Planning a weekend camping trip with a young child (or more than one) can be a real challenge, as we know. So when we set out to take a multiple-month road trip across the country, our tripathalas (the region of the brain devoted to travel) went into overdrive for several weeks. How can we possibly do this? We can’t just take a tent and some toys! We actually have to keep another human being alive!
Despite the sense of wonder and adventure associated with a trek through the Himalayas, the journey does not have to be as rough as you would think. Surprisingly, trekking in Nepal does not have to involve any camping. Due to the frequency of small villages and “tea houses” along many popular hiking paths, most visitors and trekkers stay the night in small hotels or guest houses which provide a comfortable stay, meals, and even toilets.
So, if we’re not camping, then what do we need? Some basic outdoor equipment is necessary, as are good shoes and clothing for multiple climates. We’re talking about the Himalayas, where high altitudes can mean cold weather and rain (but not always). Food and water are also readily available, but a reusable water bottle and water purifiers can save you some cash along the way, too.
I asked a group of experienced travelers how to go about packing for a trip. When I reached out to this intrepid group of travelers for their advice, one key theme emerged: take only what you really need. Also, I asked them about the common concept of “packing light.” I asked these travelers if they pack light, and most said they do, but many still struggle with the concept. So how do we pack light and what does that really mean? What have these expert travelers learned over the years, and how can we benefit from their advice?
Now that we’re about one week into our trip to China and Mongolia, we’ve ventured beyond Beijing, our first destination. For this two month trip, we’ve packed as lightly as possible. Instead of each of us taking our normal packs (around 80 liters in size) and also carrying additional smaller packs, we’re only carrying one medium sized pack (about 35 liters) and smaller backpacks. Also, one of the smaller bags is a camera/laptop bag.
Going on a long term trip, for multiple months, or even a year? When we planned our first multi-month adventure, our friends and family kept asking us “how do you pack for a trip like that?” Our answer: “Well… uh… I have no idea!”
Now that we’ve done it a few times, we know how to answer that question. And we’re not the only ones. We’ve assembled some of the best packing list items and advice from people who have actually survived their trips.
In 2009, we spent 11 months traveling through Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. We want you to learn from our experience, so we put together a trip planning guide: How To Plan A Trip Around The World. We cover everything from budgeting to packing, route planning to insurance, safety to vaccinations, and visas to round-the-world plane tickets. Combining our first hand experience with tips and resources from other travelers, we leave no stone unturned.