Wednesday, 14 March 2012


So - just one week to go, and then I'm off again. A few people have asked what I take with me - so this is for them.

Remember - this lot is not going in a wheely case, but in a rucksack that I have to carry. And I'm no muscle man. So I have to travel light.


  • I must take is a comprehensive the first aid kit, plus medications (as those of you who've read the book might guess, I need to pop a pill regularly). Immodium and rehydration sachets - you know why. Antibiotics - I know these are often easily available, but if you have them with you, then you can be sure what you are taking. And being ill up a mountain is no fun. I know, it's a pain, lugging plasters and antiseptic wipes everywhere. But it's not fun, stuck up a mountain with a blood running down your leg and only and old tissue to mop it up with.
  • Things I need to keep clean. Forget fancy shower gels and bubble baths. You need soap - most places provide it, but if there's any chance you'll be somewhere obscure it's worth having a small soap with you. Plus whatever you need to keep your teeth and hair clean. Travel wash? possibly - though I have found walking on my washing in the shower when I wash my hair is generally effective.
  • Miscellaneous bits - like water purifiers; universal plug; swiss army knife. And a small fleece blanket, that is probably designed for a dog bed; it's very light to carry and has kept me warm on many a chilly night. Sarong - to cover sheets when you aren't too sure ...
  • Clothes. My idea of minimum is probably not the same as yours. Almost everyone I met when I was travelling left home with too much and left some in hotel rooms. So even though I can tell you that three pairs of jeans and three skirts is quite unnecessary some people will still need to learn the hard way. So be it - and those who find your leavings probably need them much more than you do. Clothes take up less than half of the space in my rucksack.
  • Mobile phone.
  • Insurance, passport, tickets, money - all that stuff. And again I'll say insurance - I know it's boring, and expensive, and you hope you'll never need it. But if you do, then you'll know why it's worth every penny.
Then there are extras, if I have room.
  • For the long trip, I took a short-wave radio, to listen to the World Service. Reception was often crackly, but I wanted the connection with home.
  • For this trip, I'll take a small laptop. It is a luxury - I can live without it and use internet cafes. But it will be useful if I'm anywhere it's unsafe for a woman to go out in the evenings. (I'm not expecting that in Nepal these days.)
  • Books - I have one book of Nepali short stories (not available as an ebook) and my loaded Kindle. Plus a Lonely Planet (actually that is probably essential).
  • Camera, notebooks and pens (these are probably essential too!)
And that is all. Does it look a lot? Probably, listed like that. But once you unpick it, there's not much here. And this is all I need. And one of the biggest lessons of the long trip was just how little clobber I really need.

What do you think I've left out?


  1. Note to self - toilet paper!

  2. Note to mother - don't forget presents! You pretty much always carry something for somebody (unless you are going to Devon to look at the sea) and after I nearly ended up paying for the last lot you had better not forget them!

  3. Note to daughter - am duly chastised. Presents are with the heap on the bed, ready to for the rucksack.

  4. Note to mother - if you can't decide what preposition a word takes, look it up rather than just writing down both options - it reads better.

  5. Note to daughter - sometimes mothers make mistakes. If only this were the worst thing I've ever done ...

  6. Note to both of you - I love your double act :-)

  7. note to Sarah - thank you (from us both)

  8. Books? You forgot to mention books to read...enjoy your trip!

  9. Good to see you here, DJ (I think you are Diane?)

    I think I mentioned books in my 'extras' list - a book of Nepali short stories and my precious Kindle - loaded with plenty of Asian writing.