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.
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!
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
Sleeping Bag (1-2 season)
Good sunglasses with strap
2 Long sleeved tops/tunics (the mozzies come out at dusk!)
Long trousers/cargo pants
Swimwear (shorts and tank top – we are in a rural area, I need to be respectable)
Robust sandals (Reef, Merrell, Teva)
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?