Travel Gear for Round the World TripFor travel around the world, backpacking or multitrip travel the most essential item you will need is a rucksack or backpack. This will give you ease of travel whilst at the same time restrict you from any temptation to overload yourself with souvenirs. As you will be carrying your rucksack with you where ever you go, it will need to hold everything you require for your entire journey. A lesson you will quickly learn is that everything you own will be in your rucksack and you will be carrying it on your person (probably your back). Therefore, you must choose one that is going to be most comfortable for you (especially when it has weight in it). The advice here is to go to a travel shop and try one on - ask the retailer to put some weight in it and try manouvering around in it. Rucksacks are like a pair of shoes, you need to find one that fits so it's best to try one in store to ensure you have the right one.
There are many styles available from outdoor shops such as Blacks which have branded products such as Northface, and Berghaus with bioflex system designed to move with your body as you trek or take adventurous journeys from A to B. Most come with raincovers.
☼ Tip: Line your rucksack and backpack with heavy duty bin liner to make it waterproof from the inside. There may be times where you may not get the opportunity to put a rain cover on. This will provide a 'belt and 'braces' approach so the contents of your sack do not get wet. Such a method will protect your items from torrential (possibly tropical) downpours you will no doubt encounter! For the smaller setions use freezer bags to contain items. On our travels, we encountered people with their personal possessions sodden wet from tropical rain downpours whilst ours were safe and dry!
Backpacks have many compartments where people can slip stuff in or out of your rucksack whilst you are carrying it. Ruksacks do not provide a natural way of securing the sack whilst the bags are not in your possession (in flight) thus there are a few products out there that address these concerns.
A company called Pacsafe provide all sorts of accessories that address these security concerns. One of the things they manufacture is a knife proof wire mesh that goes totally around the ruksack and can be secured with a pad-lock. This ensures the rucsack is secure in transit and also has other versatile uses such as providing a secure place for your valuables, for example when you are on an excursion ( and your hostel / hotel does not have a safe). The wire mesh cover (with sack within) can be tethered to a fixed item (bed, pipes etc). A picture is provided below:
PacSafe 120 Luggage Protector
Pacsafe is available from outdoor shops such as Blacks, and Millets. This is a knifeproof metal wire mesh which fits and locks around rucksacks. Fantastic device to safeguard your entire rucksack making it thief proof whilst on the move or when your bag is left unattended!
Money belts - also available from outdoor shops such as Blacks will keep your passport/ money/credit cards and even mobile phone safely hidden away underneath your clothes, away from prying eyes and hands.
☼ Packing tip: Rolling up clothes keeps them crease free and creates space in your rucksack.
☼ Clothes tip: In your RTW trip you are likely to experience many climates, whilst traveling through the various hemespheres of the the earth. The clothing you take has to be versitile to cope with these climates without weighing you down. The recommendation is to take plenty of thin layers, start off with thermols, light T-Shirts micro-fleeces, fleeces and a weather proof outer garment (raincoat with some form of breathable windproof technology (Gore-Tex / Hyvent etc). Visiting an outdoor shop will provide you with a range of suitable wear (quick drying, light clothes that offer adequate comfort and protection in all climates). Leave your jeans or thick cotton T-shirts at home as once wet, will take ages to dry, not ideal if you are constantly on the move. Investing in modern fabric technology is the key to achieving this goal. Having an arsenal of different types of clothes will allow layering up and down keeping you from overheating, keeping warm and cool, as and when required. Other space saving items are Lifeadventure's quick drying Shammy /travel towel. Saves on space as it folds to a very small size (compared to your average cotton towel) .
☼ Essentials: A good pair of hiking boots (preferably water proof coated with Gortex available from Blacks) are essential along with hiking socks. A hat will keep your head protected from all day sun.
☼ Travel Books: Travel books can be a valuable source of information especially in totally new places. “Lonely Planet gives you precise information and the “Rough Guide” gives you very detailed information available from Borders and Amazon. We had these posted out to us synchronised with our arrival in a new place. That way you will not have to carry them with you on your travels. These books can be heavy so a convenient option maybe to purchase a E-reader like the Amazon Kindle or an Ipad (which has a kindle app) and purchase the e-books which are genarally cheaper.
Here is a list of items you may wish to purchase, depending on the climate you are travelling to:
- Sun Hat - Keep the sun off your face and neck
- Sun Glasses
- DEET - to keep those pesky Mosquito's and blood sucking insects off you
- Sun block
- Swimming Trunks /Costume
- Linen Outfit
- Slippers / Sandals
- Winter Hat (wooly / Synthetic)
- 2-in-1 Gloves (waterproof outer glove with warm thermal inner glove and can be worn separately)
- Scarf / Balaclava
- Hiking Socks
- Thermols (leggings and top)
- MicroFleece and Fleece jacket / jumper
- Raincoat and waterproof trousers with some breathable windstopping technology
- Hiking boots
- Gaitors (keeps snow out of your insides when trekking mountains or in deep snow areas).
- Light trousers / T-shirts (UV protected) with zipped pockets - recommend Cragghoppers
- Money Belt
- Documentation (passport, tickets, e-tickets, insurance, itinerary, )
- First Aid Kit (with a selection of bandages and Plasters)
- Needle and Thread
- Some incarnation of a Swiss Army Knife (remember to check this in! - otherwise it will be confiscated)
- Duct Tape (versitile - can be used for all sorts of stuff, eg repair of rucksack)
- Medication (Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Dioralyte, Anusol (heamarrhoid) cream, Tiger balm)
- Disposable Knifes, Forks, Spoons
- Toilet Roll
- Alcohol Gel (to clean your hands if there is no soap and Water)
- Universal Plug
- Sleeping bag & sleeping bag liner - the latter can be used to sleep in if you dont trust the state of linen.
- Digital Video / Camera with plenty of Memory Cards and tapes
- MP3 player
- Head Torch
- Bed Bug spray which contains Permethrin
- Passport sized photos
- Ear Plugs - to get a good night sleep in shared room like a Hostel
- Tea Bags - If you are British pack these before you go, the tea dont taste the same elsewhere.