PACKING LIST:Backpacking around Europe

cafe in paris
I studied in Paris in college (oh the things we did… ah youth.) and then my cousin and I traveled around for a month or two after I got out of classes.

Bag:
Granite Gear Vapor Pack
or
Eagle Creek Voyage 65L Travel Pack or a Eagle Creek Switchback and daypack or purse like the EC Drifter*

*remember you have to carry this comfortably even when you have your full pack on, so a daypack that doesn’t attach can be a tedious chore and I tend to hand things that I have to work to carry to the nearest busker as a tip.

Clothes:

  • Black pants
  • Khaki Cargo pants
  • Really good walking shoes (I use Keen’s or my Merrell boots-I’ll leave it to you to decide yours, just remember that you need good foot/ankle support as you are carrying all your stuff (perhaps 20 pounds) on you for long distances on hard surfaces.)
  • black tshirts
  • sleep shirt or light sweatshirt (you can always buy clothes when you are there… I actually prefer this… especially on beaches, the roadside vendors always have the coolest clothes.)
  • a skirt
  • shorts
  • Socks (smartwool)
  • Undies (ex
    officio magic undies
    )
  • 2 scarves (I use the pashminas-useful as a blanket or a scarf)
  • Jammies/hotel wear (I tend to go with yoga pants as mine are quick drying and can double as another pair of pants.)

Stuff:

  • swimsuit – for the beach and less-than-private shower facilities
  • crocs/ flipflops / shower shoes – I like Crocs because I can walk in them for long distances, but they can be a bit bulky (though for the ladies, the Mary Janes are much more manageable). However, they are waterproof and if you are staying in hostels (or skeevy hotels šŸ˜‰ ) you want to wear these in the shower. Really.
  • Camera+charger and spare cards
  • A book (and just trade someone for a different one when you are done. Works on the AT, works in the rest of the world.)
  • journal
  • A thumbdrive(and portableapps configured***) for internet cafes -card adapter for your camera** card + place on the web to upload them (flickr or XDrive, etc)
  • Silk Sleep sack (good for both hostels or when the harsh chemicals that they wash sheets in hotels in burn your skin as they do mine. This is also good for adding another +10 degree rating to your sleeping bag without adding a ton of weight or having to buy a new one.)
  • toiletries

**or, instead of chargers, bring along your USB cables (bonus if multiple things you have charge off of mini USB) and bring a Solio [My review | Amazon] and its wall charger. You can tie to the top of your backpack and let it charge in the Cezanne-esque light of the valleys in Central France or plug it into the wall where you are staying.)

***just install portable apps to a directory on your WIN machine and start using it. After about 2 weeks of regular use you will have all your bookmarks and setup about like you like it (actually, I recommend you do this anyway as a backup). Then just copy it to your thumbdrive and go play! Another sneaky trick is to double up on the adapter and put a memory card in it to hold your portable apps instead of buying a thumbdrive (and portable apps sits quite happily on a 512M card, so you can use old cards that aren’t big enough to hold your larger pixel depth images from your camera.)

….or you can just put a bunch of clean underwear in a backpack and go! (As a matter of fact, my cousin put two skirts, two shirts and clean undies in a carry-on bag and did just this.)

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