My departure date is slowly inching closer and I’ve been busier than a bower bird, bringing shinny new things back to nest – I’ve got my tent, sleeping mat, pillow, sleeping bag and will soon buy lots of fancy water purifying gadgets.
The trek company stipulate that backpacks can’t be bigger than 80L. They have helpfully provided gives a “rough” guideline of what to bring along: 3 pairs of socks, 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts and a swimming costume. Oh and a hat.
I usually bring that much for a day trip to the beach, let alone a six month expedition around the world.
I’ve got the feeling that they are hoping that the list will shock everyone to err on the side of under-packing, so the truck isn’t bogged down before it crosses the English Channel.
I know it’s probably the clever thing to purchase pants that do everything but wipe your arse or the coat that is designed to roll up into the size of a postage stamp and ward off bears. But adventure clothes are in equal parts fantastically clever and often specularly ugly. I like to envision myself in an eclectic array of ensembles whilst sniffing my way through spice bazaars, marvelling at the Ajanta Caves sculptures or ambling through Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park.
I know that travelling is more than a fashion parade and I’ve done a fair amount of roughing it. But I’ve also got albums full of photos which seem just like one long (action packed) day trip, as I’m wearing the same jacket and jeans in every photo. So this time around I want options and I'm starting to see the packing guidelines as a challenge. Sure it will probably leave me with a crippled back from lugging around a backpack around full of inappropriate travel clothes. But heck, it would be nice to feel pretty as I swan through Beijing’s Temple of Heaven.
[image via: Lucky pony]