What is in my rucsac -- 19 May 2000
- Quickdry nylon travel pants
-- bought, very expensive. Should last a long time.
- Cotton walking shorts
-- had, hand me down, might not last through trip.
- Black jeans
-- bought on trip, thrift store ($3), should last through trip.
- Light polypro long underwear bottoms
-- had, expensive, might not last through trip.
- (Black medium weight wool slacks)
-- bought on trip, thrift shop ($4), might not last through trip.
- (Loose cotton pants)
-- bought, thrift store ($3), currently in storage.
The travel pants are comfortable, have a couple of extra or secret pockets, look
decent, and are supposed to work in many climates -- but i have found that they
don't work in chilly or cold weather (they do pack small though!). The jeans
were an oh by the way, they are heavy to carry, but ok to have.
The wool pants from Budapest are too hot for summer and the cotton pants from Seattle were not useful and are both are currently in
storage in Bonn.
- 3 comfortable, plain, cotton T-shirts
- Lightweight polypro T-shirt
--had, expensive, should last through trip.
- light, loose, white cotton long sleeve shirt
--bought on trip, thrift shop ($2), should last through trip.
- Cotton rugby shirt
--bought, thrift shop ($3), should last through trip.
- Midweight polypro turtleneck
--had, expensive, should last through trip.
- (Pendelton Wool button down shirt)
--had, thrift shop ($11), should last a long time...
The rugby shirt is comfortable and versitle, looks decent, and works in
many climates. The white shirt is great for sunny days. I threw in the Pendelton at the last second and it has been
great and it looks sharp too! But it ripped and with the weather getting warmer,
i left it in Bonn. I don't use the polypro T shirt as much as i do
when hiking, but it is still nice to have, and it packs small -- however, 4
T-shirts is a bit opulant!
- shoes & socks
- Walking shoes
--Salomon 'approach' shoes, had, gift, should last through trip.
- Birkenstock sandles with back straps
--bought on trip, at factory ($20), should last a long time.
- 4 pair ankle-high socks
- 7 pair wool (or wool/polypro mix) socks
Comfortable, durable walking shoes are a must, but having a second shoe
to give your feet a rest is equally important. The Salomons can manage hiking as
well as the city -- and they are super popular over here! I can walk around town all day
in the Birks with back straps! I could leave moste of the wool socks behind in the
summer, and i need to buy some more cotton ones... mrk.'s rule of travelling #9: Socks are the control factor.
- briefs & hankies
- 4 pair cotton briefs
- Speedo bathing suit
- 5 hankerchiefs
- 1 bandana
Throughout Europe the Speedo is the only bathing suit men wear and it is also useful
as an extra pair of briefs.
When clean, all the briefs and hankerchiefs live in a mesh bag in my
pack. When dirty, they live in a small plastic laundry bag.
- warm layering
- Light pull over wind jacket
--bought, thrift store ($3), should last a long time.
- Fleese vest
--had before, expensive, should last a long time.
- Light wool sweater
--in free box at Berlin hostel, a few holes.
- (Alpaca sweater vest
--being knitted on trip, should last a long time.)
The fleese vest is fantastic. I wear it all the time, i hate to leave it behind, but i in the summer, the vest and sweater are redundent and take up too much space.
The Alpaca is in storage in Bonn.
- hats & gloves
- Cricket hat --sun hat
- Neoprene ear band
- Lightweight polypro gloves --many holes
- Light wool watch cap
- wool baseball type cap --bought on trip, $1
Cricket hat came from a market in England, only about 10 bucks -- unfortunatly
it doesn't work in the rain very well... a flaw. It usually lives under
Cheryln's hat strapped on the outside of her backpack.
- the big outer things
- Large nylon rain poncho
- (Heavy winter parka)
The poncho, which i have had since 1977, is an amazingly useful item. I've
used it as a tent, a groundcloth, a way to lock the and/or hid the packs, and
many other things, as well as a poncho, of course.. I bought the coat in
Budapest, it is in storage in Bonn for the summer. I miss it, this
big heavy warm coat has an added advantage of giving the 'sleeping bag' effect
-- it protects you and makes you feel more at home.
- Bed & bathroom
- the bed
- fleece camping pillow & cinch strap
- sheet bag -- a queen size sheet folded over and sewn
- flannel boxers
- (flannel long pj bottoms)
The boxers were a comprimize, between a short or long
pajama. I got the pjs from a friend along the way, and they are now in storage in Bonn. I now i wish i had
linen boxers instead!
The pillow seems like a luxury, but it is very important -- it adds both
physical and emotional comfort. Cheryln made them especially for travelling.
They pack in a tight roll. It also gives a bit of the 'sleeping bag' effect --
it a bit of home that we take with us and get to experince every night --
besides, it is light.
The sheet bag also gives this effect;
Hostels in many northern European countries
charge extra for linen, so it is a good thing to carry.
Bringing a full sleeping bag is always a big
decision. It is heavy and VERY bulky (we would've had to take larger packs!)
but it is a bit of home to cuddle into every night and it lends a bit of
flexibilty to where you can sleep (people's floor, camping, etc.). So far we
have not really missed it.
- =main bag=
- head-cover type toothbrush case
- dental floss
- extra tooth brush head
- elect beard trimmer
- extra batteries for trimmer in a ziploc
- (flywheel razor)
- (trimmer accesories & comb)
We had a friend fly Toms Toothpaste over to us!
Since i now have a full beard i left the razor in Bonn.
- =shower bag=
- soap in large case
- shampoo in small bottle
- extra soap in a ziploc
- hair scrubbee
I often have a extra bar of soap for when the current one runs out. My soap
case is a bit too big, i would go for a smaller one if i could.
- =other places=
- large towell --waffle type
- 25 extra wash ups
- laundry soap in a ziploc
- sink stopper
- cotton sock
- toilet paper roll in a ziploc
- toilet paper handful in a ziploc
- toilet paper handful
Each 'bag' is a small stuff sack which is ready to be grabbed. The towells are
the waffle type, organic cotton and are wonderful. They are light and compact
-- they take up as much room as the tiny ratty towells that some people carry,
but are big and luxurious. No traveller would be without their towell -- they
are very useful. I carry a wad of toilet paper and some handiwipes in a
ziploc at all times, just in case. I keep a roll in the pack to replentish it
and i generally keep a handful in my pocket too!
- the 'EVERYTHING BAG'
- first aid kit in a really tiny stuff sack with bandaids, asprin, first aid cream
- pocket pliers w/knife
- fork & spoon
- 2 extra batteries for flashlight in a ziploc
- 5 foam ear plugs in a ziploc
- motion sickness arm bands --Have only one, i lost the other.
- 4 to 6 wash ups in a ziploc
- tiny roll of duct tape
- cloth (medical) tape -- Very useful for repairs, especially on clothing.
- small sewing kit in a ziploc
- emergency chocolate in a ziploc
- food bar
- a meter or so of light rope
- half a dozen rubber bands and pony tail holders in a ziploc
- 'business' cards with our address on them
The EVERYTHING BAG is a small stuff sack of essentials that goes everywhere (i
also carry it at home!) I absolutly could not live without it.
- other tools
- 2 mechanical pencils
- extra lead in container
- 4 pens
- pocket notepad
- palmtop computer
- 8 extra batteries for palmtop -- in a ziploc
- pocket kinfe - small -- (Swiss army 'classic')
- pocket binoculers
- sunglasses in fleece pouch
- watch with light and alarm
- a couple of swaths of spare fabric, for reparis and such
A good watch with an alarm and light is essential. The tiny 'classic'
knife has proven more useful than the larger ones. A handy pencil in
and notepad is a must. One pencil, the lead, eraser and pens all go in a small
stuff sack that Cheryln made. The palmtop is execptionally useful for keeping
track of addresses and expenses and such. Wish i had a micro laptop though!
- money belt
- cash from previous and future countries
- important info -- in a ziploc
The important info is copies of documents and credit cards,
numbers to call when cards are lost or stolen and such.
- secret pocket in backpack
- copy of passport
- debit card - second bank
- other ID's and important data
- accessible pocket on backpack
- atm receipts
- used tickets
- 7 small data notebooks -- lists and notes and expeses and phone numbers etc
- misc address
- misc brochures and other souvineers
- misc info
- misc maps
- souvineer coins
The coins and maps make the best souvineers!
- cash of current country
- copy of passport
- debit card - main
- ID cards
- airplane ticket -- in a ziploc
A second ID card other than the passport is often requried,
a drivers licence works. Also i have a student ID, hostel card
and usually a discount railcard for the country we are in!
We made the decision to leave our airplane ticket in our locked,
secure storage in Bonn.
- Cheryln carries
- debit card - main --emergency second copy
- book - guide --Rough Guide: Europe
- book - guide --Official HI Hostels
- book - guide --Lets Go Eastern Europe
- book - dictionary --Polish
- book - dictionary --German
- (book - guide --Lonely Planet Eastern Europe)
The books we do not currently need are in storage in Bonn -- as are many old
maps, recepits, brocures and tickets...
- Packing materials
- main bags
- backpack Mountainsmith Bugaboo -- had, expensive, should last a long time
- large pocket that straps onto outside of backpack
- money belt -- had, gift from Barbara from Guatmala, should last through trip
- wallet -- bought on trip, should last a long time
- large nylon duffle bag
- small crumple up daypack
- (large fanny pack -- had, expensive, should last a long time)
- (large hard shell suitcase -- bought on trip, thrift store, $2, ugly but solid))
The backpack that is my home for a year is a large technical daypack
with as many straps and belts as possible. It is extremely comfortable to
carry and is too small to pack too much in!
The outside pocket was a last second addition (Cheryln made it) and it is very useful! I wish i had
A good daypack is essential. The fanny pack is perhaps not the best. It is
comfortable, holds a fair amount and straps on to the backpack when i am
loaded. But it does not carry weight very well, and it is a giant red 'I AM A
TOURIST' sign. And 1kg hanging off of the back of the backpack carries like 5 kg inside the pack! I think a sturdy backpack that is light enough to crumple into
a pocket would be best -- but it must have a belt and decent straps for
carrying all day! The crumple up daypack packs well, but is not very comfortable to wear. This is an outstanding issue. The wallet is one of those waterproof boxes -- very hard to
pickpocket. The large duffle is another thing that
Cheryln made at the last minute. We can put an entire pack in it (for airplanes) or empty a
pack into it or use it for additional lugage. It packs down extremely small
and is very light. Wish we each had one. The suitcase contains all of our storage
things... extra clothing, maps, and so forth. We will just toss it on the airplane... with a forklift!
- small nylon duffel bag --for food
- 5 cinch straps
- 18 stuff sacks -- from matchbook size to milk carton size - in a stuff sack
- 15 medium sized ziploc bags -- in a ziploc, of course
- 3 large garbage bags -- in a ziploc
- about 10 plastic grocery bags -- in a grocery bag
- small bicycle cable
- 2 small comanation locks
- 2 small replacement pack buckles -- in a ziploc
- replacement pack belt buckle -- in a ziploc
The cinch straps are to tie things on and squeeze things down -- a last minute addition
which has been very useful. The stuff sacks are, of course,
essential. Besides, good organization is necessary to make sure you can find
things, to make sure you don't loose things and just to make the pack livable
for a year.
mrk.s rule of travelling #8. You can NEVER have enough ziplocs!
Garbage bags are to line pack in case of downpours. Have not used them.
We are always adding to our collection of grocery bags, and we use the constantly.
Security when leaving the packs is a tradeoff. I have seen 7 lb metal mesh
cages that you can put on the pack, but you have to carry the damn thing all
the time. The cable and small combo locks would not stop someone who was
determined, but it will discourage anyone who gets any ideas. We cable the
packs up in many hotels as well. Many hostels have lockers, but no locks -- so
extra useful. It helps immensly if your backpack can be locked shut (mine can,
- fairy pouch
- small cribbage board & deck of cards
- tiny scrabble tiles - in game stuff sack
- tiny yahtzee dice - in game stuff sack
- tiny yahtzee scoresheets - in game stuff sack
We each sometimes carry a novel also, although we
find little time to read them -- We trade them off with travellers,
leave them in Bonn or just leave them at a hostel.
The fairy pouch is a wonderful collection of tiny Pagan fairies and goddesses to help give us
strength and smiles when we are down. Another EXCELLENT Cheryln idea.
Of course we lost the cribbage board in England -- but we made a rough, smaller one at the farm!
- snack food --in a grocery bag
- dinner food --in a grocery bag in the food duffel
- breakfast food --in a grocery bag in the food duffel
- 2 water bottles
- isostar powder in a water bottle
- chocolate bars in a ziploc
- (water bottle with built in filter)
In storage in Bonn
Snack food for train rides and wandering around town is essential. Nuts, bread, cheese, fruit,
For hostels with self-catering kitchens we carry some food to cook. Sometimes this is really full, and
sometimes just the basics, dinner is
couscous, bullion, potato flakes... etc. and breakfast is
Ovaltine, caffine free tea, oatmeal, cream of wheat, muslei. Makes every day
No need to buy and wash (and perhaps lose) a nice water bottle, we just keep
half liter bottles from bottled water (we kept one bottle from London to
Poland, four months!!)
The filter bottle proved VERY useful, especially in eastern and southern Europe! Unfortuatly all three of ours
broke during the first month of use, so we don't have that for this next excursion.
Isotar is like Gatorade powder and is invaluble for fighting the constant fight
with dehydration. One time it came with a free cheap plastic 'Isostar' logo
water bottle and that is now the dispenser!
Of course we always have several 70% dark chocolate bars with us!! mrk.s
travel rules #1: always have extra chocolate in your pack!
And of course in the suitcase in storage at our friend's house in Bonn are two huge bags of
things we don't want to carry around. Clothes we don't want, clothes we
bought on the trip to use at home, old tickets, recepits, maps and brocures,
books, gifts, and a bunch more things. It weighs a TON! We will have to
buy a second suitcase i think!
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