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#173786 - 01/12/13 08:41 PM Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller
tonyTraveler Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Spain
As the title describes, I'm in need of packing advice. Only been travelling for a little over 3 months now, and I'm still trying to work out what all I need in my backpack.
I know it's a silly thing to ask 3 month's in, but essentially this isn't about me buying new stuff. Rather, it's about me getting rid of the non-essentials.
Essentially, I aim to travel long-term, earning as I go. The main concern is survival. Whether it's in the wilderness (to a minimum degree) or in a city, so I need to pack accordingly. But i want to keep my pack as light as possible with this extent of travelling. Here's what i got with me now; my "bergen" weighs around 25kg i'm guessing:

CLOTHING
2 Pairs of pants
Pair of shorts
2 T-shirts
2 Short sleeved shirts
2 Thermal vests
2 Thermal long johns
Fleece
Jumper
3 Pairs of socks (incl. 1 pair cold weather socks)
4 Pairs of underpants
A Vest
Pair Goretex trousers
Goretex Jacket
1 Scarf
Head warmer
Pair black leather Goretex Boots
Pair sandals
Black leather jacket

TOILETRIES
Shaving Brush
Nail Clippers
Comb
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Insect Repellant

SHELTER
Tarp
Sleeping Bag
Bivouac Sack
4 Tent pegs
2 Extendable Tent poles
20m Rope
Thermal Emergency bivvy
Foam roll matt
3 Bungee Cords

NAVIGATION
2 Compassse (one was given, am still deciding which I prefer)
Garmin Etrex 30 GPS

COOKING
Single person pot set
Stove connector for gas bottles
Flint and steel
Highlander thermal flask
Pack hexi-block
1 Set campers cutlery

EXTRAS
1L Water bottle
Pair of gaiters
Leatherman Sidekick
Pair Oakley Racing Jacket sunglasses
Sun hat
Spare glasses
Passports
Spare Batteries
First Aid
Wallet
Leather Holder for passports and small extras
Journal
My Song Book
Cheap spare cellphone
Petzl LED Head Torch

CONTAINER
Army bergen (adjustable to: 70L; 100L and 120L)
2 Waterproof bag liners: 16L

Changing the bergen at this point in time is not an option. I'm stuck with it for now, so need to make sacrifices else where.

Any suggestions...?


Edited by tonyTravelle (01/12/13 08:55 PM)

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#173787 - 01/12/13 09:40 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1814
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Please read the post by TomD titled "READ FIRST BEFORE POSTING A GEAR QUESTION". Provide the requested info and you will get the info you requested. I'm not trying to be difficult but it makes a big difference if you are planning travel in the tropics in summer versus winter in Europe. Also, this site is aimed more at wilderness travel than hostel-style "grand tour of Europe" type travel. You may find Lonely Planet a more useful source of info than this one.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#173797 - 01/13/13 02:08 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: Pika]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Thanks Pika. Also, this is not a site for travelers, it is a site for hikers and campers. Most of what you have on your list would never be in a camper's backpack. My guess is you are English or maybe an Aussie or Kiwi. Most Americans have no idea what a jumper is.

We are not trying to be rude, but few people here can give you any advice on what you want to know.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#173799 - 01/13/13 03:04 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: TomD]
tonyTraveler Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Spain
I know, but backpacker's forums don't actually provide me with anything helpful for my trip.

Put it this way, I'm travelling the world. I ain't flying no where unless I need to hop over to the US and Canada. And even then, I'd try and get a ship across if possible.
My main means of travel is walking or hitchhiking, or public transport. I'm not just hostel jumping, I'm also out there staying a few nights outdoors. At the minute, i'm in Europe, so nothing exciting. But end of this year I head down through to the South of Africa.
I need to be able to survive outside for long enough to make it to my next stop. But I'm also trying to keep my backpack as light as possible with only the bare necessities. That also goes for whilst I travel around Europe.

Of course this trip requires a bit from all scenarios: camping, hiking, backpacking, etc. hence why I've posted here. Even survival to some extent. So i'm trying to find out, from people who are experienced in these areas, to help me work out what I can get rid of, and what I should keep. As well as anything vital I should get, if that is the case. But start of with what I can shed.

Until the end of summer in the northern hemisphere, I will be in Europe. As winter approaches, I'll be making my way to South Africa, which will obviously be a warmer trip. Obviously campers tend be in one place at any given time, so advice from hikers would be the best. But more from those that do the ultra long hikes, requiring the sleeping accessories...

Hopefully that is enough info...

And I'm South African

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#173801 - 01/13/13 11:32 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2096
Loc: Napa, CA
Tony

Compare you list to the one we've placed on our website, and you'll get some idea of where we think you have overpacked.

For example:

CLOTHING
2 Pairs of pants--we take one...
Pair of shorts--take zip off pants and you can leave these at home.
2 T-shirts--these are impractical. Cotton is miserable stuff.
2 Short sleeved shirts--we take one. And wash it.
2 Thermal vests--you have way too much warm clothing here...two vests, plus fleece, plus jumper? Take layers. When it gets cold, wear everything, Leave the rest at home.
2 Thermal long johns--why two?
Fleece--see above
Jumper--see above
3 Pairs of socks (incl. 1 pair cold weather socks)
4 Pairs of underpants--we take two---one to wear while the other is drying.
A Vest--huh? in addition to all that stuff above?
Pair Goretex trousers--OK--one rain suit.
Goretex Jacket
1 Scarf
Head warmer
Pair black leather Goretex Boots
Pair sandals
Black leather jacket--whatever for? THis is incredibly heavy and doesn't do a good job of anything!

TOILETRIES
Shaving Brush--and razor? BTW, when I travel, I do take a razor, but I have discovered it is perfectly possible to shave with soap and no brush. Just use your hands.
Nail Clippers
Comb
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Insect Repellant

SHELTER
Tarp
Sleeping Bag
Bivouac Sack
4 Tent pegs
2 Extendable Tent poles
20m Rope--I am hoping this is very thin line...not climbing rope.
Thermal Emergency bivvy
Foam roll matt
3 Bungee Cords--probably unnecessary

NAVIGATION
2 Compassse (one was given, am still deciding which I prefer)
Garmin Etrex 30 GPS

COOKING
Single person pot set
Stove connector for gas bottles
Flint and steel
Highlander thermal flask
Pack hexi-block
1 Set campers cutlery

EXTRAS
1L Water bottle
Pair of gaiters
Leatherman Sidekick--no need. What is this going to fix? Take a sewing kit instead, because you will need it.
Pair Oakley Racing Jacket sunglasses
Sun hat
Spare glasses
Passports
Spare Batteries--If you are really traveling through towns, you might not need these
First Aid
Wallet
Leather Holder for passports and small extras
Journal
My Song Book
Cheap spare cellphone
Petzl LED Head Torch


Edited by balzaccom (01/13/13 11:34 AM)
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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#173802 - 01/13/13 11:41 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I think it's a really tough challenge that you've set yourself --- to have a set of kit that works in city or wilderness and that's pretty lightweight. It would help if you listed the individual weights of items on your list (!).

My sense is that you might have too much in the way of clothing; the obvious trade-off is having to handwash more often when in civilization. But 2 pair of thermal long johns for example??

Drop the flint and steel in favor of a book of matches; if you want backup flame, buy a cheap lighter.

Key points in overall weight is the big items, such as type of sleeping bag you have (brand, rating, weight, and for that matter perhaps, bulk). Here in particular, as with the clothing, it's difficult to make any useful comments without knowing the lowest temperatures you anticipate having to (a) be comfortable in or (b) survive in, and just what kind of "worst conditions" you feel you need to be ready for.

How do you plan to update the map data on your GPS when traveling?

Can you trim your nails with the knife?

How will you secure your gear? I.e., have you considered something like this?

Per others, while this really isn't the optimal site for what you're talking about (and maybe there just isn't one), more information will help in at least possibly getting more feedback.

Best of luck in your adventure in any case!
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#173807 - 01/13/13 02:39 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3186
Loc: Portland, OR
First, I have never done what you are intending to do, so my advice, such as it is, is not based on any direct personal experience. Obviously, you should take it with a grain of salt.

My sense is that northern Europe and Africa will present such different sets of opportunities and problems that it is unrealistic to think that you can come up with one set of clothing and equipment for both parts of your trip. I'd expect that just prior to leaving Europe for Africa, I would revamp my kit, discarding some things and adding some others.

SHELTER
Tarp
Sleeping Bag
Bivouac Sack
4 Tent pegs
2 Extendable Tent poles
20m Rope
Thermal Emergency bivvy
Foam roll matt
3 Bungee Cords


Based on what you said, I envision that, while your sleeping arrangements may be quite rough much of the time, there will be few nights where shelter of some sort will not be available if you require it. I agree with taking a bivy sack. It could come in handy in lots of situations.

Both a thermal bivy and regular bivy seem like an unnecessary redundancy. Choose one or the other. 20 meters (approx 65 feet) of rope is far more than you will need. The tent poles are a convenience and can be done without. The tent pegs should be aluminum, not plastic. The tarp should likewise be no bigger than about 2m x 2.5m. Your sleeping bag could be fairly cheap, synthetic and rated for temperatures down to about 6C or 40F. It need not be heavy or bulky. You will be cold some nights, but you'll survive. For Africa, I'd be sure to have my own bug net.

Suitable clothes for both northern Europe and Africa, and both towns and wild places? It seems to me you will end up: 1) taking far too many clothes, or else 2) wearing unsuitable clothes during part of your trip, or else 3) buying different clothes as you go along. Probably a little of all three.

I guess the best advice I can think of is to adapt as you go. Don't sink all your available funds into gear and clothes at the start. Experience is the best teacher. Learn and refine your knowledge as you go. It is impossible to predict what you'll need or how you'll solve the problems you encounter. Give yourself as much flexibility as you can, equip yourself using what you already own as much as you can at the start, and keep your travel funds in your pocket as long as you can.

And have fun!

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#173815 - 01/13/13 05:40 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6764
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
For wilderness trekking (as opposed to budget travel), see the lists on [url=www.backpacking.net]the home page of this site, left hand column.[/url]

For budget travel, Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum seems to be moribund; it was down for several weeks and, as of yesterday, only a very small portion has been restored. However, you can find good information on lightweight packing for travel at ricksteves.com, although they're not nearly as low budget as they used to be. Let's Go and Rough Guide are also useful sites for budget travel information.

The big difference between the two types of "backpacking" is that while traveling most of us want to look relatively neat and clean, which is definitely not a concern out in the wilderness! For the former, you need to launder clothing frequently and have a spare set to wear. For wilderness trekking, the only "spares" I take are one pair of socks.

Having done some of both types of "backpacking," my primary recommendation for you is to take minimal changes of clothing, to take only clothing of lightweight, fast-drying synthetic fabrics that can be rinsed in sink or shower and dried overnight, to avoid cotton (extremely slow-drying) and to avoid anything heavy (such as that leather jacket!). For insulation, a couple of lightweight layers are far more versatile than one heavy one.

Of course that didn't keep me from staggering under 40 pounds during the last week of my latest trip to Europe (2001), with four bottles of wine, a lovely olive wood salad bowl and a number of other not-very-light goodies added to my travel pack!







Edited by OregonMouse (01/13/13 05:43 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#173828 - 01/14/13 01:06 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
Maeglin Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 6
Loc: Washington
Two quick thoughts from a hiker's perspective.
1. Gloves might be nice, depending upon weather.
2. I would want some water purification; perhaps Aquamira (chlorine dioxide) or a Sawyer water filter.

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#173857 - 01/14/13 07:42 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: BrianLe]
tonyTraveler Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Spain
I should probably mention that one set of the clothing is warn. I.e 1 thermal shirt, 1 t-shirt, 1 short-sleeved shirt, 1 pair pants, 1 pair socks, 1 pair thermal pants, 1 pair underwear and the leather jacket.
The leather jacket is fake leather and not that thick. I wear it almost all the time.

The bivouac sack was bought recently. I already had the emergency thermal bivvy which will probably be used to protect my guitar from the elements as i havent got a case, for obvious reasons.

Since my last post, I've gotten ridden of:
- cutlery: all but the spoon
- the stove connector
- goretex trousers
- gaiters

The tent poles are extendable and ideal for use for propping up the tarp.

The "major 3" that i have is as follows:
- North Face Cat's Meow sleeping bag with a temp rating of: Comfort: 1 celsius; max: -5 celsius and extreme: -22 celsius.

- British Army DPM Bergen weighing at 1.25kg, empty. This will be exchanged first chance i get.

- First Ascent 5-in-1 Tarp: doubles up as a hammaock and rain poncho. To set this up as shelter, i use the tent pegs (aluminium), Bungee cords, and tent poles.


What would the suggestions be for t-shirt replacements?

also, those who do multi-day trips, how much would your pack weigh? I think i've gotten my pack down to under 20kgs, is that still heavy in comparison? It feels heavy and after a short while walking with it, i do feel my motivation starting to dwindle.

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#173859 - 01/14/13 09:21 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1814
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:

also, those who do multi-day trips, how much would your pack weigh? I think i've gotten my pack down to under 20kgs, is that still heavy in comparison? It feels heavy and after a short while walking with it, i do feel my motivation starting to dwindle.


Many of the participants on this forum will carry a pack that weighs less than ten kg and often less than five kg base weight (excluding food and water) on treks of over 2500 miles and over four months. Twenty kg (over forty pounds) is quite "heavy in comparison". I suspect that you could do a lot of pruning of what you propose to carry and still have everything you need.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#173860 - 01/14/13 10:12 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: Pika]
tonyTraveler Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Spain
oh I think i need to cut down a whole lot. 5kg base weight sounds really good. I think I'll do as suggested and work out the weight of the various "groups", using the various suggestions to cut down.

In terms of weather related, at the minute its winter here in Europe. Avg temp in spain gets as low as 5 maybe 6 degrees celsius, as ive experienced the last few nights. So with regards to equipment and whats what, i think a winter setup will be ample for the time being. Later i guess we could work out the summer list, but theres still a few months before summer returns.
The 5kg base weight, is that for a summer or a winter hike?

Well, I've worked out the approx weight for my 3 main items combined, ie. sleeping system, shelter system and backpack.

Sleeping System, incl. Sleeping bag, Bivvy, and roll matt: 2kg
Backpack, or army bergen: 1.25kg
Shelter System, incl. tarp, 4 tent pegs, 3 bungee cords and 2x height adjustable tent poles: approx. 1kg

In total thats around 4.25kg, just for those items. Is that considered too "heavy" for those items? The bag i need to try and exchange, but most bags of 60-80l i find online all seem to weigh in around 2kg?

And in response to an eariler post, keeping "clean" aint an issue. I dont need fresh clothes everyday, just one or two extras so i can "replace" wet items. I discarded my razor and shaving cream as i only really need to worry about shaving when i am in civilization.

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#173861 - 01/14/13 10:19 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: Pika]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6764
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I spent three months traveling Europe with a 15 to 16 pound (6-7 kg) pack--that is, when I wasn't loaded up with souvenirs, wine, salad bowls, Turkish killims and alabaster and various other artifacts. Fortunately my eldest son was stationed in Germany with the US Air Force at the time so I could stop off there every few weeks and have him ship my artifacts/souvenirs home. My pack was a convertible travel pack (basically a suitcase with stays and hideable shoulder straps and hip belt), not exactly lightweight.

Base weight of my wilderness backpacking gear (everything but fuel, water, food) is a few ounces over 12 lbs. (5.5 kg).



_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#173869 - 01/15/13 07:30 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1814
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Originally Posted By tonyTravelle

The 5kg base weight, is that for a summer or a winter hike?
.

That would be the weight for a three-season (spring, summer and autumn) kit. It would include a sleeping bag that is warm to around 20 degrees F. I use a Marmot Helium sleeping bag, 20 degrees and 28 ounces (28.35 gm/oz) except during summer. Then I carry a Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag at 32 degrees and 21 oz (the bag has an extra 2 oz of down added).

My pack, used in the mountains of the western US for three seasons will usualy weigh between 9 and 14 pounds depending on how much water I need to carry and whether I need a bear canister for my food. I plan on walking the 215 mile John Muir Trail this coming summer and anticipate nighttime temperatures as low as 28 degrees F. My pack, with the bear canister will likely weigh about 14 pounds.


Edited by Pika (01/15/13 07:32 AM)
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#173875 - 01/15/13 11:39 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: Pika]
tonyTraveler Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Spain
I've gotten rid of the majority of my clothes, keeping:

Fleece
Thermal shirt
4pairs socks, with 1 thick pair incl.
2 briefs
Pants
Thermal pants
Headwarmer
Scarf
Gloves
Sandals
Gore-tex jacket

Going by the 3 "mains" and 10 essentials list i see floating around the internet, my pack ends up around 7kg. This is with only 1liter of water, and no food.

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#173877 - 01/15/13 11:56 AM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: tonyTraveler]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Just to reiterate what others have said, base weight is generally accepted as the weight with everything you are carrying in the pack at least part of the time; exceptions...only food and water.

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#173878 - 01/15/13 12:12 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: skcreidc]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2096
Loc: Napa, CA
You should also remember that there is no prize for having the lightest pack--pareticularly when you are cold, wet, or unhappy. So use these principles to evaluate what you are taking, and make smart decisions based on what you will need and how you will use things.

When i travel, I take a small roller suitcase that holds far less than my backpack...but I also take at least one shirt that is no-iron and nice looking...just so I can pretend to be civilized when invited to certain functions...
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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#173891 - 01/15/13 07:01 PM Re: Packing Advise for Beginning Long-Term Traveller [Re: balzaccom]
tonyTraveler Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Spain
That is true. I have found online that the average size for hikes etc usually ranges between 15 and 30kgs. So maybe my backpack wasnt as heavy as i thought. Maybe i just need to get used to it.
Still, it wouldnt hurt to shed a few kilograms, which i'm sure i've managed by keeping only whats on my back plus something warm.

I dont really care what it is i have as long as i have a place to sleep (my tarp and sleeping bag), a way of keeping warm, dry, hydrated and nourished in the majority of situations and weather. I'm not fussed with smelly clothes or comfort. I just want to stay alive. Thats all this is about and all that matters. So going by that, i am shedding what i dont need, and will find a way to get items i need but dont have. The only things i need in my backpack are the items that can keep me alive, and in some cases, save my life.

Thanks to all who contributed. I am grateful for the time you took in answering my questions.


Edited by tonyTravelle (01/15/13 07:03 PM)

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