Gear for a Year 8.1.16

I am traveling with a 40L backpack, 18L daypack, and a cross-body bag. Both packs are from REI and all of my gear is within regulation size for airline carry-on baggage.

My hunch is that I overpacked toiletries  and first aid items. Getting sick while traveling solo is a rough combination though, so having medications when I need them should provide a small amount of comfort.

I have a few pieces of clothing with wicking properties. Most of my wardrobe is regular clothing from Banana Republic, Athleta, Nordstrom and Macy’s. No zip-off, quick-dry, bottoms or clothes with excessive pockets in this wardrobe!

As I add and subtract items from the bag, I’ll share updates. What do you think I will subtract first?

2 dresses (1 short, 1 long)
1 jeans
1 linen pants
1 leggings
1 short
2 athletic shorts

2 socks
1 Smart Wool winter socks (not pictured)
2 swim suits
6 unmentionables
2 bras
2 sports bras

1 scarf
1 bandana
2 T-shirts (black, grey)
1 sleeveless shirt
2 tank tops
1 button down
1 long sleeve

1 Havaianas
1 Birkenstock Gizeh
1 Nike tennis shoe
1 Keen

SPF 50 Sunscreen, Bug repellant, Aloe, Lotion, Deodorant, Eye glass cleaner, Eye drops, Baby powder, Floss, Razors, Toothbrush, comb, Hand sanitizer, Nail clippers, Tweezers, Vaseline, Duct tape, Ziplock bags, Chapstick, Hair binders, Headband, Matches, Retainers, Lush soap bars (laundry, body, hair), Rehydration salts, Anti-malarials (Doxy), Cippro, Band-aids, Alcohol swabs, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Sudafed, Imodium, Bacitracin, Cortisone

13” Mac Book, Sony A6000 camera, Kindle, iPhone SE, Memory card, Power stripAdapters, Camera battery & charger, Energi 6K smart charger 

Poncho, Baseball hat, Powerbars, Rain coat, Eye mask, Cross-body bag, 250ml water bottle, Clothes line, Sink stopper, Money belt, Coin purse, Travel towels, Dry bag, Sharpies, Pens, Moleskin journal, Moleskin small notebook, RMB (Chinese $$$), Yellow Fever vaccinations, Passport, Passport photos, Watch, Headlamp (not pictured), Lock (not pictured)


Helpful resources:

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Jacquelyn says:

    You’re a strong woman, Sarah! I’d have to put that 40L on wheels to save my back but then I’ve got a few years on you! Not sure what you’ll get rid of first, though, maybe mail weather appropriate items ahead you??? You have a year, so let’s see what happens along the way. Will be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theyearofsarahjoy says:

      I’m hoping all the weather is in the 60-90 degree range. You know, the good life! 😉 Thanks for the idea!


  2. Kay says:

    Wow. Hope you are feeling strong!! That is an impressive list. Looks like you are well prepared. As Jacqueline said – Mailing items ahead (like in the book “Wild”) might be a good idea. Excited for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theyearofsarahjoy says:

      I may just give that a try!


  3. R Beigle says:

    You got all of that in two backpacks. Amazing. Thinking of you. Have a safe wonderful trip. Love, Roselyn

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Trinity says:

    You are so ready! I think you have packed wisely. The only extra thing I can point out is that you can do without eyeglass cleaner. Water and soap works equally well so maybe that will be the first thing you ditch?

    Bandanas are super useful. I am glad you are bringing one. I have used it as a towel, napkin, scarf, headband and much more!


    1. theyearofsarahjoy says:

      Great feedback. Removed. Thanks! Hope you spotted a familiar envelope too 🙂


  5. Edith Lange says:

    you are super organized sarah ! life will lead you in all directions when you are organized !!!

    my love and good wishes now and ever !!!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lori Pokela says:

    Lady, you are so amazing. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes you! I’m guessing the Havaianas go fairly quickly, the other three pairs of shoes will serve their purpose 🙂 Sending positive vibes your way, my love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theyearofsarahjoy says:

      You’re on Lori – we’ll see! And, thanks.


  7. Seetha says:

    My first comment here…. My best wishes, just looking at all your preparations I feel as if I am taking this trip. Thank you for sharing. 40L, that is a lot, especially if you are carrying it around… have you been practicing, does your bag has wheels to pull around if you chose to? You are well prepared, and shows you have put a lot of thought into it… at the end of the journey it would be interesting to see if you come back with something that never used 🙂 keep track.
    Beijing the first landing.. do you know mandarin, do you know anyone there, do you have your hotels booked? Or is this true shoe string budget where you plan to figure out as you move. Do you know how long you are in China. Just before I got pregnant, I had put in 3+ week long trip to China, booked tickets and hotels… it was going to be a whirlwind, but then cancelled everything and postponed all travelling to some later day. How long you will be in China? Will visit the blog and see for update, but as you can tell I am super excited for you, I wish you a safe and memorable journey.


    1. theyearofsarahjoy says:

      Hi Seetha! No wheels + no practice, I’m winging it! The bag won’t weigh more than 30 lbs. I bet your kids are heavier! No Mandarin but I will learn a few phrases. My first and second hostels are booked but the rest I’ll reserve from the road. I’ll be in China until about Sept. 15. THANK YOU for following and sharing your thoughts questions. Glad we’ll be in contact!


  8. Polina says:

    Hi Sarah, thanks for sharing your trip on this blog! I am looking forward to traveling vicariously through you 🙂 I am currently packing for a 2 week trip, so I read this post with lots of interest! Just a couple of notes to add – are poncho and rain coat serving the same purpose? I would ditch one of the two. I would also add Benadryl just in case, even if it’s a small pack of a few tablets – it really helped me last summer when I had a bad reaction to a bug bite.
    Good luck with your travel!!


    1. theyearofsarahjoy says:

      Hi Polina! Enjoy your 2-wk trip. Packing lists are a fun challenge. Good call on the poncho vs. rain coat. One will work for a bag cover too. Benadryl is the one item I had on my purchase list and then didn’t follow through with. We will see. Great thoughts and feedback! Thanks. Well wishes to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s