Going on an adventure travel trip? Here are a few tips and ideas from your friends at Bushtukah.
Get some good advice before you go:
Buy a book! The internet is great and it’s probably more up to date but books don’t require Wifi, power or a data plan which makes them pretty handy when you are on the road in a foreign country. There are lots out there and what works for you will depend on the kind of trip you want to take. For budget minded independent travelers Lonely Planet http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ and Rough Guide http://www.roughguides.com/ are favourites. Let’s Go http://www.letsgo.com/#lets-go is popular with students but they cover less destinations.
Learn a little bit of the language. Even if it’s just hello, please and thank you. It’s worth the effort.
If you are going somewhere tropical you may need vaccinations before you leave. Check here for the most up to date information http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/ and talk to your doctor or a travel clinic. Don’t leave it to the last minute as some vaccinations need to be done well in advance.
Get up to date security information. The world is a happening place! The government of Canada provides travel advisories http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories and you can register your trip with them http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration .
Make sure your passport has at least six months left before it expires some countries require that for entry. You should also check visa and other entry requirements.
Take some basic precautions:
Make some photocopies of the front page of your passport. Leave one at home with friends or family and put another in your luggage separate from your passport.
Only bring the credit cards and ID you actually need. Leave extra ID and cards at home. Leave a credit card you don’t need with someone you trust so you can call and get the number if you need it in an emergency.
What to pack and how much to bring obviously depends on what you are going to do but here are a couple of things to consider.
Unless you plan to rent a car don’t pack more stuff than you can carry. Dragging large amounts of luggage around gets really old, really fast.
If you are renting a car your wheeled suitcases will probably work but if not get something you can put on your back or over your shoulder. Suitcases don’t roll well over cobble stone streets or dirt roads!
If you are actually going to backpack or do multiday hikes bring a real backpack. Get one that fits properly, your back will thank you later.
If you just need to move your gear from point A to point B consider a duffle bag that can be worn on your back such as Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Great because it is tough and water repellent, can be worn as a backpack or carried like a bag and it only has one compartment so you can lock it with a luggage lock. It’s great for throwing into the hold of a bus.
Consider a TSA approved luggage lock. It is not theft proof but it will make you bag less attractive to a thief than a bag without one and it’s unlikely customs will cut it off.
Some things you might want to put in your bag:
Some of these are an investment (some are not) but they are worth it.
- Merino wool such as Icebreaker or Smartwool- be it socks, a shirt, a base layer or a sweater merino is great it’s warm and breathable, you can wear it for days without washing it and it still does not stink!
- A Gore-Tex jacket. A quality Gore-Tex jacket will really keep you dry no matter what the weather does and it’s a great outer layer for wind and cold.
- A hat and mitts. Unless you will never be cold these don’t take up much room and they will go a long way to keeping you warm. Even the tropics can be cold at elevation and the desert gets pretty cold at night.
- A headlamp. Really important if your hike lasts longer than planed and useful for reading while others are trying to sleep or for late night bathroom trips.
- Zip lock bags they are small and always useful.
- A money belt so you can keep your valuables safe.
- A smaller daypack or bag for daytrips
- For the ladies, a dress or skirt that can be used wrinkled. There are many places where shorts are not acceptable and you might just want to wear something less hiking once in a while.
- Insect repellent and sun block.
- A mutli-tool (just don’t put it in your carry on).
- An extra SD card for your camera.
- A universal plug for sinks and bathtubs in case your room does not have one.
- Patience and a sense of humor because adventures don’t always turn out quite how you planned but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy them just the same!