Friday, June 30, 2006

....and the planning and packing begin.

Well, it didn't take me long to realize that I was not equipped to go on this trip. It had been ages since I had been on any sort of a trekking/hiking/camping trip so I really needed to get outfitted. The tour company had provided a fairly detailed list of what I needed to bring along so armed with that I decided I would spend a Saturday afternoon at REI picking up all the bits and pieces of gear, clothing and other necessities.

I headed out one Saturday morning to return a cooler to friend with plans to go to REI after that. When I met up with my friend, I told him where I was planning to go and the next thing you know, we're at REI and he's helping me pick out everything I needed to fill up a day/backpack including the day/backpack itself!! Several hundred dollars later, I had made good headway in the gear department. It took a few more trips to REI, Hudson Trail Outfitters, Target, Walmart, and a few purchases off the web to finally get everything in order. Thanks to new, lightweight materials and stuff designed for camping and travel, it's amazing what you can squeeze into a backpack these days! Here's what I'm taking with me - some of it's going in the backpack and some into the daypack.

  • Passport, airline tickets and travel documents (all with photocopies)
  • Health and security cards
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate
  • Travel guides
  • $US in cash and travellers checks + credit and debit card
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket and cotton (thick) sweater (Brrrr...it's going to be cold!)
  • 6 shirts/t-shirts
  • >
  • 2 pairs of capri pants
  • 1 pair of khakis
  • 1 pair convertible hiking pants/shorts
  • Swimsuit (Yikes....it's going to be hot!)
  • Underwear and socks
  • Towel
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • 1 pair walking shoes
  • 1 pair sports sandals
  • Toiletries and first aid kit (including Tylenol, Band Aids, Neosporin, lip balm, Immodium AD, malaria pills, altitude sickness pills)
  • Sunblock, lotion, insect repellent (aka Jungle Juice) and anti sting/itch salve
  • Toilet paper and handiwipes
  • Binoculars, flashlight, and Swiss Army knife
  • Digital camera
  • Travel alarm clock/watch
  • Emergency blanket
  • Backpack cover
  • 1 plastic hanger for drying clothes
  • 1 litre water bottle + water purification tablets and rehydration salts
  • 12 Power Bars (for those days when meals are far and/or few between)
  • 12 packs of Crystal Lite To Go + a few tubes of ZipFizz (in case I need to quickly restore my level of electrolytes)
  • Journal and pen to record my trip.
  • Biodegradable laundry detergent and last, but not least.......,
  • 1 collapsible tote to bring back all those things that I buy along the way but have no space in my backpack for.
....now if I only had a wee bit more room, I could take along the rest of the kitchen sink:-)