So besides our clothes (which we took too many of), here is a list of what we packed on the flying portion of our trip (the first 2 months backpacking and camping was of course an entirely different packing strategy) and the usage we made of it. If you are planning a similar trip, this might be useful for you:
-Our most cherished item and life line: our ipad and bluetooth Kensington keyboard. It’s been invaluable to keep up on our bills, budget, book travels as we went, research each area, leverage the map and GPS app, stay in touch with families and friends, and keep entertained on long flights and bus rides.
-Ipod: music music music ….also acted many nights as ear plugs!
*Nikon D-90 with 300mm zoom, 2 batteries, charger, cleaning supplies etc. Our star camera. We only wished we had a wide angle lens and a harness at times to carry the camera around. We bought a Crumpler bag (black and green pouch on the picture) to protect it and it worked well. Thanks Gene and Heather for the recommendation!
*Canon Powershot D-10 underwater camera, battery/charger and yellow floater. We should have bought an extra battery for that one.
*Our old point and shoot Canon Powershot SD790 IS camera. That poor thing has been pretty beat-up and is ready for recycling when we get home. For now, it’s been duct-taped and the zoom doesn’t always work anymore.
-Nikon very light 12X25 binoculars: has been used a great deal in Africa and Australia. Wished we had a second pair at times.
-Lowepro hard case container for storing memory cards and ipad photo uploader. We definitely underestimated the number of memory cards we would need and had to buy some as we traveled.
-Multi-plug (outlet to go with USB) and international adapters: was great to be able to put all of our electronics on one plug and adapter.
-Steripen adventurer: was very reliable to sterilize water, particularly helpful in Asia and Nepal.
– Iphone 3GS we bought used because it was unlocked. We finally used it a great deal in Australia.
-Pouch for all wires: OK not super organized but it worked.
-Cocoon bed liner: to keep warm or cool, or against bed bugs and other critters. We used them here and there.
-Double size mosquito net dipped in Permethrin (we also dipped some of our clothing). We slept under our net EVERY night in Africa. Some of the places we stayed at had nets but they had holes in them.
-Anti-malaria tablets: James took them and Sylvie didn’t. Neither one of us got malaria and James had bad stomach side-effects from the tablets.
-2 locks for our luggage
-2 headnets (used with safari hats): I think we used the headnets once in Australia for the flies.
-2 backpack raincovers
-Cards and cribbage game: we almost never played
-Nalgene water bottle: lost it and bought a new one in Nepal
-Pink year planner calendar/organizer: this was very helpful to have printed bookings by month and to dos
-REI alarm clock
-Sylvie all in 1 leatherman knife and James’ French knife
-REI clothes line for laundry with suction cups: not great, ended up breaking
-2 REI stuff bags for laundry: extremely practical
-Small spoons, spork and containers: was great to have to make our own in-room cheap breakfast
-Books (travel and pleasure): Travel books such as Lonely planet and the like we had shipped to ourselves and left behind when we left the country. In most cases, we could have gotten one in the country upon arriving but it’s not always practical if you want to plan ahead. We downloaded one also on the ipad for Europe but found it unpractical every time we wanted to look something up. For pleasure books, we took advantage of the many English used-bookstores we encountered and book exchange programs.
-2 snorkels and masks. We couldn’t pack fins as it was too bulky and had to make do without.
-1 dry bag
-Snorkeling waterproof container for keys, money, credit card etc.
-2 beach towels: used for beach time and as shower towels at times
– First aid kit including white pearl probiotics (does not need refrigeration), enzymes (on the advice of Sylvie’s naturopath, which helped a lot in Africa and Asia) and vitamins
-100% deet bug spray
-2 Swiss Army money belts. Passport pictures and US dollars for visas on arrival, and RFID sleeves for credit card protection
-1 Eagle Creek Pack-It cube for organizing underwear and socks. Sylvie loved hers and James was jealous and wished he had one. Thanks again Gene and Heather 🙂
-2 portable re-usable shopping bags: perfect for shopping in Europe and countries were plastic bags are banned.
-Other items such as: 2 travel neck pillows, mini-calculator (was great for negotiating prices in Asia), ziploc bags, sunglasses with cleaning kit, carabiners, hand cleaner, pens and pads, toiletry bags, personal hygiene products, and last but not least – travel business cards for exchanging email addresses and our blog url with fellow travellers.
*Our backpacks (REI) and suitcases (Osprey Sojourn):
They worked great and were the right choice for our travels. James’ carry-on backpack is ready for retirement though. Rats in Africa made some definite holes and the zipper of the front pocket broken.
* Lost and Stolen:
-$100: stolen: $40 in Africa, $60 in Australia
-2 beach towels: stolen and recovered by the Australian police who later mailed them to us across the country!
-1 Nalgene water bottle: lost in Nepal, bought a new one
-2 pair of socks (Sylvie): lost in Africa
-1 safari shirt (James): stolen in Africa
-1 headlamp: lost somewhere in Asia
-1 reading book: lost in Paris, France
-James’ watch: lost in Australia
-Blue cap (Sylvie’s favorite hat)
-Numerous hair clips (Sylvie): lost everywhere we’ve been