Packing for 5 months in SE Asia
Packing for 5 months backpacking around SE Asia is proving quite difficult. I leave two weeks today, and this is the first travelling of this sort that I will have done. Fitting it all into my 50 litre bag isn’t difficult; working out what I do and don’t need to take is! Google searches galore have fitted me up with a pretty decent idea, but a niggling doubt in the back of my mind tells me that all these travellers want different things from these trips. I have tried hard to find lists that are written specifically with girls in mind, but the results have often turned up with a list that is basically suitable for a fortnight away in a beach resort. This is not what I am looking for! So I have combed through the internet, and combined all the lists together to produce what I am going to call the ‘pretty basic list’. I say this because I don’t quite have it in me to discard the ‘pretty’ clothes in favour of the rugged hiking gear.
So here is my list, complete with hopes and fears:
Trousers x 1
Skirt x 1 1 pair of trousers and a long skirt to cover up legs when going through Muslim areas, temples, traditional villages, etc. And to keep warm in the cooler evenings
Dress x 1
Cool and thin for nights out and beaches. I couldn’t quite let go of the dress. I ummed and ahhed over it for a while, but I think it will come in handy.
Shorts x 2 For day-to-day use. Just plain denim shorts.
Tank tops x 2
T-shirts x 3
Shirt x 1 Tops to keep cool, and a thin cotton shirt to cover up / keep warm
Microfleece x 1
I say microfleece, but I am actually taking an old skiing top. Nice and warm, plain and simple. Quick drying
Socks x 3
Underwear x 8
Bras x 4 Won’t need huge numbers of socks I don’t think, can always buy more if needed. Same goes for bras and underwear
Bikinis x 3 Oh the bikini dilemmas I’ve had! I think I’ve settled on taking 3 pairs, and I think it is excessive, but I can’t let one go!
Sarong Everyone has said take a sarong, as it has so many uses. Sadly, I don’t have one, so I’m settling for a big cotton scarf until I get there and can buy a sarong if need be.
Trainers Sandals for everyday, flip flops on standby, and trainers for sturdier days of travelling. Nothing new and nothing fancy here!
After sun High factor sun cream for me – Doxycycline increases sun sensitivity, and I burn on a warmish day in England as it is!
Shampoo Leaving the conditioner behind, I think I can do without.
Tissues My thinking is that you can’t go wrong with wet wipes and tissues. You never know what facilities you might be met with.
Tampons I’ve heard various things about the availability of tampons, so better safe than sorry, so I will take enough for the whole trip.
Make-up Only a bit of make-up, I promise!
Earplugs Earplugs for the noisy hostel nights
First Aid kit
Photocopy of documents
Towel Microfibre towel – quickdrying and compact
Zip lock bags To keep dry things dry, and all that jazz
Bag lock To deter chancers from stealing things.
Elastic bands Just in case!
Not sure if we will need these, but I’m sure we’ll find a use for them
All purpose soap
Mosquito net I think most hostels have mosquito nets, but don’t want to take the risk
Sleeping silk Too hot for sleeping bags, and very lightweight. Can always put layers on at night
Pack of cards
Inflatable Pillow I don’t know if this will be any use at all, but I can’t imagine they’re expensive, and if they are I won’t bother buying one
Umbrella I have heard an umbrella is more useful than a rain jacket, and takes up less space, so let’s hope the rumours prove reliable!
I’m sure they’ll be a later post here at some stage that will be along the lines of ‘I wish I hadn’t taken this, and I probably should have brought that…’ Fingers crossed I haven’t gone drastically wrong!