As I was writing this out, I was wondering how it was all going to fit in... but I managed to stuff it all in by the end.
Osprey Departure 75 Backpack Awesome design features. Daypack fits it between your back and the bigger bag providing you extra safety against thieves. One thing I did note about this though is that the rain cover may not keep the daypack as dry as the main pack. In heavy storms it might be best to move any water susceptible items to your main pack.
Osprey Backpack Rain Cover Osprey backpacks are very water resistant, but if you and going to be slogging around in the rain, it is best to have a cover. The Osprey cover fits the backpack perfectly, being of the same brand. I would have preferred it to be all black with no Osprey badge to make it less obvious to thieves, but I think the better fit is worth it.
ELECTRICAL AND RELATED
^Water Proof Watch
Mobile Phone I have a Siemens SX-1. Quite large, but quite small given its number of nifty features. Doubles as an alarm, clock, MP3/Ogg music player, game machine and PDA.
Mobile Phone Charger
Notebook/Laptop Okay, so most people will most likely not need one of these babies. I had intended to do some programming type work while I travelled, so for me it was a trade-off I decided to make. Other reason people might take a notebook along:
Play Games and Watch DVD movies: You can amuse yourself on bus/train/plane trips etc.
Phone plug adapters for modem?
Music: a computer can fit a lot of music on it.
Headroom Total Bithead Soundcard/Amplifier
For audiophile quality in a small package.
Picture storage: Download your digital camera images onto your computer. Memory cards are not very safe long term storage areas. Memory cards are sensitive to knocks, magnetic fields, etc and storage can erode with time. It is better to have smaller memory cards and remove the pictures often. Having a computer with CD or DVD burning facilities can be a great way to back these up. You can put them on a disk and send them home as you travel around. There is nothing worse than losing precious memories due to lack of backups.
^Power Pocket Socket Adapters for Countries
Powerboard So I can use more than one power point at a time. Camera/Notebook/Phone/Shaver
Canon Powershot SD300 Digital ELPH (DIGITAL IXUS 40) A nice small 4.0 mega pixel camera with 3x optical zoom. Canon have a great reputation for nice pictures and good low light shots. This particular model is nice and small (a sales person told me they copied Pentax's line of small cameras) Only negative I realised once I was reading the manual is that the camera warranty is not valid outside the country of purchase! Come on Canon, get with the program. How many people buy a camera with the expectation of using it another country... quite a few I would expect. Anyway, here's hoping that there are no problems requiring the warranty.
^Second camera battery These are quite small. They are also lithium based which means you don't need to run them down to recharge them, but there was another nice caveat in the manual as well, they only last about 300 charges! The suggestion is that you do let them run down and then recharge. Having a second battery on hand is probably a good idea anyway. You might not have time to recharge and you don't want to miss taking that awesome shot because you have no battery life left. It's also nice to have two batteries in case they become hard to get later on in the products life time.
Camera Mini USB Cable
Camera Charger and Power Leads
^Plastic resealable bag for the camera The manual also suggests that putting the camera in a plastic bag when going between changes of hot and cold. This will allow the camera to adjust to the temperature change and lower the risk of condensation build up ruining your camera. Water and electronics don't mix well folks.
^Weather Proof/Underwater Camera Housing
^Global Internet Service Providers
Toilet bag Electric shaver ^Toothbrush ^Toothpaste ^Liquid soap ^Deodorant ^Aftershave
^MEDICAL/FIRST AID KIT Get some kind of container (you can get empty ones with First Aid and that global cross symbol on them if you wish) and make your own. This is generally cheaper and will only include the things you need.
Berocca (Vitamin B tablets) for urgent medical attention as a hangover PREVENTATIVE, taken with plenty of water - file under urban myth that seems to work for me).
Cotton Sticks (Q-tips) Good for cleaning hard to reach places like battery terminals etc.
^Earplugs I pack two types of earplugs.
A set of earplugs to block out as much noise as possible for sleeping in noisy areas.
I sometimes bring a pair of earplugs for noisy events where I still want to still hear, but turn the volume down e.g., a noisy band playing. You can get special earplugs that try retain the original sound as much as possible.
Torch I bought a Maglite because you can unscrew the top and stand it on the bottom and have a broad light source. An interesting alternative are head strap mounted lights leaving your hands free. I have also seen head straps that allow you to attach a torch above your ear.
Combination Locks combinations locks easier. lose key
Wire Attached Combination Lock
^Wire Net for Backpack
^Multi-Tool Big Knife for Cutting things such as bread
Knife/Fork/Spoon (can you get a Leatherman or something with these?)
Compass/Thermometer on D Clip In case I get lost in the bush or in those big tall buildings
^Extra straps These can be used to attach items to your pack when they can't fit inside.
Safety pins A variety of uses including, attaching things to your pack.
Zip Lock bags
Address Tag for Bag
^Color Coded Sacks To put things in and make them easier to move/find
Cable ties ( Zip ties ) What can't you do with cable ties... okay lots of things, but there pretty useful small items.
Sturdy nylon cord ( Clothes line ) Use as your imagination sees fit, but a temporary clothes line is a good one.
Pillow Case/Cover Put clothes etc in for a makeshift pillow... for sleeping or fighting.
Plug (For a sink!)
Swiss Army knife Includes: big knife, small knife, pliers, universal hook (I actually found this can be used for carrying parcels by strings to save your fingers... I'd always wondered what it was for), toothpick, tweezers, a pin.
Laundry bag To separate your dirty laundry from your clean.
Water Bottle Nalgene are a brand renowned for making well sealed and hard to break water bottles.
DOCUMENTATION (Duplicate the important ones and store them separately)
Water Proof Liner
^Hard Water Proof Case Keep these valuables safe and crumple free
Packing List So I can prove that I did actually pack that thing that is now apparently lost!
12-24 Visa Photos
Traveller's Cheque Receipt? Carry separately from Traveller's Cheque
Foreign Currency I already had or Exchanged beforehand
Wallet Carry in the front pockets if pick pockets may be around
International Youth Hostel Card
International Driver's Licence?
Tourist organization certificate?
Money belt Things like bum bags are not a good idea. It makes it too obvious that you are a tourist. Money belts are a great place to store your prized possessions. They are worn right against your body, hence keeping them out of sight of others. It could also save you worrying about them if you can feel them sitting against your body.
It's not a good idea to retrieve your money in public. It screams tourist and those unsavory elements will be looking for such blatant tips. Try to make sure you have some money on your person when you need it. If you do need to access your secret stash of funds, go somewhere private and reallocate your funds there... say in a toilet.
Travel Books You might be better buying them in the country you are in and then selling/trading/giving them away to other travellers/ books stores/charity organisations.
Phrasebook Lonely Planet?
Water proof pants
Socks Woolen Water Socks?
Long Sleeve Shirts
Water Proof Jacket
^Long Pants that Zip Off to Shorts
Bathers (Board Shorts)
Hat Taking my Mercedes/McLaren Kimi hat so I can cheer on my team during the season. Hopefully it is better than the last one.
Belt? Umbrella? Ski Gloves? Mittens?
Keen Sandals For travel, the Newport H2 and Hood River models are probably your best bet. These provide synthetic material that dries quickly and is also cheaper than their leather counterparts. Whilst the Keen Newport, Jamestown and Uptown say they use waterproof leather, numerous sources have suggested that they do take in water and this can take approximately 24 hours to dry depending on climatic conditions. I felt that the leather was a little more comfortable though, but there has to be trade offs I guess. Another gain is the synthetic uppers make for a lighter sandal.
The big toss up is to go with something like the Keen Newport H2 with its easy slip on and tighten cord, or with the slightly more time consuming strap version of something like the Keen Hood River. The Hood River strap is more likely to stay attached to your foot and provide a little more support.
The great thing about travelling with sandals is that your feet get to breathe, but they are also useful for walking into less than inviting looking showers and other such places you come across. A big reason to go for the synthetic Keen models.
Teva sandals have a great reputation with travellers. I tried a pair of these on... and they are definitely very comfortable. I felt the soul's grip was better on the Teva as well as being a bit cheaper than the Keens. The Keen sandals felt a little bit more comfortable to me compared to the Teva. The Keen's have more strapping and it tends to stick to your feet a bit more, making walking and running a bit easier to my mind. The Tevas also have a more traditional sandal look. The Keen sandals are a bit out there (I liked their looks, very sleek). The Keen sandal's also come in some pretty loud colors.
Keen Hiking Boots I wanted some shoes that would be comfortable hiking, but still get me into more upmarket venues like night clubs / casinos etc. Taking 3 sets of shoes was something I really wanted to avoid as they are heavy and take up a lot of space. Whilst I toyed with the idea of taking my Dr Martins along, I finally came across the Keen hiking boots. These look trendy, are comfy and are cross purpose and most importantly being suitable for my needs outlined above. Reading reviews of Keen hiking boots, most people are very happy with these boots. They are reportedly very comfortable, the best part being that they are even comfortable right out of the box. No breaking in of hiking boots required!
OPTIONAL (perhaps pick up as needed)
Insect Repellent Water purifying tablets Malaria tablets Solar Battery Charger
Thought about taking:
Sandisk MobileMate SD+ Memory Card Reader This thing is tiny. Since I got a cheap deal on an older laptop, it didn't come with a card reader. This is a good compromise because it is so small and can also be used in internet cafes, at home, etc via its USB connector.
^Echo Audio PCMCIA sound card