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Friday, December 20, 2013

What to Wear for Backpacking Through Central America

What to Wear for Backpacking Central America
I’m going backpacking through Central America from January to April 2014 and the two most important questions on my mind are “Where do I go?” and “What do I wear?” (clearly my priorities are in order). I’ve got the first question answered and this week I finally got my packing list figured out as well. 

In the past I’ve been a notorious overpacker as I hate to be limited with outfit choices. I’d throw my favourite pieces in my suitcase without considering whether they actually went together or which accessories best complemented my outfits. Since I’m travelling with a backpack now, I need to be much more selective as every thing I pack means extra weight on my back. 

Have you heard of Travel Fashion Girl? Alex is a long-term traveller who’s been all over the world and creates destination-specific packing lists. She doesn’t have one for Central America yet, but I adapted her 12 Piece Classic Packing List for my trip. Here’s what I’ve got:

  • 2 tank tops (1 black, 1 floral)
  • 3 t-shirts (1 striped, 1 black moisture wicking, 1 orange)
  • 1 tribal patterned tunic
  • 1 knit cardigan 
  • 1 pair black leggings 
  • 3 shorts (cargo green, denim, white)
  • 1 maxi dress (black and white)
  • 1 knee-length dress (black hi-low)
  • 2 bras (black and nude)
  • 1 sports bra
  • 9 underwear
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • flip flops
  • nicer sandals
  • running shoes
  • flats
  • 1 scarf (neon)
  • 1 sarong (black)
  • 1 cross-body purse (turquoise), 1 tote bag (navy blue)
  • 1 belt
  • 1 set of costume jewellery (necklace, chandelier earrings, bracelets but no rings)
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 set of pajamas 
  • 1 pair cut-off nylons (to wear under skirts to prevent thigh chafing -- ladies you know how painful this can be!)
  • travel towel
  • windbreaker
Packing list for Central America

Because I was a lot smarter about packing remixable tops and bottoms, my 12 main pieces have given me 21 outfits. Yes you read that right -- 21 outfit options! I added a long-sleeved cardigan as a completer piece, a light coat for rainy days, and an infinity scarf for some extra coverage/warmth. I opted for a neutral palette of black, white, and tan and chose to accessorize with pops of colours in the accessories (like my multi-coloured scarf, turquoise sandals, and cross-body purse).

Here’s what all my clothing looked like when rolled into mesh packing bags:

Packing for Central America

Not too bad, eh! What do you think -- any items of clothing that I’m missing? Let me know in the comments below.

Linking up with Style Elixir.

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  1. Candice ShawDecember 20, 2013

    You did great! I don't think I could do it... but I'm sure you'll be having amazing experiences and that's more important than what you're going to wear. I'm such an over packer. I have to pack to fly to DC on Sunday and I haven't even started. I do know that I'll probably have way too much luggage.

  2. Because of JackieDecember 20, 2013

    What a great adventure! I am the worst at packing, I either pack way too much or way too little. Good luck!

  3. Alison @ Get Your Pretty OnDecember 20, 2013

    This is a really great packing list for so many things. What an adventure you have ahead! I'm sure you can't wait!

  4. Who is that Girl Mo?December 20, 2013

    Great job! 21 outfits is plenty enough. :-) I would add a pair of jeans only because that's what i like to wear. This trip is going to be super fun Danielle!!


  5. Hi Chick,
    I was just thinking about you this morning and wondering how your trip is going! I'm glad that you did a post on what to pack...last time I went back packing...packing was always the hardest part. I love your LBD post and now I'm going to checkout the battle of the mascaras...I faced a similar "dilemma" when Nordstom had their sale and wound up getting Lancome instead of Dior...let's go see if I made the right choice. :) Also, here's the island of flowers in panama you haven't already left there. Take care and stay safe!
    - Merrie

  6. Donald JosephDecember 22, 2013

    Great selections to bring for such a long trip! Yeah, it is really great to use versatile pieces to cut down on bringing an excessive amount of things (something I always do). I know you are super excited to start your journey in just a few weeks. Have fun!


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