Fleece pants


Try to avoid 100% cotton shirts since they don’t try as fast.  We brought a combination of synthetic and cotton.

  • We tried to layer as much as possible to keep things lightweight and useful for multiple destinations.
  • “Vacuum-pack” your clothes in Ziploc freezer bags to save space and this also makes everything nice and modular in your pack so you can move things around easily.
  • Batteries don’t last as long in cold weather, so we brought spare batteries for Nepal
  • Guidebooks: iPad/iPhone/Kindle takes the place of all guidebooks, we just downloaded all of them into the Kindle app.  Downside: poor resolution maps, but you can pick up maps along the way at the hotels/info centers in each city
Packing for a 4 Month Trip

My Gear









Packing for a Four Month Trip

Mike's Gear


 March 12, 2012  Posted by at 11:40 am Trip Tagged with: , , ,  Add comments

  2 Responses to “Packing for a 4 Month Trip to Asia”

  1. Wow, seems like alot of stuff, you’ll have to post a pic of what the packs look like on! (He, he….remember Michael how much stuff we tried to carry up to Macchu Picchu?!?!)

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