Packing List

Packing List


It is been a long time since I have published a packing list. For that matter, it’s been a long time since I’ve even talked to you about what I take on a trip. So as I begin packing for my Tibet to Kathmandu Overland Workshop, I thought it would be good to share with you the gear I’m taking and this might give you some insight into how I pack. Along the way, I’ll share with you a couple of handy things that I have found. One of those things is the iPhone app called “Packing Pro”. You can find the full review of it HERE.

Below is the list that I made in Packing Pro and then exported via email. This is a great way to share your packing list. Especially, if like me, you lead tours or workshops and often are asked what to pack. Be advised that some, many of the objects I pack are unique to me. i.e. pipe tobacco

This list is always in transition. Even whilst working on this post I added and deleted a few items. If you see any glaring errors feel free to point them out. I think this is a pretty comprehensive list. Even though it looks huge, most of the items are very small and light weight. But I am still holding my breath on the weight. Packing Pro gives the option to add a weight to each item and then it will tally the weight for you. A very cool option, but one I haven’t taken the time to use. I just have not found the time to sit and weigh each (major) item.


OK, here is the fun part! I will be giving away four copies of the app Packing Pro for the iPhone. All you have to do is tell us in the comments below what is the most indispensable item you take along with you when you travel. I will then choose four comments at random and e-mail you the license ( so be sure to include your e-mail address). I will announce the winner next Friday, the day before I take off on my trip.

So here is my packing list:


To Do (pre-trip)

( ) (general prep) buy air ticket  x 1 –> E-ticket
( ) (general prep) get visa  x 1
( ) (general prep) arrange accommodations  x 1
( ) (general prep) research for trip  x 1
( ) (general prep) Check on type of plug adapters  x 1
( ) (equipment prep) get plug adapter(s)  x 1 –> If needed
( ) (equipment prep) download GPS Maps  x 1
( ) (equipment prep) prep digital camera  x 1
( ) (equipment prep) recharge camera batteries  x 12
( ) (physical prep) get hair cut  x 1
( ) (physical prep) prep medical prescriptions  x 1


( ) (luggage) Think Tank MM Wired Up x 1
( ) (luggage) Think Tank Airport Int’l x 1
( ) (luggage) large Delsey Duffel x 1
( ) (documents) passport  x 1 –> W/ Think Tank Passport Cover
( ) (documents) frequent flyer card  x 1
( ) (documents) tickets (plane)  x 1
( ) (documents) photocopies  x 1
( ) (documents) contact info  x 1
( ) (money) cash  x 1 –> $300
( ) (money) credit card  x 2
( ) (money) ATM card  x 2
( ) (luggage) wallet  x 1
( ) (documents) drivers license  x 1
( ) (documents) passport photos  x 2
( ) (documents) press ID x 1
( ) (documents) business card  x 1
( ) (luggage) packing cubes x 1
( ) (luggage) glasses case  x 1


( ) (pants) long pants (jeans)  x 2
( ) (shirts) long sleeve shirt (light)  x 4
( ) (shirts) short sleeve shirt  x 4
( ) (shirts) T-shirt  x 3
( ) (socks) hiking socks  x 5
( ) (underwear) Scottevest boxers x 4
( ) (underwear) thermal top  x 3
( ) (underwear) thermal bottoms  x 2
( ) (beachwear) flip flops  x 1


( ) (coats) rain shell  x 1
( ) (coats) Fleece  x 1
( ) (jackets) Scottevest vest x 1
( ) (gloves) winter gloves  x 1
( ) (shoes) flip flops  x 1
( ) (shoes) Keens sandal   x 1
( ) (shoes) Keens hiking boots x 1
( ) (misc.) eye mask  x 1
( ) (misc.) ear plugs  x 4
( ) (misc.) extra glasses  x 1
( ) (misc.) reading glasses  x 1
( ) (misc.) glasses case  x 1
( ) (misc.) glasses  x 2
( ) (misc.) packable umbrella/reflector  x 1
( ) (hats) winter hat  x 1
( ) (hats) fedora x 1
( ) (hats) Buff x 1
( ) (hats) baseball cap  x 1
( ) (misc.) luggage scale  x 1


( ) (for hair) shampoo  x 1
( ) (for body) razor  x 1
( ) (for body) soap  x 1
( ) (for body) soap box/bag  x 1
( ) (for body) deodorant  x 1
( ) (for body) talcum powder  x 1
( ) (for mouth) toothpaste  x 1
( ) (for mouth) toothbrush  x 1
( ) (for mouth) dental floss  x 1
( ) (for mouth) chap stick  x 1
( ) (for mouth) mouthwash  x 1


( ) (creams) anti-bacterial  x 1
( ) (creams) sunburn  x 1
( ) (bandages) Band-Aids  x 1
( ) (bandages) Q-tips  x 1
( ) (prevention) sunscreen  x 1
( ) (prevention) bug spray  x 1
( ) (pills) ibuprofen x 20
( ) (pills) metadate  x 5
( ) (pills) ciprofloxin   x 5
( ) (pills) baby aspirin   x 14
( ) (pills) melatontin  x 14
( ) (pills) simvastatin  x 14


( ) (utility) iPhone  x 1
( ) (utility) iPhone USB cable  x 1
( ) (utility) flashlight  x 1
( ) (utility) reading light  x 1
( ) (utility) electrical adapter  x 4
( ) (utility) plug converter  x 1
( ) (utility) recharger  x 1
( ) (recreation) headphones  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) 5d MK2  x 2
( ) (photo equipment) lens 50 1.2  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) lens 16-35 2.8  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) lens 85 1.2  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) lens 70-200 2.8  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) camera battery  x 4
( ) (photo equipment) sensor swabs  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) mini tripod  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) CF Cards  x 5
( ) (photo equipment) CF card reader  x 1
( ) (utility) power strip  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) Gorrila Pod  x 1
( ) (utility) OWC 250gb backup drives  x 2
( ) (photo equipment) cable for backup drives  x 2
( ) (photo equipment) 580 ex flash  x 1
( ) (photo equipment) Tripod  x 1 –> Digipod A2830 [1. I needed to substitute a tripod that I loaned my buddy Nate for a trip to India. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money as I already owned a nice Gitzo tripod. But, I also figured, if I’m going to get another tripod I want to get a taller and heftier one. The Digipod A2830 is Chinese brand aluminum tripod. It’s a little heavier than I wanted, at 5lbs. However, it is just the height I wanted and the finishing is quite nice. With my Acratech ball head and the center column lowered it stands exactly 5 feet tall. Once I put the camera body on, the eyepiece of my 5D MKII is level with my eye. All this for only… are you ready..$120.00!]
( ) (photo equipment) 1Ds MKIII  x 1
( ) (utility) headlamp  x 1
( ) (utility) eneloop AAA batteries  x 8
( ) (audio equipment) hand mic  x 1
( ) (audio equipment) lav mic  x 1
( ) (audio equipment) Sony PCM D50 recorder  x 1
( ) (audio equipment) mic cable  x 1


( ) (laundry) dirty clothes bag  x 1
( ) (books) pen  x 3
( ) (books) book  x 1
( ) (misc.) padlock  x 3
( ) (misc.) plastic bags  x 5
( ) (misc.) Ziplock bags  x 10
( ) (misc.) sewing kit  x 1
( ) (misc.) cable lock  x 1
( ) (misc.) lighter  x 1
( ) (misc.) pipe  x 4
( ) (misc.) pipe tobacco  x 3
( ) (misc.) pipe cleaners  x 1
( ) (misc.) pipe tamp  x 1

Ths list exported via Packing Pro for the iPhone.
iTunes: Packing Pro

FaceBook Comments


About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.


  1. danmur

    LED Head Lamp for me. I have a really small, compact one and it comes it really handy when traveling. Especially on camping/travel excursions.

    Great article thanks for posting!!

  2. Olof Fredrikze

    I never leave for a trip without a few lightweight waterproof bags. Useful for keeping things (like cameras) dry, keeping wet clothes apart from the rest and even for carrying water if needed. is my brand of choice but there are more brands…

  3. Anil

    My iPhone, of course. I don’t even go to the bathroom without it. Plus, it’s got two cameras. No brainer – gotta have my iPhone.

    • Matt Brandon

      Maybe I missed something on my iPhone. Where is the second camera?

      • Anil

        Hi Matt, the iPhone 4 has one camera in the front and one in the back.
        Front cam is designed for facetime, chat, self portraits, etc.

        • Matt Brandon

          Doh! Yeah, I just haven’t upgraded. Still slumming it with only one camera…on the phone. 😉

  4. Bertrand GILLIS

    My passport of course 😉
    Without it I can’t even travel !

    Thanks for this great giveaway and for sharing your packing list.

  5. Rob

    Baby wipes are always handy to to get refreshed when no shower is in sight.

  6. Tod

    The most indispensable item for me is my camera. 🙂

  7. Mgmorse

    I like to bring a plastic sheet; it can be a ground cloth or a layer of protection if I’m sleeping on a sketchy mattress.

    • Matt Brandon

      So you also pack a sheet? Things will start to get complicated and heavy. Ever since I was a kid – who wet the bed and always had plastic or rubber under my sheets, I have never been able to sleep on plastic!! 😛

  8. Matea Michelangeli

    I love this app! Enjoy Tibet, it is a great place…

    • Matt Brandon

      So you have it and don’t need a license?

  9. CathyTopping

    You know…while I love that idea in theory, I know that I would make the list, even print the list (or start to fill it out virtually), and then last minute throw it all to the wind and just throw stuff in my bag.

    My excuse? I’m a girl…anything forgotten is a golden opportunity for buying something new.

    (ps. that is a looooong list. kudos for being so organised!)

    • Matt Brandon

      I know the feeling. One way I have gotten around that is to start packing earlier. Usually when I start tossing stuff into my bag is is because it is last minute and I just have to grab and go! I have found there are way too many chances at leaving stuff…important stuff behind that way.

      BTW: Did you really just write, My excuse? I’m a girl…”?! Wow, you got guts!

      • CathyTopping

        I know…that’s why I also like lists. I just sometimes find it hard to be disciplined with them, and then I just have…moments.

        For example, last weekend I went flying off, in my car with bundles of papers (including the brief and the shot list and my list of gear), my camera bag with all necessary accessories (as ticked off on the list), and a distracted headful of ideas and plans.

        In the whirlwind of organisation, I left my camera on the table at home.

        Oh yes!

        Luckily it was only a 30 minute drive back home to get it.

        Alright…substitute ‘girl’ for ‘magpie’. I like collecting things. Any old excuse…

        • Matt Brandon

          lol! You’re as ADHD as I am. Maybe you need to put Metadate on your list as well. 😉

          • CathyTopping

            That will only work if I focus on the list. Vicious circle! 🙂

    • Brad

      Reminds me of my fishing excursions as a kid. We would leave very early in the morning and always forgot something, so my brother made a detailed checklist. Then we realized we needed a sign to remind us to CHECK the checklist!

  10. Jon & Jerri Smith

    Never go without my computer and electrical adapters

  11. Jnjsmithster

    And yeah, thanks for the list. I keep one for short trips and one for long trips. They save a lot of headaches. I hate it when I have to pack last minute. You did mention a couple of things I don’t have on my current list!

  12. Brad

    Matt- Reading this helped remind me how easy it is to overlook something when packing, especially one of those smaller items that you *usually* keep in your gear bag. Too hard naming the most indispensable item I take, but a few key items that were not on your list (or I missed them): multipurpose USB charger/battery pack, a small notepad, and my favorite travel shirt.

    BTW, can Packit Pro also import lists?

    • Matt Brandon

      It can import list created from other Packing Pro users. The author wrote me and said he is working on more:

      “At some point, I plan to post more sample lists on my site for free download/import into the app. I’m also working on a big UI redesign for my next update, and CSV import/export support after that. If you have advice, or anything on your wish list, feel free to tell me! Thanks again!”

      So he is open to suggestions. Feel free to make them here.

  13. Ramesh Ramakrishnan Iyer

    curious u have a statin in your list? – is that something for your lipids?

    • Matt Brandon

      Welcome to the site Ramesh. It is for Colesteral.

  14. Rad Deverala

    Aside from the usual gadgets & personal stuff, probably the most indispensable item or loyal companion during my travels is a stuffed toy, nicknamed TheDog. I had the idea as my alternative to the Danbo ( box figure) and also serves as water, dust, smudge wiper.

    • Matt Brandon

      Rad- that Has got to be one of the oddest thing I’ve ever heard of in a packing list for an adult – a stuffed puppy. And this coming from a man who uses the name Bushido for Twitter. lol!

      • Rad Deverala

        Indeed. But it really is useful. Also it doubles as a pillow and a beanbag. LOL

  15. Andy Wilson

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the list. I don’t need the app as I’m an android guy (and have a similar app for that) but my one indispensible is a photo of the wife and kids (though I prefer to travel with the real deal 🙂 )

  16. Manoj Prajwal

    I wouldn’t think of going anywhere without my Swiss Army knife. it has gotten me out of more scrapes than anything else. 🙂

    • Matt Brandon

      I agree. I have used mine to clean out shower heads full of calcium in cheap hotels, fix backpacks and open Palmelos!

  17. Msbytes

    I like to make an extra copy of all my important documentation and upload it to Dropbox. In the event ANYTHING goes wrong, I have access to all paperwork at the snap of my fingers.

    • Matt Brandon

      Msbytes – This is a good idea. I do something similar to this. I email a copy of my passport and visa page to myself. I then leave it on the server and if I need it, I can always find it at any internet cafe in my Gmail account.

  18. GabrielaLaVela

    My most indispensible item: a list!

    • Matt Brandon

      Gabriela – Welcome to the blog! List are indeed a great help. Next Friday when I announce the winners I will be posting this list as a file you can upload to a copy of Packing Pro.

  19. Chris Plante

    You forgot TOILET PAPER! Remove the inner card board tube>squish the roll down a bit>insert into zip lock back>use rubber band to further compact the roll over the zip lock.

    Ya never know when you might have to go but don’t have any change for the toilet attendant. Trust me, I know. It was painful.

  20. kl

    Definitely my ipod touch – with downloaded maps, itinerary, hotel, plane and restaurant confirmations, skype, digital travel books, etc

  21. Tony Cece

    This is quite a list. I’d love to see a photo of all your luggage once it is fully packed.

  22. laura☆ann

    Toothbrush — I can’t survive without the toothbrush. Almost as essential as the camera… almost.

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