What’s in your backpack, Candice Walsh, world’s worst backpacker?

Back when I worked at MatadorNetwork.com there was a series that asked travellers what was in their backpack. I wondered what I would write about, a constant over-packer, if ever the honour was given.

I’ve begun packing much more strategically since I’ve started travelling more often, and was genuinely impressed by how little I managed to pack for Central America. Having to wear only bikinis and tank tops the whole time does help, though.

I still over-packed. Most people in my group are travelling with just a carry-on.

People also always ask me what I travel with, like I’m some kind of expert or something. But I do have my favourite gear, so here goes.

The Backpack

In Central America I’m travelling with my Osprey Farpoint 70 Travel Backpack. I cannot believe this thing is 70 litres. That seems OUTRAGEOUS. It’s tiny. Or at least I think so.

What I love about this pack is that I can zip up the straps so that it turns into a duffel bag. Also, the front detaches as a daypack, which is awesome for hikes. It also folds open like a suitcase, which I MUCH prefer to digging around a top-loading pack. On this trip, four of us have Ospreys. The lifetime warranty helps.

I also have a MEC 80-litre pack that I used in Europe last year. It’s pretty awesome.


Obvs I have a lot of electronics to keep me going on the road. And to annoy you with constant sunshine updates. I have a MacBook Pro that is scheduled to die any day now, because such is life.

I recently “downgraded” my DSLR kit to a Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II Digital Camera. Easily the best decision I’ve made. No more lugging around extra lenses, and this baby is SO easy to manage. Plus it takes really terrific photos.

I’m also now travelling with a Polaroid Cube Mini Lifestyle Action Camera (Red) to capture video. It has pretty well the same specs as a GoPro, except it’s only $99 and is even MORE compact. You can buy a Waterproof Case as well.

I travel with an iPhone6, except on this Central America trip where I’ve brought my old iPhone4 instead. Haha. You know, theft and stuff.

Kindle Paperwhite. I hate it but it works.

Cocoon Grid-It Organizer for organizing all your wires and things. BEST THING EVER.

Grid-It tech organizer

I keep most my gear in a North Face laptop backpack. I’ve had it for YEARS, and is more reliable than most packs I’ve had.


Lewis N. Clark Packing Cubes (HIGHLY recommended)

Lewis N. Clark packing cubes

Pinrose Fragrance (it’s like portable perfume – I gave up my Dior Poison for this trip. Gasp!)

1 travel journal
1 day planner

DivaCup and Diva Wash (It’s a menstrual cup. Deal with it. It’s changed my life.)

Small bag of jewelry
Small bag of make-up
Facial cleanser
A baggie filled with stolen hotel shampoo/conditioner (No regrets)

Packed clothing

Small leather purse picked up in Bosnia & Herzegovina
Small baggie with Immodium, Tylenol, and Polysporin
A Padlock
Two nailpolishes & a small bottle of remover (I’m high maintenance)


For Central America I’ve packed

2 light sundresses
10 pairs of underwear (you can never have too many)
2 pairs of socks
3 bathing suits (might be excessive)
1 pair of flip-flops
1 pair of sneakers for hiking
1 Pair of Tumi sunglasses (protect those eyeballs, baby!)

4 Shirts/Tank tops
1 Pair of jean shorts
1 Pair of light pants
1 Fitness outfit
1 Encircled Chameleon Maxi
1 Light PrAna jacket for Guatemala

That’s actually pretty excessive, btw. But the Encircled Maxi is DA BOMB and can be worn 8 ways – it’s a reverse dress with two colours, and can be a maxi skirt, a mini skirt, or a full dress. I brought a belt to sexify things up a bit.

Encircled Maxi skirt

More photos to come!
What travel gear can you absolutely not live without?

  • April 23 2015

    Pretty impressive. I do love Cocoon Grid-It Organizers, they are the best thing ever created!

  • April 25 2015

    Awesome info! By the way, I remember reading you from a few years back. I think I started following you in twitter too.

  • April 28 2015

    Great list, Candice! Will be stealing some tips for my upcoming Ireland and Scotland trip, although (obviously) with warmer clothing!

  • June 02 2015
    Maria Elise Beardsley

    Just stumbled upon your blog… great posts! So entertained!

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