What is in my rucsac -- 31 December 1999
- Quickdry nylon travel pants
-- bought, very expensive. Should last a long time.
- Black medium weight wool slacks
-- bought on trip, thrift shop ($4), might not last through trip.
- Cotton walking shorts
-- had, hand me down, might not last through trip.
- Light polypro long underwear bottoms
-- had, expensive, 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 wool
pants i bought at a thrift store in Budapest and are great, i wear them every
day, they look pretty sharp too. I found the cotton pants to be redundent and
not useful and so i left them in Bonn.
- 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...
- 3 comfortable, plain, cotton T-shirts
- Lightweight polypro T-shirt
--had, expensive, should last through trip.
The rugby shirt is comfortable and versitle, looks decent, and works in
many climates. I threw in the Pendelton at the last second and it has been
great and it looks sharp too! 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
- 6 pair wool (or wool/polypro mix) socks
- 1 pair wool liner 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 the ankle socks behind in the
- briefs & hankies
- 4 pair cotton briefs
- 1 pair polypro briefs
- Speedo bathing suit
- 5 hankerchiefs
- 1 bandana
Throughout Europe this 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
- Fleese vest
--had before, expensive, should last a long time.
- Alpaca sweater vest
--being knitted on trip, should last a long time.
- Light acrillic sweater
--borrowed on trip, on last legs.
- Light pull over wind jacket
--bought, thrift store ($3), should last a long time.
I borrowed the sweater for Southern Europe while my parka is in
storage. Cheryln is still knitting
the alpaca. The fleese vest is fantastic. I wear it everyday everywhere.
- hats & gloves
- Cricket hat --sun hat
- Neoprene ear band
- Lightweight polypro gloves
- Light wool watch cap
Cricket hat came from a market in England, only about 10 bucks -- unfortunatly
it doesn't work in the rain very well... a flaw.
- 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 currently in Bonn while we are in Southern Europe. 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)
- flannel boxers
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 boxers were a comprimise, between a short or long
pajama. I wish i had brought both and kept one in storage while i used the
other. It has not always been comfortable sleeping in shorts in the winter...
so i sleep in my long underwear. The sheet bag also gives this effect and we
miss it when we don't have it. Hostels in many northern European countries
charge extra for linen, so it is a good thing to carry, but it is in storage in
Bonn while we are in Southern Europe. Bringing a 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.
- =tooth bag=
- dental floss
- 3 extra tooth brush heads in a ziploc
My toothbrush case broke, and it was too big anyway, i think the idea would be
one of those things that just cover the head.
- =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. I decided not
to bring nailclippers and it was a mistake. It is too much trouble to use
Cheryln's every week -- so i will need to buy some soon.
- =shave bag=
- elect beard trimmer
- extra batteries for trimmer in a ziploc
- trimmer accesories & comb
- (flywheel razor)
Since i now have a full beard i left the razor in Bonn.
- =other places=
- large towell --waffle type
- 25 extra wash ups
- laundry soap in a ziploc
- sink stopper
- 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
- 4 foam ear plugs in a ziploc
- motion sickness arm bands --Have only one, i lost the other.
- 4 wash ups in a ziploc
- duct tape
- cloth (medical) tape -- Very useful for repairs, especially on clothing.
- small sewing kit in a ziploc
- emergency chocolate in a ziploc
- 2 power bars
- 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
- mechanical pencil & extra lead
- 3 pens
- small 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 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. The palmtop is execptionally useful for keeping
track of addresses and expenses and such.
- 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 in backpack
- atm receipts
- used tickets
- data notebook -- lists and notes and expeses and phone numbers etc
- ID cards
- journal notebook
- misc address
- misc brochures and other souvineers
- misc info
- misc maps
- souvineer coins
The coins and maps make the best souvineers!
- copy of passport
- debit card - main
- ID cards
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!
- Cheryln carries
- airplane ticket -- in a ziploc
- debit card - main --emergency second copy
- train pass -- in a ziploc
- book - guide --Rough Guide: Europe
- book - guide --Official HI Hostels
- (book - dictionary --German)
- (book - dictionary --Polish)
- (book - guide --Lonely Planet Eastern Europe)
- (book - large journal)
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
- large fanny pack -- had, expensive, should last a long time
- 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
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 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.
- 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,
- book - novel
- deck of cards
- fairy pouch
- (cribbage board & cards)
- tiny scrabble tiles - in game stuff sack
- tiny yahtzee dice - in game stuff sack
- tiny yahtzee scoresheets - in game stuff sack
We each are usually carrying one or two novels, 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, and i am still distraught about it! We will have to try to make another when we can.
- 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
- water bottle with built in filter
- isostar powder in a water bottle
- chocolate bars in a ziploc
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 has proved VERY useful, especially in eastern and southern Europe!
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!