PACKING FOR BACKPACKING
Use this list as a general guide only. You have to decide on the final items, based on the destinations and nature of trip.
Make a complete list before doing the actual packing. Otherwise you would end up wasting time trying to remember what you may have missed. After you have packed in your stuff, feel the weight. It should be light enough for you to manage on your own. Remember you have to have space for your shopping.
IMPORTANT Airline ticket, Passport, Money, Guide book, Credit cards, ATM Card, Driving Licence, Passport photos, Camera, Memory cards, Chargers, Handphone & Tablets.
BAGS Backpack, Day pack, Money belt, Pouch & Cloth laundry bag.
CLOTHING Two pants, four T-shirts, five underwears, one shorts, three socks, swimming gear, fleece jacket & windbreaker, cap, thermals, glove, scarf, trekking sandals/shoes & japanese slippers.
TOILETRIES Toothbrush & paste, soap shampoo, shaver, toilet paper, towel, sarong, wet wipes, contact lens solutions, spare lenses & spectacles, clothes line, laundry powder, vaseline, lipgloss, sunblock, sewing kit & ear plugs.
OTHERS Umbrella, Watch, Belt, Sunglasses & Holder, Reading glasses, Pen & notebook, Swiss Army knife, Padlocks, Water bottle, Torchlite or Headlamp, Thermos, Traveller's kettle.
ELECTRICALS Handphone+charger, Digital Camera+charger+memorycard, Tablet +charger, MP3 player
SMALL ITEMS Rubberbands, safety pins, packaging tape, string
GIFTS/ICE BREAKERS Coins, stamps, post cards, family photos, popular characters mini stickers, pens & toothbrush.
FOODSTUFFS 3-in-1 beverages, Chocolates & sweets, BBQ pork or chicken, dried prawn sambal & sour stuff for long bus/van rides
FIRST AID Insect repellent , Band-Aids, bandage, Pill Po Chai, Antiseptic cream, Aspirin, Lomotil, Multivitamins & Dehydration salts.
BEFORE GOING OFF CHECKS Windows close, door lock, house & car keys with relatives, computer off, handphone message & set up auto night light.
WHY BRING? & MORE TIPS
- Passport-sized photos & photocopies ticket, passport, visa, credit card - much easier to obtain a replacement in case of loss.
- If you have a yahoo or similar email address, you could send a scanned copy of your passport and visa to yourself. By doing this, you can access your important documents at any internet outlet worldwide.
- Its a good idea to hide some emergency cash in your luggage in one or two places. There are many pouches which are available for carrying your important documents. Some pics of Passport/Money bags.
- I do highly recommend Umbrellas not just for rain. Its provides superior shading in hot sunny days compare to caps. Furthermore, umbrella offers better rain protection for cameras and photography.
- Laundry bags made of clothc are ideal as a spare bag. You can stuff almost all your clothing into the bag thus creating more space in your backpack for your shopping stuff. You can tie the laundy bag and check in on the return flight.
- Small gifts make good ice-breakers especially with children. In many parts of the world, a toothbrush is a scarce commodity. Sweets are not advisable on account of their dental habits Obvious items are coins and pens, but used stamps and postcards of Malaysia are nice. Family photos are also good conversation subjects.
- Lee Min has stopped using trekking shoes/boots on his trips. He prefers sports sandals i.e with straps that can be used even for trekking on rocky terrain. Footwear takes up a bit of space in the bags but most people simply wear them.
- Always always pack as lightly as possible. If you eventually need to use the item, you could always buy them on the road. If you run out of clothes to wear, there's always cheap alternative, even in countries like Australia and America.
- Leave all jewellery and expensive watches at home. There's no need to tempt anybody. And always dress modestly. This usually means sleeved T-shirts and light cotton pants.
- No jeans please because denims are too heavy and bulky. They dry very slowly too. So leave them at home. Traveler's cut-off pants (pic here) are best, usually made of 50% polyester and 50% cotton which dries fast. Traveler shirts made of the same quick drying materials are also available.
- A final word on shopping - Instead of buying a beautiful piece of item, which may be too bulky to bring home or too expensive, you could always photograph it. It would be better to just buy a few good stuff, then a big load of low cost items, which you may end up in storage because of lack of display space.
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