The Gear

On any adventure of this magnitude, the equipment you bring can make the difference between a good experience and a great one (or at least an easier one!). Here is a list of the equipment we’ll be taking on this journey.

DAY 300 UPDATE! SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST TO SEE THE DAY 300 GEAR UPDATE FILLED WITH NOTES ON WHAT’S WORKED WELL AND WHAT HASN’T.

GEAR TRANSPORT

  • 2 Osprey Meridian 28″/75L Deluxe Convertible Pack with removable Daypacks
  • 2 Rain Covers for Packs (Mountain Hardware)
  • 8 Eagle Creek Compressible Packing Cubes
  • Waterproof Dry Bag
  • Waterproof Mini Dry Pouch
  • Pacsafe Cable Lock
  • 4 Combination Luggage Locks
  • Laundry Bag
  • Extra Ziplocks

CLOTHING: DAN

  • 3 Moisture Wicking T-Shirts (Patagonia/REI)
  • 2 Moisture Wicking Short Sleeved Button Up Shirts (Mountain Hardware)
  • Moisture Wicking Long Sleeved Button Up Shirt (Mountain Hardware)
  • Warm Pullover (REI)
  • 2 Lightweight Convertible Pants (Mountain Hardware)
  • 2 Lightweight Shorts (MH/Marmot)
  • Swimsuit
  • 6 Pair Non-Cotton Mid Weight Socks (REI)
  • 2 Pair Non-Cotton Warm Socks (Smartwool)
  • 4 Pairs Boxers (REI)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Flip Flops
  • Keen Tunari CNX Cross-Trainer
  • Rain Jacket (Sierra Designs)
  • Set Snorkel Gear (Mask/Fins/Snorkel)

CLOTHING: LAURA

  • 4 Moisture Wicking T-Shirts (Mountain Hardware)
  • 2 Moisture Wicking Short Sleeved Button Up Shirts (Mountain Hardware)
  • 3 Tank Tops
  • Moisture Wicking Long Sleeved Button Up Shirt (Mountain Hardware)
  • Thermal Shirt
  • 2 Lightweight Convertible Pants (Mountain Hardware)
  • 3 Lightweight Shorts
  • 2 Lightweight Skorts (MH)
  • 1 Skirt
  • 2 Bikinis
  • Sarong
  • 6 Pair Mid Weight Socks (REI)
  • 2 Pair Non-Cotton Warm Socks (Smartwool)
  • 8 Pairs Undies
  • Sunglasses
  • Flip Flops
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Water Shoes
  • Rain Jacket
  • Set Snorkel Gear (Mask/Fins/Snorkel)

ELECTRONICS: COMPUTER

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet w/ Case & Screen Protector
  • Samsung Charger
  • BESTEK Bluetooth Silicone Roll Up Keyboard
  • Micro Travel Mouse
  • 32GB Micro SD Card for Samsung Tablet
  • 2 Micro USB to USB 2.0 Adapter
  • USB SD Card Reader
  • 4 32 GB USB Jump Drives
  • USB to USB Cable
  • USB to Micro USB Cable
  • USB Hub
  • USB to Ipod/ Iphone Cable
  • 8 SD Cards
  • SD Card Wallet
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Kindle Charger

ELECTRONICS: CAMERA

  • Olympus TG-2 Waterproof/Shockproof/ Temperature proof Camera
  • Olympus Spare Battery
  • Olympus Charger
  • Canon T5i DSLR Camera
  • Canon Spare Battery
  • Canon Charger
  • Tiffen UV Filter
  • Tiffen Polarizing Filter
  • Mini Tripod
  • Wireless Lav Mic Set
  • Nikon Lens Cleaning Kit

ELECTRONICS: AUDIO

  • Ipod Classic
  • Ipod Nano
  • 3 Headphones
  • Headphone Splitter
  • X-Mini UNO Mini Speaker
  • Mini to Mini Cable

ELECTRONICS: COMMUNICATION

  • Unlocked Iphone

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Targus Travel Power Adapter Kit
  • Belkin Surge Protector with Dual USB Chargers
  • USB Charger
  • Alarm Clock
  • 2 Black Diamond Cosmo LED Headlamps
  • 2 Keychain LED Micro Flashlights
  • UCO Clarus LED Lantern/ Flashlight
  • 2 Knife (Buck/Gerber)
  • Gerber Dime Micro Multitool

MACGUYVER KIT

  • 100’ String
  • 4 Mini Rolls Duct Tape
  • 20 Zip Ties
  • 20 Safety Pins
  • 3 Mini Bunge Cords
  • 10 Mini Eye Screws/Hooks

HEALTH: PILLS

  • Malarone
  • Doxycyclene
  • Cipro
  • Daytime & Nighttime Cold & Flu Tablets
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Dramamine (Motion Sickness)
  • Claratin
  • Imodium
  • Benadryl
  • Charcoal Tablets (Absorbs stomach toxins)

HEALTH: FIRST AID

  • Various Band Aids
  • Butterfly Closures
  • Gauze Pads
  • Gauze Roll
  • Medical Tape
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety Pins
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Electrolyte Replacement Tabs
  • Anti-Itch Cream
  • Tinactin Cream
  • Thermometer
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Moleskin Blister Covers
  • Eye Drops

HEALTH: MISC

  • Mosquito Net
  • Ultrathon Deet Insect Repellent
  • Waterproof Sunblock
  • 2 Silk Sleep Sheets
  • Steripen Freedom USB UV Water Purifier
  • 60 MSR Water Tablets
  • Hand Sanitizer

HEALTH: TOILETRIES

  • 2 Pac Towels
  • 2 Solid Shampoo Bars
  • 2 Solid Facial Cleanser Bars
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Razor
  • Electric Hair Clippers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Toilet Paper

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Drain Plug
  • Bottle Concentrated Detergent
  • Clothesline
  • Door Jam (For Added Security)
  • Combination Padlock
  • 20 Pairs Earplugs
  • Pens
  • 2 Journals

MONEY/DOCUMENTS

  • ATM Cards
  • Credit Cards
  • Passports
  • Drivers Licenses
  • International Drivers Permits
  • Travel Insurance Cards
  • Health Insurance Cards
  • Vaccination Books
  • Itinerary/ E-tickets
  • Emergency Contact Lists
  • Visas (We had to pre get Visas for Brazil, India, Argentina & China)
  • COPIES OF ALL DOCUMENTS both with us and in the cloud

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DAY 300 UPDATE!

Well it has been 300 days on  the road and here is the latest on the gear we brought on our 400+ day Round The World journey. If you’re thinking about taking a long trip read these notes and hopefully they’ll be helpful. If you’re not but are curious what people take on trips of this magnitude, I hope you enjoy this as well and maybe it inspires you to get out there. If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments.

           GEAR TRANSPORT

    • 2) Osprey Meridian 28″/75L Deluxe Convertible Pack with removable Daypacks

    These have been hit and miss. There are huge advantages to having rolling backpacks since nine times out of ten we are on surfaces where rolling is preferable to wearing. Especially with as much stuff as we have. Our bags started out at around 24kg loaded but we’ve reduced them to 18kg or so since weight is always an issue regardless. These bags are well thought out though, are the right size and keep us organized. The Cons… They are just horribly balanced for wearing. When we’ve had to hike into places with them on our back it is much, much less comfortable than a backpacking backpack. Also you can’t roll them with the rain covers on since they have to go over the wheels to cinch well. The biggest weakness to these packs however are the zippers and seams. Almost all of the zipper pulls have broken off and the zippers that connect the daypacks to the main bags have just stopped working. Also the seams on one of the bags split the first month and we had to super glue it back together. I would give these bags a 7 out of 10. Good effort, the right size, the right idea, just not perfect execution.

    •  2) Rain Covers for Packs (Mountain Hardware)

    No Notes

    •  8) Eagle Creek Compressible Packing Cubes

    These have been great. The zipper broke on one of them but besides that they have been amazing for keeping organized. Makes packing and unpacking every few days easy. Would be perfect if the lightweight ripstop material was somehow waterproof too though.

    •  Waterproof Dry Bag

    Great when kayaking or for taking electronics out and about when there is a chance of rain.

    •  Waterproof Mini Dry Pouch

    Used several times when snorkeling or diving.

    •  Pacsafe Cable Lock

    Used a few times to lock our bags together in storage closets or to lock them to bed posts when staying in dorms.

    •  4) Combination Luggage Locks

    Necessary.

    •  Laundry Bag

    No Notes

    •  Ziplock Baggies

    Ziplocks of various sizes are incredibly useful. From preserving food to keeping documents safe from the rain. Invaluable.

     

    CLOTHING: DAN

     

    • 3) Moisture Wicking T-Shirts (Patagonia/REI)

    These are great multipurpose shirts that clean easily and are comfortable when hiking and doing other physical activity. That being said they don’t breath enough in the heat and I’ve bought 3 tank tops to wear in really hot weather instead.

    •  2) Moisture Wicking Short Sleeved Button Up Shirts (Mountain Hardware)

    No Notes

    •  Moisture Wicking Long Sleeved Button Up Shirt (Mountain Hardware)

    This is my only nice “out on the town” shirt. Wear it at least once in every big city.

    • Warm Pullover (REI)

    Perfect lightweight pullover which combines well with my thin thermal shirt and rain jacket when in cold conditions. The ability to layer is key and is much more useful (and lighter) than having a heavy coat.

    •  2) Lightweight Convertible Pants (Mountain Hardware)

    I always thought convertible pants were kinda dorky but good god they are useful. Honestly being able to wear pants in an over air-conditioned bus and then removing the legs when we get off in 100 degree heat somewhere is so handy. I use this feature constantly.

    •  2) Lightweight Shorts (MH/Marmot)

     No Notes

    • Swimsuit

     No Notes

    • 6) Pair Non-Cotton Mid Weight Socks (REI)

    This is the right number of socks. It allows you to change them after hiking but doesn’t require you to constantly be washing them.

    •  2) Pair Non-Cotton Warm Socks (Smartwool)

    Necessary in colder climates.

    •  4) Pairs Boxers (REI)

    Six pairs would have been ideal. I’ve bought two cheap pairs on the road so I can just do my laundry once a week.

    •  Hat

    I’ve needed several types on this trip. A lightweight wide-brimmed hat for long days in the sun, a heavy, ear covering, wool hat for cold climates and a ball cap for daily wear. Luckily you can get cheap hats anywhere.

    •  Sunglasses

     No Notes

    • Flip Flops (Rainbows)

    We each bought new pairs of leather Rainbows before we left and what a good decision it was. They molded perfectly to our feet and (except in cold climates) they are comfortable enough to wear every day.

    •  Keen Tunari CNX Cross-Trainer

    These lightweight “barefoot” trainers have been excellent and their lack of arch support have made my feet strong as hell. Light enough to wear in warm weather but grippy enough for long all terrain hiking. I highly recommend them though the laces have broken on them twice now. Ended up replacing them with heavy boot laces which are too long but much stronger than what they came with.

    • Lightweight “Aquasock” Style Water Shoes

    Possibly an unnecessary weight addition to our bags but when we’ve been in wet/dry situations (hiking through rivers, caves filled with water, kayaking, etc.) we’ve been very happy to have them.

    •  Rain Jacket (Sierra Designs)

    A lightweight rain jacket/windbreaker is necessary and this one has done quite well. Sidenote: we also ended up buying cheap lightweight ponchos which cover our legs as well as our day packs. A very useful addition during monsoon season since you can just keep them in your pocket, pack or camera bag for emergencies.

    •  Set Snorkel Gear (Mask/Fins/Snorkel)

    As you would imagine this was a questionable choice. It was great during the first four months of our trip when we were on the Caribbean every week. We could jump in the water any time and have a free day of fun. Our gear was soooo much better than rental gear as well. However once we left the ocean and were spending most of our time in the mountains it just became extra weight we didn’t want to carry. We ended up jettisoning our fins but keeping our nice masks and snorkels which has worked out very well. In hindsight we probably wouldn’t have brought the fins in the first place.

     

    CLOTHING: LAURA

     

    • 4) Moisture Wicking T-Shirts (Mountain Hardware)

    Great and breathable but would have brought just three. Should have brought one of my favorite v-neck “boyfriend T’s” since having a lightweight shoulder covering T would have been nice.

    •  2) Moisture Wicking Short Sleeved Button Up Shirts (Mountain Hardware)

    Fantastic for the Autumn and Spring weather we experienced, plus, these are an easy way to dress up my casual mid-length skirt for nights out on the town

    •  3) Tank Tops

    Really wish I would have brought two more of my favorite relaxed fit tanks. I have purchased three while on the road.

    •  Moisture Wicking Long Sleeved Button Up Shirt (Mountain Hardware)

    Absolutely love this shirt. Extremely comfortable and again great for those times when I want to be a little more dressed up.

    •  Thermal Shirt

    The thermal has been an absolute must for all the cold winter environments we have been to and the ones we still plan on going through.

    •  2) Lightweight Convertible Pants (Mountain Hardware)

    Having two pairs of light weight pants has been a necessity, however, I wish I would have purchased a more relaxed cut.

    •  3) Lightweight Shorts

    I ended up sending one pair back home, keeping the two that are easy to hand wash and lighter weight.

    •  2) Lightweight Skorts (MH)

    These are the best thing I brought with me. They are black, versatile and super comfy.

    •  1) Skirt

    This is my only mid-length skirt. It has been very useful and grey was the correct color choice.

    •  2) Bikinis

    A woman can never have enough swimwear.

    •  Sarong

    A must have

    •  6) Pair Mid Weight Socks (REI)

    No Notes

    • 2) Pair Non-Cotton Warm Socks (Smartwool)

    No Notes

    •  8) Pairs Undies

    No Notes 

    • Sunglasses

    No Notes

    • Flip Flops (Rainbows)

     A must bring. I love Rainbows cause they are durable and mold to my feet.

    • Athletic Shoes

     No Notes

    • Water Shoes

    No Notes 

    • Rain Jacket

     No Notes

    • Set Snorkel Gear (Mask/Fins/Snorkel)

    I am not someone who can rent snorkels and masks, having my own is an absolute must. As Daniel stated above, the added weight of the fins ended up not being worth bringing them.

    *I did not bring any dresses, which I immediately regretted. I have purchased two so far, one of which can be used as a tube top, mid-length dress or long skirt. I have also purchased black, leggings which have come in very useful for layering in the cold weather and for pairing with my dresses in the dustier, warm weather.

     

    ELECTRONICS: COMPUTER

     

    • Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet w/ Case & Screen Protector

    This has been great… as a tablet. For guide books, watching movies and web surfing,  this is the perfect sized tablet and we love it greatly. However we brought a roll out keyboard and USB mini mouse for writing which has proven time and again to be grossly inadequate. We needed a small laptop for writing or any serious work. The roll out keyboard works when you have a table or desk to write on but you can’t use it at the beach or in a hammock or on a train which are great places for writing. Also the tablet can’t power a hard drive so we have to back up all of our pictures, movies and documents onto dozens of jump drives and SD cards. Again a small laptop would have been much better for this. I think an ideal would be to have both.

    •  Samsung Charger

    No Notes

    •  BESTEK Bluetooth Silicone Roll Up Keyboard

    Very useful for writing when a desk or table is available. Not usable at all at the beach or in a hammock or anywhere without a hard surface to lay it out on.

    •  Micro Travel Mouse

    Very useful for writing when a desk or table is available. Not usable at the beach or in a hammock or anywhere without a hard surface to use it on.

    •  32GB Micro SD Card for Samsung Tablet

    Even with this card left internally full time the tablet fills up quickly with photos, videos, etc. A 64GB would have been much better. The more memory the better.

    •  2) Micro USB Male to USB 2.0 Female Adapters

    My only way to connect Jump drives and a SD card reader to the tablet. These things are worth their weight in gold.

    •  USB SD Card Reader

    Necessary for transferring camera photographs on to the tablet. Terrible for backing things up to SD cards though as using card readers eats up tons of the tablets battery power. Transferring a full card can take the tablets battery from 100% to 20% in 5 minutes.

    •  4) 32 GB USB Jump Drives

    I’ve bought 4 more on the road. Great for backing things up and require far less of the tablets battery power than using an SD card reader and cards.

    •  USB to USB Cable

    Used seldom and I can’t even recall what for.

    •  USB to Micro USB Cable

    For charging the tablet and kindle.

    •  USB Hub

    Handy for transferring files directly between jump drives.

    •  USB to Ipod/ Iphone Cable

    Need it to charge any  I-products

    •  8) SD Cards

    Small enough I can put photos and document back ups onto them and slip them in my money belt. I keep a back up of EVERYTHING on these in my money belt as my last line of defense. Also keep an extra one in each camera case. I have 12) SD cards now. These can be either really cheap or really expensive to buy on the road depending on which country you are in. Expensive in Latin America, really cheap in S. Africa and Asia.

    •  SD Card Wallet

    No Notes

    •  Kindle Paperwhite

    Very handy for reading in the dark. That being said you can’t beat the feel of a real book. We use both. I found the kindle uncomfortable to hold with my fingers so I mounted a strap on the back that I can slide my hand into. This makes it much more comfortable when lying in bed and holding the Kindle overhead.

    •  Kindle Charger

    Tossed. The Samsung tablet charger works for the Kindle as well.

     

    ELECTRONICS: CAMERA

     

    • Olympus TG-2 Waterproof/Shockproof/ Temperature proof Camera

    We love and hate this camera. Love the picture quality and the ease of use. Hate the fact that it just stopped working a month in to our trip! Didn’t drop it or put it in water or anything. I had to ship it all the way back to Olympus in the US who fixed the defect but wouldn’t ship it back to me out of the country. I had to have them ship it to my dad who then shipped it to me back on the road a month later and on our dime! Really Olympus? It was defective. I think the Panasonic Lumix models are lighter and no one I’ve met on the road who has one has ever had a problem with them. I would probably go with one of those next time.

    •  Olympus Spare Battery

    Spare camera batteries are absolutely necessary in countries where electricity for charging is spotty. I use the back up batteries all the time.

    •  Olympus Charger

    Camera specific dedicated chargers are the worst. I hate carrying extra chargers.

    •  Canon T5i DSLR Camera

    Rock Star status. The perfect combination of size, weight and quality. The 18-55mm zoom lens we brought is light weight and perfect for daily use but we ended up buying a 70-300mm telephoto lens on the road for wildlife photography. A great combo.

    •  Canon Spare Battery

    Spare camera batteries are so necessary in countries where electricity for charging is spotty. I use the back up batteries all the time.

    •  Canon Charger

    Camera specific dedicated chargers are the worst. I hate carrying extra chargers.

    •  Tiffen UV Filter

    Good for protecting my lens.

    •  Tiffen Polarizing Filter

    Great for photographing clouds and water.

    •  Mini Tripod

    Barely used. Only used for long exposure shots a few times. One of those flex legged micro tripods might have been more useful.

    •  Wireless Lav Mic Set

    We planned on shooting a bunch of video but haven’t yet. Still could come in handy if we do.

    •  Nikon Lens Pen Pro Cleaning Kit

    Fantastic lens cleaning set that is easy to carry and use on the fly. Highly recommended.

     

    ELECTRONICS: AUDIO

     

    • Ipod 160GB Classic

    The Classic is great because the large hard drive means we could bring ALL of our music along for the ride. Having an Ipod touch would have been nice though because we could have used it as a second internet portal and been able to download new music onto it. In hindsight a touch would have been a bit more expensive but a much more useful device.

    •  Ipod Nano

    For size and battery life, you can’t beat the Nano.

    •  3) Pairs Headphones

    Earbuds are the smallest and easiest to carry around.

    •  Headphone Splitter

    Great for watching movies together or listening to music together on long bus rides.

    •  X-Mini UNO Mini Speaker

    I can’t say enough how much I love this thing. It’s tiny and portable. It cranks out the volume with decent bass. We use it to listen to music in our room all the time and I only need to recharge it every month or two. The built-in hideaway mini cable is so handy. All around an excellent design and possibly the perfect travel companion.

    •  Mini to Mini Cable

    Useful for connecting things to the X-mini speaker and also connecting our Ipods to car stereos and Hostel/boat sound systems.

     

    ELECTRONICS: COMMUNICATION

     

    • Unlocked Iphone

    The ubiquitous Iphone is a travellers mainstay. It is also a target for thieves. In hindsight I would go with a Samsung smartphone next time, just as useful and so much more common globally that nobody gives them a second look. Seriously, we’ll be in a shanty town or a favela and everyone has a Samsung smartphone or a replica.

     

    MISCELLANEOUS

     

    • Targus Travel Power Adapter Kit

    If you think there is a travel adapter kit that works everywhere you are wrong. This kit worked maybe half the places we went. Buying power adapters in whichever country you are in are cheap (less than a dollar usually) and easy to come by. In hindsight I would just buy cheap adapters on the road. I’ve had to do that most of the time anyway!

    •  Belkin Surge Protector with Dual USB Chargers

    This thing was fantastic in Latin America where they use grounded Edison plugs like in the States. Doesn’t work with non grounded adapters though so it was useless after the first few months. A non grounded mini power strip would be ideal but I have no idea who makes such a product.

    •  USB Charger

    A multi USB charger would have been better for charging multiple things at the same time. That being said I don’t typically like having multiple things plugged in simultaneously with how inconsistent and sketchy electricity is in much of the world. One electrical spike could damage multiple items at once. Not worth the time savings. Probably would be best to bring a multi charger but only use the multi functionality in nicer countries or hotels.

    •  Alarm Clock

    Never used. Always use the tablet or phone. Don’t we all?

    •  2) Black Diamond Cosmo LED Headlamps

    Nice low cost multi feature headlamp with one major problem. The power button is far too sensitive so the light comes on in our jostling backpacks much too often. Nothing worse than needing your headlamp and finding the batteries dead. Definitely should have checked the button sensitivity before taking.

    •  2) Keychain LED Micro Flashlights

    So handy when going out at night in towns/villages without street lamps. Fits easily in your pocket so you don’t have to carry a big light with you. Also great for attaching to room keys to help find the key hole when staying in a hut or cabana with no exterior lights.

    •  UCO Clarus LED Lantern/ Flashlight

    Absolutely love this thing. Put a carabiner on the end and hang it as a reading light everywhere. Flashlight works great too and it’s super light and durable.

    •  2) Knives (Buck/Gerber)

    Knives are useful every day for countless reasons. Just always remember to pack them in your checked bag when flying.

    •  Gerber Dime Micro Multitool

    Oh man I forgot I have this. Clearly it hasn’t been very useful. I use my old swiss army knife for everything anyway.

    •  Swiss Army Knife

    A million and one uses. Never leave home without it.

     

    MACGUYVER KIT

     

    • 100’ String

    Clothesline, curtain holders, repair line. Heck you can use string for so many things. I even used it as a belt in a pinch! Don’t ask what happened to my belt.

    •  4) Mini Rolls Duct Tape

    Dear inventor of Duct Tape, you are my hero. This tape is useful for countless things on the road.

    •  20) Zip Ties

    Great for sealing backpack zippers for flights and temporarily repairing many things. A variety of sizes is key.

    •  20) Safety Pins

    Great for quick fabric fixes and removing splinters.

    •  3) Mini Bunge Cords

    So handy for attaching extra gear to your pack when hiking, pulling back hanging mosquito nets and countless other things. Two would have been enough probably.

    •  10) Mini Hook Screws

    Floors are dirty, covered with insects or wet in much of the world. Being able to screw a few hooks into the wall of our hotel rooms allows us to keep our jackets, food bag and day packs off the ground. Also great to put in bathrooms to hang towels in rustic accommodation. Just be sure to grab em when you leave!

     

    HEALTH: PILLS

     

    • Malarone

    Anti Malarial, Laura takes every day.

    •  Doxycyclene

    Anti Malarial, Daniel take every day.

    •  Cipro (Antibiotic)

    Once each we’ve gotten ill to the point of having a fever and needing antibiotics. One three day course of Cipro had us fixed up and back on our feet. A must bring just in case but only use if you really, really need it. Trust me you know when you really, really need it.

    •  Daytime & Nighttime Cold & Flu Tablets

    We’ve each gotten a cold a few times from over use of air conditioning on busses. These tablets are very helpful to deal with symptoms if you need them.

    •  Ibuprofen

    Great as a pain reliever and fever reducer. Super expensive in much of the world, so if you use it bring a good supply.

    •  Tylenol

    Also good as a pain reliever and fever reducer. Super expensive in much of the world, so if you use it bring a good supply.

    • Dramamine (Motion Sickness)

    Great for long ferry rides on rough seas. Always take an hour before the trip begins though.

    •  Claratin

    Use surprisingly often. When your travelling the world you’re bound to be allergic to some flora somewhere. Good also for reducing the itching of bites after big attacks.

    •  Imodium/ Anti Diarrheal

    Have had to use these a few times. Mostly during long overland journeys. When the stomach is acting up from the weird food you ate and a twelve hour bathroomless bus ride is on your horizon you’ll be happy you have it. We only take in those kind of emergencies though. Usually it’s much healthier to let nature run it’s course and let your body naturally purge you of toxins.

    •  Benadryl

    In case of strong allergic reaction. Can also be used as a sleep aid in tough conditions.

    •  Charcoal Tablets (Absorbs stomach toxins)

    Never used them. They were recommended to us but we can’t really recommend them.

     

    HEALTH: FIRST AID

     

    • Various Band Aids

    Brought a bunch of different sizes but had to get more on the road. Covering any open cut or wound is paramount in the largely unsanitary 3rd world. A simple shaving nick can get infected fast. Waterproof is better but pricier.

    •  Butterfly Closures

    Haven’t needed them yet, thankfully.

    • Gauze Pads

    Very useful for large cuts and gashes.

    • Gauze Roll

    Very useful for larger cuts. We brought three of the self adhering variety and have used two already.

    •  Medical Tape

    Used for many purposes but mostly for securing gauze pads to open wounds.

    •  Scissors

    Use this good light pair of rounded safety scissors several times a month easily. We keep ours with the first aid kit so we always know where it is in emergencies.

    •  Tweezers

    Use them all the time.

    •  Antibiotic Ointment

    Very helpful in keeping open cuts from getting infected.

    •  Electrolyte Replacement Tabs

    Gatorade can be hard to come by but travelers diarrhea is a lot easier. Being able to replace what you’ve lost is helpful. We’ve thankfully only needed to use them a few times.

    •  Anti-Itch Cream

    Hydrocortizone or something similar is very helpful when covered with bites or a mysterious rash. Used often.

    •  Tinactin Cream

    Only used a couple of times but glad we had it. Communal hostel showers and hiking can both lead to athletes foot so an anti fungal is worth bringing.

    •  Thermometer

    A must bring to tell when we’re just sick or REALLY SICK. Our lightweight digital one has gotten it’s share of use.

    •  Alcohol Wipes

    We use these things all the time. Alcohol swabs are incredibly useful for cleaning cuts and scrapes to prevent infection and are also useful for disinfecting cameras, tablets, etc. after heavy use in dirty parts of the world.

    •  Rubber Gloves

    Never used.

    •  Moleskin Blister Covers

    Two sheets of Moleskin material has been more than enough for the occasional hiking blister. It’s nice having the sheets so you can cut pieces to whatever size/ shape you want.

    •  Eye Drops

    Been very good to have in dusty places like the Bolivian desert or northern India.

     

    HEALTH: MISC

     

    • Mosquito Net

    Haven’t used it.. yet. Most places with heavy mosquito problems have nets hanging in their rooms already, though often with holes. That being said we’ve been unusually lucky and have heard a number of horror stories on the road. And seen the aftermath. As bulky as it is in my bag, when that one time comes that we really need it we’ll be sooo happy we have it. Especially in those parts of the world where mosquito transmitted disease is rampant.

    •  Ultrathon Deet Insect Repellent

    Hardcore super water repellent stuff. Was great for the jungles of Latin America. In Asia we’ve been using Citronella oil mixed with a touch of coconut oil which works great but needs reapplying after several hours or swimming.

    •  Waterproof Sunblock

    Needed very often for long days of exposure. Incredibly expensive in Latin America but cheaper in Asia.

    •  2) Silk Sleep Sheets

    When we’ve ended up in really, really run down or dirty hotels we’ve been happy to have these clean bedliners to sleep in. Definitely recommended.

    •  Steripen Freedom USB UV Water Purifier

    Used several times but usually the MSR tablets are just easier if you don’t mind the chlorine taste. It’s hard to trust our health to a glorified glow stick also but supposedly it really is effective.

    •  60) MSR Water Tablets

    Easy to throw one in a bottle of tap water and wait 30 minutes. Water tasted kind of like laundry afterward though.

    •  Hand Sanitizer

    Use and repurchase all the time. Bathrooms are largely unavailable in much of the world and most washbasins don’t have soap anyway. Hand sani is great for a quick sterilization at a restaurant or on the go.

     

    HEALTH: TOILETRIES

     

    • 2) Pac Towels (Camping towels)

    Use them all the time. Many hostels and guesthouses don’t provide towels. Easy to throw in the pack when heading to the beach, a lake or a river as well.

    •  2) Solid Shampoo Bars

    These were great and lasted about 6 months. Since then we’ve had to buy bottles of shampoo which are much bulkier and last far less time. Unfortunately liquid is the only thing available.

    •  2) Solid Facial Cleanser Bars

    These were also great and lasted about 6 months before needing to be replaced with locally available products.

    •  Toothbrushes

    No Notes

    •  Toothpaste

    No Notes

    • Lotion

    No Notes

    •  Deodorant

    Obviously used both for each other and our fellow bus/train mates.  We were surprised to find that stick deodorant can be hard to find in some countries. Roll ons are available everywhere though.

    •  Razor

    No Notes

    •  Electric Hair Clippers

    Battery operated is the only way to go as most bathrooms don’t have outlets.

    •  Nail Clippers

    No Notes

    • Small Sewing Kit

    Used countless times for repairing minor tears in our limited wardrobe and our packs.

    •  Toilet Paper

    Charmin on the go mini rolls were great to bring as emergency backup since they have no cardboard core and took up less pack space. Most bathrooms in the world don’t have toilet paper so we’ve gotten used to always carrying a roll with us.

     

    MISCELLANEOUS

     

    • Drain Plug

    Our flat disc shaped rubber drain plug is great for washing things in the sink.

    •  Bottle Concentrated Detergent

    Used for washing clothes in the sink, though bar soap is a good alternative.

    •  Clothesline

    Used when useable. The elastic suction cup variety we have is great for bathrooms with tiled walls but not very useful elsewhere.

    •  Door Jam/Wedge (For Added Security)

    Not used often but when there is a rickety lock on the door in a sketchy part of town it helps us sleep better at night.

    •  Combination Padlock

    Good for rustic hotels with no room locks and for luggage lockers.

    •  20) Pairs Earplugs

    Invaluable. We use these all the time. The world is a noisy place, especially cities in the 3rd world. Should have brought 40, they wear out after a few uses and are harder to find than you’d think. Good for busses as well.

    •  Pens

    No Notes

     

    MONEY/DOCUMENTS

     

    • ATM Cards

    We brought two kinds of ATM cards with us. A Fire Department Credit Union card and a Bank Of America card. The Credit union card has never failed us, we told them where we were going and they only put a hold on it once when we took out a large amount of cash in one place. They charge ZERO foreign transaction fees and actually reimburse us for the fees other ATMs charge us! On top of that, when we needed to call them the one time they blocked our card, a human being actually answered the call immediately. The BofA card however charges us a $15 foreign transaction fee every time we use it, they charge us a $3 non BofA ATM fee whenever we use it and every other time we use it they put a security block on the card even though we’ve told them a dozen times where we’re travelling. Then we have to make an international phone call and navigate 20 minutes of computer menus before I finally reach a person who can unblock the card. Winner: Credit Union by a landslide.

    •  Credit Cards

    Use for secure online purchases. Helpful as back up and credit cards are more secure than using a debit card as a Visa card. Also for large purchases like plane tickets it’s nice to get rewards points.

    •  Passports

    Should have double checked our visas with a fine toothed comb before leaving. One of our India visas was mistakenly marked as a single entry instead of a multi entry. Would have been much easier to deal with at home. The extra 20 pages we had added before leaving are definitely being used.

    •  Drivers Licenses

    Necessary for renting cars/motorcycles and is an easier form of ID to carry around than our passports.

    •  International Drivers Permits

    Totally useless. Everyone accepts US drivers licenses.

    •  Travel Insurance Cards

     No Notes

    • Health Insurance Cards

    No Notes

    • Vaccination Books

    Necessary when entering or leaving countries with yellow fever. We’ve had them checked a few times.

    •  Itinerary/ E-tickets

    No Notes

    • Emergency Contact Lists

    No Notes

    • Visas (We had to pre get Visas for Brazil, India, Argentina & China)

    Should have double checked our visas with a fine toothed comb before leaving. One of our India visas was mistakenly marked as a single entry instead of a multi entry. Would have been much easier to deal with at home.

     

    Things we should have brought:

    A small lightweight laptop. Would have made writing and our lives a lot easier.

    More Ibuprofen. It’s really expensive outside of the US.

    Telephoto lens for the DSLR for wildlife photography

    Binoculars for wildlife viewing.

     

    Things we shouldn’t have brought:

    Snorkel Fins

    Tripod

    Travel plug adapter set

    Charcoal Pills

    Suction cup clothesline

    International Drivers Permits

2 thoughts on “The Gear

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