I'm now back at university after the Easter holidays and those dreaded end of year assessments, or exams for most, are looming. I would be quite happy now for it to simply be the summer holidays! I don't actually start my lessons again until Wednesday but the usual uni adulthood has once again dawned on me - time to figure out what to cook for tea. Not only that but it's my last few days of being a teenager! Thursday is my birthday and I'm still shocked at how I shall be turning 20 years old! I still feel 18! I suppose what I keep on reminding myself that it means I'm a few days closer to going on holiday and a few years closer to being able to properly travel the world. My parents let me know they would just be giving me money for my birthday since they didn't know what to get me this year. I haven't exactly been at home much for me to be able to hint at things. Originally it was supposed to be a bunch of things for climbing Kilimanjaro in August but we've decided to hold back on that just in case the trip doesn't happen (eg. I don't raise enough money - please sponsor me!). I suggested just getting me a few little bits that I would be able to use for the Kili trip but also on my planned Around the World trip few in a few years time. It will all come in handy sooner or later, probably even for our Dominican Republic holiday. Which got me thinking, what do I need? What would I actually like for my travelling? Well, that's what this post is for... It's basically a backpackers birthday wishlist!
(These are in no particular order.)
1. Stay Safe
It seems little and maybe daft to some but eventually at some point when you're travelling or trekking, a head torch will come in handy. It is on the list for Kilimanjaro and after watching a few 'What to pack when backpacking' videos, it seems like it's an essential piece of equipment. I've had a few before now but they've been really cheap and nasty ones from places like B&Ms or HomeBargains. Those are fine for jobs at home but if I want it to survive, a little bit more money is definitely going to need to be spent. Although, not too much! Something a bit like the Coleman CH10 Headtorch would be good as it is battery powered and has five different modes making it appropriate for camping, climbing or general outdoors use as it says online. Plus, it's on offer at the moment! If not this one, then something similar! Having a head torch can keep you safer for obvious reasons in the dark but having a card guard in countries you're not used to, and your own, would give your money that added security, as well as a combination lock to keep your things locked up when you're at a hostel.
2. Water Bladder/Bottle
Of course we all know how important it is to stay hydrated when travelling, especially in hotter countries when you're walking around exploring all day. It can get a bit annoying carrying a bottle or having to constantly get it out of your bag when you want a drink so most hikers, walkers, etc. will get a water bladder. This simply goes in your back pack and has a straw for you to drink from whenever you're thirsty. For Kili we've been advised to have 3L on us which can be split up between your main bag and your day bag. Perhaps a water bladder for the day bag so the water is easily accessible and then a bottle for the main bag. A bottle with a handle makes it easy to attach it to the outside of your bag just in case it won't fit inside. Again, making it easier to get to.
3. Easy packing
I've had a small stock of packing cubes for years and never known what to do with them so I think I began throwing them out, typical when I could do with them now! They are good to easily organise all you bits and pieces making it easier to get out exactly what you need without messing everything else up. Travel towel are essential as they save you from carrying round a large bath towel that takes forever to dry. Microfibre towels fold up into a small pouch, are quick dry, and extremely light weight. Perfect for travelling as you only need to take one! For what they are, the price isn't bad either.
|Coleman CH10 Headtorch - |
4. Sleep Well
Some hostels are notoriously loud and if you're sleeping outside, who knows what noises the wildlife may be making, so it's best to take some ear plugs to help you get as much as a peaceful sleep as you can. I did consider putting a travel neck pillow on the list but I'm fussy. That said, I would love one that I can just attach to the back of my backpack and use it when it's needed. I like those ones that you wear like a snood and you can rest your head in any direction but I'm not too sure just yet, we'll see. An eye mask would be good too but I need to see the light otherwise I probably would get up in the morning!
5. Camera Equipment
Edmond and I are lovers of photography and filmography so the ultimate goal is to be able to make travel documentaries and vlogs of our trips. I have a DSLR and we recently bought a Rode microphone for better quality videos and sound. I also have GoPro Hero3 and, after my selfie sticks disintegrated in the sea on our last holiday, I've just bought a Spivo Stick which I'm really excited to try out (I'll most likely do a review after Dom Rep). Between myself and Edmond, we are accumulating a pretty good collection of filming and photography equipment ready to use abroad. What we need next is a way of carrying that all round in a day bag. I have been doing some research and I found the YuHan Oxford Photography Travel Backpack which I absolutely love the look of. It's a bit on the expensive side at £49.99 but for what it is, I would say it's worth it (as long as it is actually that good in real life). It opens from the back for added security and you can rearrange all the pockets to fit your equipment in safely. There's also enough room for everything else you need in a day bag! When looking into a new monopod, I also found this 3 Way Adjustable Arm Grip Tripod/Monopod which I would love since it can be a monopod and a tripod. Handy! Some spare batteries and memory cards would help too (or a little travel size laptop that I can transfer them onto easily)!
For now that's just about it. Maybe I will get some birthday money and I can buy a few bits and pieces. However if I need to keep up the fundraising otherwise I won't be going to Tanzania at all! Can't wait to start doing my shopping for it though! Bring on summer 2017!
What's on your travel wishlist?
- KC xx
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