What To Pack For Expedition to Dominican Republic

Packed and ready to fly

This is my fourth time travelling and so I should be pretty seasoned at packing for the occasion. I have even been supplied with most of the kit I need for this trip (head torch anyone?) But still I felt a rising panic as I began to consider what to stuff into my rucksack. Silly as it might sound, my internal voice starts asking:
“What if I forget something?”
“What if I am cold at night?”
“What if I am too hot?”
“What if there are no facilities for cleaning?”
“How many t-shirts do I really need?”
“What if I need a wee in the middle of the night and have to face a tarantula in the outside toilet block?”
“What if my bag breaks or goes missing and I am left with a DSLR, a tub of alcohol cream and Moleskin with no clean underwear in sight?”
“What if I get Dengue fever?”
“What if I get damaged on the grade 4 white water rafting?”
“What if I look ugly in all the team photos?”
“What if my body falls apart from all the digging?”

OK, so the panic generally starts with the practicalities of what to pack and quickly descends into all round anxiety about the trip. The point is, a lot can go wrong, and so I want to be as prepared as possible to deal with it.

I’m thinking back to my first trip to Southeast Asia and been stuck in the middle of nowhere when my friend had a motorbike accident and broke his ankle. We were 2 hours away from a hospital and our guide was an hour’s walk away. Luckily, I had packed a first aid kit that included a guide on what to do when someone has a serious accident plus some gauze’s to clean up some of his wounds. It probably didn’t make the world of difference to him, he was in inordinate amounts of pain, but it did give us something to do to help until he could get to a hospital.

Emergency Room chiang Mai

On this trip, however, we have a trained nurse and 2 project managers with us. Hoorah! Hopefully this will take the edge off any potential catastrophe’s, although I’m still not keen on the idea of tarantulas!

Green & Blacks and Raleigh International have sorted us out with loads of kit for this expedition. It includes the biggest travel medical kit I have ever seen, a lovely Moleskin diary, several branded t-shirts, a daysack , a mosquito net and even a mess tin. Oooh, proper camping stylee!

Expedition kit

It is still up to me to gather the rest of my kit which includes a suitable rucksack (not sure if this one is big enough), a compact sleeping bag, some decent cargo trousers and a sporty-type swim outfit (I’m thinking surfer shorts).

What I need from YOU, is some advice. I am on a serious budget and I still need to buy the following items:

  • 70 litre Rucksack
  • Stuff Sacks
  • Sleeping Bag (1-2 season)
  • Good sunglasses with strap
  • 2 Long sleeved tops/tunics (the mozzies come out at dusk!)
  • Long trousers/cargo pants
  • Walking socks
  • Swimwear (shorts and tank top – we are in a rural area, I need to be respectable)
  • Robust sandals (Reef, Merrell, Teva)
  • Wide-brimmed Hat
  • A small present for my host family.

Do you have any ideas on where to acquire such items at an affordable price? 

Can you think of anything else I need to pack for my expedition? (I haven’t even begun on the toiletries yet!)

Do you have any kind words of reassurance to calm my pre-trip nerves?

Only 10 days until I go!

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7 Comments

  1. em
    16 March 2011 / 1:21 pm

    I used to work with a company, http://gapyeartravelstore.com/ they always seemed to have cheap, large backpacks and sleeping bags and all those travel bits. They were just starting to stock deet infused clothes too. And they are super nice people too. it might be worth a look ay them.

  2. Paper Heart Girl
    16 March 2011 / 2:05 pm

    Ahhh, it's all so exciting! Hopefully there won't be another accident o nthi trip! Good luck getting everything packed! xxxxx

    alwaysxbeing.blogspot.com

  3. mathildeheartmanech
    16 March 2011 / 4:38 pm

    You'd be surprised by what you CAN do/put up with when placed in a different situation. Having had 31 years on this wee planet I've discovered the things you expect to go wrong rarely do. You'll be fine chuck. You've got lots of enthusiasm, and that goes a long way!
    With regards to equipment, its not something I've done before but do you have any army stores near you? A lot cheaper than big brand shops.I go to get camping equipment and its strong durable stuff.Excited for you! xx

  4. Rebecca
    16 March 2011 / 9:04 pm

    You are gorgeous – you will NOT look ugly in the photographs! As for everything else, well it's natural to be worried but just try and be prepared as best you can. And enjoy it! x

  5. Elizabeth @rosalilium
    17 March 2011 / 3:37 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you, you lovely lovely people. Your kind words are going someway to easing my anxiety.

    I have a little list of good shops to check out and hopefully I will be prepared!

  6. Siobhan
    17 March 2011 / 4:47 pm

    Sports direct often do the sandals at knock down prices. I would offer you my rucksack too but it is a weird 60 litre job that would not be big enough (I don't expect to ever use it again so it is going spare).

    For the trousers I would also check out M&M direct. They do sports goods for cheap so may have some decent cargo pants (they have in the past but might not right now). For swim shorts again you can check out M&M direct but Extreme Pie could be worth a look as well as they do surf and skate brands for lower prices.

    And for the walking socks – do you have a TK Maxx near you? They could be good for lots of this.

    I wish you all the best with the trip. I think it's an amzing thing to do and am sure you will love it, even the bits that don't seem good at the time. I really do envy you (even the trench digging!)

  7. Lisa-Marie
    19 March 2011 / 4:27 pm

    TK Maxx. the stuff you find there is unreal. Also, you must have an outdoor equipment outlet near you? Debenhams have their own slightly sporty women's wear range (Maine) which do long sleeved and thermal tops – you might want them to be both)

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