What to pack – The Travel Camel’s packing list
What to pack? Travel is a balance between weight, space, and convenience. I use an Osprey Aether 85 Backpack that is a joy to carry, and an Africa National Geographic Medium Backpack for electronic items. Because this is small by cabin baggage standards, when flying I stuff it into an Osprey 46 Litre Transporter and use the extra space to bring valuables and flying essentials.
Correct Clothes are great space and weight savers. I exclusively use Colombia because I love their cut, colour and comfort. Their Silver Ridge travel range is light, compact and dries quickly. Most of my clothes are travel/adventure wear, with a set of nicer clothes (still lightweight) for occasions when needed. For underwear, I use ExOfficio’s very comfortable Give N Go range.
If travelling to cooler climes, I carry gloves, scarf and a light thermal layer. A lightweight jacket is also important, and finally, my Indiana Jones Wool Felt Fedora is always by my side. Nowadays people don’t seem to recognise me unless I am wearing it! I wear the better quality Indiana Jones Fur Felt Fedora when I’m delivering speeches or attending conferences and travel shows.
I love gadgets, a trait inherited from my father no doubt. Most important is my DSLR-Notebook combo in order to photograph, write and review my travels. My current camera is a Nikon D7100 with a Nikkor 16-85mm Lens. I also carry a Tokina 80-400 Lens for sports or nature shots if required, which are all uploaded onto my Lenovo X220.
Music is important for me, thus a Creative Labs ZEN X-Fi2 MP3 Player is essential. This is accompanied by the brilliant Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones – one can even listen to quiet music (such as piano pieces) on a plane and hear no external noise. Good quality Portable Speakers are carried so that music can fill a room wherever I travel. My current speakers are the lightweight Razer Ferox Mobile Speakers.
The Petzl Tactikka XP Desert Headlamp (with coloured filters) is very handy for rummaging through my belongings or walking anywhere at night, and an AC USB Charger allows me to recharge without needing to turn on my notebook.
Other travel items include a Silk Inner Sheet that is easily worth their weight. Not only are they comfortable and add warmth, but they are very useful if unsure of the cleanliness of the sheets where you are sleeping. A Travel Pillow is handy for both bedroom and long journeys.
A Suction Sink Plug is useful when bathrooms don’t have any, so too is a microfibre Towel for bathrooms that don’t have any of them either. I also carry two Pegless Clothes Lines for drying clothes if the need arises.
Having a well-packed Medical Kit is vital and mine includes two types of medication for diarrhoea (one “stopper” and one antibiotic), a general antibiotic, sore throat gargle, antiseptic cream and bandages. I always carry a Doctor’s Certificate explaining all the medication in my medical kit just in case questions are asked at customs or elsewhere.
Two other important health items are an Antiseptic Hand Gel and a UV Water Purifier, mine is a SteriPEN Freedom Water Purifier that is recharged via USB. I use two 500ml Naglene Water Bottles to sterilise the water.
I bring a small collection of solitaire Games, with my favourites being Onirim, Friday and Urbion (Equilibrion). These are very welcome when waiting at airports, on long train or plane journeys or for whiling away time in my hotel room. For two player games, it’s hard to beat Ingenious (Travel Edition), Lost Cities and Straw. All of these games (except for Ingenious) are small and easy to carry.
Finally, I try to pack Scented Toilet Paper, not only is it important for emergencies, but it keeps my backpack smelling fresh.