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3 Weeks in Italy: 1 Backpack and a Duffle

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.

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