Everyone needs a good kit list

It’s close enough to my next expedition to be worrying about whether all my kit will fit into the 25 litre backpack I intend on using. So for all the adventure purists out there, or those thinking of planning an expedition in the future, below you’ll find a hopefully handy list of the kit I’ll be taking on Mahaweli Challenge.

P1030516Okay, so there’s a suitcase in addition to my 25L backpack, but that’s for the kayak

The list hasn’t changed much from what I carried during Encircle Africa – always aiming to use multi-functional kit that is useful in more than one scenario or climate. Even along Sri Lanka’s Mahaweli river the climate varies between cool tea-growing hills, hot plains, and jungle. My must have (and mustn’t have) items have remained pretty much the same since Encircle Africa too.

This is in no way meant to be a definitive all-inclusive list: I don’t take any sort of mp3 player, since I can’t be bothered to unknot the headphones each time I want to use them, but carrying one would be a must for many. Likewise, most people won’t need a suit to attend a wedding, nor necessarily a kayak and all the extra kit that comes with it.

Even if you don’t consider yourself or your travels adventurous, I think there are items on this list that makes holidaying just that little bit easier and more homely (like taking a sink plug to be able to shave more easily).

Though I am to write about how to pay for an adventure another time, I will say this: my kit list is long, but hasn’t broken the bank. I’ve built it up over several years of travelling, and the majority of what I take is standard everyday kit; very little is specialist. My tent, rollmat and clothing are all regular off the shelf items. I bought my inflatable pillow, and a lot more besides, from a pound store.

The necessary boring stuff
Passport and visa
Cash ($, €)
Credit/debit card
Guidebook/maps
Paperwork (flight details, insurance numbers, …)

Kayak equipment
Boat
Paddles
Pump
Carry trolley
Buoyancy aids

Medical kit
Antihistamine tablets
Medical Thermometer
Decongestant tablets
Rehydration premixture sachet
Zinc oxide tape
All purpose liquid soap
Water purification tablets
Ibrupofen
Anti-diarrhoea tablets
Bandage/dressing
Plasters/steristrips
Anti-bacterial/anti-viral alcohol hand wash
Insect repellent (50%DEET)
Antiseptic spray
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Toothbrush guard
Sun cream, high factor
Razors (disposable)
Shaving oil (less bulky than cream)
Nail scissors
Deodorant
Hand mirror
Boxed tissue

Don’t leave without items
Water filtration kit
ziplock bags/bin bags (cheap waterproofing)
Mobile phone and charger
Watch
Folk/spoon/knife
Candles in greaseproof paper
head torch/batteries
Gaffa/duct Tape
Chord/string
Pen knife
Sunglasses
2x Pens, 1 pencil
Notebook
Gluestick
Plug adapter
Compass
Sewing kit (a free hotel one is perfect)
Camera
Matches
Lighter
Bungee chord

Eating, sleeping, (and carrying)
Rucksack (25L)
Day bag
2-man tent
Inflatable rollmat
Inflatable pillow
Camping stove + solid fuel
Mess tin
Sleeping bag liner
Impregnated mosquito net
Cleaning sponge

Clothing
Jelly shoes
Travel towel
Disposable poncho
1 pair other shoes
Swimming costume
3x shirts
3x pairs of socks
3x pants
1x trousers
1x shorts
sun hat
belt
warm top/baselayer top

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