Packing Update Thus Far

Here is an update to my previous packing guide for South America.

There are the things I brought, and the things I wish I brought…


Almost two weeks into my trip, and I’m already wishing I could make edits to my backpack contents, something I wrote about in a previous post. Below you’ll find my fantasy packing list.


  • 4-5 tank tops
  • 4 t-shirts (some printed/fashion to wear socially)
  • 3 long sleeved shirts
  • 2 sweatshirts, 1 cardigan
  • 1 thin rain jacket
  • 3 pairs leggings (why did I pack so many?? Did I think I would be doing yoga the whole time?)
  • AT LEAST ONE PAIR OF JEANS (one backpacker blog insisted that jeans were useless cargo to have in South America, and I took him at his word. But I wished I had a pair when going out at night in cities like Quito, where the temperature drops when the sun does.)
  • 1 pair comfy cotton pants (instead of flannel pajamas)- wishing I brought my fashionable cotton harem pants to lounge around in.
  • 1 pair transformer cargo pants
  • 3-4 pairs shorts (2 comfy and able to get wet, 2 jeans)
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 skirt, 1 sundress (happy with these)
  • 3 sports bras, 1 good VS sports bra
  • 10 pairs underwear (moisture wicking, fast dry, etc)
  • 2 pairs flip flops; perhaps even 1 flip flop and 1 comfy gladiator sandals
  • 1 pair hiking boots (wore these everyday in Quito- not fashionable, but other backpackers know you mean business)

I’m pretty pleased with my essentials. I haven’t gotten around to using everything in the list, such as the sink plug (because most hostels offer laundry services) and my first aid kit (because I haven’t gotten too cut up yet), but I have faith that I will get around to all of my supplies. So far, I am most thankful for my hand sanitzer, my water filtration system, and my ibuprofen.

I briefly wished that I had brought some antibiotics after catching a case of strep throat that is running rampant at the hostel I am working at now, but if you’re good at self diagnosing, it is fairly easy to acquire antibiotics at the pharmacy without a prescription.

Hope this helps any potential travelers! As my trip expands, I’ll make sure to update this list some more.


by Rebecca Bellan