We are hoping to travel as light as possible.  That said, we are still going to need a fair amount of stuff for the five of us.  Steve has a 65L pack and I have a 45L pack.  The children have small German packs (you can’t get proper children’s packs in the UK) to carry some of their clothes and teddies.


  • three to four outfits (tops and bottoms) for adults
  • four to five outfits for children
  • four sets underwear each
  • Smartwool socks for everyone (two pairs each)
  • one set pyjamas each
  • swimming stuff
  • sun hats
  • one fleece top each
  • one pacamac each
  • one pair trainers/walking shoes each
  • one pair sandals/flip flops each


  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • hairbrush and hair elastics for Eve
  • hair and body wash (can also be used for laundry)
  • moisturiser
  • suncream
  • baby wipes
  • shaving oil
  • razors
  • deodorant
  • alcohol gel

Medicines and first aid

  • adult paracetemol
  • Calpol
  • asthma inhalers (for me and Ned)
  • antiseptic spray
  • plasters/dressings/tape/wound closing strips
  • emergency tooth filling kit
  • antihisthamines
  • lavender oil
  • tea tree oil
  • Tiger Balm


  • DSLR camera (Nikon D90)
  • ipod with earphone splitter for entertaining the children on long journeys – it’s loaded with music, audio books and cartoons
  • iphone of course
  • 2x netbooks, one samsung, one to be purchased
  • portable hard drive for photo back up and films, if I can work out how to copy the blasted things
  • Sony ereader so I will never be without reading matter

Other stuff

  • children’s blankies/favourite teddies
  • ear plugs
  • head lamps for reading when the children are asleep
  • travel clock for checking what time I’m being woken up by a small child, and also for catching planes etc
  • Swiss Army knife
  • pens, paper and gluestick for children
  • plasticine or playdoh (modelling clays) which keep all three amused for hours
  • small cars/trains/dinosaurs
  • Camelbak water bottles
  • compass
  • notebook
  • sporks and plastic bowls for picnics or breakfast
  • glasses prescription and repair kit
  • small sewing kit
  • duct tape
  • books
  • pack of cards and travel chinese chequers
  • travel towels
  • waterproof laundry bags
  • shoe bags
  • travel washing line

13 Responses to “Gear”

  1. Sharon 30/05/2009 at 2:58 pm #

    I find a GPS enabled watch very useful, I don’t know how much you’ll be walking with the kids, but it tells you how far/fast and how many calories you’ve used

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 30/05/2009 at 7:24 pm #

      That’s a good idea. I think I can get an app like that on my iphone, I’ll look into it. We’re training the kids to walk reasonable distances, because we love walking and also because backpacking involves a lot of walking.

  2. Perfectly Happy Mum 09/06/2009 at 10:24 am #

    You see I don’t think I could cope with 3 to 4 outfits ONLY!! You are definitely very brave!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 09/06/2009 at 11:35 am #

      Brave or foolish! I envision a LOT of handwashing. Still, at least I’ll be avoiding housework for 9 months, so it’s not all bad!

  3. Tanya 05/12/2009 at 8:54 am #

    we take charcol tablets everywhere we go they sort out most tummy troubles caused by dodgy food. Dont forget to make one outfit light but with long sleeves and long or 3/4 length pants for tropical jungle situations or sitting at outdoor places in SEA during dusk. You need insect repellent too as dengue can be a problem- lavender doesnt work with tenacious SEA mossies. Pillowcases dont take us much room and can be stuffed for makeshift pillows or put over a dodgy pillow in cheaper accommodation.
    and a teeny tiny thing but it can make or break someones day esp when they are little- lip balm!

  4. MummyT 25/03/2010 at 4:28 am #

    Zip-off shorts and trouser combos are a winner: two outfits for the price of one. Colour-matching is key. Do you need a travel clock with an iPhone and a laptop?

    We’re on a rtw trip right now, two months in out of 12-plus, and my experience is that you need to decide on the size of the pack, then chuck stuff out when it doesn’t fit…

    I’d recommend taking a piece of rope, that you can use as a washing line and also to tie up bags if they split (they do!). The one item I have to say I am really missing is a drybag (which can double as a beachbag).

    In the tropics, I’d step up from antiseptic cream to something like iodine solution or surgical alcohol. Cuts can get infected quite easily if you dont’t keep an eye on them.

    Zip off daypacks work really well: saves you from having to wear hiking boots etc. while travelling.

    So do backpacks that open out flat, suitcase style. It means you don’t need to unpack fully, or scrabble through heaps of stuff.

    I think the key thing to remember is that you can always buy clothes etc. when you are out there. Also, run a test pack with the heavy-duty (warm climate) clothes you’ll probably wear on the plane packed into the bag.

    Also, go see the Travel Clinic at the hospital for tropical diseases to get tips on malaria prevention &c. They have detailed maps showing precisely where you need to be careful.

    I would also recommend carrying emergency antibiotics for tummy bugs, just in case: your GP will be able to prescribe.

    And, if you have fair-skinned kids, sun-protected long-sleeved swimming tops save a hell of a lot of hassle with suncream. It’s quite hard to buy decent suncream in much of S-E Asia…

    We use sarongs for beach towels /travel towels — light, small, quickdry easy to pack, work really well. You can even use them as sleeping bags for littlies.

    And, I think you should definitely make one of your outfits a special occasion frock you can work with flipflops when you want a lift or just to look smart.

    Sorry this comment is so long! I think I’ll have to turn it into a blog post…

  5. Rachel 14/07/2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I treated one long sleeve/long legged set each with permethrin spray til we got mozzie savvy and that worked realy well.

    We ditched our water bottles and took 4 x ikea plastic cups instead. Much easier to clean and carry. The children would never carry their own water anyway…

    If you’re buying swimming suntops – which I too totally recommend, don’t mess about, go for the best. Stingray. Expensive but still going 3 years later!! Small child now wearing big child’s rtw one. Hubby is scuba instructor and has worn it day in day out with no apparent wear at all. We live in Spain where you cannot buy them bizarrely and I have just got one shipped from the UK for eldest dd. My kids tan quicker than St Tropez, but it’s still damage right?

    You must be getting really excited now!! happy packing!

    Rachel xx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 14/07/2010 at 3:24 pm #

      We’ve already got sun tops, they’ve been using them since last summer. The mossie spray is a really good idea, shall get some. Not long now, three and a bit months. Excited and nervous at the same time.

  6. Carrie Pullen 09/05/2011 at 1:23 am #

    We leave on our family RTW (also 9 months) in August. I love your packing list. Have you used all of it? Recommend adding anything or leaving anything off?

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 09/05/2011 at 2:54 pm #

      I think we’ve used pretty much everything. We’ve ended up buying more clothes, but only because most of the ones we left home with have fallen apart, but other than that, I can’t think of much. We’ve changed our shoes, now we’re in very hot places all the time, we’ve got a pair of flip flops each and a pair of closed toed sandals (Keen ones are good) as the trainers were too hot and bulky. But the trainers were great in New Zealand, which wasn’t that warm. I’d say take as little as you can get away with, there are shops everywhere if you realise you need something!

  7. Lisa 13/02/2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Great list – I will definitely use this! Thanks for being so thorough. One question, have you ever used the emergency tooth filling kit? I’ve never heard of filling your own tooth so I’m intrigued. It seems like a good idea to have just in case.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 13/02/2012 at 8:35 pm #

      I don’t think we used it on this trip, but I have used one before and it was fantastic. Stopped pain until I got to the dentist two weeks later.


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