Saturday, August 22, 2009

What to Pack When You Need Everything

Packing for an active overseas trip is a challenge at the best of times. You need a lot of gear, it's hard to know what you'll be able to buy at your destination, you want to make sure you're prepared for the unexpected etc, etc.

What's even worse is a trip where you're going to be facing a variety of different weather, conditions and activities.

Right now, G and I are preparing for our trip to Africa. While we are on this trip we will be:
  • trekking up Mt Kilimanjaro for a week, where temperatures may well dip below freezing at night

  • going on a camping safari in the Serengeti where malaria is a concern and temperatures will be pretty hot during the day

  • staying in a cabin in Kruger National Park in South Africa where it could also be hot during the day, and possibly quite chilly at night

  • hanging out in Cape Town where it would be nice to look like we didn't just crawl out of the bush

  • visiting wine country, and attempting to show how classy we are - or at least get allowed into the tasting rooms!
So - what to pack? We're bringing one piece of checked luggage and one carry on each. I'm fitting in everything from a swimsuit to a down jacket, from sunscreen and a floppy hat to fleece gloves and thermals.

Strangely, when I went to choose a shirt to wear on safari that would afford me some protection from mosquitoes, I realised I didn't have a single thing that met the simple criteria of long sleeves, high neck, no holes or mesh, not too clingy, and too thick to bite through. I actually had to go buy a new shirt just for malaria protection! (And yes, we're also taking anti-malarial pills.)

And that's another issue - what medications to take along. Which anti-malarial? What about diarrhea? Altitude sickness? Bladder infections? We appear to be packing a small pharmacy, complete with water purification tablets. Better safe than sorry and all that.

I guess the upside of all of this is that I won't be tempted to buy a lot of cheesy souvenirs, since I'll have nowhere to pack them to bring back! I am, however, bringing an extra memory card for my camera so that I can bring back lots and lots of photos!! (Many of which I'll be posting here no doubt.)

So I'd better get back to it. Time to find out just how many stuff sacks I own!


JOE TODD said...

Have a safe trip and take a lot of pictures to share

sally in norfolk said...

"Mt Kilimanjaro" .... how fantastic have a safe and fun trip :-)