Travel Resources

This page is a continual work in progress. I haven’t been good about getting it up to snuff and I hope to do so soon. I did a fair bit of research before traveling and some of that I think is worth sharing. I’m also learning a lot as I go and intend to update this page when something groovy orbits around to me that others will benefit from.

Packing List

Preparing to pack for long-term travel is not easy if you’ve never done it before, particularly if you’re not a good packer to begin with. I’ve always been the kind of person whose trip packing ritual consists of little more than grabbing somewhat random clothes and toiletries without thinking too deeply about them, stuffing them haphazardly into a duffel bag, and making the best with what I brought while I’m there. This never gone over too well on family trips growing up (THAT is what you call a dress shirt?!) and I confess I’ve not improved much since then.

Now camping is another story altogether. I’ve always loved packing for camping trips because it’s the perfect opportunity to indulge my inner MacGyver and exercise my propensity for gadgetry. I might forget something here or there but more times than not I was the go-to among friends for handy things around the campsite.

I’m framing this long-term travel packing exercise as something somewhere in between the two. And there’s also the tech twist to it all: I’ll be rolling with a laptop, phone, camera, lenses, etc.

Long-term travelers pretty much all emphasize that less is more. I don’t need much convincing to that end. I’ve taken the following away from reading those with much more experience than me:

I can buy most of what I need on the road, so don’t convince myself that I need to pack everything. There really is toothpaste and soap elsewhere on the planet. Example: a fancy travel towel. I just cut it from my packing list today. I’m starting my trip in Mumbai and will be in Goa shortly thereafter. I’ll buy a sarong when I get there. Cheap, beautiful, packs better than even the fancy travel towels that cost $50, it’s functional, it doubles as a bed liner. Groovy – but Ford Prefect would certainly not approve and for that I feel bad. 🙁
I won’t use a lot of things that I bring and/or I won’t miss most of the things that I’m on the fence about bringing.
Less is more, for both practical and mental reasons. I don’t want to lug 60 pounds around if I don’t need to. I don’t want to have to look after hundreds of things wherever I go. In the words of Wild Junket, travel light, travel far.
With that said, my list of stuff is still quite intimidating, particularly since I’m going with one carry-on size bag, no matter what. At some point I’m guessing I’ll come to a place of decision with some of these items where it if doesn’t fit then it doesn’t come.

So here’s the list, broken into nebulous categories and each item labeled according to how I plan to acquire it. Definitely a work in progress but I think I’m close at this point.

Update, February 2014: I’ve edited the list to reflect what I actually left with where appropriate. If there’s no edit then I packed and left with it as described.

Clothes – I really suck at this

2-3 t-shirts – have | Left with 2
1 collared short sleeves – have | Left with 2
2 pairs cargo shorts – have/buy | Left with 1
1 pair nice travel pants – buy/have
1 bathing suit – have
3 pair boxers – buy – nylon or polyester | Left with 2
4 pairs socks – buy – smartwool light – Christmas gift – thanks!
sneakers – have
sandals – have
men’s flats/dress shoes – buy – martialartssupplies.com Kung Fu Shoes – Christmas gift – thanks!

Gadgets – #toomuchfun

laptop – have
camera – have
water resistant flash drive – purchased- Silicon Power Touch T02 Mini 16GB
external hdd – purchased – TOSHIBA Canvio Connect 500GB USB 3.0 Blue External Hard Drive
wide angle lens – buy – sony sel16f28 + vclecu1
earbuds/mic for skype – buy – monoprice – Enhanced Bass Noise Isolating Earphones w/ Built-in Microphone and Play/Pause Control – Green Came with new smartphone, huttah
battery charge backup – purchased – monoprice – Dual Port Battery Pack and Charger 8000mAh newegg – IOGEAR GearPower White 11000 mAh Mobile Power Station GMP10K
international adapter – buy – Skross PRO 3+ USB World Adapter
smartphone – $#*^#%$#! Sony Xperia ZR – the Europe/rest of the world version, not the crap US version that costs more with fewer features. Hey, the US consumer market has a crap product compared to the rest of the world’s consumer markets..naahhhh, that never happens!
extra camera battery – buy | Didn’t buy, rolling with two, so far so good
extra sd cards – buy – whatever’s cheap – Christmas gift – thanks! | Left with 2x16gb, 2x4gb
power converter? – hopefully won’t need one, depends on electronic gadget charger specs | Didn’t buy
head torch – buy – petzl or energizer – Christmas gift – thanks!
three-outlet three prong cube – buy – homedepot or Accell D080B-010K | Brought a single outlet surge protector instead. I plugged it in at the Frankfurt airport and the charging station went dead. I haven’t used it since :/
steripen – buy

Toiletries

toothbrush – have
mini toothpaste – have
deodorant – buy
cologne – buy – cool water 3.5 or 5 ml
floss – have
sunscreen – have/scrounge | Didn’t bring, zero f*cks given
mini soap – scrounge | Brought a bar of Cal-Ben Pure Soap ftmfw
shampoo bar – buy | Didn’t buy or bring
nail clippers – have
beard trimmer – buy – wahl 9962-717 compact travel trimmer | Bought a Remington plug-in instead and the thing rocks the casbah
heavy duty hair elastics – buy – Christmas gift – thanks!
qtips – have
toilet paper – have – Christmas gift – thanks!

First aid kit

antiseptic wipes – have – Christmas gift – thanks!
antibiotic ointment powder – scrounge buy – spray – Christmas gift – thanks
band aids – have
moleskin bandage/blister plasters – buy | Didn’t buy or bring
liquid bandage – buy
cold & flu tablets – buy/scrounge – coricidin/sambucol
tweezers – have
suture needle – buy | Didn’t buy, do have needle and thread

Supplements & Medications

mms – have
vitamin code – buy
emergen-c – buy | Didn’t buy or bring, do have rehydration powder that tastes like it though
allicin c – buy – Christmas gift – thanks!
claritin – scrounge
ibuprofen – scrounge
paracamol/tylenol – scrounge – Christmas gift – thanks!
aspirin – scrounge
imodium – buy | scrounged it ftw
charcoal tablets – buy | Didn’t buy or bring
dramamine – buy/scrounge
cipro – perscription/buy overseas OTC | Didn’t buy before leaving, haven’t bought yet
metronidazole/flagyl – perscription/buy overseas OTC  | Didn’t buy before leaving, haven’t bought yet
malarone – buy/perscription  | Didn’t buy before leaving, haven’t bought yet
rehydration salt – have – salt/sugar/baking soda | Also picked up a couple packets that include a passing taste of citrus, kinda
pepto tablets – buy
non-refrigerated probiotics – buy – mercola – Trader Joe’s – Christmas gift – thanks!

Other stuff

compression packs – buy – eagle creek or wherever
earplugs – buy/have
duct tape – have
gaffer’s tape – buy | Didn’t buy or bring
backpack raincover – buy | Didn’t buy or bring, although my Transit 350 has a built-in rain cover because it’s the best freaking bag on planet earth
spork – buy – light my fire – Christmas gift – thanks!
thank you cards – buy/scrounge – thanks
rubiks cube – have
water bottle – buy – platypus – Christmas gift – thanks!
door wedge – buy – wedge-it or whatever | Didn’t buy or bring
safety whistle – buy – rei
dryer sheets – scrounge | forgot them
laundry soapsheets – buy – sea to summit pocket laundry wash | Didn’t buy or bring, reviews were too crappy
rubber bands – scrounge – hair elastics – Chrstmas gift – thanks!
pens – have
lighter – store
paracord/rope – army surplus
kensington lock – Portable Combination Laptop Lock
padlock – masterlock 1500id
wire/chain lock – buy – retractasafe 100
zipper locks – buy – every one on the market is shit
ziplock bags – buy – quart/gallon/3 gallon/10 gallon – http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/BigBags.aspx | These things rock
business cards
eye mask – buy | Didn’t buy or bring
sewing kit – buy/scrounge
insect repellent w/ DEET – buy – REI

Documents

international drivers license – have
servas letter – soon! | Didn’t follow through with SERVAS, maybe in the future
prior e-visas – none yet!
vaccine card – wtf | Nope
travel insurance card – soon!
emergency numbers card – have
resume & references – have
passport – have
extra passport photos – have
photocopies of passport/license/int. license – have

Optional

travel snorkel buy – nautilus travel | Didn’t make the cut
diving mask- buy – Ocean Quest High Definition Purge Mask | Didn’t make the cut
flexible rubber clothesline – buy – meh | Nope
antihistamine cream – buy/scrounge – calagel | Received as a gift and used a few times already, thanks!

Still to figure out

Camera bag/daypack – bought the one I wanted, Lowepro Transit 350. | Update: I love this bag. A lot.