The weather is hot and unless you decide to travel to Guatemala and climb a volcano, you really only need to pack summer clothes. It is by far the best time of year for a backpacking adventure and allows you to pack light.
In the following guide you will find everything I bring when I tour Central America and learn the best combination of clothes and gear to bring with you for your trip.
This year I replaced my old 60 liter pack with a smaller 50 liter one. I find the size to be perfect. The pack is called Samurai 50L by Guerrilla Packs. The quality is excellent and for 80$ I don’t think there is a better deal out there. For more info on this pack, check out Guerrilla Packs.
2-3 Pairs Of Socks
Most of the time you’ll want to wear sandals. I always go with Rainbow Sandals. If you do bring shoes, try and find “bare foot” style shoes because they’re super light.
7 Pairs Of Underwear
A weeks worth of underwear is a good amount considering you’ll be sweating quite a bit. The thinner and more breathable fabric, the better.
1 Pair Of Shorts
Cargo shorts with lots of pockets are the best kind to travel with. If you can fit everything you need in them, you won’t have to haul around a day bag. I’m sporting some Dockers.
1 Pair Of Swim Trunks
Aside from swimming, swim trunks can double as good hostel pajamas, and secondary shorts when your cargo pants become disgustingly dirty. Since they’re pretty light, you might even consider bringing two pairs. I go with Quicksilver for swim trunks.
1 Pair Of Jeans
Night’s can become chilly, especially if you’re in the Highlands of Guatemala or climbing a volcano. Jeans are also a good idea to wear if you’re traveling through remote towns where wearing shots might come off as disrespectful. I go with Levi’s cause they are cut well for my size.
1 Pair Long Johns
Long-Johns go great under jeans and can also double a comfy pajamas. They will keep you warm in case you find yourself sleeping out at night. Marks and Spencer’s long johns are my favorite cause they last for ages and don’t lose their softness in the wash.
1 Wind Breaker
A small compactable windbreaker adds a vital layer of warmth. I use a down windbreaker from Uniqlo because it scrunches down small and is deceivingly warm.
A beanie will not only keep you warm but it can also double as a blinder to keep out the sun in bright hostel dorms after a long night of partying. Mine is from Norway.
You’ll want to pack something breathable and dark. This way all the sweat and dirt stains won’t show as much. I recommend just bringing one because chances are you’ll want to pick up a cool local shirt along the way. I love t-shirts from Uniqlo because the fabric is very breathable and it only costs around 12$.
1 Dress Shirt
A breathable and dark dress shirt is a good idea for when you want to look good for a party or sneak in to a hotel or someplace fancy. I go with a salmon color just in case I manage to spill my wine. Mine’s from Old Navy.
1 Rope Belt
If you’re belt is made of rope, airport security won’t make you take it off. It’s generally lighter than a normal belt. Plus, you never know when you might need a bit of rope. My Norwegian uncle made mine.
I travel with a Macbook Air, which I consider the best laptop to travel with. But if you don’t need a laptop for work then I definitely recommend leaving it at home. 13″ MacBook Air.
A smart phone is all you really need if you want to browse the web or keep in touch with family. I travel with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. I prefer it to an Iphone because it takes an external sd card and allows me to store all my music and videos on it. Plus if you get the international version you can local country sim cards wherever you go. International Galaxy Note 3.
The GoPro is great if you’re going to be doing a lot of water and action footage. If not, I would recommend using a regular digital camera.
I’m using a Sony Cyber Shot 20v. The video quality, as you’ll see in the video below, is great, and I find the image quality to nearly match that of a DSLR at times. For a more detailed review, check out Runaway Travel Tech.
I never thought I would use a reader until I got one. There’s just something about reading on a non-glare book like screen that makes me want to read more. And for just 80$, I’m glad I made the investment. Barnes & Noble NOOK.
This year I came across a travel wallet by Bellroy. It’s probably the coolest and most practical wallet for the traveler I’ve ever seen. It’s large enough to hold my passport and slim enough to slip effortlessly into my pocket. Check out this article for a full review, James Bond’s Travel Wallet.
Packing for any backpacking adventure is about going light. And the warm climate of Central America allows you to do this. When packing, you generally don’t as much as you think you do. If there is something you need, like an extra shirt or a warmer sweater, you can almost always buy it at a cool street market and for loads less than home.
The lighter you pack, the more liberating your trip.
Good luck and stress free packing,