Time is flying by at light speed and the departure date for Costa Rica is fast approaching (November 28). This means it is time to start firming up a reasonable packing list. Normally I am quite spontaneous, but for a trip like this I prefer to be organized down to the smallest detail rather than winging it the night before. Perhaps a bit overkill, but it helps me sleep better at night so it is worth it. Besides, it really sucks to forget stuff!

The challenge with this trip is that it is sort of three different trips in one. For the most part we are going to be doing day hikes from a base camp needing only a smaller day pack for the essentials. But for one (or perhaps two) of the longer hikes we will be camping out in the jungle for a few nights, at altitude where it can be quite cold, needless to say requiring a larger pack with more extensive gear. Finally, the last few days will be spent relaxing on a wonderful beach down in Dominical. Civilization!! One might not want to stomp around in muddy hiking boots down there… just saying… As you see, rather different sets of requirements.

So the trick now is to plan for all that while still packing light. I want to be smart about this and not carry a bunch of excess weight, but I also want to be comfortable and have fun. A happy balance somewhere in between ultra light and monster heavy. I have tried to really do some soul searching as to what I really want and need to bring. For one, I have decided to leave the huge DSLR camera at home. Instead I am bringing a quite capable compact. Will I miss some of the features of the Nikon? Perhaps. But for 99 % of what I want the little Sony will be more than adequate, while at the same time being much more flexible and easy to use and keep dry. I am also still debating over how many to take of each (such as socks and t-shirts) but I am getting there.

This is what I have on the list so far, you will notice I am a big fan of merino wool… I definitely welcome input!

Costa Rica 2015 – packing list:

65L travel backpack/ overnight hikes (Osprey Aura AG)
35L carry on luggage/ daypack (Osprey Aura)
flight bag for the large pack (Osprey Airporter)
rain covers and waterproof liners for both packs
ultralight stuff pack (Osprey, 90g)
misc pack bags (waterproof and mesh) to organize stuff

hammock (Warbonnet Blackbird XLC)
tarp (Warbonnet Superfly)
underquilt (DIY, synthetic)
sleeping bag (1-season, synthetic)
sleeping bag liner in merino wool
travel pillow
camping stove (Primus ETA Express)
utensils: titanium spork, folding cup
waterfilter (Sawyer Mini)
dirty water sack (Evernew 2L)
hydration bladder 3L (Camelbak)
water bottle 0,5L (Nalgene)

trekking poles
multi tool (Leatherman Juice CS4)
repair kit
laundry detergent (wool)
duct tape
small seating pad

camera (Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R00 III)
memory cards and extra batteries
small backup harddrive
mini-tripod (Gorillapod mini)
iPhone 6 (with waterproof case)
gps app for iPhone
usb power with travel adapter
portable battery (12000 mAh)
head lamp

passport/tickets/travel papers
small handbag/travel neck pouch
travel towels
first aid kit
travel pharmacy
ear plugs
sun screen
mosquito repellant
energy (organic powerbars, dextrosol/glucose)

hiking boots (Crispi Summit GTX)
sandals (Teva Tirra)

Base layer (in merino wool)
– briefs/boxers
– sports bra
– socks
– tank top
– t-shirts
– long sleeve hoodie
– long underwear pants
Mid layer
– merino wool jacket (535g)
– microfleece jacket (155g)
– long sleeve button down shirt
Outer layer
– hiking pants (zip-off)
– wind jacket
– puffer jacket
– rain gear
Beach/ base camp
– sarong
– swimsuit
– sundress
– skirt
– bandana
– sun visor
– rain hat
– sunglasses
– head band
– beanie (merino wool)
– gloves (merino pool)
– buff (merino wool)