Written by: Chris Coulon
After much postponement and delay I have finally taken the time to put my packing list down in print. Here is the collection of items that I have brought along on our trip to compliment what Danalynn already has in her own pack.
Here are the contents of my pack before leaving the States
- Quick-dry Travel Pants
- Cargo Shorts
- Long-sleeved shirts (3)—Two of these are synthetic quick-dry and light, the third is cotton so that I can soak it in water to keep me cool in hot places.
- Wool socks both thick and thin (3)
- Wool underpants (3)
- Under Armor pants and shirt in case I get caught sleeping outside when it’s wet or to use as an additional thermal layer.
- Hiking boots, light and comfortable for long distance hikes on dirt and concrete
- Vibram five-fingers, very light and packable secondary shoes
- Synthetic Sweatshirt (Mammut’s Ultimate Hoody)
- Down Jacket
One of my makeshift campsites on a roof in a Moroccan village, Atlas Mountains
- Down Sleeping bag, this is rated for cold temperatures in case we find ourselves outside in cold places.
- Poncho, nylon cord in 4’ sections (5), Tent steaks (5). This 5’X8’ poncho serves to cover me and my backpack in the rain but also can be used as a make-shift shelter.
- Liquid Stove, Pot, lighter, spare stove parts and fuel.
- Wide brimmed cowboy hat, this proved most useful during our HelpX work and especially on the Camino.
- Decent sunglasses
- 1 Litre Water Bottle
- 3 Litre CamelBak, this is often not fully filled to save on weight but it is nice to have the option of carrying 4 litres of potable water at one time.
- Journal and Two Pens
- Shaving Razor
- Toilette Paper
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Floss
- First-Aid Kit loaded with roller gauze, sterile gauze, band-aids of varying sizes and shapes including butterflies, Mole Skin, Anti-biotic paste, Ibprofen, Aspirin, tweezers, Bismuth Subsalicylate tablets, Loperamide pills, roll of athletic tape, 6’ of duct tape wrapped around a pencil, electrolyte tablets and disinfectant wipes.
- Travel documents including Passport, Copy of Passport, Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination, Two Credit Cards (visa and Mastercard), ATM Card, Student ID, Drivers license (as a secondary identification card).
- 4 Litre drysac for holding Kindle, Journal and important documents.
- Bandana, this can be soaked in water and then worn in hot locations as well as a pre-filter for very turbid water and finally, it can become a makeshift cravat (triangular).
- Sleeping pad, I used this quite a bit while camping in Morocco, Switzerland and the UK, but abandoned it in London because it made my backpack too large for carry-on luggage.
Kebba, one of my good friends, testing out my sleeping bag, Lugano Switzerland
- Steri-pen. This is a lightweight re-usable means to sterilize water, I have chosen a steri-pen that takes AA batteries so that they can be replaced anywhere in the world.
- Headlamp also taking AA batteries.
- Kindle loaded with over 400 books we would like to read.
- Watch with an alarm clock.
- Camera, battery charger and small screwdriver for dismantling/repairing camera.
- Adapters for foreign outlets.
Laundry Day in the village of Imouzzer Marmoucha, Northern Morocco
After everything is packed and I am wearing one set of clothes and my boots, the dry weight of the bag is roughly 23lbs or 10kg and just fits the carry-on restrictions for most airlines, including Easyjet and RyanAir. So far I have made use of everything that I packed, however some of the items are superfluous for most travelers. These items include: Camping stove and its accessories, 0 degree sleeping bag as well as the tent stakes are some of my heaviest items and are unnecessary if you are not planning on camping. If I were not planning to be in cold locations at any point I would pack a much smaller and lighter bag. In addition, the Steri-pen is, for the most part, an unnecessary item if you are planning on being around stores as you can easily and cheaply purchase bottled water.
Thus far I have been very happy with what we’ve packed and if given the opportunity I would repack all the same items again. We’ll see how we fare with our packing choices once we reach Africa!