This trip we have managed to compress everything into ONE big backpack and 2 small day packs. Pretty good seeing as we gained an extra person!
That being said there are several items we simply cannot live without (in no order of importance):
* Silk sleep sheet - we simply could not live without these. They are amazing when you are sleeping in a dodgy guesthouse (silk is virtually impenetrable to bedbugs), perfect to throw over you if the fan is a bit too cool, great for those guesthouses that you need to provide your own sheets for etc etc.. the uses are limitless! As we have Gypsy with us now, we have upgraded to 1 double sheet, and 1 single sheet. So it can either be her vs us, or mum and bub vs dad. Either way, we are all safe and clean!
* Sleeping bag - Ours are Denali Pod 200 - a tiny tiny 800 gram sleeping bag and it has been amazing. I know, a sleeping bag in Asia?!?! But seriously, you NEED it!! Asia can be really hot, but it can also be really really cold. Not to mention those bus trips where the AC is turned up to arctic!!
* Camera - We used to have an Olympus waterproof camera but have now upgraded to a Canon G12. Having a good camera that suits your needs goes without explanation. We also travel with an underwater housing for it and a spare battery.
* Thongs - The ultimate travel foot wear. AKA Jandles, Sandles, slippers, flip-flops...
* A computer - Cliche as it is, we know "flash-packer" and all, having a computer has been AMAZING! We started out without one and bought a cheap little ASUS in Malaysia and have not looked back. For space, as well as weight, we have a Macbook Air. Most places in the world these days have wi-fi, including Asia. The computer has been amazing to: book flights, research next destinations, write emails, blog, keep track of your money, internet bank securely, make bookings, backup photos, watch movies, listen to music, skype family and friends for free, and a million other reasons. Even in places with no wi-fi it certainly has not been dead-weight. If you are only going for a short time, an ipad or tablet, and some spare sd cards for your camera could also work well.
* Refillable water bottle - There are water refill "stations" all over Asia and having your own bottle is a great way to reduce costs (refills are practically free) as well as to reduce your plastic footprint. It has many other practical purposes such as to make instant soup in, drink tea, use as a hot water bottle, use as weights after a few months of excessive eating etc etc..
* A sarong - Another cliche but extremely practical. Throw it over you on a cold bus, hang it up on a dorm bed for privacy, use it as a towel, use it as a dress/skirt, bathe in it when bathing in public rivers etc with locals, use it as a scarf, wrap it around your head to protect you from the sun, use as a mosquito screen, use it as a baby change mat, use it to cover up when breastfeeding in public etc etc
* A notebook - Essential to keep track of your money, write notes, get new friends' contact details, let bub draw, take note of bub's new milestones etc etc..
* Medical kit - Obviously it's pretty important to have a medical kit but if you travel like we do, make sure it has atleast a basic anti-biotic, malarone(anti-malarial), bandaids, panadol and emergency supplies enough to suffice you for a couple days in case you are that far away from a hospital. There isn't much in our medical kit we haven't used at least once.
* Laundry powder (in a 500 ml water bottle) and scrubbing brush - Washing machines are really hard to come by and getting people to do your laundry for you can cost you a small fortune. And sometimes things go missing or get damaged. Handwashing yourself is pretty easy and quick, not to mention cheap! We also have an elastic clothes line which has been pretty handy.
* Wash nets - Wash nets are the perfect way to keep your backpack organised. We have 1 each. 1 for Roh's clothes, 1 for Rob's clothes, 1 for Gypsy's clothes, and 1 for our underwear and misc objects. It makes packing SO much easier, makes finding things SO much easier, the nets can double up as pillows or cushions, can be used as a barrier to stop bubs from rolling off the bed during naps, and the net also allows the clothes to breathe so your bag doesn't end up stinking.
* Toiletries - You can buy everything you need on the road. We only travel with the bare essentials - soap, tooth brushes etc, moisturiser, sunscreen, insect repellant, razor, nail clippers etc.
Other miscellaneous items and baby specific items we have:
* 1 jumper each
* diary and pencil case
* deck of cards
* small sewing kit
* extra rope
* travel hammock
* double mosquito net
* electronics bag - with external hard drive
* yoga mat
* pocket knife
* guide book
* 1 x longsleeved pajamas and 1 short sleeved
* 2 x dresses
* 3 light long pants (for evenings to protect from mosquitoes and daytime to protect from the sun
* 3 x shorts
* 6 x t-shirts
* 2 x long sleeved shirts
* 1 x jumper
* 1 x socks
* 1 x beanie
* 1 x tights
* 1 x thermal onesie (we are planning to visit Nepal in winter!)
* 1 x thongs
* hats x 2
* dummy straps!! (use to clip the hat to t-shirt so bubs can't throw it off/ can't blow off in the wind)
* water bottle x 2 (always good to have a back up)
* bowl and spoon
* travel chair (totseat)
* quick oats and honey for breakfast
* nappies and wipes
* baby harness backpack (awesome for when you are in high-traffic areas and bubs just doesn't want to be carried. Also good for bubs to learn to put her toys away and have her own bag.)
* boba air baby carrier
* baby backpack hiking bag (barely used, and will be dumped/donated soon. Would be good if she wasn't walking yet)
* handkerchiefs to use as face wipes/ bandanas
* baby sleeping bag
* bucket - for baths/ swims/ playing (and hand washing)
* teddy bears x 3 (little ones)
* toy bag and a selection of toys and books (very small bag with lots of especially selected small toys)
* colouring book and crayons* ipad (originally bought for Gypsy but mainly used for our entertainment. Definitely NOT a necessity!)