What’s in our bags?

By Emma & Damien.

While we were in Ireland at Christmas, my cousin and her husband-to-be (who are deep into the process of planning an incredible meandering round-the-world honeymoon) asked for a break-down of what we had finally decided to lug about with us. So here it is, Tizzy, weighing in at a slightly too hefty 12kg & 15kg, our rucksacks rifled:





We spent ages trying on and reading up on different packs. Our final choices were the Deuter Aircontact 40 +10 SL and Deuter Aircontact 55 +10. They’re both top-loaders and flat-lying packs with a nice number of compartments. They include raincovers, the fit is comfortable and, overall, we’re very happy with them. The one thing we would criticize, though, is that, due to the drawn-string top-loading design, you can’t lock these bags up properly.


For our daybags, we just stuck with what we had:

Emma: a Deuter Gogo daybag (20L).  It’s way too small with far too few compartments for my liking and I’ve been eyeing up other travellers’ backpacks enviously .

Damien: an absolutely ancient Decathlon bag. It’s a nice size at about 35l but, well,  it’s disintegrating.

Giants among lilliputians

Giants among lilliputians

Packing system (I hear that’s what they’re called …)

While the idea of a rucksack disgorging a load of tangled t-shirts and socks daily and in cramped, shared spaces had me vaguely panicked, Damien seemed grand with just stuffing everything into his bag. My argument for bags within bags is that I always know where everything is, a bag for every category of stuff, and sure, at the moment I relish a bit of tidiness (words I though I’d never say!!). The only draw-back of this so far has been The Mysterious Theft of the Underwear Bag.

Exped Fold Dry Bag (x4 : Large, Medium, Small, Extra-small)
Medium Go Travel Packing Cube x 2
Zippable Laundry bags x 2
Vacuum pack bag x 2
Trekmates dry bag for documents
Cath Kidston travel wallet
Avoca passport cover
Ziplock bags (handy to have)

Important things:


Vaccination cards
Driving licence & International driving licence
Credit card
Photocopies of passport (scanned version saved in email account)
Spare passport-sized photos
Some dollars and some euro in cash




Jack Wolfskin Mountain Attack Texapore hiking boots
New Balance Runners
Foldable soft slippers


Tecnica hiking boots
Sketchers “on-the-go” runners, light and squashable


Ugly outfits -check; Ice-axes - check; Fear - always!

Ugly outfits -check; Ice-axes – check; Fear – always!



Hiking socks x 5, running socks x 1, 7 x underwear, 4 x bras, sports bra, Pjs

For the cold & wet & miserable:

Thermal leggings, vest and log-sleeved top
Wooly hat, neck muff, mittens (for sleeping in – lesson learned on the W trek) and ski-gloves (for hiking in snow … I fall …)
Fleece tops x 2 (which can be layered one on top of the other)
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Running pants and top x 1,


Zip-off trekking trousers x 2
Jeans x 1
Tops (vest tops, merino wool hiking t-shirts, going-out top) x 9 – this is definitely too many so I’ll be sending some things home.
Ditto for dresses: Sundresses x 3, Evening dress x 1
Cardigan x 1



Hiking socks x 5, running socks x 1, 7 x underwear

For the cold & wet & miserable:

Thermal leggings and log-sleeved thermal top (Underarmour)
Wooly hat, neck muff and gloves
Fleece tops x 2 (which can be layered one on top of the other)
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Running shorts


Zip-off trekking trousers x 1
Shorts x 1
Cords x 1
T-shirts x 7
Shirt x 1
Swimming shorts

Travel gear we both have:

Microfiber towels
100 % silk sleep sheets
700g sleeping bags – we jettisoned these at Christmas
Silk eye-masks
Travel Pillows
Petzl headlamps
Small combination locks
Light cable lock
Pocket knives (Emma: an Ellice and Damien: a Swiss army knife)
Titanium sporks
Scholl flight socks
Ear plugs
Anti-bacterial hand gel

Things we share (and that poor Damien carries)



Shared or one each:

Travel-sized shampoo & conditioner
Travel-sized body wash & shower puff
Toothpaste and toothbrushes with protective caps
Travel-sized 50 cotton ear buds
Riemann Once-a-Day sunscreen SPF 60 and SPF 30
Small notebooks


Moisturiser with SPF
Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream
Travel-sized make-up: Benefit They’re Real mascara, Benefit Watt’s Up Highligher, Translucent powder and tiny brush
L’occitane solid perfume
Clarins anti-blemish solution
Batiste Dry Shampoo
Travel-sized hair brush and about a zillion hair bobbins
Venus razor and replacement blades
Sommerset shaving oil
Nail scissors


Hair trimmer
Nail clippers
The joys of low maintenance!


Smartphone (for emgerency use only, French contract with Free)
Kindle x 2
Ipod x 1 (with Audible audiobook membership)
Micro USB cable x 2 with detachable plug x 1 for Kindle and phone
Ipod cable
Fujifilm universal adaptor
Double headphone jack (so we can watch films on the pc together)


Fujifilm X10 & leathercase with strap
Camera batteries x 2
8GB memory card x 2
Fujifilm battery charger


Acer Aspire One
Neoprene case

1 set of spare batters for torch and headlamps

First Aid Kit

1. Ibuprofen and paracetamol
2. An array of plasters (Compeed blister plasters are you hiking friend!)
3. Antiseptic spray
4. Insect repellent (non-DEET & at least 50% DEET)
5. After bite anti-itch cream (Betametasona is the best we’ve found)
6. Zirtek anti-histamine tablets
7. Motilium and Colpermin
8. Immodium
9. Dioralyte sachets
10. Ciproflaxin (Ciplox) antibiotics
11. Anti-malarials (we use Malerone with no side-effects)
12. Diamox ( We hated the side-effects of this so would rather not take it)
13. Supplements: Acidophilus complex and citricidal
14. Strepsils
15. Fucibet cream
16. Canesten cream
17. Triple antibiotic cream with pain relief
18. Tiny sewing kit
19. Lighter

En route pour El Chalten


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