Alex has no clue how to ... pack a backpack.

To say that I have never packed just a backpack for a trip before would be an undeniable truth. I have no idea what I am doing. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of backpack one would need for a backpacking trip. I actually researched it and right before I left I decided to ignore just about all the research and just take my North Face backpack from high school.


My packing list included:

3 shirts - one with sleeves cut off, one normal one, and one loose long sleeve tunic

2 pairs of yoga pants - one that’s a “hiking” yoga pant

2 pairs of athletic shorts

1 pair of galaxy patterned jeans - I’ll be honest, I mostly brought these because I couldn’t fit into them for over a year and now I can and I was pretty proud of myself

5 pairs of underwear

2 sports bras

1 regular bra

2 swimsuits - both bikinis, one of which i realized is now too large for me once I got here and tried to put it on… sooooooooooo...

2 pairs of wool hiking socks

2 pairs of normal socks

1 soft shell North Face

1 pair of hiking boots - I, annoyingly, have to wear these whenever I travel to a new place since they are too big for my bag 

1 pair of flip flops - hostel showers be super sketch sometimes, ja feel

1 pair of Teva sandal things - no idea what the proper name for them is

1 laptop & charger - obvis

1 external hard drive & cables - pre-filled with movies and tv shows, should I need them

1 kindle & cables - I’ve already read like 2 books

1 DSLR & battery charger

3 lenses - so far I’ve only used 2, but that might change

1 iPhone (unlocked) & power cord - I would probably die if not for this thing

1 pair of headphones

1 universal power adapter - i actually came prepared for something for once!

5 small sketchbooks - honestly, just remembered i packed these

1 dive log - incomplete since I forgot where it was and am also horrible about writing things down

2 PADI whiteboards - if I knew what these were for, I’d tell you

a plethora of locks - combo locks, key locks, locks with metal wire, i can lock up just about anything

another plethora of medication - malaria tablets, nyquil, dayquil, ibuprofen


So i took all this stuff, rolled it up as tight as I could manage and stuffed it into my North Face. I remember having a mental breakdown because I couldn’t decide if it was too small or too large or not enough, but I think I managed ok. However, once I got here, I realized many things - the least of which is how unprepared I was.


First, I realized that it is hot as balls in Indonesia (at least) and that one tank top was not going to cut it. I think I just walk outside and start sweating immediately. I thought that Houston humidity was bad, but it is nothing - NOTHING - compared to Bali. 


Second, and I actually figured this might happen, is that I realized that my hiking boots - which i love - are really not suited for this part of the trip. I’m not sure if I will be using them later, but it does suck to have to carry them around all the time. This means that I have to wear them everytime I change locations, which thankfully has only been twice so far. I might see if I can somehow manage to shove them in my backpack, which will be quite a feat.


I ended up buying another tank top and a super lightweight dress in Ubud, in addition to a small purse and some toiletries. I think that should just about cover me for the rest of the trip, but we will see!