It doesn’t matter how much ‘Normal’ travelling you have done in the past, or how much you think you have learned from those experiences, it’s always a good thing to research for a specialist trip along the lines of spreading your wings and doing a whole Continent in one hit.
Arlene has been writing a few blog posts along the way and I said I would do so later on in our planning and the run up to our departure.
This is only my second attempt at this sort of thing, as I am by no means a literary expert, but I do have a certain amount of experience on some subjects, packing and carrying weight being one of them.
We chose the name for our blog carefully, as we wanted it to represent what we wanted to achieve from our trip, the first of many we hope, so we ‘Dreamt Big’ and now it is time for me to talk about ‘Packing Lite’.
I have been a bit of a world traveller in the past, mostly related to my job in the Military as it happens, but having a Hercules or some other type of transport aircraft as your personal luggage carrier, weight wasn’t a problem. Part of my military career was also spent in Germany back in the ‘Cold War’ era, for ever practicing to repel the ‘Red Threat’, which thankfully for all of us never happened. What we all learnt back in those days of living in cabbage greens was, that we may go to war in a Land Rover or a 4 Tonner but you can quickly lose the use of them and have to hump all your gear on your back. Looking back, it must be 30 years when I think of it now, we all had to have ‘Packing Savvy’ and things or ‘Home Comforts’ you would love to have with you all the time, were discarded for bare survival equipment and ammunition. The weight of your backpacks and L.F.O (Light Fighting Order) although heavy, when you added a minimum of 80 rounds of ammunition in your L.F.O and any spare you could scrounge, was capable of being ‘Humped’ considerable distances without rest breaks.
I took to exploring mountainous and remote areas on my own years later, and adopted military equipment I had been used to as my mode of carrying what I needed to survive on my own. I had to assume, heaven forbid, that if some mishap befell me I needed to be self sufficient for a minimum of 48 hours, so the weight of the gear I ‘Humped’ with me was considerable, even though I had gone for lightweight equipment wherever possible. A learning curve here I think!
Looking at other types of travelling where I have taken ‘Stuff’ with me, are the sub aqua diving holidays I have had over the past 3 years or so. Bags seem to get bigger and heavier, but at least a plane is doing most of the ‘Humping’ for you.
Now, that’s given you a taste of the past, what about the future and our trip to South America?
We are only going to be taking ‘Carry On’ bags with a maximum weight limit of 10Kg. Can you see the challenge that gave me, and don’t forget we are going for 5 months!
Let’s split things down a little and come up with a list for you to concentrate on. A little at a time to chew on, so to speak.
Hat or hats?
Fishing jacket or similar?
4) Sun Glasses?
5) Reading Glasses?
6) Wash kit?
7) Electronic ‘Gidgies’?
8) Water treatment?
9) And last but one of the most important, First/Emergency Aid
By splitting things down into a list, you can a) concentrate on one thing at a time and b) make sure you have covered everything, which is most important. Of course you can pick things up while you are on your travels, but decisions have to be made with minimal information and there will certainly not be the luxury of testing things out first.