Forks and Jets

The true story of a couple or amateur foodie travelogues going around the world


Packing Winnebago-Style

March 29, 2009 United States


We are posting our inventory a little late considering we have been traveling a few days now, but it’s hard to know what you are going to bring until you actually bring it. The picture of us and all of our gear was taken 24 hours before we left and even then, the list differs slightly from the stuff in that picture.

everything was a great idea, so we bought it all.
This may or may not explain why our gear budget is so high and why we often look at each other and our gear, wondering what the hell we are doing. We never owned any of these things before the trip (except some of the clothes). Jeremy hadn’t been backpacking in years and in the past he had either rented or borrowed gear – but those aren’t options for a whole year of travel. Eva, on the other hand, had never gone camping at all. Thus, we had plenty of jeans and very little “travel-ready” gear.

That said, we hope to really test the hell out of everything we bought and let you guys know what we think. Below is the starting list that we arrived in Mexico with. This may be the Winnebago list of around the world travel.

North Face Primero 70 liter backpack
REI backpack duffel (for airplanes, buses or trains)
Grand Trunk silk sleep sack
REI self-inflating pillow
REI X-Large pack towels
Petzel LED headlamp
Marmot Oracle rain jacket
North Face button-up long sleeve shirt
North Face TKA100 fleece
Icebreaker 200 weight merino wool long sleeve t-shirt
3 short sleeved t-shirts (all cotton because the comforts of home need a win somewhere)
Lululemon Endeavor travel pants (thin and light but still cut well)
North Face convertible travel pant
J.Crew madras short
Board short (don’t own a swimsuit so will have to do for now)
underwear (hate the things but might need them for decency)
5 Smartwool wool short socks
North Face Prophecy hiking shoe
ECCO Yucatan sandal
2 prescription glasses 1 prescription sunglass (blind without them)
Goorin hat
Stylish leather wristband (hidden wallet for fashionable paranoia)

Deuter Futura Pro 42 liter backpack (very comfortable AirComfort design, clever design integrates rain cover/pack duffel)
Grand Trunk silk sleep sack
Therma-Rest stuff sack pillow
REI X-Large pack towels
Princeton Tech LED headlamp
REI Element rain jacket
North Face button-up long sleeve shirt
North Face TKA100 fleece
Icebreaker 200 weight merino wool long sleeve t-shirt (stays less smelly than Capelline and natural fibers feel much nicer on)
3 short sleeve t-shirts
long sleeve t-shirt
2 tank tops
Lucy travel pant
Hardtail long yoga pant (I prefer these stretchy comfy things on planes and trains)
North Face convertible pant (rolls up to capris — women’s zip-off pants need to be tailored a lot better to fit scrawny girls like me)
Nike yoga shorts
Abercrombie canvas shorts
Gap madras shorts
1 bikini top and 2 bikini bottoms (mix and match for variety)
7 panties
Thin leggings (substitute for long underwear)
5 Smartwool wool socks
REI sock liner
Merrell Siren Sport hiking shoe
Chaco sandal (not sure how it fits around the toe yet, may not work)
1 pair of prescription glasses and 1 pair of sunglasses
Goorin hat (you’ll see our hats in our pictures, don’t worry)
Stylish leather wristband

REI Document Wallet
Passports with extra pages (didn’t know they could do that until this trip? Typically free, but we paid $60 each for expedited service)
8 Extra passport pictures each (for visas, etc)
International and Inter-American driver’s license ($15 each at any AAA)
American driver’s licenses (and illegal laminated copies we made)
Immunization cards
Printed itinerary (so we can remember our own schedule)
Frequent flyer cards
Hostel International discount cards ($28 each)
Flickr/Moo photo business cards (with our blog address)
Emergency Cash (approx $200 American dollars stashed in various hidden places)
Electronic copies of everything online

Shared Equipment
Pacsafe 200 retractable lock (has made us feel safer but that may just feed the paranoia that everyone wants to rob us)
Rubber doorstop (to stop them breaking into our room. Yep, paranoia)
Eagle Creek hidden pocket (nuff said about paranoia for now)
Drain stopper
Flexo-Line laundry line
Campsuds soap
Tide stain pen
Leather bound journal
3 pens and a sharpie
Glue stick pen
4 fiction books (2 each, we will trade this out somewhere in the world)
Inca guide book and Mexico guide book (can’t carry a guide book for every country so we buy ahead every few countries)
Deck of cards and Uno deck

2 iPods and 1 Touch with 2 headphones (probably overkill but we have an Apple addiction)
Apple Macbook 2.4 ghz white laptop (see above)
InCase neoprene laptop sleeve
Apple laptop charger brick
2 USB cables and Apple iPod wall charger brick
7ft ethernet cable
5 blank DVDs
1Gb thumbdrive
REI 4 power adapter plugs
Unlocked cell phone and cell phone charger

Photo Gear
Small Domke camera bag (packs a ton of stuff while looking shockingly unlike a camera bag)
Canon 30D camera (a heavy SLR but worth it)
18-270mm Tamron lens plus Hoya UV filter
11-16mm Tokina lens plus Hoya UV filter
50mm Canon lens plus Hoya UV filter
2 Canon batteries plus battery charger
2 CF 2Gb memory cards
Kingston flash card reader
Giotto rocket air blower
Canon Power Shot SD 750 camera (small point and shoot, also takes video)
Canon Power Shot case and charger
1 SD 1Gb memory card

Eagle Creek Koala large hanging toiletry bag
5 ounce shampoo plus conditioner
3 ounce dandruff shampoo
5 ounce body wash
1 small travel scrubby
5.8 ounce toothpaste
2 toothbrushes plus toothbrush caps
3 ounce body lotion
5 ounce Origins Checks and Balances face wash
5 ounce Origins A Perfect World liquid moisturizer
5 ounce Origins Blade Runner shaving cream
1.7 ounce Origins Firefighter aftershave
Razor plus 4 spare blades
3 ounce Rusk pomade/gel hair product (because vanity dies hard)
2.7 ounce deodorant/antiperspirant
7 sets of contacts
4 ounce saline solution
Travel container of q-tips
Nail clipper
2 emery boards
2 packs wet wipes
Handful of feminine products
Bare Escentials Mineral Veil plus brush
Sephora eye liner
Sephora mascara
Small container cream blush
Small container acne cream
bag of barrettes and hair bands
3 ounce SPF 70 (covers the tattoos)
3 ounce SPF 55 (because we are really white at the beginning of this trip)
5 ounce SPF 30 (for when we get tanned enough to be safe)
3 ounce aloe (for when we get burned despite the above precaution, already used…)
2 ounce Ultrathon 34% deet bug repellant (Please send more! bugs everywhere! Eva legs covered in red polka dots)
2.5 ounce REI Jungle Juice 98% deet bug repellant (this high concentration is dangerous, please don’t melt bags or environment with this)
3 1-ounce Purell hand sanitizers
1/2 roll of toilet paper (see: comforts of home)

90 Cipro antibiotic (these antibiotics are great for everything from traveler’s diarrhea to bad infections but, as you can see, we may have overpacked)
36 Azithromycin antibiotic
8 Enterol antibiotic
28 Levaquin antibiotic (the mother of all antibiotics)
120 Acetazolamid altitude sickness pills (for Peru)
72 Malarone anti-malarial
8 Dayquil
6 Nyquil
8 tylenol chest congestion
120 Walitin 1-a-day allergy pills (because allergies suck and who knows where else we can get these)
3 Benadryl antihistamines (3? Who knows why?)
100 ibuprofen
32 Meclizine motion sickness pills
7 Uristat
60 Pepto-Bismol
14 laxatives (never underestimate foreign food)
16 Natural Hydration vitamin plus electrolyte rehydration tabs
20 zinc cold remedy
20 melatonin
10 sets earplugs
Big handful of multivitamins

First-Aid manual (for when we play doctor, ha ha…)
1 ounce first aid antibiotic gel
1 ounce hydrocortisone
33 band-aids of various sizes and 5 butterfly closures
2 rolls of stretch gauze
4 gauze pads
roll of tape
2 moleskins
4 antiseptic towelettes
2 iodine prep pads
Krazy Glue (yep, it fixes stuff and even glues your skin back together when you do something dumb)
10 Ativan anti-anxiety pills (to calm down if we do something really dumb)
3 one time use thermometers (totally stole these from my Doctor)
5 safety pins
Emery Board
Swiss Army knife
Eye drops
2 tampons
4 sets of footwarmers (Eva can be a little wussy about the cold)
1.4 ounce PowerBar Gel

Osprey Helix daypack (with laptop protection section, has been great!)
Eagle Creek large 2 sided packing cube (packing cubes have made packing/unpacking the backpacks much easier)
2 Eagle Creek medium 2 sided packing cubes
Eagle Creek medium packing cube
3 Eagle Creek medium zipper pouches
Outdoor Research medium compression sack (these and the bags below are spares for whenever we might expand our equipment/clothes or laundry)
Outdoor Research small compression sack
3 Outdoor Research mesh ditty bags (2L, 4L and 6L)
2 Ziploc giant bags
5 Ziplock quart bags

Amazingly, this all fits into two backpacks and weighs about 25-30 pounds per bag.

We have a feeling we are way over-prepared…but what should we have left at home?


  1. Gillian says:
    March 29, 2009

    Thanks guys. We just put our packing list together this weekend – there were a couple of things on here we had forgotten.


  2. brian from says:
    March 30, 2009

    That is alot of stuff. I beg you not to take your iPods. One more thing to lose and one more thing to find a outlet to charge from. Someone is listening to my 160GB iPod right now somewhere in Southeast Asia.

    The rule is: Take half of the stuff you listed and double the amount of money. All the medications, you’re going to be super screened at the airport. You can get all of that stuff on the road. In fact anything you can get on the road you leave home. The excess weight will start to be a real burden.


  3. Geoff says:
    March 31, 2009

    I shouldn´t have read this. I feel underpacked now!

    I have to disagree with Brian about the iPods: I couldn´t survive a year without my music. I even took two just in case one gets nicked or breaks!


    • Team Rees says:
      March 31, 2009

      Underpacked!? No way! We’d be just fine without some of this bulk. I bet we could buy a lot of it on the road. However, I will say that it all fits comfortably in our 70L and 42L packs, so I’m not too upset about it. The iPods are nice to have, granted we don’t use them most places, they are nice en route (buses, planes) we could probably do without, but the nanos are pretty light. The Touch is too flashy to use in South America, but in Europe it’s nice to have a little handy internet in your pocket when you track down wifi. We might send it home, I agree that it would be more sad to have it stolen than to not bring it at all. But I like the nanos, I’m sticking to it. It would be a long long year without my music!


  4. corinne mauri says:
    April 22, 2009

    Do you easily find a place to hook up to use your computer/internet/in some of the places you go…like in mexico?
    I’m sure most cheap hotels you stay in will not have internet connections.
    Just curious, how you keep your journal going…


  5. FAPORT International says:
    May 17, 2009

    i think it’s a complete collection for men…


  6. Kristina says:
    May 21, 2009

    It may look like a lot, but it’s not. I think you did well but only time will tell. It looks about the same as what my husband and I packed for our RTW 10 years ago. We ended up sending some stuff home and buying new stuff along the way. The hardest part (for me, the shoe girl) was having only 1 pair of boots and 1 pair sandals the entire time.

    Looking forward to reading more and following along.


  7. johnstevens says:
    June 22, 2009

    This is funny. A good distraction from the days work.


  8. MaryAnn Zugelder says:
    November 5, 2009

    Dear Team Reese,
    It is my guilty pleasure to read about your trip! I went backpacking four months in Europe and Egypt in 1979. I do not remember bringing that much stuff and just before skiing in Zermatt, I gave 1/2 of my clothing to a girl who had her pack stolen. I also was happy that I did not take a sleeping bag, but I bought one earlier in my planning.
    I restored an Airstream trailer in early 2004 and took it 1,600 miles by Lake Superior and then 9,000 miles from Detroit to Belmont. Isn’t travel great! I looked at the year around fare “back in the day” but did not have the time. I love following you around!
    Our moms know each other from the Redwood City Y.
    I hope to meet up with you in person someday. My love for your generosity in sharing your trip with me,
    MaryAnn Zugelder


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