By now I’m already for about 6 weeks on the go – though it feels more like 3 months with all the things I have experienced so far! I went through most of the world’s climate zones, been to big cites, mountains and beaches. I slept with dozens of people in dorm rooms, went couch surfing on actual couches and in private rooms. Six flights behind me, as well as many hours on the bus and thousands of kilometers in small and even smaller rental cars. I am constantly packing and re-packing most of the contents of my two backpacks – just to cram everything back in a day or two later.
That poses the question: Do I really use all the stuff I am carrying around? Am I still sticking to my rolling-zip-lock way? What do I miss?
First of all: Yes, I have worn all the cloths at least once! But some of them just once – thus I could have probably survived without them. Some items on the other hand, I am using or wearing practically every day. My micro-fabric super light jacket or my fast drying and still wind-proof pants and some of those. Yes, even on Hawaii I have worn both yet. Also the Merino wool shirt was for sure not the last one I will have bought. Later more on to why exactly. Another perfect deal was – as you could have probably already seen – my camera. For me it’s the perfect compromise of a small size and still really good pictures. I never would want to carry around a big DSLR – though there are quite a few backpackers doing that. Also on my top list are my ear plugs (though they are a must anyway if you going to stay in hostels), as well as the sleeping mask. So far there was probably only one hostel room which was not brightly lit up at sunrise.
Back to the t-shirts and hence to items I could have spared so far: When hiking back home or in the Alps, I am a big fan of micro-fabric shirts. Light weight and fast drying. But for backpacking those are just not practical! You don’t want to (or just as often cannot) wash every day. But without doing so, you cannot go anyway near them the next day. Merino wool – or just plain cotton – on the other hand and quite tolerant even on the third day. Especially here on Hawaii where everyone is constantly sweating an important factor 🙂 Another item I only used once are my big hiking boots. What, me and not wearing hiking boots? Well yes, since what around the world is commonly called a “hike” are mostly just extended walks in my eyes 😀 And for those my normal shoes are just as perfect as for wandering around any big city. But NZ is still coming, so I still expect to put the boots to their use!
So what did I miss so far? Nothing really! I just bought another cheap t-shirt (cotton – see above). The decision to not bring my iPhone was a bummer, though. If you buy a cheap plastic-phone, well, that’s just what you get… So now I should probably try to find some repair shop, otherwise this phone might not do the RTW trip in the end.
Last question: Do I still roll and zip-lock all my stuff? Yep, definitely! It might not save as much space anymore as in the beginning since most of the bags are not really completely sealed anymore. But especially to maintain at least some order in the big pack, this method proved absolutely helpful.
As I expected, it is a bit of a hassle when I have to carry both backpacks from A to B. But so far only in Revelstoke I had to walk for about half an hour straight – and it’s good training after all 🙂
PS: One more very useful “item” turned out to be the plastic-Nutella-glass I bought somewhere in Canada which is only now about to get empty. It helped with dry pancakes as well as some easy made toast when some hostels did not offer any breakfast. And it’s never a bad idea to have some piece of home with you 🙂