So what do you take with you when you go traveling for a year?

Here’s what we packed.  We’ve broken the lists out into 3 parts:

1. A road tripping list
2. An international travel list
3. A first aid kit and guide

Let us know if we are missing something!

Alaska Road Trip


4 small – med size plastic tubs (one for each person’s clothing and personal items)
bedding – sleeping bags and pillows
coleman stove and feul tank
camp chairs
kitchen kit *
first aid kit – (see separate tab for contents)
pack towels, wash clothes and clothes line
toiletries **
books and maps
food storage bin
sawyer water filtration system / steri pen
dish tub
day backpacks
camelbacks and / or water bottles
trash bags
shelving with drawers (build this behind passenger seat and over cooler for kitchen storage)
new van rug (Thanks Jen and Geoff!)
curtains (stacy to sew)
netting for shoe storage
suction cup holders for storage
outdoor mat
laundry detergent
toy bins
art bin
tent and sleeping pads?
iPad, iPod, connectors, chargers, headphones, cell phone
homeschool materials

*Kitchen Kit:
cast iron skillet
2 handled skillet
pot – large
pot – small
spices and herbs
cutting board
dish soap, sponges and towels
serving spoon
coffee stuff
can opener
cheese grater
mixing bowl
measuring cups and spoons

** Toiletries
shampoo and conditioner
face lotion



backpacks x 4
day packs x 2
first aid kit *
toiletries **
water bottles x4
3-4 tops and bottoms per person (cotton and synthetic)
1-2 pair of shorts pp
4 pairs of underwear pp
3 pairs of socks pp
1 pair PJ’s per kid
sun hats x 4
warm hats x4
fleece or down jackets x 4
capilene bottoms base x 4
1 pair tennis shoes pp
1 pair sandals pp
rain jackets x 4
headlamps x 4
swiss army knife
pack towels and washcloths
p cord
camera, charger and extra storage (flash drive)
water purifier – steri pen
money belts x 2
travel wallets x 2
alarm or watch
cable lock
sleep sheets?
ipod / iPad
sink plug
duct tape

First Aid Kit and Guide


“A ship in the harbor is safe but that is not what ships are made for” – William Shedd

Natural Remedies

Calendula, comfrey cream – antibiotic
Umcka – cold and flu relief
Rescue Remedy – stress relief
Elderberry syrup – Anti viral for cold and flu
Echinacea – immune booster
Tea Tree essential oil – antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal
Eucalyptus essential oil – antibiotic, antiviral for colds and flu
Papaya tablets – indigestion
Crystalized ginger – nausea, motion sickness
Arnica cream – anti inflammatory for bruises, sprains and muscles soreness
Arnica (oral dose 30C)
Aloe Vera – sunburn and other minor burns
Lavender essential oil – anti inflammatory, antiseptic, soothing, calming
Chamomile, Peppermint and Ginger tea
Zinc / Echinacea throat lozenges
Garlic Mullein drops – ear infection
Lip Balm
Bite Blocker Bug Spray
Emergen C

Rhus Tox – homeopathic 30C
Jewelweed – poison ivy treatment
Dried Eyebright – eye infections
Jojoba Oil – carrier oil

Conventional OTC Medicines
Anti diarrheal – loperamide
Ibuprofin / aspirin
Children’s Ibuprofin (fever reducer, pain relief)
Antihistimine – Benedryl
Antibiotic ointment – Neosporin
Oral rehydration packets
Cough syrup

Prescription Medicine
Epi Pens
(*see note below)

Additional Essential Supplies
Bandages / bandaids in various sizes
Oral syringe
Adhesive tape
Safety Pins
Small cold pack
WFR (Wilderness First Responder) emergency reference book
Hand sanitizer
Elastic bandage
Cotton balls

Our family has no know allergies that require epi pens but we carry them as severe allergic reactions though rare, can develop at any time. I.E., a person may have repeated exposure to bee stings with no systemic reaction and then without warning, upon next exposure they may have a significant reaction. In a remote environment, an epi pen can be a life saving treatment for such an event.

My “Quick Reference” Natural Remedies Guide for Common Illnesses

Use moleskin for prevention
If blister develops use a calendula comfrey salve and cover. Do not drain the blister and leave the skin in tact.
Use a Tea Tree or Lavender Essential Oil wash to clean if necessary
If necessary take one oral dose (30C potency) of Arnica. Can take oral doses up to 3 x per day until bruise fades.
Apply Arnica cream topically.
Can apply a cold compress infused with Lavender Essential Oil
Cool the area with wet cool compress.
Apply Aloe Vera or Lavender Essential Oil (undiluted) to unbroken skin and cover.
You may first clean the area with the wet compress soaked in water containing a few drops of Lavender Oil.
Common Cold / Flu /Fever
Give Immune support – Elderberry, Vit C, Echinacea.
Take Umcka at the first sign of illness.
Sip Chamomile, Ginger, Peppermint or Cold Calm tea with honey.
For congestion – add Eucalyptus or Peppermint Essential Oils to hot water and inhale vapors.
Rub Eucalyptus or Lavender Oil on the chest and throat.
If needed for comfort (to bring a fever down) use Children’s Ibuprofin (dye free) for kids
Eyebright (steep one teaspoon of dried eyebright in 1 cup boiling water. Allow it to cool to room temp, strain out liquid and apply with a clean cloth to infected eye(s).
Can also wash eye(s) with a chamomile tea bag.
Drink Pear Juice, it’s way better than Prune!
Cuts and scrapes
Wash with a Lavender or Tea Tree Oil compress
Can put Lavender or Tea Tree Oils directly (undiluted) on to cuts and scrapes.
Apply a Calendula, Comfrey salve to affected area.
If available add probiotics to your diet.
Take an anti diarrheal (immodium) only if needed – as in you have to sit on a bus for 12 hours without a bathroom available at all times.
Ear infections
Garlic Mullein Ear Drops
Give Immune Support – Elderberry, Vit C, Echinacea
Use Children’s Ibuprofin as needed for pain.
Fungal infection (athlete’s foot)
Tea Tree Oil (mix 3 drops Tea Tree Oil in 1/4 teaspoon Olive or Jojoba Oil and apply to infected area with a cotton ball)
Peppermint Essential Oil – put a drop on each index finger and then rub temples
Papaya enzyme tablets
Insect bites and stings
Prevent with Bite Blocker Insect repellant
Apply Lavender Essential Oil, Aloe or a Calendula Comfrey salve for itching
Motion Sickness
Ginger – crystallized, ginger tea
Ginger – crystallized, ginger tea
Poison Ivy / Oak
Rhus Tox (homeopathic remedy) Take 1 oral dose (30C) when you first notice symptoms. Continue with 4 doses per day for 3 days.
Jewelweed – I’ve never used this but plan to try it next time we have need. The Jewelweed plant apparently grows near the poison ivy plant (how convenient!) Crush it up and apply directly to the skin. Jewelweed tinctures are also available.
Sore throat
Use zinc / echinacea lozenges
Drink warm, honey tea (chamomile or throat coat)
Salt water gargle
Sprains and strains
Try the old standby – RICE ( rest, ice, compression, elevation)
Apply Arnica cream
Chamomile or “Calming” tea
Rescue Remedy
Apply Aloe and Vit E
Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration

Please note:
I am not a doctor or a nurse. I’ve compiled the above information which I garnered from personal experience, trial and error and by consulting a variety of resources – online and printed materials. These are things I try as a first line of defense for common, non serious illnesses or minor traumas. There are multiple options for treating many of the conditions I list. I chose remedies presented here because they are easy to carry in a backpack, have multiple uses or are simply my favorite options. Use your own judgement and common sense. 🙂



  1. Stacy,
    thank you so much for this thorough list! We are packing for Peru and will use your list as a guide! Muchas gracias! We’ll link you to our blog soon…
    Gary “Eduardo” Perless

    • Awesome! Where are you going in Peru? Would love to hear about it.

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