Sunday, January 1, 2017

Packing List. Chile, Argentina, & Uruguay.

From Disney
I was looking for a graphic image to open up this post and I found the gif of Mickey packing.  I laughed when I saw it because I had also just spoken with Bro who was complaining of how much stuff he will have to pack along for this trip.  Mind you Bro barely brings anything with him but his suitcase looks stuffed because he literally just throws his clothes into it....just as Mickey is doing in the gif.  Bro says he does fold his clothes but I don't think so because the contents of his suitcase are always in a mess. Thankfully, while it looks like a filled suitcase, it always weighs light as a feather.

We're just a few short weeks away from leaving for South America so I'm already beginning to think about my packing list for the trip.

Clothing wise, we are going to three climate areas. Our first destination is Santiago where daytime temps will average around 20.2 °C (68.36 °F) - very comfortable.  However this is a La Niña year so temps in the southern hemisphere could be warmer. Overnight temperatures are generally quite mild with an average low of 12 °C (53.6 °F).

Next, we are heading to the Atacama Desert and Patagonia where daytime highs will average around 13°C (55°F) just slightly cooler than Santiago so not bad.  However, we will have a few tours that leave either in the wee hours of the early morning or at the crack of dawn so we will have to be prepared for temps much lower.  Not to mention that I've signed us up for a glacier trek.  We need to be prepared for that as well :-)

Weather in Buenos Aires and Montevideo will be hot and humid, hot and humid, and hot and humid.....day and night! It'll be exactly like Washington DC in August. Ugh.....

So I have to bring clothes to cover for mild winter temperatures all the way to high summer temps.  Argh!!  There's definitely going to be a lot of dressing in layers. For the cold weather part of the trip, I'm planning on bringing along my Uniqlo lightweight down jacket, a fleece shirt, a cotton sweater, my mittens and a knitted scarf.

I've also bought my first ever pair of hiking boots.  Hard to believe that with all the walking, hiking, and trekking I've done....not to mention rock climbing in Madagascar, I've always just worn hiking sandals.  But after spraining my ankle in Bangkok and then re-injuring it in Baku, I decided it was worth the expense to get a proper set of hiking books.  I did some research on what the recommended makes and models are and then went with the recommendation to go with a brand that you've worn before.  My first ever hiking sandals were Keens so that's what I got.  Funny thing is I don't know how to lace them up properly so I'm planning to take them with me to REI and have someone show me.  The write up for the glacier trek recommended that we wear weatherproof boots which these are.  My only concern is they are so bulky, they're going to take up quite a bit of space in my small suitcase :-(

For my ankles' sake, I'm also bringing along the brace that my doctor gave me for my left foot and my walking stick.

Ever since Madagascar, I no longer bring my rain jacket with me.  Instead, I carry a rain poncho.  Sadly, it is an ugly thing though practical.  Mine is bright blue plastic so I jokingly refer to myself as a blueberry.  It's fine when you're hiking or trekking but it's not exactly a good luck when you're in the city so for that reason, I'm bringing my micro Totes umbrella with me. I think my mom gave it to me more than 10 years ago and it's been my one an only umbrella since then.  Fully closed, it only measures 6.5" x 2.5" so it doesn't take up much space at all!  I love it.

I'm bringing my usual camera gear with me but I've also decided to splurge on a new toy - a 360fly 4K video camera.  I wanted one so we could take 360 x 240 degree videos of the Atacama Desert and glaciers in Patagonia.  The camera itself is small but I'm contemplating bringing along my monopod to use it  on.  My tripod is too bulky to travel with and I'm not in the mood to spend more money to buy a travel model since I don't really need it.

As always, I will be bringing a set of plastic cutlery with me but will be leaving my travel kettle at home.  Joining the *kitchen items* list this year will be a small wooden mallet.  I know.  What??  Yes, a wooden mallet.  That's because Chile is home to some amazing crab!  We'll be staying in an apartment in Santiago, very close to the central market, and while we'll do our fair share of eating out, I know that Bro and I will cook at least one seafood meal and there will be crab on the menu.  Not to mention that Chile also has abalone and you need to tenderize the meat before cooking.  A mallet is the perfect too for that! I'm keeping the mallet as a surprise!

In the past, the trip itinerary and travel vouchers were just a few pages but for this trip, I'm actually carrying a small binder with me - there's so much info I need to bring along and while pretty much all of it will be available via Google Drive, I still carry hardcopy just in case I can't access the electronic copies. I'm also planning to download the city maps, which I have customized for our trip, onto my Samsung Galaxy phone - Ms. Google will be navigating us around!

My suitcase is sized to fit in the overhead compartment so I have the option of taking my luggage on board with me - I don't want to give up that option so I will take the following list as a starting point and then adjust so I basically take the bare essentials with me.

The List
Passport
Detailed trip itinerary, including all vouchers, and contact information for Airbnb hosts.
$US cash, credit cards, debit card

4 short sleeve, light cotton shirts
2 long sleeve shirts
3 pair of hiking pants
2 pair of lightweight cotton pants
Underwear and three pairs of socks
1 Fleece shirt
Cotton sweater
Rain poncho
Uniqlo down jacket
Wool scarf
Mittens
Sunhat and sunglasses
1 pair walking shoes & 2 pair walking socks
1 pair hiking boots & 2 pair hiking socks
1 pair sandals
Ankle brace and walking stick
Toiletries and first aid kit (including Tylenol, Band Aids, Neosporin, lip balm, Immodium AD, Pepto Bismol, Zithromax, Cipro)
Sunblock and lotion
Toilet paper, handiwipes
Flashlight
Spare pair of reading glasses
Nikon DSLR camera, filters, spare batteries, chargers and outlet adapters, external battery, SD cards
iPad with SD card reader
MHL to HDMI adapter and HDMI cable
Monopod
Pens
iPod
Key lock
Plastic cutlery
Water bottle
Drain plug, clothes line, and plastic clothes pins for drying clothes
Timbuk2 bag

And last but not least, I used to only bring along my favorite collapsible tote bag but with recent trips, that number has gone to two, especially when I travel with Bro and we stay in apartments.  The second bag is our grocery bag :-)