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The Art and Science of Preparation

June 5, 2013

Preparation – I feel prepared. I have been packed for a couple of days, going through that critical step of evaluating what I truly need to take and what I can really live without. I weighed my pack last night. Total weight of my backpack? Less than 35 pounds. Not too bad for a 4 week trip. Of course I am planning to jettison some clothes and eat the snacks, so my load should get lighter as we go through the trip. Carrying all of your own stuff is the best cure for taking too much along with you. All you kids who took giant suitcases to Italy and Turkey on our student trips? You know who you are!
I have found the planning an preparation process took up alot of bandwidth in my brain over the past week. Ultimately, here is what I decided to take.
CLOTHES
4 pairs of pants
6 shirts
1 sweater
1 rain jacket
1 quick dry jacket
boots
Keen water shoes
1 pair of black flat shoes
1 dress
yoga pants for pajamas
6 pairs of socks
6 pairs of underwear
long underwear
2 wraps that can serve as jackets or scarves
gloves
hat
MEDICAL KIT – Many thanks to a parent who has loads of experience
in some pretty dangerous places treating every kind of illness and
injury under the sun for such a comprehensive kit!
MEDICINES
OTC: See photo – I don’t think I have ever had this much medicine
in my house at one time.
Prescriptions: one for each of the following disasters waiting to happen: nausea, diarrhea, infection, and pain
MISC
sunscreen, DEET spray, lip balm, lotion, earplugs, sunglasses,
toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash (Boring – but important stuff)
UV Water Filtration Bottle System (Camelback – super cool!)
Headlamp (I can’t help it, I am a camp geek!)
Ziploc bags – a traveller’s best friend
TECHNOLOGY
iPad (for blogging), iPhone (airplane mode only), earbuds,
camera, assorted chargers and power converter

I tried to cut the list down even more, but couldn’t justify it. I will be hand washing most of my clothes and , obviously, wearing them more than once. Don’t judge! This is adventure travel, not fashion week. I feel like this covers just about every situation unless it gets really, really cold since I packed to layer my clothes in case of weather fluctuations. From what I have read, I should expect every kind of weather.

Since mosquito and tick-borne illnesses are a concern, I found a product that contains permethrin, an insecticide and repellent, which I sprayed on my clothes. The permethrin molecules are absorbed into the fabric and remain effective for 42 days or 6 washes. Amazing stuff and somewhat less scary than Japanese encephalitis or yellow fever. I had to unpack to spray the clothes and my backpack, so now I will re-pack one last time and then I can relax.

Tomorrow I will post about some of the places we will be visiting on the trip.

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