This is the second part of my packing list, the one with all the lady stuff. When you think about it, it takes a helluva lot of grooming to even look half presentable. If it were up to me, I’d let myself go to seed and not bother with shaving or plucking… but it’s not, I would be shunned by society for sure if I took a more relaxed approach to beautifying. That said, there’s no point going OTT while you’re backpacking. So leave the straighteners, foundation and fake tan at home.
Your list might be different than mine but try and take multi-tasking products and ones you can’t function without. I paid attention to my daily routine and worked out that out of my many products, there were only a handful I used everyday.
Anyhoo, without further ado, here is the list…
My hair is CRAYYYYYYYYYY.
I’ll just let that ruminate with you for a while. And just know that whatever you think about your hair, mine is a billion times less manageable. It can be corkscrew curls one day or straight the next, and although it’s thin, there’s a lot of it. So I need conditioner like a fish needs water and I am guessing it will have to be tied back most of the time unless I want to look like a bush baby.
- Frizz Ease
- Hair gel
- Hairspray (mini)
- Bobbles x 100000000
- Kirby grips
TIP: Put a few bobbles in every bag, they always get lost and being without one is a nightmare.
The bare essentials here, but do take a sunscreen, it’s so important. If you don’t get dry skin, ditch the moisturiser.
- Shower gel/soap
- Body cream
- Sunscreen (high SPF)
TIP: Take a strong antiperspirant rather than a bodyspray. Mitchum is great.
Baby wipes, not face wipes, are fab as they’re way cheaper and come in larger packs. I use Johnsons for sensitive skin which you can use to freshen up your body too. Take a good cream as in Asian countries especially, the creams will have harsh whitening chemicals in them. I use Keihls. Yes, I’m taking wax strips, I do get a slight ‘tache and I use them on my brows too. Eight Hour Cream can be used on everything: chapped lips, hair, sunburn.
TIP: Take a super high SPF and thank me in ten years time when you look like J.Lo instead of Donatella Versace.
Make sure you go for a checkup with your dentist before you leave and take a good quality toothbrush. If you have sensitive teeth take a suitable toothpaste (I’m very particular about what toothpaste I use, Arm & Hammer if you’re asking). Don’t forget to floss!
- Whitening strips
TIP: Whitening strips come in tiny packs and can give your teeth a whitening boost if they’re looking a little dull.
Don’t forget the tools, you shouldn’t need many, but Tweezers and eyelash curlers can make you look much more groomed. Hair removal is a personal choice, you may want to wax or not do any at all. A razor doesn’t take up much space though and could come in handy.
- Eyelash curlers
- Epilator? Has anyone used one of these? How effective are they?
- Nail file & polish
This is important but don’t go into hypochondriac mode and take the whole chemist with you. Some painkillers and antihistamines can help a variety of complaints (heatstroke, headache, upset tum, cold, allergies, bites). Plasters can help with blisters or bites. Good old savlon is a multi-purpose skin salve. Take tampons obviously. AND CONDOMS!!!!! Do not, I repeat, do not have sex with anyone without protection (have an STI check before you depart too).
TIP: Taking care of yourself is the best way to avoid getting ill. Eat well, drink lots of water, avoid alcohol (the 18-30 boozathon is so passé) and make sure you rest and listen to your body.
If you’re lucky you might not take any, but if you’re on any, get a big supply, same goes for The Pill (but I’d suggest getting an implant for one less thing to worry about). I have asthma and take inhalers each day so some room in the backpack is devoted to them.
- Symbicort Inhaler x 8
- Ventolin Inhaler x 6
We all need a little help and while I don’t want to go full Joan Collins on the beach, I do want to look presentable so I’ll be taking a mini makeup bag. I got my eyebrows tattooed so I can look more groomed while I’m away. Yes, it did hurt, but sooo worth it!
- Black eyeliner
- Lipstick (red & pink)
- Brown eyeshadow
- Kabuki brush
- Perfume (small)
- Makeup bag (small)
TIP: Instead of taking away an expensive perfume, ask for some samples at your local department store. I scored some gorgeous mini Diptyque fragrances.
So there we have it, my life in a backpack for 2016. I hope this helps you pack – if you have any of your own tips PLEASE leave a comment. It’s so, so, so hard to pack for a long time in a backpack and I’m interested to hear everyone’s experiences.