THE NOMADIC BACKPACK
Packing brain overload? Just breathe and keep reading!
Travel light. Gather everything you think you will need-and cut it in half. I promise that you will have plenty. You will be grateful when you are hiking that backpack up The Himalayas—or the hill leading to your mountainside retreat center. Think permaculture—every item has multiple uses. Use Less by removing what is useless.
Below are some personal packing lists from our global ASY staff:
Name: Kendall Rae Moyer
Current location: Portland, Oregon (USA)
Favorite places: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala; The California Redwoods
Most challenging eco-travel situation: Purchasing clean water without using plastic bottles
What’s in her pack: Water bottle and filter, Diva cup, Cloth bags, Dr Bronners, Coconut oil, Spork Multi Tool, Cup, Metal Tupperware, Hammock, Sewing Kit
Item(s) that come in handy the most + why: Water Filter– Clean water is a blessing and privilege that most third-world countries don’t have access to. Carry this with you to kill parasites in a pinch and keep hydrated.
Coconut Oil– Mouthwash, Toothpaste, Moisturizer, and great for cooking in hostels.
Name: Diana Egizi
Current Location: NYC/NJ (USA)
Favorite places: Brazil, Guatemala
Most challenging eco-travel situation: Can’t eat any more at a restaurant and don’t want to waste food, but don’t have my reusable container! They only have styrofoam! Nightmare!
What’s in her pack: Flashlight, menstrual cup + reusable cloth pads, healing herbal salve, coconut oil, reusable utensils, sealable/reusable food container, travel thermos, water bottle, canvas bag/cloth bags, reusable straw & cleaner, liquid Eco soap (like Dr Bronners), bamboo toothbrush, toothpowder, vegan floss (EcoDent)
Item(s) that come in handy the most + why: Travel thermos- can use it for food, liquids, and it will keep the temperature hot/cold for up to six hours or more. Seals well. I clip it on my bags with a carabiner! Easy-peasy.
Name: Zoë Evans
Current Location: Toronto, Canada
Favourite places: South of Spain Andalusia region, Granada and Orgiva
Most challenging eco-travel situation: language barrier – no bag please! “no bolsa por favor!”
What’s in her pack: travel light backpack, wooden spork, light insulating layer (no matter where im going!), portable battery, journal, oil of oregano, food container/tupperware
Item(s) that come in handy the most + why: food container – helps keep food good on-the-go and relieves the need for single use food containers
Name: Rachelle Harvey
Current Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Favorite places: Tofino, British Columbia; India; Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Most challenging eco-travel situation: All throughout Myanmar I was knocked out again and again by parasites, even though I was being really careful about what I was eating and drinking. (A particularly memorable and crippling case hit in the middle of a 3-day trek in a fairly remote area…) These repeated incidents pushed me to take my health even more seriously and to approach it in sustainable way, since I obviously didn’t want to have to keep taking the ’emergency’ pharmaceuticals I had with me. The bright side? An inextinguishable curiosity for how different cultures use plants to treat and prevent ailments was stoked and I fell deeper into my love spiral with nature.
What’s in her pack: you mean the fun stuff, right!? a travel yoga mat, an arsenal of herbal medicines, Bronner’s soap, coconut oil, travel mug + water bottle, one or two books (real ones!), crystals + a musical instrument or two
Item(s) that come in handy the most + why: tea tree oil for its many anti-bacterial and anti-odour applications!
Bonus! My travel mantra: When I catch myself in judgement or anxiety about a situation I often hear the words ‘There’s only one way to find out!’ running through my head, reminding me to learn by experience.