In Our Backpacks: Packing List for 3 Months in Asia

I’m a list maker. I make lists for everything. Grocery lists, to-do lists, you name it. So it was natural for me to want to make a packing list, three months before we started packing.

We’ve never been overly light travellers, nor have we ever been on a trip longer than two weeks before. Most of our travelling has been done on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, where the pack list doesn’t need to be too complicated. A few bathing suits, couple pairs of shorts, some tank tops. The less clothes the better, in humidity where your hair frizzes instantly and your wet clothes never dry.

This packing list is different. WAY different. The main differences being:

  1. We are going for three months.
  2. We will be journeying through a number of different climates.
  3. We need to take into account that in Asia, less isn’t always more. From what we have read, there are certain ways you are expected to dress when you are visiting different places, temples especially.

Disclaimer: We are totally new at this. These are not our suggestions of what we think you should bring backpacking. For all we know, we may be outrageously overdoing it. It is just a product of the research we’ve done, combined with the type of people we know we are and the certain creature comforts we will think we will need. When we get home from our travels, we will update you on how things worked, what we needed and what we didn’t. Any suggestions, let us know! 🙂

The Gear

Photos Library

Both of our packs are made by Osprey. We have had them for a couple years now and have held up great. We went with Osprey packs mainly because of the lifetime warranty the company offers. They are both 60 litres. Jeff’s is the blue one, the Aether 60, and mine is the green one, the Volt 60. 

For our carry ons/daypacks we have these JanSport knapsacks. They were cheap, are decent size, have a sleeve for your laptop or tablet and a space for your water bottle. We are going to dress them up with buttons so we aren’t “that couple” who matches.

What Did They Wear?


As I wrote up above, it was a bit of a struggle deciding what to bring, due to the fact that we are going to be travelling through a few different climates.  Where our first home base will be (Rishikesh, India) is pretty chilly right now, in January (as low as 5 degrees at night). Thailand is relatively hot and humid most of the year. I also had to take into account the way I need to dress during my yoga teacher training, and what to wear when we visit temples and places that require you to dress modestly. Below are two separate lists, what clothing Jeff is bringing and what clothing I am bringing.


  • (5) pairs each of socks and underwear
  • (3) pairs of swim shorts
  • (3) pair of regular shorts
  • (1) pair of jeans
  • (1) pair of khakis
  • (1) pair of track pants
  • (4) muscle shirts
  • (4) t-shirts
  • (2) hoodies
  • (2) plaid button up shirts
  • Rain jacket
  • (1) pair of flip flops
  • (1) pairs of running shoes
  • (1) pair of water shoes


  • (6) t-shirts
  • (6) tank tops
  • (1) maxi dress
  • (1) maxi skirt
  • (4) pairs of shorts (a mixture of comfy and jean shorts)
  • (5) pairs of leggings/yoga pants
  • (1) pair of hippie pants
  • (1) dressier shirt
  • (2) hoodies
  • (1) poncho
  • (2) kimonos
  • sarong (can double as a blanket, scarf, towel, anything really)
  • (1) rain coat
  • (3) pairs of socks
  • (10) pairs of underwear (I always pack way to much underwear)
  • (4) sports bras
  • (2) regular bras
  • (3) bathing suits
  • (1) pair of flip flops
  • (1) pair of running shoes
  • (1) pair of water shoes
  • (1) pair of Toms (so comfy and easy to travel in)

I know, its crazy. It looks like way too much, and it very well may be. But when you pack all of those clothes into these handy dandy garment bags from the dollar store, all of it compacts into this.

Clothes in bags

I read quite a few blogs where fellow bloggers were raving about packing cubes, like these. Although we would have liked them, we personally couldn’t justify the price. These bags cost $1.50 each, are breathable mesh and are easy to find things in. They probably won’t last half as long as an actual packing cube, but it won’t hurt our feelings to toss them if they rip.

The Toiletries


Perhaps the most important section, the stuff that is going to keep us clean and healthy while we are away, the toiletries and hygiene items.


  • Deodorant
  • (2) Razors
  • Cologne
  • Sunscreen (SPF 60)
  • Tea Tree Shampoo
  • Ibuprofen
  • Hair paste
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste


  • Favourite shampoo and conditioner (I have unruly hair that tangles if you look at it wrong, so I have to be picky with what I use on it)
  • Hair straightener (This isn’t a definite. I’m hoping I’ll have a last minute moment of strength before we go and I will be able to leave this at home)
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Deodorant
  • (2) Razors
  • Hair brush, hair elastics and bobby pins
  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss
  • A couple headbands and a few bracelets/pairs of earrings
  • Mascara and undereye concealer
  • Nail clippers and tweezers
  • Laundry soap sheets
  • Probiotics
  • Essential oils (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil)
  • Vitamin E oil for moisturizer
  • Activated charcoal

Not Pictured

  • Electrolyte salts
  • Melatonin

The Gadgets


Also really important, the things that we are going to use to document our trip and to stay in touch with family and friends.

  • Macbook Air
  • iPad (I use mine as a Kobo and download books from iBooks)
  • Sony Alpha a6000 Camera
  • GoPro Hero  with mounting hardware
  • iPhone 5C (if you get your phone unlocked at home, you can purchase a SIM card wherever you are for cheap, for unlimited data usage)
  • Bluetooth speaker for beach days

Not Pictured

  • Mini tripod
  • Various charging cables for gadgets
  • Headphones (just cheap ear buds)

Miscellaneous Items


The stuff that didn’t fit into any other category…

  • Airplane pillow x 2 (these ones are from Canadian Tire, they are memory foam and are amazing)
  • Plastic bowl and Spork
  • Hammock that folds up really small (from Ticket to the Moon) and hanging straps (not pictured)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Earplugs (a must for hostel dorm rooms and overnight trains)
  • Eye mask x 2
  • Travel toilet paper (a lot of public toilets don’t have toilet paper)
  • Nalgene water bottles x 2
  • Yoga mat (my favourite is The Mat 3mm from Lululemon)
  • Lonely Planet’s Guide to Southeast Asia and India
  • Some travel reading  (Wherever You Go, There You Are and the Bhagavad Gita)
  • A colouring book of mandalas (and markers)
  • Pacsafe Bag Protector
  • Turkish Towels x 2 (super absorbent, fast drying, and a fraction of the size of a beach towel)
  • Cotton/silk sleeping bag liners x 2 (in case of questionable hostel sheets)
  • And last but certainly not least, a personalized blanket of our cat, Miguel


Not Pictured

  • Extra bag lock
  • Electrical outlet converter
  • Money belt that goes under your shirt
  • Miggo camera wrap (we didn’t want a big camera bag that would take up a ton of space, considering it will be in our day packs most of the time, plus this one has cats on it :D)
  • First aid kit
  • Pocket knife


And that’s it! Our three month pack list for Asia. We will update along the way to let you know how we are making out with the items we packed. Thanks for reading!

Love, Britt


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