By Marry Warner
“If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.”
– Patrick Rothfuss
Expedition adventures are unforgettable experiences. They are the most fulfilling and enjoyable experiences. Whether you are trekking across barren, jagged mountain peaks, propelling through rough river waters, or waddling through the scorching desert, every expedition leaves you with more than what you started with.
A question often asked in this regard is what to pack for an expedition trip. So in this blog, we have made a list of eight tips that will help make the process easier for you. Let’s get started.
1. Know what to pack
If you are planning to head out for an expedition, it is critical to pack light. You will not have extra help when it comes to baggage. Therefore, to make things easier for you, pack light (unless you are okay with carrying a heavy bag on prolonged journeys).
We recommend sticking to essentials only. But how do you narrow down your list? A good way to go about it is first to lay out what you think you need. Then, cut that list in half, and what you are left with is what you will pack.
Do not make the mistake of packing heavy books, laptops, etc. It is always a good idea to pack a first aid kit, a wash kit, and a charger. If you are heading into the wild, reconsider packing electronics and chargers because you will most likely be unable to use them. Try your best to minimize your belongings.
2. Keep it eco-friendly
Expeditions into wild and remote areas usually involve dealing with delicate ecosystems. When venturing into such localities, we recommend practising environmentally responsible behaviour. You must aim to leave no carbon footprint. Be mindful of the impact you will be making. It is your responsibility to protect these areas.
Washing products are a particular cause of concern. We recommend utilizing freshwater from the resources available to you, including lakes, nearby streams, rivers, etc. As for soap, we suggest opting for biodegradable, eco-friendly cleaning products. They will help keep the area pollution-free.
3. Choose comfort over style
If you are going on a trip, of course, you will need to pack clothes. Expeditions entail mobility, so comfort should be a priority. You must consider additional factors, such as the landscape, the weather, and the activities you will engage in.
If you are heading to an area with higher temperatures, be sure to pack light cotton t-shirts and tank tops as they keep you cool and are very absorbent. As for pants, cargo shorts are excellent for warmer climates, as are loose-fitting jeans. They are also very comfortable, which is always a plus.
If you are heading to a place with lower temperatures, avoid bulky clothing. The trick is to keep your feet, your hands, and your head warm. Trust us; you do not need the puffy parka or the woollen overcoat.
In our list of must-haves, we suggest packing a fleece to keep your chest protected, a handy pair of gloves, a beanie, warm socks, and fitted pants to prevent airflow.
If you want an added insulation that is also super fashionable, we recommend packing a black or grey men’s leather jacket. In addition to being chic and stylish, a leather jacket is incredibly durable and warm. Also, they look super cool in pictures (Who doesn’t love an Instagram-worthy shot?).
Be sure to pack extra underwear because exercise means sweat, and sweat means stench. Pack extra pairs so you can wash and reuse them.
4. Entertainment essentials
Every moment on an expedition is not an adventure. For the quieter moments in between when you have time to kill, we recommend packing something for entertainment.
If you are going with family or a group of friends, pack a small board game or a pack of cards. However, on solo trips, carry a book with you. Reading is perfect if you crave some quiet alone time.
Also, since you will be carrying your phone with you, we suggest loading it up with different apps to keep you occupied.
5. Safety kits are crucial
When packing for a trip, your first consideration should be about your health and safety. Tour companies generally provide emergency shelters, first-aid kits, and sometimes even emergency rations. Regardless, it is always a good idea to pack your safety kit.
Your first-aid safety kit should be equipped with products you are familiar with and know how to use. Be sure to pack essential medications for minor illnesses that you may encounter on the trip, such as nausea, fever, flu, etc.
6. Food and drinks
While you do make pit stops for food, it is crucial to pack food with you in case you are unable to find a place to eat. Food is perishable, so you have to be smart about your choices. Consider packing light, quick-cooking, and energy-rich foods with you for your trip.
Ready-to-eat meals are very convenient and readily available. All you have to do is heat them. Instant noodles are also great for a quick and warm snack. Pack items with a long shelf life.
Aside from crisps and cookies, nuts are excellent for munching. For a sweet treat, protein and granola bars are super healthy and energizing. For a little indulgence, there is nothing in the world chocolate cannot fix.
For drinks, pack water sterilizing tabs to ensure that the water you are drinking is safe. Rehydration sachets are essential in case you feel dehydrated. If you can, pack energy drinks and juices for emergencies as they give an instant sugar rush.
Refrain from packing every food item you lay your eyes on. Practicality is crucial in this regard.
7. Avoid packing valuables
We recommend against packing valuable items, whether it is jewellery or electronics or any other item. Let’s be real; you probably will not be needing these items on your trip, so why bother packing them in the first place.
There is always a risk of losing them or damaging them. Additionally, they take up extra space that you can utilize for something else. If you cannot afford to replace it, do not bring it: it is that simple.
8. Light and fire
One essential item to pack is a torch. A head-torch is convenient because it is smaller and thus much easier to carry, and it keeps your hands free. If you are a frequent traveller, we highly recommend investing in a head-torch.
Aside from a torch, it is best to carry a lighter with you so you can light up a fire where necessary.
Packing for trips can be a real hassle. There is a lot more thought involved than you would think.
Instead of panicking and dumping everything in your field vision in your bag, we suggest you make a list. Devise your belongings after carefully assessing your needs. Once that is sorted, you can start packing.
If there is one thing that is a given, it is that the adventure is always worth it. The memories from your trips always make the best stories.
As Amelia Earhart very aptly said, “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
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Credit: Cover Photo by Robert Forever Ago
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