Hers… Ultimate South America Packing List

Anties packing

Every time I think about packing for our seven-month trip to South America I am filled with dread. I have never been the best at packing light and this will be my biggest challenge yet. Pete also has more coats than most of my girlfriends put together (P: woefully accurate) and so this will no doubt tricky for him too as he is limited to one (extremely fetching) anorak… (OI!)

We have decided to put together a comprehensive packing list for both men and women as this will no doubt vary hugely between the sexes…

For Her –


  • Nevis Extreme 65 Litre Rucksack (attached 15 Litre day sack) – very light, sturdy and zips all the way around. This was a massive priority for me when buying a new bag, I hate rummaging around in conventional backpacks
  • Light Sleeping bag 
  • Head Torch with extra AAA batteries
  • Padlocks X3
  • Travel towel – I’ve always resisted these before but decided to give them a go for this particular trip to save space
  • Travel Adaptor
  • Ear plugs and eye mask


  • 10X knickers
  • 6X pairs of trainer socks and 2X pairs of walking socks
  • 2X bras and 2X sports bra
  • 1X bed shorts and t-shirt
  • 1X bikini
  • 1X thermal top
  • 1X pair of leggings
  • 2X shorts
  • 2X light-weight trousers
  • 1X woolly hat and pair of small gloves
  • 1X head band
  • 1X cap/ or sun hat
  • 1X hoodie or fleece
  • 1X cardigan (I would go with a black one which goes with everything)
  • 2X dresses
  • 6X tops – three or four for walking and a couple of nice ones for evenings
  • 1X pashmina (useful if you need to cover shoulders in temples)
  • 1X sarong (useful for the beach instead of using the travel towel)
  • 1X anorak
  • 1X hooded warm down jacket which rolls up small


  • 1X comfy walking boots (make sure you wear them in before your trip)
  • 1X Converse / everyday trainers
  • 1X flip flops
  • 1X sandals (a nice pair to wear in the evenings)


  • Sun cream (I usually go for factor 30 and a small bottle of factor 50 for my face)
  • Stick lip balm
  • Razor
  • Toothbrush in a case
  • Small travel sized mouthwash
  • Face wipes
  • Face moisturizer
  • One nail varnish
  • Make up (concealer/bronzer and small brush/ mascara/ eye-liner)
  • Small hairbrush
  • Nail scissors
  • Compact mirror
  • Hair ties
  • Tweezers
  • Tissues
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizor
  • Roll-on deodrant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body moistrizer

General First-Aid

  • Mosquito repellent – I’ve decided to go for the natural option, minus deet, Incognito
  • Re-hydration sachets
  • X6 Cystitis sachets if you are prone to it
  • Thrush cream, again if you are prone to it
  • Tampons/ panty liners/ pads (worth taking a few just in case you are somewhere where they are difficult to get hold of)
  • Paracetamol
  • Plasters
  • Imodium
  • Travel sickness tablets (if you are prone to getting travel sick or are taking any boat journeys)
  • The pill
  • Malaria pills if needed
  • Condoms (just in case!)

Additional first-aid for IBS sufferers

  • …extra imodium!
  • Colpermin pills
  • Probiotics (start taking a couple of days before you travel)
  • Pepto Bismol

Little additional bits

Electrical equipment

  • Phone and charger (I don’t have a fancy camera and so usually take pictures with my phone…have a look at Pete’s camera kit post if you are looking for camera packing tips)
  • Head phones
  • iPad Mini with keyboard for writing, and charger


  • Copy of travel insurance
  • Passport
  • Copies of passport
  • Passport photos
  • Booking details
  • One small notepad and pen
  • Credit and debit cards and drivers license
  • Proof of vaccinations (yellow fever certificate)

Things to leave behind

  • Perfume – It takes up unnecessary space and also attracts pesky mozzies
  • Additional make-up – I would just take the basics and avoid anything fancy…it will probably end never being worn
  • Additional pashimas and sarongs…these can be bought along the way!
  • Hair dryer – a travel-sized one might be a good idea, especially for spending time in colder climates, but it isn’t that necessary. Embrace the beachy natural look!
  • Hair straighteners – I confess, the first time I went away on a big trip I took my straighteners (but it was because I lived and worked in Australia rather than just backpacking around). They have now been firmly left behind in a drawer, bring on the Monica-style frizz!
  • Jewellery – I decided to leave behind all of my jewellery (a first for me). I figured it was an excellent excuse to buy nice trinkets along the way

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *