Posted by: kellylyneddy | April 25, 2013

Well Prepared Minimalists Travelling With Kids

Many people have been curious about what to pack for an extended adventure in South America. Many people…including ourselves.

Packing your family for a four-month adventure is a bit like playing Tetris. It’s a challenge to try and fill every last inch of space without leaving annoying little voids.  I am sure the items lost on this trip will have been sucked into one of those voids never to be found again, like socks in a washing machine. I have a reoccurring nightmare (where my smallest, yet most important item) is lost in a sea of clothing, kids, and gear, insisting on staying lost until no longer needed.  So here’s to the beginning of our attempt to organize our adventure into two duffle bags, two children’s backpacks, and one suitcase.

For weeks we’ve been packing our house and setting aside articles that we plan to take along. Myself and the boys have taken a very practical approach and have been living with only what we will bring for the past two weeks. I have tweaked our packing list accordingly and am adjusting to living with less and doing more laundry. This seems a sound and practical strategy. Tyler has taken a different approach and thrown some t-shirts and underwear in a stuff sack. A tactic which is sure to draw ridicule and regret for several weeks to come.

We’ve packed for many backpacking, travelling and camping trips in the past so we’re taking a “well prepared minimalist, travelling with kids approach” or WPMTWKA as it’s known in the packing world. Oh, and some hockey equipment which fits into none of the aforementioned categories. So here are a few photos and a list of supplies that we’ve packed:

Our stuff minus the hockey gear.

Our stuff minus the hockey gear.

First Aid Kit – bursting at the seams with everything from cough drops to rehydration crystals to antibiotics

Tyler’s Clothing – t-shirts (5), socks (5), jeans (2), gotch (5), shoes (2), sweater, coat, mitts, toque, hat, bathroom bag

Kelly’s Clothing – t-shirts (6), socks (5), bras(3), underwear (5), pants(3), sweater, fleece, shell, toque, hat, mitts, neck scarf, journal, bathroom bag

Emery’s Clothing – t-shirts(6), socks(5), gotch(5), pants(4), PJ’s(2),shoes(2),  fleece, shell, toque, mitts, hat, and one green backpack full of super important stuff

Eli’s Clothing – t-shirts(6), socks (5), gotch(5), pants (5), PJ’s(2), shoes(2) fleece, shell, toque, mitts, hat, and one blue backpack full of super important stuff

Emergency Kitchen – small cutting board, 4 utensils, 4 cups, campsuds(very versatile), knife, water bottle, 2 reusable grocery bags

Technology – laptop, camera, speaker, cords, chargers, flashlight, mini lamp, cell phone, power adapter

Passports & papers


3 books

2 maps

Cards and dice

All Packed!

All Packed!

And hockey gear! More on this later I am sure.

Of course we are bringing hockey gear, we are Canadian!

Of course we are bringing hockey gear, we are Canadian!

I’ll revisit this list closer to the end of our trip and let you know how things are going, what we have picked up, offloaded, and what we were glad we brought.

Here’s to WPMTWKA….. as it is known in the packing world.



  1. Oh my…thank god you have boys and not girls! I can’t imagine the packing process!

  2. Kelly , you are amazing ! I have a hard time packing for a weekend and not making it a suitcase ! Good luck

  3. May I just say how much I appreciate your use of the word “gotch” instead of “gonch”!

  4. Looks like you have that packing deal down to a science. Have a great time guys, we’ll come visit you for sure when you come back……..for sure this time.

  5. Excellent packing skillz. I managed to get a double-sized goose down into a backpack when I moved to Jordan. If the packing tape would have let go it would have killed someone, it was compressed so tight. The rest of my pack was used for face cream and chocolate. :-p

  6. Daydreaming about this very lifestyle with an impending house move. Love your plan; can’t wait to find out how it plays out! Yay!

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