“He who would travel happily must travel light” ~ St. Exupery

All packed and ready to go. Yup. Never thought it would happen but I can safely say I am finally done. My life for the next few months has fitted in to a 70 litre backpack as my main bag and a small 35 litre backpack for the stuff I need during the day. Quite surprising really considering all the stuff I am taking with me.

I am not going to lie, this has been quite a stressful process. The idea of backpacking is that you take what you need but not too much either. The idea of traveling light has never been my forte, so as you can imagine trying to fit everything I could possibly need for life on the road in to 70 litres was quite a challenge but I think I have done it. Ok so the bag weighs a whopping 18 kilos but I have packed for all eventualities and within the suggested limit. Pretty impressive if you ask me. So what have I packed exactly, well below is a list of items I suggest to take and a few links from websites that I used as a guideline. I have also added in the list given to me by the company that I am going to hopefully work for.

Things I have taken:

Sleeping bag, small pillow, quick drying trousers (not the zip off kind, not many can pull those off), waterproof jacket, thin but toasty fleece, kikois, shorts, skirts, long and short sleeved shirts, vest tops, underwear including sports bra, socks (thick and thin), bikini, swimming costume, boardies, cardigan, smart outfit for a special occasion, black pumps, 2 pairs of flip flops, some tackies (trainers to everyone else), and sturdy walking shoes. I wasn’t sure whether to take boots or shoes but have gone for shoes for space saving.Yea I know, so much but I am pretty sure that I will at some point be using most of this.

A long with all my clothing I have taken a well stocked first aid kit with antibiotics, antiseptic stuff, wound dressing, needles and syringes, painkillers, antihistamines, anti-acid, anti-malarial, stuff to stop diarrhea, scissors, tweezers, papaya ointment, bandages, safety pins, antiseptic wipes and sudocrem. Hopefully I wont be needing any of these but you never know, this is after all Africa and the last thing that I fancy doing is being ill or needing to visit one of those grim local joints. I visited enough of those in my time in Rumbek and that was enough for me.

As well as clothes and first aid kits I am taking some gadgets with me like a camera and all that comes with it as well as my iPad and phone. I would take my iPod with me if it wasn’t broken. Obviously take the chargers etc for all of these and make sure that they are covered under your insurance if not then get separate insurance for them. I have added a head torch and pocket knife too and spare batteries just in case.

And lastly my wash bag and toiletries. In there I have shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, moisturizer, face cream, deodorant, wet wipes, sponge, razor and blades and a hair brush. I have also taken with me as a luxury item some make-up (only some eyeliner pencils and mascara) and some perfume.

In my day bag I have some guidebooks because I like highlighting and writing notes in them, my wallet, all my travel documents and photocopies of these. I have also added a few pens and the like just in case as well as spare zip lock bags for wet stuff or for waterproofing. Hopefully they will do the job.

So yes it seems like a lot but to be honest everything I have taken will be useful in one way or another. The first aid kit was possibly a little extreme but it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when you don’t know what you might pick up a long the road or if you will find the right drugs.

The following links are what I used as a guideline for my packing. I thought I would add them in for anyone who is planning on traveling to get a better idea of what others are taking too. These are like I said only a guideline and my list is my personal choice. Not all of these are necessary and I am sure that you may think I have left something out but I am happy with this and feel comfortable that I will manage just fine for life on the road.

http://www.acacia-africa.com/travel_info/what_to_pack.php

http://www.africantravels.com/Travel-info/What-to-bring

http://www.overlandingafrica.com/blog/africa/pack-like-overland-crew

http://www.travelindependent.info/whattopack.htm

Since all packing is now done, I head to Nairobi tomorrow for one last hoorah and for a last minute chance to pick up anything I need and then I depart for the Mara on Sunday after meeting the crew I will be traveling with as well as the others who have decided that over-landing is the way to see Africa. It’s all very exciting really and I can’t wait. The weather is a bit of a worry as it would seem that the Mara is underwater but its is all part of the adventure. Saying goodbye to my family and friends at home tonight and having some last snuggles with my nephew for a while then I am outta here.

I am a bit sad to leave the comforts of my home and the company of familiar faces but I have wanted to travel Africa for a while so the levels of excitement are making up for it. I have also been itching to get back to work after 3 months of being a lazy bum so I am looking forward to having the much needed income again as well as something to do that doesn’t include watching honey boo boo child or total wipeout on TV.

Until then, I am sorry that this post isn’t so much of an exciting thing to read but packing seemed like a good place to start. Like I said I am not much of a writer but I promise that at least the content of posts will improve over the coming months. I hope to make you all a little jealous and to ignite some travel interest in some of you. This is my Africa experience, my adventure starts now and I am excited!

My Life In A Backpack

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