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March 10th 2011
Published: March 11th 2011
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99% of travel websites will say something like "pack half of what you want to take and take twice the money." While I know the importance of traveling light, I think you should take what you want and will make you comfortable. For me, its a curling iron and hair dryer. Ok, thats not really what I take cause i have a shaved head, but i'm not the lightest packer in the world. Basically, I have been trying to only get lightweight and quick drying stuff that is multi-purpose. Here is the gear I am taking and living off of for the next 9-10 months (i will constantly be changing this entry before i leave and will be buying stuff at the places i'm going)

- Backpack: Osprey Waypoint 85 - This is a 85 liter backpack made more for traveling than camping. It has a real nice detachable daypack (this makes up 15 of the 85 liters). You need to make sure you have several access points into your luggage so you dont have to dig for something. I like how the shoulder straps have a zip pocket for when you check your luggage. Lots of people will tell you to buy a smaller pack that pushes the limits of a carry-on but I don't want to do laundry every other day for this long of a trip.

- ScottEVest - This is one of my new favorite companies. Think North Face meets Apple clothing for travelers but I wear everyday now. Tons of hidden pockets in everything. Lookup this company, I promise, its worth it. The first thing I bought was the Lightweight Tropical Jacket/Vest. 18 pockets which distribute the weight so it doesn't feel like you have much when they are full. The sleeves zip off to make it a vest, it folds really small, water-resistant and despite being made for tropical weather, I have been wearing it through a rough Cleveland winter. I also bought the SeV Travel Pants.

- Shoes: Because I'm going to be doing some trekking, I had to find a shoe that has gore-tex and can withstand the amount of walking and hiking I plan on doing. I have never liked high tops or boots so I tried to find something that is tennis shoe with some hiking features. I went with the brand Merrell and I will let you know how well they work later. I also am bringing a classic style Adidas slip on sandal for hostel showers and the beach.

- Camera: I wish I knew more about photography and cameras! This is a once in a lifetime trip that you should be able to get the best photos possible. However, due to my lack of knowledge, I am going with convenience while sacrificing some quality with a small point and shoot (however, its a good point and shoot). The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX5. The camera has tons of features like easy panorama, 1080i hi-def video, and my favorite, GPS and compass. The camera will record the location (within a few feet) and the direction of every picture you take and allows you to view them on a map through google earth or many other locations.

- Towel: Lightweight microfiber travel towel (dries quickly)

- Sleeping sheet: Lightweight travel sheet, like a sleeping bag but lightweight for humid climates. This will also protect me from all the bugs and insects that wait for lone Americans to fall asleep

- Luggage locks: I have 4 different types of luggage locks that I am bringing that are all TSA approved. I am bringing different kinds because I always have to have my stuff locked up since I will be by myself and you never know how you have to lock it. I have a smaller bike lock (with a cord) to lock my pack around larger objects. I have smaller cord locks for the zippers. And I have 2 sizes of regular metal locks for lockers.

-Hats: I have a fidel castro or army hat. I will probably also bring a baseball cap and might buy more along the way

-Hidden gear: I have an eagle creek neck pouch for my passport, visas, passport photos, etc. I also have a money belt for future bribes. I learned the hard way in Egypt that when you have to bribe your way out of things, its better to start with smaller bills and not only have large ones.

Documents: I am bringing a 3-ring binder with all my important documents and copies of everything I need and contact numbers. I also emailed a copy of all this to myself in case I lose the binder.

BUG SPRAY! I am one of those people that gets eaten alive whenever I'm out, so I fear what will be happening to me in the Amazon and throughout Asia. Basically, if I have seen bug spray being sold the last few weeks, I've bought it. Lots of deet, not so much deet, doesnt matter to me. Waterproof spray, controlled release lotion, stuff for my bags & clothes. EVERYTHING.

Sunglasses

Travel Toilet Paper - I am often asked, "arent you somewhat scared?" or "are you nervous?" Here are the top 5 things I'm scared of. (1) STD's (2) Someone stealing my pack (3) Squatter toilets; more specifically slipping at a squatter toilet (4) Wiping with my hand (5) Falling in love or off a cliff

Security wallet: I always carry a money clip but for this trip i bought a tri-fold wallet that has several security features like a chain and a GPS chip (alright, it doesn't have a GPS chip but it should)

Ear plugs and sleep mask


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