I think I’m overpacking… as usual…

As promised, I’ve created a packing list of all the things I’m bringing to The Gambia.  The Peace Corps provided us with a VERY LONG and EXTENSIVE list, which isn’t good because it’s my nature to tend to overpack.  Although I’ve listed out everything that I originally had intended to pack, I’ve already started removing things from my luggage because it’s a bit overweight.  We’re allowed to bring 80 lbs of check-in bags (I’m bringing a rolling suitcase and a backpacking backpack), and no bag is to exceed 50 lbs.  Welps… one of my bags is already over 50 lbs, and it wasn’t even full yet!  HELP!


  • High Sierra A.T. GO 26-Inch Expandable Wheeled Duffel with Backpack Strap
  • REI Flash 50 Internal Frame Backpack
  • Lowepro Fastpack 250 Camera and Laptop Bag
  • Outdoor Products Vortex Daypack
  • Several reuseable cloth and plastic grocery bags
  • Several drawstring bags


  • Merrell Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoes
  • Keen Newport H2 Sandals
  • Havaiana Flip Flops
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 Running Shoes (I’m a runner)
  • Dress Shoes (for the formal Peace Corps events that we might be attending)
  • Lots of Socks
  • 4 dress Shirts
  • 12 collared polo or short-sleeve button-up shirts (casual and semi-formal)
  • 4 everyday T-Shirts
  • 4 plain white Hanes T-Shirts (you never know when you need an undershirt)
  • 3 long-sleeve shirts (for the cooler season and for traveling to colder climate countries)
  • 2 tank tops (for sleeping in)
  • 1 khaki pants
  • 1 slacks
  • 1 casual gray pants
  • 2 jeans
  • 2 convertible pants (pants that unzip to shorts)
  • 2 shorts
  • 2 workout/sleeping shorts
  • 1 runner shorts
  • 2 swim trunks
  • 1 pair of PJs
  • 1 pair of bike shorts
  • REI Sahara Cadet Cape Hat
  • Outdoor Research Bug Bucket Hat Bucket/Fisherman’s Hat
  • Lots of underwear (Boxers, Boxer Briefs, and Briefs)
  • 3 belts (1 formal, 2 casual)
  • 2 neck ties
  • Beanie
  • 2 bandanas
  • Ear muffs (for traveling to colder climate countries)


  • Medicines (Clear Eyes, Muro 128 Eye Drops, Hydrocortizone Cream, Anti-Diarrheal Tablets, DayQuil, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine (aka Sudafed), Diphenhydramine (aka Benedryl), Fenesin DM (cough medicine), Preparation H (just in case), Cipro Antibiotics (for Traveler’s Diarrhea), Cough Drops)
  • Bar soap and soap container
  • Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (Peppermint)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes and toothbrush containers
  • Toothpaste
  • Face wash
  • Mini-bottles of travel shampoo/conditioners
  • Baby wipes
  • Shaving gel
  • Old electric shaver (just in case I can’t stand shaving with a razor)
  • Shaving razor and razor refills
  • Q-Tips
  • Floss
  • Cologne
  • Extra empty medicine bottles (they’re good containers to hold random small items)
  • Small portable mirror
  • Nail cutting kit (nail cutters, file, tweezers)


  • Can opener
  • 4-pack of thin plastic flexible cutting boards (to use also as a clean flat surface)
  • Ziplock bag (sandwich, 1 Quart, 1 Gallon sizes)
  • Small frying pan
  • Sponges
  • Portable camping fork, spoon, knife set
  • Seasoning packets
  • Spices
  • Coffee and teas
  • Crystal Light mix
  • Powdered Gatorade mix
  • Clif Bars


  • Pens
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Pencil lead refills
  • Lots of No. 2 wooden pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Notebooks
  • Journal
  • Post-It pads
  • Calendar
  • Bookmark
  • Sharpies
  • Highlighters
  • Small ruler
  • Clip board
  • Binder (to hold all my Peace Corps paperwork)
  • Ball of rubber bands
  • Krazy Glue
  • Notecards (lots of it to make language flashcards)
  • Duck tape
  • Packing tape
(I’m an ICT (Information Computer Technology) volunteer, so I think I’m going overboard with the electronic equipment, but you never know when you’ll need it)
  • MacBook Pro 13″ Laptop
  • Sony IC Recorder Mode lICD-PX312 (voice recorder to help with language learning)
  • Ipod Nano
  • Smartphone (to use while traveling and if Wi-Fi is available)
  • DSLR camera
  • Point-and-shoot camera
  • GoPro camera
  • 1TB WD My Passport External HD
  • 120GB Seagate FreeAgent Go External HD
  • 5 Flash Driver of varying sizes (128MB, 512MB, 2GB, 8 GB, and 32 GB)
  • 2 Pelican 1040 Micro Cases (to store and protect the external HDs and flash drives)
  • Notebook Computer Serialized Cable Lock
  • Blank CDs and DVD-Rs
  • Nook Simple Touch E-reader
  • Nokia 1112 Phone with spare battery
  • Eton Microlink FR160 (hand-crank AM/FM radio and flashlight)
  • Ethernet cables
  • Mouse
  • Mousepad
  • GoalZero Nomad 7 Solar Panel
  • GoalZero Guide 10 Plus
  • AA Battery Charger and 2 AAA Adapters
  • GoalZero Rock Out Portable Speakers
  • AA & AAA rechargeable batteries
  • AA & AAA non-rechargeable Duracell batteries (just in case the rechargeable ones die)
  • CD/DVD Jewel Cases and CD/DVD paper envelopes
  • Various software (Microsoft Windows 7 Installation DVD and Activator CD, Microsoft Office 2007 sp2 Installation DVD, Microsoft Windows 98 Installation CD, Microsoft Windows XP Pro Installation CD, Microsoft Office XP Installation CD, Adobe Software (various), Nero OEM Suite (found this old installer CD), other old but possibly useful Windows programs, Mac OSX Snow Leopard Installation DVD)
  • Pedometer (just for fun to see how much I walk around)
  • Plug adapters (x4)


  • Mountain Hardware Lamina 45 Sleeping Bag
  • Pacsafe 85 Anti-Theft Backpack And Bag Protector (not sure how useful this is going to be, but I bought it anyway)
  • SteriPen (handheld UV water purifer)
  • Booklets of Stickers (for kids)
  • Dum Dum lollipops (for kids)
  • Bubble gum (for kids)
  • Altoid Mints
  • Icebreakers Mints
  • 2 Nalgene Plastic Water Bottles
  • 1 Nathan Steel Water Bottle (with 2 extra replacement straws)
  • 2 Small Photo Albums (with pictures)
  • Headlamps (x3)
  • Leatherman
  • Digital wristwatch
  • Sunglasses (1 old pair and 1 cheap new pair)
  • Combination locks (x4) and key locks (x5) (some of these were used on my luggage)
  • Bed sheets (1 Queen and 1 Full)
  • 4 pillow cases
  • Towels (1 Extra Large PackTowl and 1 Small PackTowl)
  • Night eye mask (to help sleep on the plain)
  • Carabiners (you can never have too many)
  • Bug spray (3 bottles)
  • Sunblock (3 bottles)
  • Poncho (x2)
  • Whistle
  • Hacky sack ball (I used to play when I was a kid, and found one in my closet)
  • Playing cards (2 decks)
  • Map of the world (to help me plan out where to travel during my vacation time)

So this is my packing list.  Again, I think I overpacked, and I will be cutting out some of these things, but at least for now, this is what is in my luggage and also scattered around my room.  I’m praying that I get most of these things to fit, but if they don’t, then I’ll have them shipped in a couple months.


8 thoughts on “I think I’m overpacking… as usual…

      • I spent the last 2 nights trying to get things to fit into my bags, but, of course, they don’t 😦 I’m going to have to cut out probably at least a fourth of all the stuff on the list. The problem right now is trying to figure out what to cut out :/

      • Yeah, I rolled up my pants. I have 2 Space Bags that came in very handy. In the end, I ended up removing about 1/4 of my stuff. I’ll have them shipped to me by my parents after a couple months living there. Then I’ll know what I really truly need (rather than packing all these things that I think I need).

    • I didn’t need all the nice clothes that I brought… like I didn’t need all the dressy stuff, nor socks… I wear sandals 99% of the time. I didn’t need the petty electronics like the pedometer or non-rechargeable batteries (I use my rechargeables all the time instead). To be honest, I used almost all the things I packed, but just not that often, but most were still used. If I could get rid of some things, I would have not packed so many clothes. You can always find clothes here in the “free pile” or buy them in the markets.

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