In My Bag: Tabitha’s Mongol Rally Packing List

What do you take with you to travel through 23 counties, 2 continents, 4 climate zones, all in 9 weeks? I don’t know what other people might take, but here’s what was in my bag! The most amazing part for me is that there were only 35 articles of clothing! Keep in mind that you are always wearing at least one set of clothing which means space in your bag. While flying I wore my bulkiest items: jeans, sweatshirt, Converse, wool socks. Because it’s cold on airplanes and it gave me more room.


Important note: There is a phenomenon called travel squish. A freshly packed bag is always harder to close, but after a few days everything seems to shift and settle causing your bag to feel much roomier and easier to close. I cannot explain it, but it definitely happened to me!

4:40 am, Friday July 8th, 2016. Last few moments at home before heading to LAX.


My backpack, an REI Front Load 36.5 Liter Backpack (borrowed from a friend):

1 white tank top

1 white sleeveless shirt

3 white t-shirts

2 white long-sleeve t-shirts

1 cream long-sleeve, hooded, bug repellent shirt

1 pink and cream flannel

1 Team #WeLive t-shirt

1 Team #WeLive sweatshirt

1 Adventurists Mongol Rally 2016 t-shirt

1 pair of favorite Madewell boyjeans that I ripped the butt and crotch out of and had to mend 3 times

1 pair of black stretchy harem-ish pants

1 pair of purple cropped yoga pants

1 pair of green linen shorts

1 pair of patterned harem pants

1 pair of Smartwool socks

1 pair of green Darntough knee high socks

1 swim suit

4 pairs of thong undies

2 pars of Thinx period thong undies

3 black bralettes

1 peach colored light weight scarf

1 floral light weight scarf

1 black Holden beanie

1 green Ultralight down jacket (borrowed from a friend)

1 pair of white Converse

1 pair of red leather Luna Sandals

1 pink and white umbrella that I didn’t use at all

1 KeepCup from Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters

1 Water to Go filter water bottle


Bath and Body:

2 eye shadow pots, black and nude

2 make brushes, angled and shadow

1 eye lash curler

1 mascara

2 gloss/moisture lip colors

1 Lush Shampoo Bar

2 packs of Lush Toothy Tabs, one of which got wet and disintegrated in Albania – HEARTBREAK

1 microfiber hand towel

1 microfiber body towel

1 toothbrush

1 floss

1 Diva Cup

1 4 oz. bottle of Original Sprout conditioner

1 face/body coconut bar soap

1 small pot of vitamin E cream moisturizer

1 essential oil anti-stink spray (mix of doTerra’s Peppermint, Oregano, Melaluca, and Lemon)

1 essential oil padded kit (doTerra: On Guard, Breathe, Terashield, Digestzen)

2 Batiste dry shampoo

2Original Sprout sunscreen

1 4 oz. bottle of Dr. Bronners for washing clothes which I used until it spilled in my bag in Kyrgyzstan


“I ripped my pants again, Bri!” “It’s time for new pants, Tabitha.”

In the Leather Cross-body Bag:



headphones (with binder clip)

Galaxy Note 4 cell phone



cell phone charger (with binder clip)

Eos lip balm


rice paper blotting tissue

external battery for my cell phone

instant coffee packets

micro SD card converter for dropping images in laptops

Driving and staying hydrated. Thank you, Water to Go!


Sleeping Essentials:

1 Cabella’s sleeping bag

1 silk sleeping bag liner (borrowed from a friend)

1 eye mask

1 set of ear plugs

1 ultralight hammock

1 Relief Bed air mattress

1 Relief Bed memory foam pillow

First night in Iran, August 2nd. We stayed at a “hotel” that was a series of traditional nomadic yurts! Also, there was traditional Azeri music.

Things I Acquired on the Road:

1 pair of linen overalls in Istanbul, Turkey

1 performance fleece lined hooded sweatshirt in Astana, Kazakhstan

2 pairs of short light weight socks gifted to me by our couch-surfing host in Edirne, Turkey

1 long printed skirt in Turkey

1 tent in Astana, Kazakhstan

1 pair of cashmere tights in Mongolia

1 mini tube of toothpaste in Mongolia


There was only one thing I truly wished that I had brought with me! A Swiss Army Knife. To cut my nails and file jagged edges, open things, cut string, etc. Could have done without the umbrella. The only item that went with me that I did not come home with me is my official Team #WeLive hooded sweatshirt which now resides in England with Harry of Team So Good It Yurts.


Several items I used heavily on the trip that I did not have to pack from the US to the UK because they were gifts from sponsors and were waiting for me in Scotland and England! Relief Bed air mattress and pillow,  Water to Go bottle, and a Minipresso espresso maker.  And thankfully I didn’t need a laptop because Megan and Paula brought theirs.

At AydIn’s Yayla in the highland mountain pastures of Turkey, not far from Trabzon. Yes, this travel espresso maker is more than slightly phallic.

Getting it all home required that I either cough up the money to check a bag and risk being separated from it during a terminal change in China, OR ship a sack home to myself from Russia. I opted for the latter because I am adamantly opposed to checking bags when I fly. Especially when switching terminals is involved.

The Russian post office was an entertaining experience! I paid $45 American dollars and after TWO MONTHS of wondering if the Russian postal service was reliable I finally received my giant package this week! What was in it?  2 Relief Beds, my sleeping bag and hammock, Luna Sandals, 1 skirt from Turkey, a Water to Go bottle, skirt from Turkey, my bug repelling shirt, Minipresso maker, dry shampoo, bug spray, and sunscreen. I’m quite delighted to have it all back. Thank you, Russia. I’m sorry I doubted you.


What did I learn? I love living with less just as much as I thought. It’s such a wonderfully free feeling to live out of a bag that sometimes I try to live that way even at home.

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  2 comments for “In My Bag: Tabitha’s Mongol Rally Packing List

  1. Rebekah
    November 13, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    I have been dreaming of taking a trip and packing light … this gives me hope that is can be done … so proud of you for going and experiencing all that and sharing it with those of us who are still on the couch.

  2. November 13, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Great post! Super helpful for my upcoming trip! I can’t wait to start packing!

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