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.
Okay, 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 ($, €)
Paperwork (flight details, insurance numbers, …)
Rehydration premixture sachet
Zinc oxide tape
All purpose liquid soap
Water purification tablets
Anti-bacterial/anti-viral alcohol hand wash
Insect repellent (50%DEET)
Sun cream, high factor
Shaving oil (less bulky than cream)
Don’t leave without items
Water filtration kit
ziplock bags/bin bags (cheap waterproofing)
Mobile phone and charger
Candles in greaseproof paper
2x Pens, 1 pencil
Sewing kit (a free hotel one is perfect)
Eating, sleeping, (and carrying)
Camping stove + solid fuel
Sleeping bag liner
Impregnated mosquito net
1 pair other shoes
3x pairs of socks
warm top/baselayer top