Getting Ready

What on earth are we bringing?

I have learnt both from experience and from hours of procrastinating while reading travel sites that packing a backpack is both a science and an art.  Travel Independent has an excellent list of what you actually need when you carry your life on your back РI also have taken great joy in the preparations of Snarky in Africa, most especially her post about using solver to pick her shoes! 

Due to the places we are going and our budget we have decided to bring a tent with us.¬† I know that this will get many strong reactions, both positive and negative, but in order to finance our year without staying in dorm rooms more than absolutely necessary the tent (and the sleeping bags, and the sleeping pads) are in.¬† Accordingly we have bigger backpacks than what is ideal.¬† My backpack is a Gregory Deva 60L and Jon’s is a MEC Ibex 80L ¬†(there is no way his will be full but if we are ever desperate that extra space will be nice to have). ¬†I filled up my backpack with 60lbs of weight (way more than I would ever carry for real) and wandered around MEC for 20 minutes and was very happy with it! ¬†It is for this reason that I decided to go for a top loader rather than a travel backpack. ¬†

In terms of carry-ons Jon is brining a Crumpler DSLR/Laptop Backpack¬†and I am brining a small (kids) MEC backpack that is super light but can carry 25L if we go on short 1-2 day hikes! ¬†I’m also bringing a purse because Jon has told me that I’m not allowed to bring my fanny pack this time (don’t tell him I may bring it anyway).

So far my list is as follows, it seems like a lot right now and may get cut down the next few days pass by! It is nice going as 2 so a lot of the toiletries, medications, etc. get shared between the two of us. Also, when I come home in the summer I am picking up warmer gear for spring in South Africa and fall in Tokyo, a few extra guidebooks and our malaria pills.

Allison List:

Clothes (all in shades of black, brown & blue + one yellow tank top)

  • 3 T-Shirts
  • 3 Long Ribbed Tank Tops
  • 1 Fake pashmina for temples & mosques
  • 2 Convertible Skirts (i.e. can be a long skirt, knee length skirt or tube dress)
  • 2 Yoga Pants
  • 1 Brown Pants that can roll up into capris
  • 1 Navy blue short sleeved dress
  • 1 Micro fleece (carry on)
  • 1 Super light rain jacket (carry on)
  • 3 Bikini
  • 7 Undies
  • 3 Bras
  • 3 Pairs of Socks
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving Oil
  • Razor + Blades
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Floss/Floss Threaders
  • Brush
  • Lip Gloss
  • Mascara (I know, I know)
  • Earrings (I still know)
  • 2 Headbands (there is no way you are talking me out of this one)
  • Nail Clipper
  • Towel
First Aid
  • Small First Aid Kit with extra bandaids (J)
  • Swiss Army Knife (J)
  • Anti-histamine
  • Sleeping Pills (I need these for long transport legs I can’t sleep on airplanes or busses otherwise)
  • Advil
  • Prescription¬†diarrhoea¬†medicine
  • Cepacol mouth wash¬†
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Down Camping Pillow
  • Flashlight
  • Padlock & Retractable Lock
  • Sandals – cushy, good for walking
  • Runners
  • Shower Flip Flops
  • Cute Yellow Flip Flops to keep only until I get sick of carrying them
Carry on / Electronics
  • Camera
    • Charger
    • 3x SD Card
    • 2x Battery
  • USB Card Reader
  • iPod
    • iPod cable
    • iPod charger
  • GSM Cell Phone
  • Hard Drive
  • 1 USB/Mini USB Cable (for cell phone charging & hard drive)
  • Plug Adapters
  • Alarm Clock
  • Watch
  • Guidebooks
    • Dubai (encounter), Jordan, Greek Islands,¬†Mediterranean¬†Europe, London (encounter)
    • We are each going to carry a couple, I’m not worried about this, we can ditch as we go if we need to.
  • Novels
    • Don’t ask how many
  • Notebook
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Sudoku Book
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Earplugs
  • Clothesline
  • Toilet Paper
  • Knife/Fork/Spoon


  1. A great read so far Allison…looks like Jonathan has some catching up to do! Have fun on your cross-Canada drive…

    Happy Trails!

  2. what a great site! Jon, when you get back from this lil’ globetrot, you’re totally hired.

    have fun out there kids!

  3. Being able to SHARE this journey of a lifetime with you is one of life’s everyday miracles …. forever love, Mom

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