What's in the Backpack?

Luis' pack is an Eagle Creek Maiden Voyage 70L purchased on ebay 2 years ago for $100. It has a detachable daypack and all kinds of little internal pockets. A great pack that is really well designed. Here's what's he's schlepping:
  • 3 pairs shorts, t shirts, unders
  • swim suit and shirt
  • flip flops
  • snorkel gear
  • games: backgammon, cards, LRC, chess
  • duct tape and scotch tape
  • sewing kit
  • journal
  • headlamp
  • 4 novels
  • toothbrush
  • jump rope (because he wants to do an exercise routine on the beach !?!)
  • 1 Q zip lock bag: 4 bottles sunscreen, shave cream, toothpaste
Here's my backpack, an REI Grand Tour 76 L, which has a detachable daypack. I bought this from ebay for $100 in 2009 and it has been awesome on the past 2 trips. Here's a list of what's going in my pack:
  • 3 pairs of shorts, t shirts, unders
  • 2 sleeping shirts
  • bathing suit and sarong
  • black dress
  • flip flops
  • 4 novels
  • snorkel gear
  • headlamp
  • journal
  • spare glasses
  • washcloth
  • copy of passports and e tickets
  • first aid kit: bandaids, ACE bandage, iboprofen, immodium, adhesive tape
  • guidebook and Spansh phrase book
  • tampons
  • toilet paper
  • clothesline and pins
  • 1 Q zip lock bag: 3 bottles bug spray, antibiotic ointment, deodorant, 3 face sunscreen sticks, benedryl gel
Here's the 4 piles of stuff for our packs. The motto here is "If you can't carry it you can't bring it". This certainly makes packing simple! Admittedly, Luis and I carry all the toiletries, especially since we load up on US sunscreen and bug spray, and that stuff can be heavy. Lucky for us we are a very low maintenance family, so there isn't really that much to bring.

We outfit a good first aid kit, but there are pharmacies on every corner where we can get anything we need. However, it is nice to bring the stuff from home to avoid trying to explain in broken Spanish and sign language that someone in the family has the runs. Last year in Peru I tried to explain to a store clerk that Maya needed some kind of salve for dry skin caused by the windy high altitude. I didn't know the word for wind, so I made weird hand gestures that I thought indicated wind. The lady had no idea what I was trying to say so I ended up buying some baby oil, which confused the clerk even more.

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