Some of my most frequently asked questions are to do with the contents of my backpack — what do you pack when you’re travelling forever? How do you fit all of that stuff into a bag so small? Do you ever get bored of wearing the same clothes? Should I be carrying a mattress around Southeast Asia (yes, I was actually asked this once!)?

I try to update my packing list every year, partly because I know that you find it useful to see what I’m travelling with, and partly because I find it fascinating to see how my packing style has evolved over the years. Each year has had a theme.

The theme for my first year was newbie traveller who didn’t have a clue

Before I set off I sat and devoured hundreds of packing lists online, making notes of all the key points. I’d need to pack light, I’d need to make sure that all of my clothes went with each other, I’d need a money belt, duct tape, a year’s worth of anti-malarial tablets, dozens of padlocks and even an umbrella.

I decided what to take based on what had worked for other people, without giving any thought as to what I’d actually like to bring.

The theme for my second year was backpacking cliche who’s grown a little more sensible.

After travelling for a year, I had a much better idea of what worked for me. I threw out the ugly khaki clothes and replaced them with colourful clothes I’d actually enjoy wearing. The amount of clothes I was carrying doubled in size, even as I threw out everything I mentioned above.

A year in and I had never worn a money belt, never found a use for duct tape. I’d yet to take a single anti-malarial tablet, never used a padlock and obviously the umbrella had to go.

In my second year of travel, I also was hippie-fied in Southeast Asia and ended up with a wardrobe of hippie pants and singlets and all kinds of backpacking cliches.

And now, for my third year, I denote the theme to be comfort.

After two years of travel, I’m leaning towards comfort and I now carry many things I’ve missed from home. I have even more clothes, I bought a phone. I carry both books and a Kindle. I’m even carrying two dresses and two pairs of jeans. There is less hippie cliche clothing items in my backpack and I mostly carry similar clothing to what I used to wear back home.

And now, time for something new! Rather than just write out out a long list of everything I carry, I decided to record my very first video for Never Ending Footsteps so that I could show you the contents of my backpack.

I’m hoping you’ll find this a helpful resource if you’re planning on long-term travel in the future. I mention every single item I travel with, the pros and cons, what I threw out and what I’ll be keeping forever.


Here’s the list of every item mentioned in the video.


  • Five short-sleeved t-shirts
  • Three vest tops
  • Three strap tops
  • One hiking top
  • One long-sleeved top
  • One hoodie
  • Two dresses
  • One pair of jeans
  • Denim 3/4 lengths
  • Two pairs of hippie pants
  • Two pairs of shorts
  • One pair of denim shorts
  • One rain jacket
  • One scarf/shawl/sarong
  • Three bikinis
  • One pair of flip-flops
  • One pair of hiking boots
  • One pair of Vibrams


  • Six month supply of contact lenses
  • Hair straighteners
  • One comb
  • Eyeshadow palette
  • Eyelash curlers
  • Mascara
  • Tweezers
  • A bazillion hair ties
  • Shower gel
  • Dry shampoo
  • Solid shampoo bar
  • Deodorant
  • Razor blades
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss


Travel Technology


  • Water bottle
  • Journal
  • A book
  • A jar of Vegemite

And that’s everything!

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you buy anything I recommend through Never Ending Footsteps, I receive a small amount of money, at no extra cost to you. It’s a discreet way of helping me fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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