Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sam’s Trek Pre-Trip Checklist

Bill Tilman's philosophy was to travel as light as possible

Here's a list I drew up for my first trip to Nepal a few years ago, which might come in handy for those of you dithering as to what to take if you're going trekking somewhere. When I ran this past Rob, my friend who had been there several times, he was slightly baffled and suggested that he just threw a few clothes in a bag and set off! Each to his own approach, it'll work out one way or another - use your common sense, and the rule of "half the stuff, twice the cash" is usually right.

Note things marked @ are items potentially can be shared in a group

Medical Stuff
This should be done well in advance!
Dental check and medical check

General principle is the less weight the better. It’s easy to buy essentials out there if required.

Large hold-all, ideally lockable, to leave off trek
Large internal framed backpack, with lockable compartment, for trekking
Small daypack to keep valuables (camera, phone, passport)
Lots of waterproof plastic bags inc. zip lock ones to section stuff into to avoid water damage
Large strong plastic bag to wrap main backpack in when flying

Lightweight waterproof walking boots. walked in, use them before going abroad
Hiking socks x2pairs
Few pairs of normal socks (not cotton)
A pair of flip-flops or light shoes for non-trekking or when in camp / lodge

Light t-shirt, not cotton, best to get one of these special wicking tops
Lightweight jumper type thing
Fleecy jumper
Gore-Tex jacket
Light trekking trousers
Merino Wool Tighty things
Underpants – I’ve seen it suggested they should be warm, but that sounds strange to me!
Swimming shorts
Knee Support band things
Good pair of dark sunglasses with real UV protection!
Warm woolly hat

Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bag rated to appropriate temperature for destination. Very important!
Sleeping bag liner – NB you could make do without actual sleeping bag for some places if blankets available (eg Nepal).
Compression sack for sleeping bag

Food @
Foxes Glacier Mints or equivalent.
Wash and Medical Kit
Towel - Tea towel sized or travel towel
Small soap @
Sun cream @ (though need to make sure we have plenty)
Sun lip gloss
Blister treatment stuff @ - this is important
Iodine or chlorine for water treatment @
Medical/First aid kit, including Imodium stuff @

GPS, but do you really need it? Will you have to carry it?

Other Stuff
• Lenses, lens cleaning kit etc as applicable
• Spare battery for camera
• Charger for Camera
• Big or multiple memory cards
Plug adapter
Small padlocks (combination) for bag and for room
Scissors, safety pins, tape @
Penknife @
Small screwdriver for spectacles if appropriate
Sewing kit @
Cigarette lighter/matches @
Head torch, spare batteries if required
MP3 player
Trekking poles
Ear plugs
2x1L Plastic Water bottle/Platypus/Camelback
Bits of rope for tying stuff to backpack @
Notebook and pens
Playing cards @
Reading books – this could be the time to conquer Ulysses
Andrex Toilet paper (for when only luxury will do)
Wet Wipes – I have a three-pack – one each of 80 wipes @

Money and Passport
Passport [check validity – three months after stay!]
Spare Passport Photos
US$ for visas and unexpected border charges @
Credit cards and bank cards for ATMs, do you know your pin? And phone number to call (from abroad, 0870 etc don’t work) if problem.
Paper photocopy of passport main page, tickets, plus copy left at home, and emailed to yourself as digital picture
Travel insurance, including phone and policy numbers, plus copy left with family at home
List of people and addresses to send postcards to!
Small Gifts – Things like postcards and, for example, DK Travel Guide to UK

Eric Shipton with his essential piece of luggage

Have fun!

No comments: