On any trip, I have always tried to balance the desire to bring the house and it’s contents with me, against the need to be able to actually carry my rucksack. Too full and you end up sweating your way around the world, divesting yourself of things you wonder why you packed in the first place. Too light and you rue the day you left those water purifying tablets back at home in the cupboard.
I have found over the years that weight is a great decision maker in the process. Most of us, (i.e. those that travel economy), can take 20 kilos (plus carry on). Keep in mind you need to have some room for presents and goodies discovered along the way and between 11-15 kilos is a great rucksack weight to start any trip with. The trick is choosing the right items, things you will actually use, not things that act as dead weight at the bottom of your bag.
So here is my list of things to take on our trek adventure, I would love to know if there is anything I have left out.. We leave on Saturday, it’s not too late for me to make room.
The Bare Essentials – (pun fully intended)
- Passport (with visa if required)
- Travel docs (including photocopies of main passport pages, visa and flight tickets)
- Cash / Cards
- Spare passport photos -I have never needed them yet, but there will come a day..
- Universal Travel Adaptor
- A phone/watch/alarm clock/MP3 Player/pocket camera/mini games machine (Warning; don’t use the phone abroad as a phone, unless you own a Telcom)
- The charger for the above multi-function device
- Sunscreen/Insect Repellent
- Toiletries, including one toilet roll
- A strong black bin bag for laundry and to cover the rucksack in case of rain
- A Water Bottle (stainless steel if possible)
- A torch (with fresh batteries…)
- A phrase book and a guide a book (ideally combined)
- A mini first aid kit – band-aids, paw paw salve, gastrolytes, purifiers
- A good rucksack and day sack
Clothing - (where temperatures are going to be cold)
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Thermal top and bottom
- Good walking socks (Absolutely Essential!!)
- Broken in walking shoes/boots
- Thermal gloves
- Lightweight trekking trousers and shirt
Important but not vital….
- Underwear.. – my mother would say this is vital which is why it’s top of the list
- A few changes of clothes (if you need more you can go shopping!)
- A decent stills camera – and it’s charger
- A video camera – don’t forget the charger!
- A book to read
- Money belt
- A sleep sheet
- A sleeping bag (not always required)
- A pillow case to stuff clothes into to make a pillow.
….and finally, totally unnecessary but great to have.
- A flint to make fire with
- A harmonica to annoy/astound your fellow travellers
- Vegemite/Marmite / Tabasco – Add any food item here based on personal preference..
A qualifier to all this is that this list is based on the fact that during the trip it will drop to below freezing. Obviously thermals are not necessary if you are trekking at sea level in the tropics.
I have now scared myself with the amount of things I need to include. I think I may have to let go of the harmonica………