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Things to Pack for Your Latin America Backpacking Adventure

If you’ve followed along through our Latin American adventures, you know that weather, and activities vary greatly throughout the countries. You'll experience high humidity, intense heat, torrential downpours, high altitude and sub minus temperatures, micro climates, and everything in between. So what does one pack for such a diverse travelling journey, without overpacking? Here we will guide you through the must brings to ensure you’re good to go.




A 65L backpack should be more than enough for your trip. Amazon now carries its own line of backpacks that are really good. Thomas and I both bought backpacks from Amazon, however his was not from the Amazon line, and has ripped in several places over 4 months. My bag still looks almost new. The model below comes with a rain cover and has 7 external, and 3 internal compartments. Currently listed for $60.82 CAD.


AmazonBasics 65L Travellers Backpack








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Packing Cubes


I will always choose a packing cube over no pump vacuum bags, why? The answer is two fold.


  1. Because packing cubes do not expel air you don’t get super wrinkles like you do with vacuum bags

  2. Packing cubes create ultimate organization. Vacuum Bags kind of create a mush of stuff. Cubes keep everything in order and make finding things super easy


But why use packing cubes at all? They literally create compartments in your backpack. Need socks? Pull out your sock and underwear cube. Need pants? Pull out your clothing cube. And it doesn’t mess up your entire bag packing game if you need to pull out something from the bottom of the bag. Simply pull out the cubes that are in your way, and then put them back. Bing bang boom. They make packing and repacking seamless. What used to take us up to an hour, now takes 15 minutes, so the minor investment is definitely worth it. Currently listed for $38.35 CAD.


UBAG Travel Packing Cubes










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  • 1 thick sweater with a hood

  • 1 thin sweater without a hood

  • 1 long sleeve shirt

  • 2 t-shirts

  • 3 tank tops

  • 1 pair of track pants

  • 2 pairs of shorts

  • 2 pairs of swimming shorts

  • 1 speedo (trust us you will want this for extra protection of your goods. The mesh in your swimming trunks will over time, act like a cheese grater...ouch!)

  • 3 pairs of socks

  • 1 pair of hiking shoes or 1 pair of running shoes with good grip (but you should wear these while travelling to keep your bag lighter)

  • 1 pair of sandals or 1 pair of flip flops

  • 5 underwear

  • 1 toque

  • 1 scarf or neck wrap

  • 1 bandana

  • 1 sarong

  • 1 lightweight down jacket with storage bag Foldable Jacket CAD $65.39 - $134.32























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Thomas has all of this packed in 2.5 packing cubes!




  • 1 thick sweater with hood

  • 1 thin sweater without a hood

  • 4 tank tops

  • 1-2 dresses or skirts or a combination of both

  • 1-2 blouses/long sleeve shirts/t-shirts

  • 1 pair of track pants

  • 1-2 pairs of tights (warm ones)

  • 1 additional pair of lightweight pants (not warm)

  • 2-3 pairs of shorts

  • 2 pairs of flip flops (1 sporty, 1 dressier)

  • 1 pair of either hiking shoes or running shoes (but you should wear these while travelling to reduce weight)

  • 3 bikinis/bathing suits

  • 3 pairs of socks

  • 10-11 underwear (hygiene is king!)

  • 1 toque

  • 1 scarf or neck wrap

  • 1 bandana

  • 1 sarong

  • 1 lightweight down jacket with storage bag Foldable Jacket CAD $45.99
























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I have all of this packed in 3.5 packing cubes!




Toiletries can be a tough one as everyone has different hair and skin needs. Our advice to you however is that if you don’t have specific when you arrive.

9 times out of 10 toiletries are cheaper in Latin America than they are in your hometown. Some exceptions are:


  • Shaving gel

  • Sunscreen lotion/spray

  • Mouthwash


For some reason these items were super expensive everywhere, so keep this in mind.

Electronics & Accessories


What you bring for electronics is of course dependant on budget, preference, and planned activities, however we will give you a run down of what we suggest.


  • Camera (our choice was the Sony A5100) - A simple mirrorless point and shoot will do just fine, and will save you weight and space. Don’t skimp on the carrying case, get something sturdy and reliable

  • GoPro (our choice was the GoPro Hero5) - Any GoPro will do, but if bringing an older model, make sure you have under water protection, you’ll want to bring your bad boy with you under water, I promise

  • Diving & Snorkelling filters for your underwater camera(s) to help you keep your colours sharp and vibrant

  • Lenses. Iiiif you want to shoot far and wide that is, and if your camera has the ability to interchange lenses of course

  • Laptop, and or tablet. These are optional and depend on if you want to edit photos, if you are keeping a blog etc. Nowadays you can do a lot of these things on a smartphone, but this can take longer and can limit your capabilities

  • A 4K drone (our choice was the DJI Mavic Pro). I know that’s a tall order, but if you want the most out of documenting your journey, one of these will up your game x 10000




  • Tupperware - you’d be surprised how much a few containers can come in handy. Eating leftovers is theeee best when you don’t feel like cooking and eating out isn’t in the budget for the day

  • Elastic bands - being able to properly seal opened packets is life. I wouldn’t be able to survive without them

  • Cling wrap. Wrap all of your toiletries individually, trust me. If one leaks you have a minimized ordeal. And if you want to be nice to the environment, reuse your wraps until they just won’t do the job anymore

  • Ziploc bags. Always, always needed

  • A mini sewing kit. When you can repair clothes, backpacks, etc you’ll save a fortune in the long run

  • Plastic Rain Ponchos. You can pick these up at a Walmart, Dollar Store or the like

  • Earplugs. If you plan on staying in hostels, they will be your best friends




In the end, the best suggestion we can give you is, don’t pack “just in case” items. It’s easy to think you might need something, but unless it’s a must have, you shouldn’t pack it. If you happen to need something you haven’t packed, in most cases, you can find it/them quite easily and inexpensively throughout the Latin America.

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