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Preparing for your Adventure
An extensive packing list & suggestions to help you prepare for your trip!
Depending on where you are heading and by what means, there will be a different packing list to suit every eventuality and your personal needs. To get you started though, below is our top 10 categories of travel essentials!
As long as we have these items to hand, we can get by!
For a more expansive packing list, or if you need some help in preparing for your adventure travel (be it with packing or route prep or budgeting etc!) then register for free to become an EXP52 member for access to some great downloadable content including spreadsheets, ticks lists, guides and unique membership offers!
Pair this with our free ADVENTURE BUDGET PLANNER and you'll have a great headstart for your trip!
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TOP 10 ADVENTURE PACKING LIST ESSENTIALS
Take a glance at our quick referral Top 10 Travel Pack List! For more details read on or select the category you're interested in!
1. FIRST AID KIT / MEDICINE
Depending on how long you’re planning on travelling and by what means, we always recommend having a first aid kit to hand and suggest carrying a small air tight tuppaware box containing any day-to-day medication. This can then stay in your rucksack/hand luggage at all times in case of an emergency or if you get separated from your main luggage.
Remember – always check the use by date before throwing it in the bag!
Importantly - check what medication and quantities you are legally allowed to take in to the countries you are visiting! Some countries have different regulations to others so it’s always worth checking in advance by contacting the relevant Foreign Embassies to discuss.
List of Foreign Embassies:
We recommend keeping a list of current prescriptions written down, any health issues which would be vital in case of an emergency and your blood type. Keep these stored in your wallet and if you can wear your blood type on a handy wrist band!
Always discuss your medical needs with your GP or relevant Health Service before leaving to ensure you are personally covered for your needs.
For more information about your health when travelling, take a glance at our Health Page!
2. MAPS & GPS
Admittedly, getting lost can be fun when on an adventure but in an emergency or when the sun is setting or a storm is brewing, being sure you can get somewhere safe is essential! Not only that but you can often miss out on bypassing opportunities or sites without even knowing about it.
We recommend if possible to use both mediums when travelling. Maps are great for having a chat with locals and travellers alike who can then mark up places to see and go / show you where you are. They’re pretty fun to mull over around a camp fire! GPS or a Mobile Phone with Maps then can give you a couple of route options and time scales to get places giving you the opportunity to plan your route more carefully and not end up frustrated and lost on your way to an awesome waypoint!
Having some practical, staple basics helps you keep your travel wardrobe simple and successful! Layering up and ensuring you have replacements whilst the others are being washed and dried makes for the perfect combo when travelling. Our minimum recommendations are as follows:
- 3 x Pairs of undies
- 3 x Bra’s (preferably at least one sport!)
- 3 x Pairs of good quality trekking socks
- 1 x Thermal Long Sleeved Base Layer
- 3 x Tshirts
- 1 x Light Weight Down Jacket
- 1 x Waterproof
- 1 x Pair of Combat Trousers (zippable ones to turn into shorts are ideal)
- 1 x Pair of Shorts
- 1 x Hat (ideally with a peak!)
- 1 x Hat / Buff (great for keeping warm or for the ladies to cover hair out of respect to various cultures)
- 1 x Pair of Sun Glasses (UV protected!!)
- 1 x Decent pair of walking shoes with ankle support
- 1 x Pair of Flip Flops/Slip Ons (Great for use in a public shower place like at campsites)
Naturally, this is thinking about pretty standard climates and not taking into consideration trekking the Arctic or dabbling in the desert!!
We always recommend spending that little extra to get the best quality with your clothing as you are going to be flogging them thoroughly! Merino wool or any wicking away items are up there on our favourites, being quick to dry and helping you stay comfortable and less stinky!
4. WASH KIT
Speaking of stinky, we have a basic travel wash kit prepared and ready to go! It may seem a lot but it all squishes tidily into a medium sized travel bag:
- Toothbrush. Coupled with a toothbrush case to keep it from getting gunky and protect the bristles!
- Floss. Oral health is crazy important! So keep your teeth in check! Nothing worse than tooth ache on a trip, trust us!
- Deodorant Stick. Avoid whiffy pits!
- Liquid Soap. Travel version or in a small leak proof bottle.
- Shampoo. Travel version of in a small leak proof bottle.
- Razor. With a couple of spare heads. Pro tip – store your razor separately in a zip lock bag. Saves digging around in your wash kit half asleep and nicking your finger.
- Conditioner. Sounds luxurious but when on the road your hair takes a beating… trust us when we say this will save yourself brittle, dry, nightmarish hair! Not only that but it can double for shaving cream so no shaving rash! Win win!
- Baby Wipes / Face and Body Wipes. For those occasions when you have no access to water. Quick, easy, essential!
- Face Moisturiser with SPF coverage. Again, depending on how you’re travelling we’d place bets you’re going to be beaten by the elements one way or another. This just helps maintain your skin and if you forget to slap some sunscreen on in at least you’ve got some protection already sorted.
- Silicone Ear Plugs. Putting noisy, sleepless nights to bed.
- Tweezers. Splinters and sorts are a pain in the butt to get out with a pair of pliers!
- Nail Clippers. Fiddling around in rucksacks, fixing bikes and cars, putting up tents… you will snag your nails at some point.
- Sanitary Items. Nothing worse than being caught out!
- Lip Balm. Ideally with SPF.
- Sun Cream. Block ideally. The higher the SPF the better – remember to check the use by date on them before travelling.
- Condoms. Make bumping uglies safe people!
To be fully functional and feeling your best staying hydrated is vital. It is recommended to have at least 2 litres of water per person on a day trip (not taking into account any vigorous exercise / extreme climates or personal requirements). We would also suggest you keep to hand a Water Purification system in-case of an emergency and needing to use untreated water.
One of the most effective ways to stay hydrated is by carrying a hydration system in your ruck sack which is then connected to a tube kit with a bite and shut off valve. This is especially handy when riding motorbikes as it makes drinking so much easier when you are fully kitted with helmets, gloves and buffs! In general though you are more likely to drink frequently with a drinking tube right next to you as opposed to having to sling off your rucksack, pull out a bottle and swig from it.
6. REPAIR KIT
- A Multi-tool. A multi-tool, such as a leatherman, is perfect for such tasks as tightening a screw, opening a tin of beans, cutting up some rope, snipping some wiring, sawing wood, fashioning a stake, filing a sharp edge down, use pliers to hold a bolt whilst unscrewing the screw… the list is endless. They are invaluable. Just be sure you don’t have it on your person when popping through an airport!
- Duct Tape. So many applications!
- Cable Ties. This is mainly directed at people travelling with wheels. It is quite amazing what you can fix vehicle wise with duct tape and cable ties – an all time essential for adventure travel!
- Mini Sewing Kit. Holes will appear and although you may not be a pro at sewing, a quick fix will always be welcome.
7. INSECT REPELLENT
Depending on where you are this isn’t always a must. Having an effective repellent helps prevent tremendously itchy nightmares and more importantly helps protecting you from a menagerie of diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya virus etc).
Always check with your health provider you are vaccinated correctly for the destinations you plan on travelling.
8. LIGHT & FIRE
- Head Torch. Being caught out in the dark is never a good thing. Having a top class one which you can reliably have comfortably attached to your noggin leaves your hands free to get sorted what you’re doing!
- Fire Starter Kit. For keeping toasty! We always keep a lighter spare alongside our firelighter kit!
9. DOCUMENTS & MONEY
A checklist of documents to have with you (obviously depending on what you’re doing!)
- Passport (and at least one photocopy of this / a scan on a USB stick)
- Drivers License (and photocopy / scan on USB stick)
- Insurance Docs (keep a reference page on you and the rest store on a USB)
- Flight / Accommodation / Booking Itinerary.
- Telephone Numbers / Addresses. A list of important telephone numbers and addresses in case of an emergency or just to send a postcard!
- Money. Depending on your situation will depend on how much you should carry on a daily basis. It is recommended to have enough local currency to get you a ride / food / water / nights stay somewhere as an emergency.
- Medical Issues / Blood Type. We’ve said it once but we will say it again! Keep a note of any medical issues you may have or a list of prescriptions you are taking, as well as your blood type, and store this in your wallet in case of an emergency.
Staying connected and being able to capture some adventure-tastic memories is a big yes!
- Phone. Smart phones are great to have as they can easily keep you connected and enable you to take great off the cuff pictures and videos! Some of the best shots we've seen from travellers have been from their phone and not a high end DSLR!
- Camera. If you're all about photography, a great camera and even a small selection of lenses may be the way to go. For those expecting a lot of activity, there's a fantastic array of cameras now available which produce great quality images and video footage and are exceptionally small, water proof and bump proof
- Universal Adaptor. All for one and one for all!
- Portable USB Charger. Just in case you run out of juice at a vital point in time.
- Spare Batteries. If you’re carrying anything which requires batteries, always pack a spare set. We recommend paying a bit more for a set of Lithium Batteries which last longer and operate in the extremist of weather conditions than alkaline batteries.
- Cables. A lot of electronics now use the same USB cables as each other so be sure to wittle down which ones you need and leave the rest behind!
- USB. A handy must have is a USB with all your essential Documents (see above) scanned and uploaded onto it.
- Spare SD cards. As large as memory storage as you can and a good rotation of them ideally.