Mongolia doesn’t make it’s way onto the typical backpacker route like the South-East of Asia, this, for some, is a prime reason to travel there. However, it makes trawling through friends Facebook and Instagram posts in hope of some guidance of what to pack a little less guiding.
Upon my own preparation I read way too many packing lists and ended up with a mountain of clothes and miscellaneous goods I never wore or used. They only made the idea of moving on a total nightmare. Hauling 18.5kg on my back, and probably another 7 or 8 on my front, was more like military training than leisurely travel!
I stayed for 2 months, but would pack the same for 1 week tbh.
If you go out on an excursion (i.e. to the reindeer herders/eagle hunters/gobi desert), the chances that you’ll shower in the week that you’re gone are minimal. Babywipes and dry shampoo become staple. Changing your clothes everyday becomes a distant memory.
Mongolians themselves, out of the Capital, live in tracksuits. All the time. Worksuits = Tracksuits over there.
Pack to be comfortable and not to be trendy.
So here’s my lowdown of what to pack (based on what I wish I’d packed rather than what I actually packed):
Clothes: If you’re not comfortable in leggings and sports wear – don’t buy/take them! Almost every packing guide I read claimed lightweight sweat wicking easy drying sports wear is all you need. It wasn’t me. I didn’t wear it. Dead. Weight.
- 4-5 Tshirts/vests in dark colours.
- 1 long sleeve top
- 1 pair of jeans or thick hiking pants (for cold weather & riding horses, camels..)
- 2 pairs of loose comfortable cotton trousers or joggers
- 1 set of pyjamas
- 1 fleece/warm jumper
- 1 lightweight down jacket (even in the hottest months it gets HOLY COLD at night)
- Socks & Underwear! Sweat wicking and quick drying works best
- Beanie Hat
- Hiking/Riding Boots
- Flip Flops or Sandals
- Solid shampoo/conditioner/soap – you’ll rarely use this so let it take up as little room as poss (I recommend these cases as opposed to the metal lush tins which are impossible to reopen!)
- Hair bands/grips
- Lipbalm/Paw Paw
- Sun cream and moisturiser
- Tooth brush (with cover) and paste
- Deodorant (Stick type lasts longest)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Micellar Water + Cotton Wool
- Small spray bottle of Febreeze
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Ziplock sandwich bags for liquids
- Sleeping bag (even in the summer it gets icy cold at night in some places) I have this one, it only weighs 788g and is super cosy and warm
- A pillow case (you can stuff with clothes and use as a pillow)
- Packing cubes
- Tuppaware (the fold up type is the best!)
- Plastic cutlery
- Water bottle
- Salt/pepper/chilli powder etc
- Sharp Knife (I keep mine in a toothbrush case) or Swiss Army Knife
- Neck Pillow (Cabeau is top choice!)
- Camera + spare batteries
- Tripod/Gorilllapod (handy for nighttime long exposures of the milkyway, if taking a DSLR camera)
- Hard drive/enough memory cards to last the trip
- Portable charger/power bank/car charger
- Headphones (preferably not wireless – more things to charge with minimal electricity! Sleepphones are so comfy for long journeys/sleeping!)
- Torch + batteries/charger
- Travel adapter
- Smart Phone