My Wardrobe Checklist for 5 Months of Backpacking

Planning to go on a month-long trip? Here is my wardrobe checklist for 5 months of backpacking!

I always worry about my luggage when traveling. My obsessive-compulsive side always want to make sure I do not bring too much and most of the time, I barely reach half of my luggage limit.

“The old school of thought would have you believe that you'd be a fool to take on nature without arming yourself with every conceivable measure of safety and comfort under the sun. But that isn't what being in nature is all about. Rather, it's about feeling free, unbounded, shedding the distractions and barriers of our civilization—not bringing them with us.” ― Ryel Kestenbaum, The Ultralight Backpacker: The Complete Guide to Simplicity and Comfort on the Trail
“The old school of thought would have you believe that you’d be a fool to take on nature without arming yourself with every conceivable measure of safety and comfort under the sun. But that isn’t what being in nature is all about. Rather, it’s about feeling free, unbounded, shedding the distractions and barriers of our civilization—not bringing them with us.”
― Ryel Kestenbaum, The Ultralight Backpacker: The Complete Guide to Simplicity and Comfort on the Trail

I am lucky to be gifted with the talent of travelling light. When I went for Malaysia for Ms. SCUBA International 2013, I managed to fit in 25 kilograms two pairs of heels, national costume and with all my dive gears.

The problem most ladies face when doing long-term travel is trying to fit everything into a small luggage. I can recall the sight of my Bb. Pilipinas 2013  co-candidates during our three-day stay in Shangri-La. I felt that I barely brought stuff since I only carried a medium-sized duffel bag while the rest brought ones as huge as dive equipment bags (TBH I will never know what was inside those bags).

Back in 2015, I went to Tacloban and packed for a month of volunteer work which turned out to be longer. It became a 5 month-long wardrobe in a 50 L backpack?

How did I survive?

Here is my list:

TOPS

You can try to have 2 of these in bright colours to add more life to your usual neutrals.
If you are doing PR work, best to have some dressy tops.

4 Tank Tops

4 Shirts – 2 short-sleeved and 2 long-sleeved

Choose ones made from light materials.

1 Windbreaker

Jeans can be heavy though.
You can mix both to create a juxtaposition of sophisticated and casual.

3 Pair of shorts

2 Long Pants/Trousers

1 Pair of Leggings

A-line is safest.

1 Long Skirt

3 Brassieres

You can also choose to bring Nubra (silicone adhesive bras), they are easy to wash and wear.
Basic Undies

4 Pairs of Underwear

1 Sarong/ Cover-up (30 Ways to Use Your Sarong)

Less space consumed by microfiber towels compared to standard cotton ones.

1Towel (Microfiber is best)

1 Pair of Sneakers or Rubber Shoes (Hiking shoes are not as good-looking but they do their job well)

1 Pair of Flip-Flop

1 Pair of Ballerina Flats (For sophisticated moments.)

These are my basics and you can choose to add clothing items depending on where you will be doing volunteer work. If you are backpacking in the Philippines, I suggest you bring ones made of cotton because the humidity will make you sweat like a pig and a pair of joggers and long sleeve shirt will help fend off mosquitoes at night.

Having a hard time deciding which to take? Let George Clooney inspire you or check out this Pinterest Board.

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Monday Musings: Taking Out Trash

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How often do you throw away? Most of us tend to keep a lot of unnecessary stuff whether in our places or in our minds. Unknowingly, we end up taking in so much that it leaves us with little space to work with.

I recently read an excerpt about Getting Things Done by Dave Allen where he described stuff as “Anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step.”  I have never thought about how much stuff I kept until I checked my email and sorted out my room. It is so easy to not realize the gravity of our hoarding and these stuffs slows us down and makes us inefficient.

Now is the time to clear your mind and place. Start by sorting and throwing out the unnecessary.

Monday Musings : When Less is More

The world today equates worth with material possession. Everyday, mass media is telling you that what you have is not enough. You always have to keep up with the latest gadgets, houses, makeup, clothes, accessories and whatever it is that money can buy. It is our nature to always want something.

The best things in life aren't things.

I have always seen this as a form of slavery. When you cannot function without an object that makes the object the master and you the slave. Think about it, when you forget your phone, you feel paralyzed or when you do not wear makeup you start feeling less beautiful. Its because we have made this a part of who we are when it should not be.

Here is a short verse from Minimalist that reminds me daily on this:

Stop buying the unnecessary.
Toss half your stuff, learn contentedness.
Reduce half again.

List 4 essential things in your life, do these first,
stop doing the non-essential.

Clear distractions, focus on each moment.
Let go of attachment to doing, having more.

Fall in love with less.

I am happy to be able to enjoy moments in life without having the need to conform to what the world dictates me to buy. I realised early on that having all the things money can buy will never fill the emptiness. I have learned to let go of wanting more and to just need what is essential. Do not buy into materialism.

Wednesday Warriors: How to Start Project 333

Always shopping for clothes and never having enough in your closet? Life is easier with less. Ready for the challenge?

If you take a look at your closet now, how many pieces of clothing would you have in it? When was the last time you wore all of them? Can you live with only 33 items for 3 months?

Dressing dilemma.

Project 333 is a difficult one at least for the fashionistas who do not like to wear the same things. I, on the otherhand, was never a fan of owning to much clothes. That’s why I have a yearly check on all my clothes and donate the ones that I have not worn for more than 3 months. Wear ’em and throw ’em, most girls love this game. Buy clothes, wear them once or twice (some aren’t even worn at all) and them keep it inside the closet for ages. This project will make your wardrobe a lot less complicated. Life is easier with less. Ready for the challenge?

The Basics

When: Every three months
What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing.
How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
What else: Consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them.

Here is an inspiration for you:

15 Looks with 13 Items
15 Looks with 13 Items

Quick Start Guides For Project 333

First Timers

  1. Take inventory.
  2. Working with your “I Love” pile of clothing, start to build your wardrobe. It will help to make a list on paper.
  3. Consider signature items like a trench coat or pair of boots. Your signature item might be your sunglasses. You will find that having one well made version of something will be far better than 10 of the knock-off.
  4. Once you start dressing with less, pay less attention to what you are wearing, or not wearing and more attention to something more important.
  5. You are welcome to incorporate some of the bonus rules listed below.
  • Use the first week of each phase if you need it to finish your collection and donation process.
  • Choose three additional items and put them aside in your closet. You may rotate these items in during the next three months, but three other items have to rotated out, and donated.
  • You may swap clothing with others participating in Project333. Post items on the Facebook page and connect with like minded fashionistas living with less.

    6.  Get connected and ask questions.

Hopefully this challenge will let you enjoy the freedom that comes with minimalism. I will be posting my take on minimal wardrobe from my month long travel next Wednesday.