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Published: September 26th 2016
About 5 years ago I - Paul - posted a question on a TravelBlog forum asking whether the best way to do a RTW trip was to travel East or West first. At the time I wrote this question I posed it on the basis of a) setting off àbout 8 years later and b) doing a gap year or two.
Zoom forward 5 years, to September 2016, and we find that our - Paul and Pip - travels are about to begin, but not with a gap year. We are both fortunate to have now retired and have many plans for travel over the coming years. And despite the fact that we are not doing year(s) away we are still intending to mix significant periods away with many shorter breaks.
And so the first one is about to begin.
In three weeks time we jet off for 6 months on a RTW trip, focused mostly on Australia (3 months) and New Zealand (2 months), bookended by Abu Dhabi on the way out, and Hawaii for 3 weeks then Vancover on the way back. And to say that we are excited would be an understatement,
thinking about some of the delights that await us - Sydney, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney NYE fireworks, Lord Of The Rings landscapes, Hawaiian lava flows......
But first the planning and preparation.
Our first target was how to travel as lightly as possible. We have rather got used to travelling just with hand luggage when taking short breaks so we were keen to see if we could achieve the same on our major trips. But, this means a target that is much tougher than faced when travelling with EasyJet, Ryanair and the like. We have 10 flights booked for our 6 months travel, and on most of them not only is there a size limit for carry-on but tight weight limits too....
7 kilos everyone!!!
Yes, that's the target, 7 kgs / 15 pounds in old money, each. And some of the tickets state that that includes any additional carry-on eg a handbag, which was a bit of a bugger as the tablet was due to go into Pip's security travel handbag to take weight away from the rucksacks, and, even after transferring as much of our documentation as possible to multi-backed-up electronic there is
also a fair wadge of paper we want to carry too eg our air tickets and other events bookings where the instruction is to 'present this on entry'.
This has meant an element of military level planning - a spreadsheet of every item, distinguished between 'pack' and 'wear'.
And at our trial packing this afternoon the packed weights were 6.3kgs for Pip and 6.2kgs for Paul. So just a bit of tweaking to do, mostly so that we have an element of headroom if any airline insists on weighing everything together - but there are always pockets ☺
Furthermore, as we have planned and booked some of New Zealand's multi-day Great Walks - hiking from bunk room to bunk room, so no camping/gear required - we have also invested in several items of lightweight hiking gear eg my rucksack is only .75kg, Pip's is lighter still, ultra-light cookers (1 meths, 1 gas), fell shoes for hiking, ..... This has enabled us to reach pack weights for our 5 day NZ hikes of around 3kgs for Pip and 4kgs for Paul - before our dried food rations and water are added.
Of course we'll do some shopping on route eg hardly any toiletries packed for the air days, which also saves some travelling weight.
We'll keep you posted with how we get on with light .
In the meantime our lives are dictated by 'to do' lists as D day approaches -
Currency ordered - check
Bank and credit card companies told - check
Freezer being emptied - check
Garden cleared - working on it, everything perennial is being cleared out and a good layer of compost being spread. Boy are we going to have a lot of good compost next year from all this cutting back.
Puss and car sitting arranged - check, courtesy of our son who is doing both for us.
That's it for now. We are going to be away until April '17, so these blogs are certainly not going to be daily! But we'll try to post something every couple of weeks or so.
Just a few photos to start with - our packing, before and after, and to wet our appetite a screen capture from Google of our booked location viewpoint for the Sydney NYE fireworks 😊😊
And the packing list in case you are really really interested:-
PAUL Wear weightAir Travel Pack wt (kg)Trek Pack Wt (kg)Carry Gear Back Pack Lowe Alpine Lightflite Carry-on 40 0.810xxxxxBack Pack Pip's Lowe Alpine Vector 30 xxxxx0.642Raincover Sea To Summit UltraSil Small 0.0970.097Sit Mat 0.0130.013Standard Clothing - head to toe Buff Buff UV / Insect repellant 0.040xxxxxxxxxxBuff Cap Buff UV Cap 0.032xxxxxxxxxxT shirts 2Rab Technical Tee 92gm eachx2 0.1880.092T shirts 1Brooks Drylayerx1 0.119xxxxxT shirts 1Craghoppersx10.177xxxxxxxxxxTravel shirts – long sleeve 1Paramo Katmai Light L/S Shirt 0.246xxxxxxxxxx'Dress' shirt 1from wardrobe - 'Fishing flies' shirt 0.211xxxxxBlue shirt (crinkle, no collar) from wardrobe 0.240xxxxxYellow Shirt from wardrobe 0.112xxxxxFleece Berghaus Pravitale Light Mens Hooded Stretch Fleece 0.355xxxxxxxxxxUnderwear 3Rab Boxersx20.0720.0720.072Underwear SueMe TeeTreex2 0.168xxxxxCombi trousers Go Outdoors HiGear 0.406xxxxxxxxxxshorts North Face 0.146 shorts/swimmers from wardrobe 0.1550.155Socks 1Bridgedale Mens Merino 0.056xxxxxSocks 2Inov8 Race Ultra Low x2 0.0540.027Hut Socks 0.0850.150Flight Socks 0.035xxxxx Fell Shoes Adidas Kanadia tr7 370gm each 0.740xxxxxxxxxxSports sandals Teva 325gm each 0.652xxxxxWeather Gear - Top to Bottom Baselayer top North Ridge Merino Wool Long Sleeve 0.2300.230Waterproof Top Berghaus Hyper Mens HydroShell Waterproof Jacket 0.0950.095Gloves Rab Power Stretch 0.0450.045Baselayer legs Rohan Technical 0.1080.108Waterproof Over-Trousers Go Outdoors Hi Gear 0.1850.185Mosquito head net Sea to Summit Nano Mosquito Headnet 0.0130.013Sleep Gear Sleeping Bag Alpkit PipeDream 250 Long 0.6400.640Sleeping bag stuff sac Granite Gear 5L 0.0170.017Sleeping Bag Liner Nod-Pod Silk 0.1160.116Eye Shades (for sleeeping) 0.0050.005Ear Plugs (for sleeping) 0.0050.005Personal Gear Sunglasses / bag 0.025xxxxxxxxxxGlasses 0.025xxxxxxxxxxGlasses case?? Backpackinglight 0.024xxxxxxxxxxSpare glasses 0.0850.025Hygiene etc Towel PackTowl Ultralite 0.0620.062Wash Bag Tread Lite Icarex Packing Cell 0.0090.009Dental floss 0.0140.014Travel Toothbrushx2 0.0400.040Toothpaste 0.0330.033Folding Comb/brush 0.0330.033Flannel 2 x quarters of linen teatowel 0.0410.041Talc 0.0810.025Deodorant small, solid 0.0840.0251st Aid Kit 0.1490.100No-peg drying line 0.044xxxxxCooking etc Cooker Whitebox Alcohol Stove and shield 0.0570.057Cooker Fire Maple FMS 116T 0.047 Gas Cooker legs 0.0210.021Cooking Mug MSR 400ml Titanium Mug 0.0590.059Cook Pot 1ltr titanium pot 0.1400.140Cook Pot Bag Tread Lite Gear Icarex Super Ultralight Stuff Sack 0.0090.009Knife/fork/spoon 2 x Kingsound Titanium Folding Spork 0.0400.040Water filter Sawyer mini incl bits and bag 0.1150.115Water bottle empty soda bottle when there xxxxx0.040Safety, security etc Combination Cable Lock - TSA Sea To Summit Cable 0.0460.046Caribiner 0.0060.006Emergency blanket 0.0500.050Headtorch Pretzl 0.0280.028Space Light Tread Lite Gear Ultralight Cuben Fiber Led camping lantern Hammock Trailstar 0.0080.008Compass 0.0490.049Whistle Howler 0.0060.006Gaffer tape 0.0200.020Technical gear Phone 0.154xxxxxxxxxxCamera Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350B Superzoom 0.164xxxxxxxxxxSD cards 3 spare card 0.021xxxxxxxxxxbinoculars Bushnell H2O 10x25 0.3020.302Binoculars Case Tread Lite special 0.0150.015 6.3304.125 To buy when there:- Knife 0.0300.0301/2 Pot Cleaning pad 0.0030.003Matches 0.0140.014Garbage Bag 0.0100.010Pencil / Paper 0.0100.010Rubber bands/pins/tape/needle & thread 0.0100.010Small sunscreen 0.0500.050Soap/shampoo 0.0500.050Lip balm 0.0100.010Insect repellant 0.0500.050Hand sanitiser 0.0500.050Toilet Paper xxxxx0.050Ibuprofen 0.0100.010Paracetamol 0.0100.010Travel sick pills 0.0100.010Antiseptic cream 0.0200.020Tummy upset liquid "bisphemol" 0.030xxxxx 4.512 Stove fuel Gas or meths 0.500Food for 3 daytake extra!!! 4xmains, 4xbreakfasts, 4xlunch, snacks & nuts x2 2.000Snacks for trail 0.200Water flavour 0.080 6.6977.292 PIP Wear weightTravel Pack wt (kg)Trek Pack Wt (kg)Carry Gear Back Pack Lowe Alpine Vector 30 0.642xxxxxDay Pack The Friendly Swede 25L Ultralight Packable Daypack
0.2130.213Raincover Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover 0.0620.062Sit Mat 0.0130.013Standard Clothing - head to toe Buff Buff UV / Insect repellant 0.041xxxxxxxxxxBuff Cap Buff UV Cap 0.036xxxxxxxxxxLight scarf wardrobe - Purple lacy 0.065xxxxxBras 2wardrobe 0.0580.058xxxxxT shirts Rab Technical Tee 62gm each 0.0620.062T-shirt Peter Storm - Purple 0.110xxxxxxxxxxT-shirt wardrobe - Flourescent orange 0.081xxxxxT-shirt wardrobe - flourescent green 0.108xxxxxSleeveless T-shirt IsoCool - Purple 0.0700.070Travel shirts – long sleeve 1Craghoppers Nosilife 0.203xxxxx'Dress' blouse wardrobe - 'Peacock' flowery 0.057xxxxxTop wardrobe - New pale blue top/over top 0.183xxxxxFleece Element Shere Half Zip 0.197xxxxx0.197Underwear 4wardrobe - 15gm each0.0150.0770.015Swimwear 0.1600.160Skirt wardrobe - Blue/red flowers 0.140xxxxxCombi trousers wardrobe - Peter Storm0.374xxxxxxxxxxTrousers - lighter wardrobe - Peter Storm 0.257xxxxxFlowery trousers wardrobe 0.214xxxxxShorts wardrobe - apricot 0.208xxxxxSocksMerino?2Merino62gm 0.1200.062Socks Thin 0.027xxxxxxxxxxHut Socks wardrobe - Pink Knobbly (to throw) 0.0740.074Flight Socks 0.032xxxxx Ankle Supports 2x 23gm 0.046xxxxxFell Shoes Brooks P3 PureGrit 250gm per shoe 0.500xxxxxxxxxxSports sandals Merrell Select Grip 200gm per shoe 0.400xxxxxWeather Gear - Top to Bottom Baselayer top North Ridge Merino Wool Long Sleeve 0.2000.200Thermal vest Wardrobe 0.0500.050Gloves wardrobe - Black fluffy 0.0330.033Waterproof top Mountain Gear Ghost Lite Jacket 0.0990.099Baselayer legs Wardrobe - Ski thermals - P Storm 0.1430.143Waterproof Over-Trousers Go Outdoors Hi Gear 0.1450.145Mosquito head net Sea to Summit Nano Mosquito Headnet 0.0130.013Quilted Puffy Jacket Wardrobe 0.382 0.382Sleep Gear Sleeping Bag Alpkit PipeDream 250 0.6000.600Sleeping bag stuff sac Granite Geat 5L 0.0170.017Sleeping Bag Liner Nod-Pod Silk 0.1080.108Eye Shades (for sleeeping) 0.0050.005Ear Plugs (for sleeping) 0.0050.005Personal Gear Glasses 0.025xxxxxxxxxxGlasses Strap 0.006xxxxxSpare Glasses 0.1500.025Optical Swim Goggles 0.056xxxxxHygiene etc MiniTowel 0.025xxxxxMake up 0.1000.050Cooking etc Mug MSR 400ml Titanium Mug 0.0550.050Water bottle xxxxx0.040Safety, security etc Combination Cable Lock - TSA Sea To Summit Cable 0.0460.046Caribiner 0.0070.007Emergency blanket 0.0500.050Headtorch 0.0280.028Medicines 0.185 Technical gear Brick 0.291xxxxxSpare batteries Spare phone batteries x2 0.070xxxxxPhone charge cable 0.032xxxxxUniversal plug 0.118xxxxxTravel alarm clock 0.0420.042Spare batteries 4 spare camera batteries 0.0920.092Camera Charge Cable 0.019xxxxx 6.3033.024 Handbag Neck Pouch 0.060 Tablet 0.714 Passports Aus Dollars NZ Dollars Abu Dhabi Rhiads USA Dollars Canadian Dollars Wallet TravelVenture RFID 0.056xxxxxxxxxxDebit / credit cards Driving licence DVLA Info incl NI numbers for both of us Passport Photos Copies of passport & e-mail too - and USB stick with info on Vaccination card??? Money belt?? Jewellery Prescription & inhalers Guidebooks Paperwork incl Air Tickets Shop when there list Rice Knife/fork/spoon x2 Bleach Sea sick tabs Pasta Tea spoons Wash up liquid Sun screen Cook-in sauces - dry Plate / bowl x 2 Clothes wash liquid After sun Salt / pepper Mixing bowl - salads etc J cloths Paracetomol etc Tomato Puree Kitchen knife Squeegie / scrub Tummy upset liq Tinned - beans Bread knife Kitchen paper Anthisan Tinned - tomatoes Bread board Toilet paper Anti histamine Tinned - soup Mug x 2 Bucket / lid Lip balm Olive oil Teapot Towels Hand sanitiser Balsamic vinegar Cafittiere Tin / bottle opener Antiseptic cream Butter Kettle Torches Squash Wooden spoon 'garden' knife Insect repellant Cheddar Spatula String Feta Whisk Garbage bags Final 1st aid kit Chocolate - instant Cook pot / fry pan Needle, thread etc Scissors Coffee - instant Tea towel Matches Tweezers Coffee - ground Plastic store box x 2 Car window cloth Safety pins Tea Large spoon Wash up bowl Antiseptic wipes Potatoes Picnic blanket Veg Plastic tablecloth Fruit Herbs Spices Cook oil Lemon juice Ketchup
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