BootsnAll Travel Network

What I’m packing: Year two and a half.

*Started trip with.

*GoLite Galaxy backpack- 3lbs 9ozs 70 liters capacity
Rain cover (Peru) more for dust and breakage prevention.
*Khaki pants
Jeans (Egypt)-Bought in Egypt as my Colombian designer ones fell apart.
Fleece sweat pants (Peru)
*Swim Trunks
(2) T-shirts (Uganda)
*Tank top
Long sleeve dress shirt (Zambia)
Fleece Jacket (Chile)
(3) socks- Light duty (Peru), *Medium duty, *Heavy duty.
(2) *Cotton boxers
Hiking Boots (Merrell Chameleon II) (Lebanon-$20US used)
Flip flops (Sudan)
Money Belt (Gift-Israel backpacker in Zambia)
Watch (Tanzania)
Down sleeping bag 0 degree (Argentina)
Sleep sheet (South Africa)
Mosquito Net (South Africa)
Rain Jacket (South Africa)
Sport Towel (South Africa)
Hand/Face/sweat Towel (Tanzania)
*Book bag
*Camera/memory cards/card reader/charger/spare battery
Lonely Planet Middle East Guide book (Gift Kenya)
Cell phone (Ethiopia) and charger
*Mini-mag light
Head lamp (South Africa)
*Mosquito repellent 95% pump and Aerosol can(Kenya)
Small notebook and pens (Egypt)
Bar soap (use leftovers from the shower)
Shampoo (stolen from Lebanon hostel)
Tooth brush and tooth paste (Ethiopia)
Deodorant (Jordan)
Floss (Lesotho)
Iodine (Zambia)
Water purifying tablets (South Africa)
Q-tips (Egypt)
Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Ciprofloxacin (Egypt/Ethiopia)
Roll-Medi tape (Zambia)
Cortizone cream (Egypt)
*Tweezers, *Sewing kit, *Scissors, *Nail clippers
Multi-tool (Bolivia)/paring knife (Brazil)
Matches (Ethiopia)
Rubber cement (Egypt) to keep my old boots together and to reinforce sewing.
*Small pad locks
condoms/hair bands (South Africa)

I probably fall into the category of “traveling light”. My load will change soon dependent on where I go next. If I go to Nepal for winter, then I will have to switch over to cold weather and full hiking gear. If I avoid winter then what I am carrying will be fine. In the beginning I would go through my stuff after every country/month and toss things that I did not use.

Packing light is essential for the rough traveling places because transportation is difficult if you are carrying a big load. Especially in places where buses are first come first served. You have to get straight on the bus or you won’t get a seat. I also don’t use taxis so I walk to wherever I am staying from wherever I get dropped off at. Sometimes this can be 10 or more kilometers. Mini-buses as well are much more manageable with my small packs.

Carrying nothing of value also makes traveling a lot less stressful. As you can read from the above list, there is nothing that is really worth anything (the above clothes tend to be dirty as well so that decreases value even more.) If your thinking about the camera and cell phone, they both barely work. The cell phone is a bare bones model that has a bad speaker, but I use it as an alarm clock. The camera is on its last leg and none of the controls work except for zoom and taking the photo (thankfully).

Credit cards/Debit cards- I carry one Bank of America Visa Debit card, a Virgin Islands bank Plus debit card, and a standard Visa card with $50,000 availability (emergencies if I need out, I want out). No travelers checks and usually about $200US cash.

People wonder what to take on a long trip. I tell them it doesn’t matter what they think because the lifestyle they live at home tends to be how they will travel. If your a pack rat, your going to believe you need everything and the kitchen sink. If you are a efficient bare bones person, you’ll travel light and efficient. Just take a look at where you are living. The other thing, as you can see by the list is that you can buy everything everywhere else. 75% of the interesting thing a new city has to offer tends to be it’s shopping area. Wandering around a souk is much more interesting if you are looking for something. Plus, when you buy while you are traveling, the stuff becomes souvenirs for when you get home, “There you go Bob some authentic Peruvian socks or Mary, these are Egptian Q-tips.”

My original packing list.

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2 responses to “What I’m packing: Year two and a half.”

  1. Dan says:

    While you are on the topic of logistics, if you don’t mind the question, I’ve been wondering how you pay your bills and keep cash available. Do you just use ATM and debit cards so you don’t have to pay the credit card bill, or do you have someone in the US helping out with the paperwork? I’m hitting the road soon, so your advice is appreciated.

  2. snw2srf2stt says:

    A little bit of all of them. I have no bills so that makes things easier. I have both my checking accounts set up for internet banking so I can pay if I needed to using internet cafes. I have a buddy in the states whom I have all my mail sent to. He scans through them and just checks my accounts to make sure nothing needs to be taken care of. He was also helpful in getting my new cards sent out to me when some old ones got cancelled. Money wise I just use ATM’s. There have only been three countries where there wasn’t an International ATM available (even though I could have done a cash advance if I wanted to.) For those I would buy some dollars before I left the prior country and just use dollars.

    One huge tip that is killing me is that you should try to find a bank that won’t charge you fees for atm withdrawals. That accounts to about $10US for every time I make a withdrawal. There are some banks via online that supposedly are no fee as well as a few world wide banks like Citibank that have a lot of partner banks where you won’t be charged. Also, if you have an itinerary, make sure your banks have it so they won’t flag your account. Often times, they only have the ability to close an account rather than just freeze it and re-open it. If they do, you have to make arrangements to have a new card sent out to you. Often you don’t even know that its been done until you are out of money and are going to get some money out. Happened twice to me and cost $100US to get a card next day aired out to me.

    Anything else you can think of, just ask.


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