If you are going to trek, chances are you will have to carry all your stuff all the way. So you want to be pick all you need but just what you need. Every gram in your bag is a extra weight on your back.
- Short sleeves tops: your main outfit. Everybody will see them on all your pictures. You really want to take that old Mickey Mouse T-shirt?
- Long sleeves tops: to protect yourself from the sun or to enter religious buildings or to protect yourself from mosquitoes in the evening.
- Pullover. Temperatures can be freezing when you climb up volcanoes or mountains. Above 2000 meters, even in the hottest countries, it is usually cold.
- Short/skirt (you should be able to chose the appropriate one by yourself).
- Trousers for the same reasons you need to take long sleeves tops. Jeans are usually not a good option. They are heavy and keep you too warm. They are also not comfortable to walk. Trekking pants are best.
- Underwear: Cotton is good.
- Shoes: take a pair of flip flap on top of your of (good) trekking shoes. Remember that you are going to spend most of the time on your feet. If your shoes are new, make sure you use them before you go for your trek.
- Swimsuit: even if you don’t plan to go to the beach, you never know. A nice river, a swimming pool, a heavy rain? Always have one with you.
- Rain / wind jacket
- Jacket inner fleece or dawn
- Cover for your bag. Even if you are visiting the country during the “best season”, you never know what the sky will be like.
- Torch / lamp: head or pocket lamp with you. It comes handy when walking by night or in a tent.
- Toilet bag: Shampoo, soap, toothbrush & toothpath, deodorant, sun screen, tiger balm, wet tissues, . Ideally, all these in miniature formats.
- Sleeping bag liner
- Warm sleeping pants, jumper and socks if you plan to camp in altitude.
- Your IT stuff: iPad, eBook, laptop, memory card, batteries, etc. Check if you will have power on the way to size the battery you need.
- Camera and its protection.
- Dryer sheets: they will help keep a fresh smell in your bag.
- Your passport, cash, credit cards and other life saving items like your insurance card with emergency contact details.
- Your driver licence if you plan to rent a car or a motorbike (some countries are quite particular about this so take it with you in case you are not sure, even for a motorbike rental).
- Your emergency medical kit: painkillers, mosquitoes repellent, dressing/plaster, disinfectant, anti diarrhea, eyewash, blister tape
- Tissues and toilet paper (you will thank me later). Remember that in a lot of countries, you will not be provided napkins when having a meal.
- Water – plastic bottles are a good option as they are lighter than a gourd/flask.
- Biscuits (always buy some before you go when you are not sure what you will find. Always have “emergency” biscuit and water in case you cannot find food around and need to recharge batteries)
- Sunglasses: you’ll need them. Take them even if it’s raining. Weather can change very fast in the region.
- Scarf (krama, or any kind of fabric that you can use to put around your neck, put on your head to protect it from the sun, cover your shoulders in temples, dry your sweat, etc). Can come very handy in some situation. It will not stay clean for long so it’s wise to pick a dark color…
- Hat protect your head and face from the sun and heat or cold
- Gloves (only if you plan to stay in high altitude or cold weather)
- Trekking poles if you are going for a serious trek. If you don’t have some, ask the guide or porter if they can make some for you out of wood or bamboo.
It’s a good idea to put your key documents and IT equipment in freezer bags (zip-lock bag) to protect them from the rain in case you get drenched. Pack a few plastic bags. They come handy to pack your dirty laundry
You will probably adjust the content of you bag after a few trips. Remove the stuff that you have not used and add the one that you missed. Post a comment to share your tips! Happy packing (it’s the worse part of the trip but it’s worth it…) and travelling!