Gearing up

Melbourne Travel Blog

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Yes, the time has come for me to gear up for my upcoming trip literally and figuratively. In 2 days I will be departing for another adventure, this time a two month adventure across south-east Africa. I thought I would share my packing list for's never too late to add a few things in, or take a few things out! I have tried to include explanations for some of the things I've packed. 90% of the travel specific items were purchased from Rays Outdoors (for those of you living in Australia near one, join their VIP club online - they frequently have 26.5% off sales - I bought my hat, 2 pillows + a towel for <$10 total!) which is one of my favourite shops.

  • 65L Wild Country 'Discovery Bay' pack with 10L zip-off day-pack
  • sleeping bag (10 degrees) + silk sleeping liner
  • blow-up pillows: 1 U-shaped (for the truck + plane), 1 normal
  • passport, US currency, Yellow fever certificate, photocopies of all important documents, money wallet, extra passport photos, + an NAB Visa linked gold debit card (pay AUD$12/mth and pay no other fees no matter how many overseas transactions or ATM withdrawals you make)


  • head torch + 4x AAA batteries
  • newly purchased Canon Powershot SX100 digital camera w/ 10x optical zoom, + 2x 4GB, 1x 2GB + 1x 1GB memory cards + 10x AA batteries to power the camera (camera bought from Teds Cameras for $248) + lens cloth  
  • Ipod + charger


  • 2 travel journals, the first one already has loads of stuff about the countries I'm going to stuck in it (including best things to buy and eat, weather, electricity, culture info) + photocopies of my hostel + plane ticket info. Also taking glue + scissors to stick stuff in along the way, and will probably have to buy at least 1 more travel journal when over there!
  • hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • wet wipes for the dust
  • tube of Vegemite (I am Aussie after all!)
  • 24 pens to give out to kids
  • pack of cards
  • the usual toiletries + eco friendly laundry detergent
  • sleeping tablets, ear plugs, sleeping mask
  • 1L aluminium water bottle + water purification tablets 'Aquatabs'
  • mini address book
  • big plastic colourful carry bag for dirty laundry/wet clothes while there, and to carry extra stuff in back home
  • headband for those bad hair days...
  • 3 small padlocks


  • crepe bandage
  • roll of stiff bandage
  • vial of saline
  • sterile gloves
  • a few heavy duty band-aids
  • matches
  • hand sanitiser (I never use this, but...)
  • stingose (decreases sting in bites)
  • aerogard (tropical strength bug spray)
  • baby oil (for sandflies)
  • Gastrolyte electrolyte replacer
  • paracetomol
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper
  • mild anti-histamines
  • gut stoppers for diarrhoea (loperamide)
  • betadine (antiseptic cream)
  • anti-malarials (doxycycline for Africa)
  • course of tinidazole antibiotics and norfloxacin antibiotics (for diarrhoea)

On a side note, apparently the diarrhoea flow chart goes like this:

  • -sudden onset/uncomfortable diarrhoea + 1-3 loose bowel motions in 24hrs (+- blood) + 1 or more of nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or fever
  • ---> take norfloxacin + loperamide --> if not cured
  • ---> azithromycin + loperamide --> if not cured
  • ---> tinidazole + loperamide --> if not cured
  • ---> cotrimoxazole --> if not cured
  • ---> SEE DOCTOR!!!

CLOTHING (all of which has been washed in Dr Debs Permethrin Soak (anti-mozzie stuff) before I go - available from $10 for travel docs, and each bottle can be used to wash about 10-15 items of clothing)

  • 3 pairs of pants (2 quick-dry, 1 of which zip off into shorts + 1 of which tie up into 3/4s, + 1 cotton pair)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 5 short-sleeved t-shirts (wore maybe 1-2 of these), 2 long-sleeved shirts, a few tank tops that can be worn as pyjamas
  • 1 slightly dressier shirt + 1 long skirt
  • 1 pair of thermal underwear (top + bottom) to compensate for lack of warm clothing and for not bringing my quality sleeping bag!
  • 1 weeks worth of underwear + socks
  • polar-tec jumper
  • sarong
  • 2 pairs of bathers
  • 1 microfibre towel + 1 mini quick dry face-sized washer thingy
  • Gore-tex waterproof jacket
  • runners, water-proof sandals + thongs

So yeah, that's about it. Any comments? :) I'd love feedback from those who've been there at this time of year as to what I've forgotten and what is just taking up space unnecessarily! :)

cja17 says:
Just bumped into this blog. Always like the ones with more words than pics - well done for making the effort and am looking forward to reading it. Loving the geeky packing list as well :-)
Posted on: Oct 31, 2009
derekmode says:
what a great blog. so thorough and entertaining. perfect for a rainy sunday afternoon here in florida. i hope to work in africa one day. this list is excellent too. cant wait to browse through your other ones!
Posted on: May 31, 2009
Clarafina says:
Alright everyone, the stuff in bold is what I actually can forget about taking the other stuff when going to Africa (apart from some of the meds, which you need to take just in case).
Posted on: Feb 09, 2009
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