The Refined Art of Packing

I’m writing this at home, 2 days before the departure for my 2 months plus trip around South East Asia.

7 years ago when I first left home and when I went on my first backpacking trip I had headache just thinking about what to pack. I started getting ready weeks in advanced, packing then unpacking. I repeat that process umpteen times. It’s a skill to pack just right; bringing all you need yet not over-pack. I was always worried that I’d forget something.

Now with only 2 days to go, I haven’t even started packing. It’s not that I’m such an expert in it that I can do it in a blink of an eye. I basically know what needs to be in it. Trying to bring as little as possible and since I’m traveling in SEA, I can always buy what I lack cheaply. (This is a luxury that bigger size Europeans or Americans can’t have as clothes are made to the typical Asian body size)

It’s much easier to pack light going to a 1-season place; in this case, summer.

The general rule when packing for SEA is light and loose clothing: cotton short sleeve tees and short pants. But long sleeves and long pants might come in handy if you want to enter mosques and temples that have strict clothing regulation. Since temples abound in SEA, I’ll be packing a couple of those.

And I will be traveling during the Monsoon period (June to September). So I have to take that into account and pack accordingly, meaning some rainproof shoes and sandals. A raincoat might be too hot in the humidity so I will consider a small portable umbrella. Otherwise when it pours, I’ll just use the opportunity to seep a cup of locally brew tea and chat with the locals. aaahhhhh… such is life!


Light loose clothings, waterproof shoes, sandals, sunblocks, sunglasses, mosquito repellents, hat, sweater (for the occasional cold nights), camera, light laptop (for post from the road), a book (reading material for long bus ride) and some diarrhea pills. Probably a sarong (multipurpose as blanket, bedsheet, towel, scarf, etc)


Jeans, heavy jacket, raincoat, sleeping bag, and guidebooks (I’m trying to travel guidebook free, moreover there will always be other travelers who has a LP I could browse).

So I guess I am ready.

Let me know if you think I’ve missed something or you want to share your packing tips.

About the Author


A modern nomad who wanders around the world calling no place home and every place his Ithaca

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