Twenty-six days ago I left London to travel the world for a year.
I took a long time deliberating and researching the things I would definitely need, things I might need and the things I wanted. In the end this list demonstrates what I took with me. It was dictated by a few factors, I wanted to be live blogging as I went, hence the laptop.
I would be taking plenty of photos and wanted to back these up and post them as I went. I’ve only recently got into photography and took a lot of advice from various professional photographer friends, this led to the spare batteries, spare SD cards, cleaning cloths etc.
Most of all I wanted to be travelling light, it didn’t seem necessary to have clothes that would last several weeks, laundry services are readily available in most places, this was much more desirable than carrying too much.
My general plan has been to get to a hostel, drop the big bag and lock up the laptop, then go out in the day with the small bag, which normally has this lot in:
Small bag for a day trip:
15. Hoya Polarising Filter 62mm
16. Hoya Skylight Filter 62mm
17. iPhone (in my pocket)
21. Current Book
24. Hama Microfibre Cleaning Cloth
26. Lens Hood
28. Cleaning Pen
32. Leatherman Torch | Leatherman Super Tool
35. Spare SD Memory Cards – 16GB and 32GB
36. Spare Camera Battery
37. Current Country/City/Area Guidebook
43. Micro Four Thirds Lumix G2 Camera with 14mm – 140mm Zoom lens
46. PowerMonkey Solar Powered Battery
61. Amazon Kindle
65. Wallet with cashcard (In pocket)
The rest stays in the hostel, all detailed below along with the daybag stuff.
It’s by no means a definitive list or tactic but so far it’s working well, I’m only in European cities at the minute though so I fully expect things to be added and thrown away as environments change.
Click on the thumbnail above for the full size image of all the kit and below for the break down. Please note items 60 – 65 are things that I have since added on my travels, or forgot to shoot when I took the photo.
1. Hat – Mainly to keep the sun off, but also for that ‘traveller’ look.
2. Trainers – These have since been replaced with some smaller plimsoll type things, lighter smaller, much more practical.
3. Osprey Daysack – Part of the Farpoint 70 – 15 Litres Capacity
4. Osprey Rucksack – The other half of the Farpoint 70 – 55 Litres Capacity
5. Phillips Rechargeable Electric Razor Charger – See 6
6. Phillips Rechargeable Electric Razor – Lasts at least 25 shaves on one charge, since I shave once a week it’s perfect.
7. Collapsible Water Bottle – 1 Litre
8. Shorts – I have since bought a second pair whilst travelling; take up minimal space to eke out intervals between laundry stops.
9. Pairs of Boxer Shorts x 6 – Garish colours optional
10. Wool Jumper – As and when it gets cold.
11. T – Shirts – Like the boxer shorts, garish colours and nautical stripes optional
12. Pairs of Regular Socks x 7 – Possible the most important things in here, especially when it starts to get damp underfoot.
13. Board Shorts – For hopefully frequent dips
14. Pack of Playing Cards – For multiple games of whatever to pass the evenings or long journeys.
15. Hoya Polarising Filter 62mm – Protection for the lens but also helps improve the quality of some shots, additionally can also help control reflections.
16. Hoya Skylight Filter 62mm – Again provides protection and enables more detail to be captured in the sky.
17. Smartphone – Great for keeping notes on, checking email/Twitter/Facebook when Wi-Fi is available, taking quick pictures, texting home & others. Generally have 3G and roaming turned off unless an emergency, such as getting lost when the maps come in very handy.
21. Current Book – I have since replaced this with a Kindle, relying on swapping in hostels can lead to being stuck with some dreadful reads; I’m looking at you Dean Koontz.
22. Travel Towel – Nice and small but surprisingly efficient and dries quickly.
23. Headphones – For laptop and iPhone.
24. Hama Microfibre Cleaning Cloth – Great for tidying up lenses, eyepieces and filters.
25. Phone Charger
26. Lens Hood – Avoids glare
27. Gorillapod – Very versatile tripod that will grip to just about anything
28. Hama Cleaning Pen – Gets to the nooks and crannies on my camera that the cloth can’t get to
31. Adaptor for recharging the secondary battery for Sony laptop” – Since I have the second battery connected all the time this is becoming redundant as it also charges when the main battery charges.
32. Leatherman Torch
33. Sony Mouse – Makes laptop work (Photoshop in particular) so much quicker than the touchpad.
34. Leatherman Super Tool – Screwdrivers, can openers, knife, pliers etc. Useful in many scenarios, just have to remember to not have it in my hand luggage on planes.
35. Spare SD Memory Cards – 16GB and 32GB – Never want to be caught short without space to shoot.
36. Spare Camera Battery – I try to keep it charged at all times, never want to be caught short without power to shoot.
37. Current Country/City/Area Guidebook – I think I may mail this home as and when I’m done, in some cases I would also use the Internet guides where the book is not available. Or I use the Lonely Planet guides that are now available on Kindle, incredibly convenient.
39. Sony Laptop – For processing photos and blogging on the go, slimline and the battery does nearly 6 hours. It also has a built in slot for a SIM card so in any given country i can buy a local card and plug it in, enabling me to be online anywhere as long as 3G is available for that network.
40. Sony Laptop Charger
41. Notebooks – Pink not mandatory
42. Lumix G2 Camera Battery Charger
43. Micro Four Thirds Lumix G2 Camera with 14mm – 140mm Zoom lens – Not too bulky or heavy but takes some great shots, may consider upgrading to an SLR in 3 months, still learning on this one.
44. Rab Silk Sleeping Bag Liner – Bulks up the rating of a sleeping back by a season, also useful in grotty hostels as a light sleeping bag on its own.
45. Lacie Rugged 1TB Hard Drive – For backing up all photography in case the laptop goes AWOL or the hard drive breaks, fingers crossed. I’m using online backup where possible as well but upload times tend to be very slow on most hostel Wi-Fi.
46. PowerMonkey Solar Powered Battery – The little solar Panel attaches to the top of your rucksack or a window sill etc. Once charged the cell will charge my iphone twice, as well as the Garmin GPS and the Amazon Kindle.
47. North Face Gloves – Gortex Lined, the only thing worse than cold wet feet is cold wet hands.
48. Garmin GPS – For logging any treks or runs.
49. Garmin GPS Charger
50. Universal Plug Adaptor - With so many things to charge i may invest in another so they can run in tandem.
51. Woolly Hat – For when it’s too cold for ‘travel hat’.
52. Thermal top and Trousers – Double as pyjamas as well if a bit nippy.
53. Scarpa Hiking Boots – Hikes, treks, mountains, jungles etc. I’ve had these 8 months now and they’ve already proved their weight in gold, never wet and no blisters to date.
54. Windcheater – Packs up nice and small and takes the edge off a cold day
55. Waterproof Rucksack Cover – Extra protection for all my kit.
56. Waterproof Trousers
57. Pairs of Hiking Socks x 2 – Essential
58. First Aid Kit – Hopefully not to be used but handy for cuts/scratches/hangovers
59. Rab Alpine Jacket – Fully Waterproof, comfy and actually not as dorky looking as most jackets of its type.
60. Havaiana Flip flops – perfect for hot counties and dispel the need to use too many socks, these would have been first in the bag but I snapped mine the day before I left.
61. Amazon Kindle - As mentioned above, the book will always be king but the ability to have whatever you want to read is phenomenal, plus the battery is excellent and you can use the free 3G browser for local info/flights/hostels etc.
62. Shirts x 2 – A nod to being ever so slightly smarter in the evening
63. Light Trousers – When slightly colder and also for the evening
64. Shampoo & Conditioner – I picked these up at the airport
65. Wallet with cashcard – Relying on cashpoints around the world and the frequency of my bank in times of trouble (HSBC)
I’d be really interested to hear from others about what they took/have on their travels, especially anything they think that might be missing or is not needed.
Written and contributed by RebornKoala