Posted in English, Preparations, South America

South America, Here we come! – Our packing list

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So  the holidays are over and we are now within the final week of leaving for our long anticipated trip through South and Central America.  Below are the items that both Sara and I will be packing, carrying, and living  out of for the next year. Items with a * next to it are listed but not shown. A complete list of items will be found at the bottom.

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We have decided that the cheapest  way to travel will be by camping along the way. We each have a sleeping bag good down to 0, a liner which is easier to wash than the bag itself, a super compact sleeping pad, as we as a 2 person tent to share.

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Camping means also including the necessary cooking and eating gear.  We have a 20 oz (US) fuel bottle and stove which should boil over 40 liters of water in our pot (from room temperature and sea level).  That should be more than enough to get us well fed and warmed with tea during our treks.  Each of us will have a plastic mug which doubles as a bowl.  The plates are stainless steel, a little heavier that plastic ones, but the upside is that they can be used as a frying pan and they’re deep enough for stews.  We’re starting with two fork spoon combo utensils (we’ll see for how long). The bigger of the two spice holders will be filled with salt and pepper, and the small, maybe paprika and another spice to give our bland cheap trail food a kick.  Camp suds are very popular among the outdoor crown since it is multipurpose.  A drop will clean the dishes, but can also be used on cloths, hair or as a body wash.  This bottle used to be green but turned clear for some reason in the sun on one of our camping trips.  And of course, for a little luxury, we have a compact lantern so neither of us have to eat or socialize with our headlamps on.

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Since we plan on doing multi day treks, our water supply has always been on my mind.  Nalgene bottles are great, they hold a liter each, and on cold nights can be filled with hot water and stuffed in the sleeping bag with you.  I don’t know how healthy that is but it kept me warm in a tent at -30. We have 2 backup water bags that can be folder and packed away when not needed.  After much research, the small, USB charged, Steripen won it’s spot on the trip.  It’s less bulky than a filter and can make a liter of non turbid water safe to drink in just over a minute.  It’s battery is said to last for 20 liters which should get us through most off grid excursions.  Just in case, we also have purification tablets so that we’re not relying too heavily on technology.  We each have a little microfiber towel, as well as one large towel for Sara. We have all the necessary cosmetics including toothbrushes* nail clippers, tweezers, soap, mirror, a sewing kit*, and a first aid kit.  I’ve decided to bring along a straight edge because I don’t know how often I’ll get around to shaving and, on longer hair, it’s much easier to use a straight edge than trying to use a safety razor.  There’s a Tupperware container full of malaria pills that we’ll bury in a bag until we reach the amazon basin. Our insurance covered the pills while we were working so we had to get them early and are suck carrying them with us halfway up the continent.

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We have flipflops for the hostel showers, hiking boots*, and light cheap shoes for the evenings after hiking.  Each of us has the typical money belt for our valuables while in the cities.  We picked up a great little green backpack that fits into a pouch when not being used that we can use for light day excursions.  The little black book is an address book so we’ll be able to send postcards on our way. Sara has a little jackknife and I have a multi tool (which will come in handy manipulating the frying pan plate). Each of us have a lock for our bags in the hostel cupboards. The items wrapped in a blue elastic band are repair items, including glue, patches and a hollow tube for tent pole repair. We have a little cloth bag dedicated to our electronics, including a camera charger, micro & macro* USB cables, USB to wall adapter, 3 prong cheater, European adapter, and SD card to USB adapter.  We decided not to bring laptops or cell phones to cut down on technology and disconnect better but this minimal electronics bag seems inescapable in today’s world. Cameras and kindles still need to be charged, and photos need a way to be uploaded to the web through cyber cafes.  We have a point and shoot along with a case.

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Our books and entertainment will add a bit of weight to our packs but we’ve taken only the necessary.  We have a deck  of cards and our crib board which when flipped over, has a list of places we’ve been scribbled on it.  Hopefully the board will be full by the time we return.  Each of us has a kindle so that we have access to dozens of books available without weighing us down.  There’s the typical Travel book with information on hostels, emergency numbers, and local cultures which we’ll be bringing just in case we arrive somewhere late and don’t feel like discovering places on our own.  If I can figure out how to put this book on the kindle then it might be left behind.  The Spanish dictionary is of course a must, as well as a phrase book (unfortunately it’s polish/Spanish). Each of us also have a notebook for the day to day documentation, from daily experiences and thoughts, to bank records, to  blog drafts.

We skipped out on taking a picture of our clothing.  But basically, we tried to go minimal.  Each of us has two pairs of pants, a pair of shorts, merino base layer and long underwear.  A fleece and shell each as well as tuques, gloves and Buffs for the colder days and evenings in the Andes.  For us it is all about layers.

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Everything previously listed will fit, with room to spare for food, in these two bags. The blue is 65 L and the red, 70 L.  It took hours of testing to decide on these bags but when compared to other similarly priced ones, the choice seemed obvious.  Not all bags fit  everyone the same!

Pack list

Mutual

 

Jason

  • Tooth brush
  • Offsprey Aether pack 70 L
  • Vaude pack cover
  • MEC Down sleeping bag rated to 0
  • Compression bags for sleeping bags
  • Sea To Summit sleeping bag liner
  • Therm-a-rest neoair xlite mattress
  • GSI plastic mug
  • MSR stainless steel plate
  • Fork/spoon utensil
  • Petzel headlamp
  • Nalgene bottle
  • foldable water bag
  • Sea To Summit small towel
  • Straight Edge razor & replacement blades
  • Fliplops
  • Light sneakers
  • Hi Mountain Hiking boots*
  • Money belt
  • Leatherman Wave
  • Pad lock
  • Tuque
  • Buff
  • Thin gloves
  • Rain shell
  • Zip up fleece
  • Merino wool long sleeve base layer
  • Long underwear
  • 3 light weight T shirt
  • Long sleeve button up shirt
  • Quick try hiking pants
  • Pair of regular pants
  • Pair of Shorts
  • Pajama pants
  • Bathing suit
  • Socks x5
  • Underwear x5 (Sara said so)

Sara

  • Offsprey Arial packs 65 L
  • Vaude pack covers
  • Mountain Hardwear Down sleeping bag rated to -10
  • Compression bags for sleeping bags
  • Sea To Summit sleeping bag liner
  • Therm-a-rest neoair xlite mattress
  • GSI plastic mug
  • MSR stainless steel plate
  • Fork/spoon utensil
  • Petzel headlamp*
  • Nalgene bottle
  • Foldable water bag
  • Sea To Summit small towel
  • Sea To Summit large towel
  •  Flipflops
  • Light sneakers
  • Hi Mountain Hiking boots*
  • Money belt
  • CRKT Drifter jackknife
  • Pad lock
  • Tooth brush*
  • Diva cup
  • Rain Shell
  • Zip up fleece
  • Tuque
  • Buff
  • Light Scarf
  • Thin gloves
  • Rain shell
  • Zip up fleece
  • Merino wool long sleeve base layer
  • Long underwear
  • 3 light weight T shirts
  • Quick try hiking pants
  • Pair of regular pants
  • Pair of Shorts
  • Summer dress
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Hoodie
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suit
  • Socks x5
  • Underwear x5

Author:

Born and raised in Montreal, Qc. Moved up north to Yellowknife for a little change and hopefully some adventure.

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