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Hopefulist, help me with my packing list for Costa Rica! Also, Glover, your threads have been helpful as well for the packing quesitons...

Hopefulist, help me with my packing list for Costa Rica! Also, Glover, your threads have been helpful as well for the packing quesitons...

Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:52 PM
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Hopefulist, help me with my packing list for Costa Rica! Also, Glover, your threads have been helpful as well for the packing quesitons...

Hi there, Hopefulist! I'm the person who posted a question and you tried to direct me to the list you have posted on thorntree. I think I may have found it, did you post it, by any chance, on JUne 30, 2005? Is that the list? If so I printed it out, but I just wanted to be sure. We are allowed 44 lbs TOTAL LUGGAGE for 7 or 8 nights in Costa Rica, and for the last 2 nights, we're downsized to 25 pounds, total, in a duffle they mailed to us. HOW DO I MANAGE ALL THE CONTACT LENS SOLUTIONS, BUG SPRAYS, HAIRDRYER, ETC., WHICH ADD WEIGHT??? I have been buying all sorts of stuff from catalogs (and fretting about paying my bill next month, before I get around to returning 50% of it after I try stuff on etc), in regards to "daypacks" and "waterproof hiking shoes" to "lightweight pants & shorts" "rain poncho's" "Umbrellas".... everything needs to be LIGHTWEIGHT for Costa Rica... between you and Glover, with her ebags.com & that "convertible carryon", I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going to end up returning a lot of my stuff in exchange for your professional guidance!!!
For Costa Rica, I'm allowed only 25 pounds total for this one excursion near the end, where we have to stay 2 nights. The tour group provided us with a duffle bag to get all 25 pounds of stuff in. I bought some sort of backpack thing from REI or Sahalie, I forgot which, which fit into the tour's "daypack" size limit which is 17 long, 12 wide, 10 high... I wonder what size the bag glover recommends is? I wonder if it would be better than the one I got. I got it because it's a swing-around type of "backpack" meaning I can keep my camera in there, while hiking, and when I want to grab it, all I have to do is swing around the daypack and unzip the bag to get at my camera. I wonder if the tour group means for this daybag to also be our hiking backpack??? It's confusing, and my time is coming up to leave for Costa Rica, we're leaving March 10! Still time... If you can tell me exactly the name brands of the shirts you got and the pants, etc., and where you got them, in addition to the right shoes for muddy slippery trails (they recommend sturdy shoes with ankle support), I'd really find that helpful...I've got catalogs all over the place. I think I might have to return the raincoat I bought, it's too heavy I think. I bought a pair of Merrells and am "breaking them in" now, but then I read a thread on thorn and it seems maybe KEENS are better? Jeez.
teadrinker is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 07:08 PM
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Hey, Teadrinker -
DON'T PANIC! YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE AN AWESOME TRIP NO MATTER WHAT BAGS, SHOES, ETC. YOU TAKE! First off, you'll want to go back to CA, and based on what you take this time you'll hone down your own list and become your own expert over time - think of your packing list as a living document that will evolve over time. Secondly, please take or leave my advice as you see fit - you asked for my opinions, so here they are.

WEIGHT - Yes, that's my list you've found. If I can keep my bag weight below 25# for a month of travel, you can do it for 7-8 days. Honestly, there won't be a time when it's fun to have 44# of gear to lug around, so plan to stick to the 25#.

For a 7-8 day trip, shop for travel-sized contact solution, shampoos, lotions, etc. If you can't find the brands you like (and can't live without them for a week), buy small Nalgene travel bottles and load them up. Do you really need the hairdrier? It's not as though your hair's ever going to really dry in a tropical climate, anyway, and the monkeys won't care how you look.

BAGS - Plan to take the duffle as one bag (carried on if it'll fit in a 22x14x9 space) and a daypack (carried on as your personal item) as another. If the swing-around bag you already bought is comfortable enough for every use (including hiking), take that, otherwise shop for a light-weight, comfortable bag and send that one back. I wear a flat passport-file thing under my clothes, but no purse, messenger bag, etc. Glover's convertible carry-on is 22x14x9 and looks great, but I don't think you'll need anything besides the duffle you already have and a comfortable daypack.

JACKETS - My jacket is a very lightweight, packable gore-tex one - rolls up to the size of a pop can but keeps me dry. Lots of folks like to take cheapy plastic ponchos instead to cover themselves and their packs. If I'm doing any higher altitude hiking I take a light, zip-up fleece jacket, too. My sun hat doubles for a rainhat and I don't like umbrellas - personal preference. Really, getting wet isn't a bad thing when its warm out.

PANTS and SHIRTS - Here's a Campmor link to the type of pants I take. I realize I look like a tourist in these pants, but frankly I look like a tourist no matter how long I stay or what I wear, so I shoot for comfort and convenience:


If you can shop locally and try them on that would be better. I have REI ones that are available in their stores or on their website, but they're not necessarily better than the ones Campmor has on sale.

Here's an example of a wicking travel shirt (I have a yellow one like this):


I take one of those and 3-4 wicking t-shirts (runners and racquetball players love them, too).

SHOES - I LOVE my Keens but your guides would say they don't have enough ankle support. If the Merrills you have do (great brand, by the way) and they're VERY COMFORTABLE, take those. If you can afford to buy a pair of nylon (not leather) Keens, take those, too, and a cheap but comfy pair of flipflops. I just take my Keens and a pair of neoprene socks and flipflops.

MISC. - If you're going to be with a group most of the time, a lot of the stuff on my list you wouldn't need or want in only a week.


Let me know if there's anything else I can do. In the mean time, have a nice cup of Sleepy-time tea and r e l a x .

Happy trails!

hopefulist is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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Teadrinker! Relax!

You do not need 44 lbs of luggage to go to CR. You really do not even need 25 lbs!

My advice is to take your duffle, do a dry run pack, put everything you THINK you need in the bag, now take out everything you DO NOT need.

You do not need a hairdryer, every day in CR is a bad hair day, meaning you will either have rain, humidity, wind or all 3 at the same time! So get a cute haircut or pull your hair into a ponytail, stick a cap on your head and go. Every morning you will want to be up and roaming with the birds and animals, so no time for makeup, hair and such. In the evening run a little gel through your hair, give it a shake and go. With this image you should be able to get a good mental picture of your trip and it will change your travel thoughts for life.

Instead of downsizing the last 2 days, downsize the entire trip.

I am a rather practical person when it comes to spending money, so I rely a lot of the WalMart, Target type stores. Also Memphis my closest big city does have travel stores which in my opinion are too expenisve, so I use the Bass Pro Shop. All of these have items that are reasonably priced and work perfectly.

You know pretty much how much of any product you use for a day. Get the empty travel bottles purchased anywhere (WalMart). Put enough shampoo etc in a bottle to work for a week. IE 2 pumps per day - don't take the large economy bottle.

As for makeup, a moisturizer with SPF and some mascara will do it. Personally I carry samples.

Rain gear - I think this one is always a confusing topic. Personally I have a rainjacket purchased at WalMart that packs into itself forming a little pouch, about 8X8. My husband has a Columbia rainjacket fully packable and breathable from Bass Pro cost $29. We use these jackets all the time, traveling, ball games, boating, etc.

Baseball cap or wide brimmed hat, both for keeping the rain out of your face and for sun protection.

Shoes, depending on what we are doing on a particular trip - I sometimes where my hikers, and always carry my Columbia sandals and a pair of flip flops.

Costa Rica is very very casual, if you have to take a sundress, make certain it is something that you can wad up and skish in your bag sort of thing.

The breathable quick drying camp shirts and pants are wonderful. I take lots of tank tops for day time and then wear them under my camp shirt "for a more dressy look!!! HA!" for evenings. Possibly a pair of cute quick dry capris to complete the outfit.

Bags - the rolling bags weigh way too much, plus wheels and CR just do not go together. But if you do have the same hotel for both your first and final nights, you can carry a rolling to help in getting through airports and to haul all your souvenirs and coffee! home, plus to store your traveling clothes.

So to sum it up - think in the terms of what will I use for a week and only carry that - I promise you can do it under 25 lbs in your duffle and still come home with unused items. Put your camera equipment, binoculars, and a change of clothes in your day/backpack. Now you have broken free of the cumbersome travelling!

Happy traveling!
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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There you go, teadrinker - 2 opinions to help you on your way. Well, actually 1 opinion stated twice by people on opposite sides of the US.
hopefulist is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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Yippee, you guys are great! I knew I could count on you! I am printing it out as there is so much information, and will get back to you on this thread when I have questions (which I'm sure I will)! So glad you're helping us!
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