One of the most exciting parts in preparing a trip around the world is shopping and buying travel gear. First of all, because buying most of this stuff is a first for you. Secondly, because each one of these objects carries with it the promise of adventure and exciting moments.
#1 – THE TREKKING-CAMPING-ADVENTURE GEAR – TIME TO GET WILD!
1 – Rain poncho: your ally for the rainy days and the sudden showers as it might result difficult to carry an umbrella around.*
2 – Bio-degradable toilet paper: because you never know…
3 – Sporks: 1/3 spoon, 1/3 fork, 1/3 knife, it became a very good friend after only 3 days. You WILL get tired of burgers, pizzas and Chinese food EVERY night. You will then decide to start “cooking” a salad in a tupperware in your hotel room, and then you will most definitely need a fork and a spoon! Little advice: if you are not traveling alone chose different colors to avoid the: “hey, this one is mine!”, “no! that’s mine”.
4 – Head lamps: one of my favorite gear, and perhaps my most fashionable accessory. So fashionable I decided to buy mine in pink. Not cool? Ok, yes. But try to set a camp tent holding a torch, connecting your van’s power cable by night, or climb a volcano at 4AM with a flashlight.
5 – Pocket shower: we haven’t used that one yet but it was too cool not to have it. It can contain up to 10L which makes a 7 minute shower. Tie it to a tree branch, spend the day at the beach, wait for the sun to heat the water, open the shower device and be quick!
6 – Watter bottles: these are totally weightless and might become very handy in a complicated situation (do not forget your Aquatabs!), however the water that comes out of mine tastes a little bit like plastic so choose yours wisely. And despite being in plastic they are ecological: by filling them up you avoid throwing out hundreds of water bottles.
7 – Ziplock bags: Loads of them! Loads of them! You will use them for everything, for putting your spork, your medicine, the little papers you will be keeping throughout your journey, the important stuff to organize yourself.
#2 – THE LAUNDRY GEAR – TIME TO SMELL GOOD!
8 – Clothesline: thank you Sea to Summit! Really. This changes your life when you are traveling and like having clean clothes to wear. It is super easy to install and the clothesline has integrated pegs so your stuff can’t fall from it. My best setting? Installing it between a coconut tree and the van. Epic!
9 – Nail brush: carry with you a nail brush to help you wash your laundry, they are super compact and really useful (they work better with the grips)*.
10 – Universal sink stopper: allows you to transform every sink in the planet (theoretically) into a laundry basin*.
11 – Pocket laundry wash : each box has 50 sheets. To wash a T-shirt and a couple of socks you will need 4 to 5 sheets, so this is for SOS only, otherwise try to buy locally a small box of laundry powder.
#3 – THE CLUSTERING AND ANTI-TRAVEL-HAZARD GEAR: TIME TO GET ORGANIZED!
12 – Backpack: there is no way you are leaving without a small backpack. How do you carry it? When your big backpack is on your back, that one is on the front. You will need it to carry your computer, camera, phone, water bottle, sunscreen, etc… Mine is a Quechua that was a gift from a friend (thanks Marti!) and it is doing just fine. However if you want something with better breathing technologies I would suggest to take a look at the Deuter ones (which I have linked the page to). You should pick one that feels comfortable, has a good breathing technology and in which you can put all the gear you will take with you as hand luggage in the plane.*
13 – Cotton bag: less practical then a backpack but great to carry your travel guide and your water bottle with you in cities or your Kindle and your suncream for a day on the beach. It is foldable, fashionable and light.
14 – Pocket backpack: This is a MUST. Honestly one of the best purchases I have made. If you are travelling with another person, you need ONE backpack as you will probably be sharing the computer, camera, sunscreen. Therefore you only need a “support” backpack that folds and unfolds when needed: it is extremely lightweight and when folded it stands in our palm. It looks fragile but if has survived 3 months already!
15 – Travel belt: Yes, they are annoying to carry around, but lately they have managed to create models with fabrics that are more comfortable and allow the skin to breathe (better). If you want to discover how to make a new passport abroad, don’t buy one. But if losing your passport and cash is not option than take one. Again, if you are not traveling alone chose 2 different colors to not mix them up: you might have some trouble in US customs if you are carrying the wrong passport.
16 – Travel wallet: ladies, such a trip involves sacrifices: no big handbags (I only took a very small one) no wallet with all the loyalty cards, etc… All you will be bringing with you is your credit cards, cash and coins and an ID. So get a wallet that you can zip so you won’t lose anything and forget the style. This one has a key ring so I attach it to my bag or jeans and don’t lose it.
17 – Waterproof pouch: Quite handy when you are at the beach and going on a boat excursion with all of your stuff. It avoids your beloved smartphone to keep on traveling with you instead of being left behind in a tropical island.
18 – Earplugs & sleeping mask: Loud baby in a plane? Room in a guesthouse with the bar beneath your bed? Deaf neighbor addicted to soap operas in the room next door? Don’t forget your earplugs! Oh! and you will have loads of different surprises, like no curtains in your hostel… Sleeping mask: another good one not to forget.
19 – Empty pouches: to store small objects like SD Cards, GoPro accessories, cables, etc…
20 – Universal plug converter: the number one object to put in your bag: without them you cannot charge your phone, computer, iPad…
21 – Swiss knife: very useful tool to help you prepare your food, cut a cable when camping, cutting a tag with the pair of scissors, opening a bottle or a can. Very useful! Thanks sis!
22 – Travel cables and carabiners: useful to secure your backpacks when you are traveling in a bus or a train overnight and want to make sure they are still there the following morning. Carabiners are amazing to hang your walking shoes, bags on the outside of your backpack.
#4 – THE GEEKY GEAR : TIME TO GET INSPIRED!
The computer: If you have decided to have a blog, you will need one as it is already to difficult to always find good wifi, imagine working from a cybercafe. But with great communicative power, comes great surveillance responsibility. It means that you will be carrying it with you all the time. It also allows you to transfer your photos from your GoPro and start editing your movies.
23 – GoPro Hero4 Silver: not compulsory but it is magical to record your trip. So small, so easy to carry around. You can use it under water (with the right accessory!), you can challenge it when you are surfing, diving, skying or body jumping. No memory can escape the GoPro.
24 – GoPro accessories: there are a lot of accessories in the marketplace. We have decided to take 2 waterproof box, a head belt strap, a chest belt strap and of course a handle grip.
25 – External hard drive: to back-up your pictures, your GoPro files in case something goes wrong with your laptop or you don’t have enough available space to work on it. To increase the chances that you don’t lose anything you can back-up your pictures and movies to a cloud.
26 – Portable charger external battery: charge this one overnight and let it charge everything else for you. Put it in your backpack and you can charge two other devices while you are visiting a museum, driving your car or having dinner. A MUST-HAVE.
27 – Smartphone: your personal assistant. If you do not have a camera, an iPhone makes great pictures, it tells you the weather, the directions, how to book a hotel, how many steps you have made and calories you have burnt, how medicines are called all over the world, etc… However make sure that you block your 3G and data abroad (it might cost you your whole travel budget: avoid very bad surprises).
28 – Kindle: if you are an addicted reader it is a great investment. You will be in trains, buses, planes all the time, so it might be a good moment to catch up on your reading. I have one of the first generations of Kindle and it works perfectly for me (I just need to have a cover with a lamp to read during the night). Otherwise there a lot of new Kindles more evolved than mine.
29 – Camera: As a trip around the world is supposed to be once in a lifetime, it might be a good idea to record it. If you are a photo fan, in that case you might wish to get a real camera with a good lens, but once again, it is weight to carry and another tech thing to be watching out.
# 5 – THE FIRST-AID KIT: TIME TO GET PREPARED!
30 – Insect repellent: you will need those trust me. Make sure you know what are the risks of the regions you are going to. Although there is a new debate on whether we should be vaccinated or not (apparently another regression of the many ones we are suffering from in 2015), we did not want to take our chances so we got all we needed to get. In Indonesia and Australia there were a lot of mosquitos so insect repellent was more than needed (especially in Bali where there is a slight risk of dengue).
31 – First aid kit: not used yet (I hope it keeps that way)
32 – Gel heating pad: already used (very helpful after hurting my neck after carrying too much weight).
33 – Venimex automatic poison-extractor: thanksfully, not used… yet!
HOW TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?
The gear is indeed quite expensive. Most of the “geek” stuff I already had. You usually don’t go on such a trip from one day to another. From the moment you take your decision until you actually leave there will be a few months. What I did is that I made a wish list for my birthday and Christmas, and I received useful and needed gifts from friends and family. Then I split the list of the remaining objects in the number of months I still had a wage, that way expenses where divided and affordable.
That’s it guys. Of course there might be new stuff being added during the trip, but I will update this post accordingly. FYI, the products are all products that I have used and approved except for the ones where I have added an *. They are not the exact reference as I have bought them in France or Germany but they are very much alike. No brands have been sponsoring me.
I hope this was helpful and I wish you a great trip around the world if you are embarking in such an amazing journey. Do not hesitate to comment if you have questions. If you are not travelling, then thanks for reading 😉
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