Now these items, once photocopied, are secured away in a money belt, with copies stored in a hidden pack pocket. Advice to the novice nomad: make copies of your tickets your passports, your credit cards, and keep them with your traveler cheques receipts. No matter where you are, these copies may save your trip.
Then there is the pack itself. If you are traveling through several countries, the worst thing you could do is check luggage. Forget the big pack or two-wheeled luggage bag. Find something you can fit on the plane, then add a shoulder pack. I'm a pretty trusting type of person, but even I know that a bag that has to make several stops before its final journey may end up somewhere where I am not. In America, an agent for the airlines may bring it to my door 24 hours later. In a place like Guinea Bissau, a government clerk may inform me I have no luggage.
I found a decent pack capable of satisfying the overhead luggage compartment size, from Eastern Mountain Sports. It comes with a zip-on rucksack, but it is too small and lacks the webbed water holder on the side. No problem, as I bought a better carry on bag. This luggage will hold everything I need for multiple months on the road without ever having to entrust my clothing to some underpaid or government baggage handler.
Pack for ten days, max, no matter how long your journey. Better yet, pack for seven days, and for three reasons. First, anything you normally wear for seven days at home, you can wear for fourteen days on the road; this includes underwear. Second there is always a place to wash clothes, either by yourself or through a laundry service for an incredibly cheap price. People throughout the world know how to wash clothes and they charge less than you normally spend on electricity and detergent using your Maytag.
Finally, scope out your destinations. There are great books by Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, as well as the wealth of information on GoNOMAD, which will explain all you need to bring. Aside from what I've already mentioned, the following list is illustrative, but what you pack will, of course depend on your destination. This list assumes a warm or moderate climate:
3 pairs of
slacks, preferably lightweight cotton.
If you are going somewhere where the temperature may dip below the 50's, add one pair of long underwear (pants), gloves, a thicker fleece or down jacket, and gloves.
toiletries you use every day, you will have no idea what else to bring
without researching your country. Here is a sample list which assumes
a trek to your typical subtropical third world country:
advice is to research your destination. While it is often fun just to
dive in and be surprised by what awaits you, your pack should not be as
unprepared. Do your research, and your journey will leave you with more
time for discovery of the local culture and less time searching for the
nearest pharmacy or clothing store