Nuts & Bolts - Packing List

A few years ago, we took four leisurely days to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. On that short trip we each brought along forty, of what we thought were essential, pounds. Each. How much would we need for a trip of over three hundred days? Fortunately there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount one carries and the amount of experience one has -- more of one usually means less of the other. We are a little more experienced now and have set out to limit our 2 packs to just over 50 lbs total. This may be mandane and boring to most of you, but fellow traveler's should find it helpful. Here's what we started out with.


Things we left home with:
 
Adjustments and recommendations:
1 large backpack with detachable small pack
   
1 small backpack
   
2 small wallets
   
2 money belts
   
1 IBM Thinkpad laptop    
1 external cd-r
   
1 Canon G2 digital camera
   
various power cords
   
personal cards with email and address
   
pac-safe security net with lock
   
2 small combination locks
   
5 blank cds
   
2 walkie talkies
 
these have been life-savers for traveling as two
1 small flashlight
   
1 mini voice recorder
 
sent home within first month
1 first aid kit    
1 toiletries bag - deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, body sponge, clothes detergent, razor, tooth brush and paste, non-water hand disinfectant, tampons and pads, lip salve   note: deodorant/antiperspirant is not available in china. bring plenty! but it is available in most of southeast asia.
medication - ibuprofen, antihistamines, tums, cough & cold Pills, anti-dirrahea pills, birth control pills, doxycyclin malarial pills
   
displosable contact lenses, saline solution, eye drops, one pair eye glasses
   
insect repellent (DEET)
   
water purification tablets
   
2 travel pillows   sent home during one of our 'downsizing' moments
2 sleep sheets
  sleeping bags have not been necessary as all hotels and hostels provide them, but the sleep sheets are a must for protecting yourself at grotty hotels. i also suggest a pillow case.
US$, traveler's checks, two credit cards each, two ATM cards each, passports, air tickets, driver's licenses, emergency phone number list
   
copies of all official documents, left copies at home too
   
4 pens
   
     
Books:
   
2 journals
   
1 small notebook for documenting expenses, etc.
   
Various Guidebooks for the first leg of our journey
   
Various fiction books    
     
For Nigel:
   
1 rain jacket
   
5 shirts
 
Collared shirts are much more suitable for Asia.
2 pair pants
  One pair discarded almost immediately. Heavy material = too much weight and long drying times on a clothesline. Buy light weight.
2 pair shorts
   
sunglasses
   
1 pac-towel
  very quick drying
1 bandana
  great for the inevitable cold you will catch
1 pair shoes
  do NOT buy Vasque
1 pair sandals
  definitely buy Chaco
4 pair socks
  smartwool - dry fast and don't stink after 4 days on Nigel's foot. The crucible of stench.
3 pair underwear
   
     
For julie:
   
1 pair shorts
   
1 long skirt, rayon
   
1 short skirt
 

sent home within one month, not appropriate for China

2 pants
 
one pair of pants given away, too slow to dry.
4 shirts
   
1 sweatshirt
 
given away, not necessary
1 pair pajamas
 
necessary for dormitories
1 thin jacket
  replaced with a warm, fleece jacket
1 bandana
   
1 pair sunglasses
   
2 pair socks
   
4 pair underwear
   
1 pair sandals
   
1 pair walking shoes
   
1 bath towel
   
1 pair flip-flops   Budget accommodating require flip flops. Nicer place provide their own paper ones. Great souvenirs!
     
Purchases and additions made during the trip...
small tripod
 
A necessary item if you're serious about photography. They are only half the price in China.
lots of fiction and travel books
 
English books are expensive and hard to find in China -- bring as many as possible with you, you'll appreciate the reading and the trade value. Stock up on them in Vietnam - cheap rip off copies are everywhere (hey - we're on a budget man!), especially in Saigon. Rip off books are available in Thailand but they're not as cheap.
short wave radio   English television and newspapers are hard to come by in China. The BBC on short-wave is an excellent news source from almost anywhere. Plus it relieves boredom when you run out of things to talk about with your travel partner.
music CDs, flexi-case and small speakers   Popular CD's cost US$1.25 in China! Copies are sold illegally but we never had any qualms with Napster either. We decided to load up on music and ditched the bulky jewel cases.
playing cards   Good way to pass the time at the pubs. We also suggest a small scrabble board, majong cards, mini chess -- those train rides can be very long.

 

   
 
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