Preparing for the Trip – Gear

Hello folks and the happiest of New Year’s to you once again. As 2015 slowly whirrs into gear and I look with horror at all the shifts I am to do this week, once we clicked over to 2015 I suddenly realised that I am going travelling again! Yes, six weeks away!

I have been preparing … hard! Post Christmas sales are traditionally the time when I go out and look for gear. It’s been two years since I did any real travelling and so I’m struggling to remember all the things I need when I go overseas.

My new day pack.
My new day pack.

I’ve been to Kathmandu for some gear. No, I did not travel to Nepal to go shopping, Kathmandu is a New Zealand company that specialises in travel/camping/adventure gear, and is pretty much the go-to shop here in Australia for packs, tents, clothes and the like for travelling. That’s right, ‘The North Face’ is not so popular here!

And so the packing begins.
And so the packing begins.

Well I bought myself a day pack. The one I used in 2011 is still being used for day to day stuff, but it’s worn and more to the point has only a few pockets. This one has many more pockets which I like. It’s a little smaller than the old one too, which I think is at least 30 litres. But things get mixed up and bounce about in it and I think this new one is a winner. Besides I paid 40 bucks for a 120 buck backpack so I should be pretty chuffed at that, right?

pack 3

I also bought a pair of trousers that zip off around the knee area and become shorts. Pretty nifty hey? Not cheap. 71 bucks reduced from 200! They had cheaper versions but with less pockets. Pockets you can button or zip up are handy I think, along with standard side pockets where I will keep a cheap wallet with a few bucks in. It’s a security thing.

I’ve been buying lots of shirts too, finding some cool bargains, and some sandals. I haven’t had sandals for quite a while now as they old pair were left in Japan, falling apart. I got a decent pair for 24 bucks at Rivers where I also got two shirts for SEVEN bucks. I kid ye not.

I paid just THREE bucks for this one. THREE BUCKS!
I paid just THREE bucks for this one. THREE BUCKS!

I will be returning to old 70 litre Kathmandu backpack for the first time since 2011, which is exciting. My walking boots from that year are actually still in pretty good nick, not being used much since then, I’ve still got my money belt (which I had to sew back together myself in Uzbekistan, 2011. Yep, I did a pretty decent job there!) and my toiletries’ bag, oh and I found an old sleeping sheet which is good. A sleeping bag ‘inner’ sort of deal, it is light and takes up little room. Very useful when you have doubts about the hotel blankets!

The sleeping bag is not coming with me to South East Asia. That’s a first, I always carried it because at some point on long trips into varying climates I always ended up needing it, but it will be hot and humid all the way this time, so that spares me of a few kilos.

I’m not sure if I’ll bring a towel, but I might if I have plenty of room and weight. I have 15kgs of checked baggage paid for, I hope to be at around 12 kilos. Oh, and I have now a (cheap) tablet with blu-tooth keyboard I’m taking mostly so I can write blogs from over there, as there was no way I was bringing my laptop this time. Just too heavy and seriously bad news if it breaks.

So, I still need to see a doctor, my passport is presently at the Myanmar embassy in Canberra, and I need to get travel insurance too. I think I will try world nomads – anyone had any experience with their insurance products?

With six weeks to go, I think I’ve got this paced pretty well. What do you think? I’m going to be writing a bit more about planning and prep over the next few weeks – booking online and travel guide books in particular.

So. Who else is getting excited by the thought of travel in 2015? Comments Please!


  1. Good luck, Andrew! Where all in Southeast Asia will you be travelling? I was considering World Nomads for my travel insurance, however, decided to settle for a national option instead. The decision was purely made currency bias. World Nomads has some good plans, especially if you’re planning to do some adventure. Their standard covers for basic sports, injuries during volunteering and dental too! I don’t know very many who offer the same. Do look it up and connect with Chris Noble (@WorldNomads) on Twitter. He is very helpful. Have a safe trip and look forward to reading more experiences 🙂

  2. wowww Andrew 6 weeks?? I am so excited for you 😀
    Well, of course I am also excited about traveling in 2015… I am actually itching!! In 2 weeks I will be in my home country, Brazil for 2 weeks. And I can’t wait to see my family, friends and the beach of course 😉
    Happy packing 😀

  3. I’m thoroughly excited about traveling in 2015! I really hope to travel a lot this year! Thanks for the much needed motivation! All the best for your travels.

  4. Kathmandu stuff is great – I recently bought a backpack from them, and it’s great, just came back from 2 weeks away and it’s was perfect! Also have a Kathmandu down jacket which I’m planning to take to the Karakoram range some time soon 🙂

  5. Cool!! That’s exciting to prepare another trip! I just return from my travel this week..and no travel plans yet in 2015 but surely there will be soon 😉 Internet could be very slow, but internet via mobile-phone is way faster somehow. Happy packing and wishing you a great travel!

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