What To Pack

CanuckingAbroad / What To Pack

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    There is much debate out there as to what you should/need to pack for travelling/backpacking.  Many would carry around an Ikea bedroom set if it fit in their oversized pack, while some support the one small bag movement and minimizing everything.  There will always be the ‘holier than thou’, ‘I’ve been on the road since before you were born’, ‘I don’t shower to conserve water’, ‘I don’t shave anything because it’s natural’,  I only bring one pair of underwear because it’s all I need’ types preaching this and that.  Well, I say fuck that.  Travelling is truly individualistic and your bag is your home for the next god knows how long, so take what you feel comfortable with.  I don’t care if Paris Hilton wants to go backpacking with customized Louis Vuitton gear (as long as she doesn’t bring that stupid dog) her baggage is her problem-but we all know about her baggage. 

There are, however, some definite essentials that I have learned to always take with me:

(Assuming the area is a 2nd-3rd world country)

  • Flip flops or other shower shoes.
  • A lot of underwear because at a usual standard of $1/kg, I’d rather not do laundry more than once every 2 weeks. At least one sweater and pair of pants. 
  • Ipod and charger.  Your best friend on a long bus ride.  Covers  your alarm clock as well.
  • Dont worry about shampoo, soap, shaving cream, suntan lotion, bug spray, etc. until you get where you are going.  Less to carry, probably not allowed on the plane, and guaranteed to be cheaper when you get there.  Soap can be borrowed from guest houses.
  • Electronic copies of all important documents (scan your passport) for when you lose it in a Beijing nightclub.
  • I don’t hike enough to lug around a pair of boots.  An old pair of Pumas work amazingly well, double as water shoes, and they fit nicely in your pack.
  • USB cable and memory stick.
  • Camera.  I use the Olympus Stylus because it’s water and shock proof.  I have gotten amazing photos because of its versatility.
  • Western condoms.  Enough said.
  • I usually take a tent and sleeping bag which proves cheap and useful but Asia’s accommodation couldn’t break a piggy bank.
  • Towel.
  • I do agree with packing light.  When I leave I set everything I want to take aside and then eliminate half of it. 

Now those are all tangible items and totally up to the individual.  These, however, are something every traveller MUST bring along:

  • An open mind.  Things will be very different.
  • A sense of adventure.
  • A good attitude.
  • PATIENCE.  You will need it.
  • Respect for where you are.

It’s not what you pack, it’s what you bring to the table!



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I am a 29 year old Canadian who has been traveling and chasing experiences over the last as long as I can remember with no plan or ultimate destination. My thirst for adventure has...