Friday, March 5, 2010

How to cram 18 days into a backpack.

While planning this trip, I found numerous blogs and websites over what backpackers pack while traveling overseas. I was amazed at how some people lived comfortably out of their backpacks for more than a year. This trip is only 18 days, but it's been a lot of fun organizing our gear. Everything is being carried ON the plane. No checking baggage!

To keep our clothes clean and organized, I sewed a garment bag, toiletry bag, and gadget bag. The toiletry bag is lined inside with a ziplock freezer bag to prevent leakage from shampoo, cosmetics, toothpastes, and other items.

First aid kit consists of everything I'd need for scrapes, sprains, fevers, Pharaoh's revenge, allergies, sunscreen, antibacterial hand lotions, and indigestion. Antibiotics can be purchased over the counter in Egypt.
Although many of the hostels provide linen, I went ahead and invested in our own antibacterial camping towels in case they didn't. These towels not only dry fast, but hold 10 times their weight in water, and never mold. They're compact and have their own case.
Many hostels provide a washer and dryer. But many backpackers choose to handwash in their bathroom sinks. I choose to do both. Whichever is convenient and quickest at the moment.

With the goal that we were only bringing what we can fit in our backpacks, we had to choose wisely our gear.

After 6 months of planning, this is what we agreed to bring for our trip to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. Keeping in mind we're mingling with Muslims, holy sites, hiking, and sightseeing.

(Counting what we're wearing)
2 long skirts
6 shirts
1 slacks
1 sandals (shower shoes)
Hiking boots
7 pairs of socks
8 pairs of underwear
4 sports bras
1 pantaloon
1 pajama top/bottom
1 pair of shorts (modest swimming)
1 jacket


Mini Laptop
Mp3 player
books (recreational)
Lonely Planet guidebook (middle east)
book light
copies of passports
trash bag (in case it rained to protect backpack)
extra ziplock bags
fleece blanket
Day purse

I'm sure there's probably many more things I'm forgetting to list, and whatever we forget, can be purchased in Egypt.

We leave tomorrow, with a layover the following day in Germany. We arrive in Cairo on Sunday evening.
I'll update after we get settled.
If you're on my Facebook, I do periodic updates there as well.
~ See ya then! ...