Friday, January 29, 2010

Packing List

I'm sure you're wondering what I'll be packing for a 14-month trip, and more importantly, how I'm going to fit it into one backpack and a daypack! I've spent countless hours researching travel forums online for advice, visiting outdoor stores all over central Florida, and placing orders online for things I couldn't find in stores. After a hectic 5 weeks of planning, preparing, buying, and trying to get Wal-Mart to actually do my malaria medication prescription correctly, this is what I've finally decided to pack:

Travel Gear
Click on the image to view a larger version.

How I was able to actually fit all that in my pack I have no idea. But hopefully I'll remember on the trip, because I'll have to unpack and repack that bag hundreds of times! One of the big problems I ran into was the fact that I'm camping in remote parts of Africa, which necessitated gear (sleeping bag, self-inflating mattress, extra first aid stuff) that I wouldn't normally bring if I was just going through Europe or Southeast Asia. I'm sure I'll send a bunch of gear home from Johannesburg at the end of May - that should significantly lighten my load for the rest of the trip. Another problem was the fact that my photography equipment takes up half of my pack and probably more than half of the total weight. But, since that's the main purpose of this trip, I suppose I'll just have to suffer! If you're wondering, the total weight of my main pack is 31 pounds, and my day pack weighs 14 pounds, for a grand total of 45 pounds. I would have loved to go lighter, but I guess it's not too bad for a 14-month photography-intensive trip. Here's the complete gear list:

  Osprey Waypoint 60 travel pack (63 L) w/ detachable daypack (10 L)
  Pacsafe WrapSafe adjustable cable lock
  combination locks (x3)
  carabiners (x4)
  assorted Ziploc bags
  assorted trash bags
  silica gel desiccant packets (moisture protection for cameras & electronics)
  luggage tag

  The North Face Apex Bionic jacket
  Eddie Bauer rain jacket
  Gap long-sleeved polo shirt
  short-sleeved polo shirts (x2)
  t-shirts (x3)
  Levi's jeans
  Gap khaki pants
  Columbia Titanium Power Vertical II quick-dry pants
  The North Face Paramount quick-dry cargo shorts
  ExOfficio quick-dry underwear (x3)
  Wigwam Rebel Fusion crew socks (x3)
  black socks (x2)
  Merrell Pivot J73577 multi-sport shoes

Toiletries & Personal Items
  hand sanitizer (x6)
  toothbrush w/ cover
  retainers w/ case
  deodorant (x2)
  lip balm (x2)
  fingernail clippers
  electric shaver w/ case and charger
  flushable wipes
  toilet paper
  MSR PackTowl Personal large microfiber towel
  Sea to Summit Trek & Travel body wash (x2)
  Sea to Summit Trek & Travel shampoo (x2)
  Sea to Summit Trek & Travel laundry wash (x2)
  ball (universal drain stopper)
  Rick Steves clothesline
  sewing kit
  duct tape
  ear plugs (x8 pairs)
  case for glasses
  spare glasses w case
  sunglasses w/ case
  glasses strap
  eyeglass cleaning cloth
  SteriPEN Adventurer handheld water purifier w/ solar charging case
  Nalgene Tritan 32oz wide mouth bottle
  Leatherman w/ scissors
  Aurora head flashlight

Camping Gear
  Field & Stream Mountain Trail Lite 40 degree mummy sleeping bag
  Sea to Summit Adaptor CoolMax sleeping bag liner
  Therm-a-Rest ProLite self-inflating mattress w/ nylon repair tape

Sun & Insect Protection
  free-standing mosquito net (Long Road Travel Supplies Travel Tent II)
  insect repellent w/ 100% DEET (x2)
  insect bite/sting relief (ammonia)
  Benadryl itch relief stick
  Field & Stream Bonito hat

  malaria medication - doxycycline (x270)
  antibiotics - Z-Paks (x2)
  anti-nausea medication - Pepto-Bismol (x40)
  anti-diarrheal medication (x72)
  anti-motion sickness medication - meclizine (x32)
  pain reliever - ibuprofen (x20)
  allergy medication - Zyrtec (x45)

First Aid
  alcohol wipes
  gauze pads
  assorted Band-Aids
  self-adhesive elastic bandage
  moleskin padding (blister protection)

  passport w/ copies
  yellow fever vaccination certificate
  extra passport photos for visas
  information on flights, tours, travel insurance, etc.
  small journal
  pens (x2)

Photography Equipment & Electronics
    Nikon D300
    Canon PowerShot D10 waterproof digital camera
    AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens
    Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D lens w/ Nikon HR-2 rubber hood
    HOYA 52mm PRO1 Digital UV filter
    HOYA 72mm PRO1 Digital UV filter
    HOYA 52mm PRO1 Digital Circular PL filter
    HOYA 72mm PRO1 Digital Circular PL filter
    Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 carbon fiber tripod w/ Manfrotto 486RC2 compact ball head
    Nikon EN-EL3e rechargeable Li-ion batteries (x3)
    lens cleaning pens - LensPens (x3)
    rubber air blower
  Digital Media
    Apple iPod touch w/ earbuds
    Toshiba mini NB205-N325BL 10.1” netbook w/ soft sleeve
    Western Digital My Passport Essential portable hard drives (x2)
    SanDisk 8GB CompactFlash cards (x8)
    PNY 8GB SDHC card
  Chargers & Cables
    battery charger/power cable for Nikon D300
    battery charger for Canon PowerShot D10
    AC adaptor/power cable for Toshiba netbook
    USB cable for cameras
    USB cable for portable hard drives
    USB cable for iPod touch
    set of 3 foreign plug adaptors
    3-outlet plug adaptor


  1. Judging from your photo, I am guessing each boxer-brief is front-back and inside-outside reversible, right? I mean, 3 pairs for 18 months?

  2. Haha, no, but they dry really quickly so I can wash often. And they're anti-microbial and all that high tech stuff, so I can wear them a few times without washing if I have to. Hey, I'll be dealing with worse things than dirty underwear when camping in Africa!

  3. :O

    Remembered to start checking your blog again. I was checking it after the first post and there weren't any new posts, so I forgot to check it :P

  4. How awesome is this. I'm so jealous. Curious, but how does one afford to travel for a whole year? How much does something like this cost? I'd love to plan something like this for myself.

    1. I kept pretty good track of my expenses for the trip, and it ended up averaging $92 per day. That includes flights, vaccinations, meals, lodging, and all activities. I didn't include souvenirs because that can vary so much depending on the person. That cost could go up or down depending on what countries you travel to. I never spent more than $5 for a private room in a hostel in Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam. But I struggled in pricey Australia, where I slept in a campervan and often made sandwiches to cut down on costs.
      While I traveled on a tight budget, I could have definitely done the trip for less than $92 per day if I never splurged on nice meals or expensive activities. I could have traveled for longer on the amount of money I had saved up, but I wanted to enjoy the trip too. You have to strike a balance between your budget and how many amazing experiences you want to have.
      If you really want to travel for a year or more, then you just have to make it a priority in your life. Travel is my biggest passion, so I always save my money for that instead of spending it on other stuff. If you really want to do it, you can make it happen.


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