Jeff's Mid-Life Crisis goes Round the World (RTW)
About Me (1)
HONG KONG (2)
* ST. ANDREWS
* FROM TRAVELER TO TOURIST?
* HONG KONG
* BANGKOK TO HONG KONG
* BANGKOK TO PHUKET
* PHNOM PENH
* ANGKOR AND SIEM REAP #2
* ANGKOR AND SIEM REAP #1
* CHANGES IN LATITUDE CHANGES IN ATTITUDE
* VANG VIENE
* LUANG PRABANG #2
* LUANG PRABANG #1
December 17, 2004
WHAT I AM PACKING
What to pack? What gear to bring? Since I first made the decision to go on this journey the decisions about what to bring with me began. There is so much advice on this topic out on the Internet, both formally, in articles written and books published and informally, in chat rooms and forums that it can become overwhelming Ė sooo many opinions with some conflicting. I really think this topic is one of the most discussed, considered and worried about by travelers.
So much of what you bring is determined by where you are going, cold weather, warm weather, rain, sun or snow or some combination of all these things. Money, travel style, age, comfort thresholds, time on the road and ego are also primary drivers of these decisions.
I made countless lists based on research and reading and really sweated the details on everything from the right backpack, shoes vs. boots to toiletries. One great piece of advice heard from veteran travelers is to lay out all the stuff you think you need on a bed, cut it in half and take twice as much money as you think youíll need. Good advice, although I didnít follow it precisely. I made so many lists that I mentally pared everything down before making the final cuts.
Most of the stuff I am bringing I had to buy as my day-to-day, pre-travel, life didnít include many of the items Iíll need or werenít the type of things that I would take for long-term traveling. Also, except for good shoes and good backpacks, most of the stuff Iíll need for traveling can be purchased at the places I plan to visit. If I forget something or some piece of clothing isnít right or if I need anything additional I can always buy it somewhere. That thought got rid of lots of anxiety.
Planning what to bring and what Iíll need was part of the fun of planning this trip. Reading and researching brought the trip to life in my mind and really got me motivated. I hated the actual shopping part but did manage to get a lot of the stuff I needed online. My favorite shopping experiences were at REI, thatís an awesome store, both physically and online!
One confession I have to make it on pack size. I really wanted to bring the smallest pack possible and tried to fit all my stuff into an Eagle Creek Continental Journey Backpack with zip off daypack. Its total size is approximately 62 liters or 3800 cubic inches. The beauty of this pack is that it meets carry on requirements on the airlines (with the zip off pack detached). Itís a comfortable, small pack. I just couldnít get everything I needed comfortably into this pack, I could stuff most of my gear in but it was almost bursting at the seams and some of the things I would have had to leave behind worried me.
I decided to upsize my pack a bit and bought an Eagle Creek New World Journey Pack with zip-off daypack. Its size is approximately 79 liters or 4800 cubic inches. My gear fits in this pack quite easily and leaves plenty of room so Iím not filling it up. The total weight of this pack, with the daypack is 30-32 pounds. One thing I donít like about this pack is that is too bulky in the back, especially with the daypack zipped on, I anticipate some hassles getting on and off buses and trains with this pack on my back.
I feel sorta feel like a wimp not making the decisions necessary to comfortably fill the smaller pack and leave some stuff behind. Iíll get over it but may regret the decision down the road when I find out I really never will use the Shortwave Radio or Sleep Sheet. I can adjust on the fly and can always get rid of stuff I donít need/use and just have a lighter pack as a result.
Here is a picture of the stuff Iím bringing :
Here is the list:
Things I chose not to bring that many do bring:
The list above is long with many small items. Small items can, and do, add up to take up space and weigh more than youíd think. Iím sure I forgot something Iíll really need and I bet some of the stuff I bring I wonít use. Live and learn!!
Thank you for reading this. I hope to make this blog both interesting and entertaining. Please post a comment and let me know your thoughts, observations or counsel. Hearing from readers and knowing I have an audience is a great motivator and will be a great morale booster during down times on the road. Donít forget to bookmark this site and tell a friend! Please feel free to e-mail me at ďJeffMichie at Yahoo Dot ComĒ
Posted by Jeff on December 17, 2004 06:45 PM
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