I’ve never been one of those travelers who takes the equivalent of a steamer trunk with 18 pairs of shoes, but I do like a few options in my checked bag. In preparing for the Italian journey I’m on right now, I had to change my mindset and be okay with traveling light. Super light. Like one backpack weighing 20 pounds and a duffle (okay, and a tiny sling bag for hiking), both of which will be carryon.

It’s been stressful trying to boil everything down to just a few items, but you know what? It’s also been rather liberating. I don’t have to check any bags, and I can carry everything I have (though I will check the duffel in a locker while my friend and I are hiking).

What I Started With

You’ll have to watch my Facebook Live video to see my crap spread out. It looks like a lot, but it’s not, not really. Here’s what I’m taking:

In Backpack

  1. Lightweight puffy jacket
  2. Exofficio Insect Shielf buttonup
  3. 2 Brooks lightweight t-shirts
  4. Northface capris (LOVE these!)
  5. REI zip off pants/shorts
  6. Yoga pants
  7. 3 pairs Exofficio quickdry underwear
  8. 3 pairs hiking socks
  9. 1 pair sock liners
  10. Beanie
  11. Gloves
  12. Caribou Creek rain jacket
  13. Rain cover
  14. Scarf
  15. 3 bandanas
  16. Hiking snacks
  17. Camelbak for water
  18. Microfiber towel
  19. Sleep sheet (thanks to The Friendly Swede for giving it to me to try out)
  20. Tablet
  21. Phone
  22. Camera

In Duffel

  1. Exofficio dress
  2. Flats
  3. Capris
  4. 2 dressy shirts
  5. Tank top
  6. Candy for my German friend
  7. Laptop

Toiletries (Divided Between the Two Bags)

  1. Brush
  2. Toothbrush/paste
  3. Melatonin (to counter jetlag)
  4. Aleve
  5. Deodorant
  6. Bar soap
  7. Contacts
  8. Face cleanser
  9. Sunscreen
  10. Lotion
  11. Nail clippers & file
  12. SPF powder
  13. Primer
  14. Serum
  15. Lipgloss
  16. SPF lip moisturizer
  17. Eyeliner
  18. Tampons & pads

That’s not so much, is it?? I may be tossing items out as I go along the trail!

The End Result

I was pretty happy with how well packing cubes and Ziplocs did to compress and organize my items. And the weight is manageable. Years ago when I did the traditional “backpacking through Europe” thing in my 20s, I had no clue how to pack light, or even what size backpack I needed. I nearly bowled over every time I stood up with the pack on! That won’t be a problem this time.


*Cat not included in packing plan

I look forward to the challenge of not only traveling light, but also hiking at high elevation for a week. By the time you read this, I will just be embarking on my weeklong hike. Stay tuned for updates when I get back.