Packing is challenging enough for any trip. Now that airlines are charging for each peice of luggage it kind of sucks having to pay that extra $25 US each way. The only way to get away from those fees is to pack carry on only. That $50 US is enough to pay for an epic tour somewhere or even a hostel stay for a couple nights! Packing for warm weather trips is easy enough, the clothes are smaller and, lighter. The challenge really is packing for winter with just a carry on. One great thing to help with this is packing cubes, they help keep everything organised. 

Since I love travelling in off season (you can see why here) the weather isn’t always perfect, it is usually autumn or spring and a little chilly for an island girl, so I figured I’d write down my cold weather packing list.

I have just finished packing up my 36 L Osprey backpack for a 2 week trip to Iceland with one day in London. We needed to be warm and waterproof. So basically I packed the same stuff I took to New Zealand and realised this is pretty much a standard cold weather packing list.

Cold Weather Packing List (Carry On only!)

  • Hiking boots ( I love these Columbia Newton Ridges) or converse (depending on trip type)
  • Flip flops (hostel showers or campsites)
  • Socks (usually about 7 pairs and one awesome thick wooly pair)
  • Fleece lined leggings like these (2 pairs travelled in the 3rd pair)
  • Tights (under leggings as base layer)
  • Camisole (base layer)
  • Sweat wicking long sleeve top (base layer)
  • T shirts (enough for a week, 5 long sleeves and 2 tees)
  • Pajama pants and top
  • 2 Sweaters
  • 1 Columbia Mighty Lite Jacket (lightweight, compressible. This jacket kept me so warm even just wearing a long sleeve shirt under it)
  • 1 Columbia Arcadia rain jacket (Packable and bright for rainy days)
  • 1 Columbia Storm Surge Rain Pants
  • 1 bright beanie, gloves, scarf
  • 1 Turkish towel (compact, absorbant, great for hostels as privacy screen on beds)
  • Electronics
  • Nikon D3300, zoom lens and filters
  • Tripod this was so small compact and worked really well! Especially for $20!
  • Selfie stick
  • GoPro with extra batteries and cables
  • Kindle
  • Ipod shuffle and Bose headphones
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Documents
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I normally pack stuff like my Mighty lite jacket, scarf, gloves and beanie into another very small carry on bag so they are easily accessible when I land so I do not need to dig through my big pack for warm gear. Also, I normally keep passport and pen within close reach.

Usually with this amount of stuff my pack weighs just under 20lbs, which means I can easily lift it and place it in the overheard bins without almost knocking anyone out. At that weight it is also to explore a city with it on my back without feeling too weighed down and exhausted which is great.

Rainy day on the Golden Circle. Cold weather packing list.

Rainy day on the Golden Circle. Rocking our Columbia Rain Jackets and rain pants with beanies that I made