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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big Trip Preparations : Hoping to Learn the Art of Packing Light


Packing light? It's not easy. I had to practice three times. Now why do I have to pressure myself into packing light aside from its practicality? It's because I have a relatively small bag compared to what most backpackers bring:

LUGGAGE
These two bags are going to be my best friends for the next three months.


- Deuter ACT Lite 35+10SL bag which i bought before the Big Trip idea even came up. I love the shoulder straps and back system, and the bag's especially made for women. :)
It's relatively small compared to the 60L that most backpackers have. It forces me to pack light which I think is a good thing in the long run. However, it really wasn't easy. I had to remove some clothes and items to be able to fit everything in my two bags.


- TNF bag I bought in Vietnam for my gadgets

So after three practices, this is my close-to-final packing list, some of which I'm still thinking of bringing/leaving behind:

TECH
- Laptop + charger
- External Hard drive
- Nikon D40 + charger + 2GB and 4GB memory cards
- IPod + portable charger
- Cellphone + charger
-OMNI Universal Power Adapter (You can buy them in Ace Hardware)
- extra battery for camera (since battery charging during the EBC trek may cost around 150-200 NPR or USD2.0 per hour; and there’s no assurance that the teahouses will have power since they only have solar panels)
- 4GB memory card (I need a lot of memory space for my camera since I won’t be bringing my laptop during the EBC trek in Nepal)

ACCESSORIES
- Headlamp
- Water bottle
- Duct tape
- Sewing kit
- Padlocks

GEARS/BAGS


- Green shoulder bag (from Bangkok)
- Camera bag (from 168, my original Nikon bag is just too huge to bring)
- Sling bag
- Waterproof bag
- Triton Sleeping bag (still don’t know if I should bring it or not, and how to compress it more)

TOILETRIES
- After a friend (who is a seasoned traveler) told me that I can always buy toiletries in the countries I’ll be going to, I decided to just bring the basics or smaller versions of them.

SHOES


- Merrell Hiking Shoes (for the Nepal leg)
- Havainas slippers
- Merrell Sandals or Converse (I might bring just one or both)

CLOTHES
This was a little bit of a challenge for me given the weather of the countries we’re going to.

Manila-like hot weather in October - Malaysia, Singapore, India
Very very cold in November and early December - Nepal and Northern Vietnam
Manila-like hot weather again in mid- to late- December - Southern Vietnam

So the clothes I’ll be bringing for the October leg may not be applicable to the November to early-December legs. To resolve the dilemma, I decided to just use the clothes I'll be bringing for the first 3 countries for layering during our trek; and just buy warmer clothes in Nepal and leave them there after the trek.

- 4 tank tops
- 1 summer dress


- 6 tops/shirts


- 1 pair of jeans (yes, I think it will be very useful in Nepal and Northern Vietnam)
- 1 water-proof trekking pants (which I bought in Baguio ukay for only Php700! I plan to leave this in Nepal after the trek)
- 1 convertible trekking pants
- 1 gypsy pants
- 1 dri-fit pants
- 1 pair of leggings
- 2 shorts
- 1 board shorts

- TNF tri-climate jacket (silken fleece and water-proof jacket)
- 1 cardigan
- Pashmina from India (thanks Amit and Cindy)

- Microfiber towel (1 large and 1 small)
- 5 pairs of socks (2 ankle, 2 short, and 1 knee socks)

OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF
*Let me just say that the Japanese have an obsession for efficiency, and I admire them and I’m grateful for it! I love Saizen and Japan Home Centre!

from this pile to

voila! it will now occupy a smaller space in my bag c/o of:

- 4 Lock&Lock compression bags (I love them!)
- 2 compression bags from Saizen (since they're really cheap at Php88/bag)


- Small bags (cheaper substitute for packing cubes) I bought from Shopwise and Japan Home Centre.
- First-aid kit (thanks Mayen!) and medicines

Aside from its practicality, I think packing light also teaches you to just do the necessary preparations and trust that you'll find whatever else you will be needing along the way. ;)


Did I miss out on any important stuff? Or my list can't still be considered light packing, do I still need to reconsider some of the items? Your comments and opinions will be very much appreciated!