What To Pack For Mexico

Packing for Mexico requires some flexibility and numerous considerations. The 14th largest country by area, Mexico’s climate varies from humid and tropical to cold and elevated to dry and hot over its nearly 2 million square kilometers (750,000 sq miles for you American, Liberian, and Burmese readers out there.)

This leads to a myriad of climates and depending on time of year and time of day, a semi-dramatic swing in temperature.

The climates of Mexico

During our trip, we’re traveling in the early winter months (November to January) and staying predominately in the semi-arid, temperate regions when the temperature usually hovers around 45° at night time and 75° during the peak of the day. The closer you get to the equator, the closer to a 12-hour light cycle you get meaning the sun will usually rise around 6:00am and set around 6:00pm each day.


For my carry-on, I’m sticking to my tried-and-true Osprey Porter 46 bag here. It offers plenty of room while still maintaining the carry-on size that I desire. I have never understood the appeal of the top-loading backpacks, opting instead for the suitcase style opening that gives me access to all of my belongings at once.

For my personal item, I purchased the Osprey Daylite Totepack. While I have yet to use the backpack configuration, the tote straps are (mostly) easy to sling over my shoulder while carrying my larger pack on my back. It offers super convenient access to a front pocket and top zipper that I can quickly throw needed items (like a passport or charger) into when rolling through immigration, boarding, and security. I would like one more zipper pocket on the front, but the rest is great.

See my full, initial impression on the Osprey Daylite Totepack here.

Wait, a bonus bag???

That’s right, I would be remiss to not mention another new bag that Rachel had to break me down over several months to get. My handy Berkeley Field Bag from The North Face enables me to carry important stuff around town without weighing down my pockets or forcing me to carry a larger daypack. So far, I’ve been using it to carry a copy of our passports, a bottle of water, insulin, glucose tablets, and Rachel’s phone when she gets tired of carrying it herself.

Packing in an Osprey Porter 46

So we have some dope bags, now what do we put in them?

As I mentioned above, the temperature is bound to be consistently comfortable but it could range from warm to cool depending on where the sun sat in the sky at a particular time of the day. For this reason, I opted for free-flowing long clothing to act as a hybrid, versatile option. It would be cool enough for the height of the day and warm enough for any wind or nighttime drops in temperature. The longer sleeves and pants would also offer protection against the sun if we spent too much time outside or ended up in a place like Monte Albán where there isn’t much shade.

We also stuck with a general rule of thumb for long-term travel that we’ve come across before: pack for a week and wash as needed.

  • Three short-sleeve shirts
    • Two Sea Tees from Allbirds. Made from a blend of Tencel, merino wool, and chitosan (a fiber sourced from snow crab shells.) These shirts do an amazing job at wicking sweat, absorbing odor, and drying quick. Perfect qualities for long-term travel when you may end up re-wearing things.
    • An Övik Travel Shirt from Fjallraven. Made from a hemp/polyester blend, it keeps you cool and dries quickly. Also, I just like the color a lot and it matches the rest of what I packed.
    • A linen long-sleeved dress shirt. This can offer sun protection and will keep the breeze off of you during the cooler evenings.
    • An extremely comfortable Arroyo Flannel from The North Face. I bought this last-minute because I just had a feeling it was going to be a bit cooler than we had initially thought.
    • The Abisko Trail Fleece from Fjallraven. This goes over just about everything to provide extra warmth.
    • A pair of travel jeans from Banana Republic. They are super comfortable and can be dressed up or down for the occasion. Plus they are much lighter than standard denim blue jeans.
    • A pair of hiking pants I picked up from Sierra.
    • A pair of linen shorts from Banana Republic. Linen is a great material for staying cool and drying quick.
    • A pair of linen shorts from Parachute to sleep in.
    • Several pairs of boxer briefs from Smartwool and Exofficio.
    • Several pairs of merino wool socks. Merino wool absorbs sweat and odor very well making it easy to re-wear clothing multiple times between washes.
  • Shoes
    • Salmon OutPulse low hiking shoes. Made with Gore-Tex, this low top hiking shoe offers water proof walking and plenty of comfort for the days we decide to trek far distances.
    • Teva Hurricane XLT2 hiking sandals. Comfy and durable, they offer an open-toed alternative for the days I want to let the little piggies breathe.
  • Standard toiletries like toothbrushes, nail clippers, and tweezers
  • Ibuprofen
  • Laptop to keep you all up-to-date on our adventures.
  • Diabetes supplies (stay tuned for an updated post on what I carry these days.)
  • A number of items from Rachel’s list of items you don’t know you need.

Was this helpful or would you recommend any changes? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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