What’s in the Backpack?

by Jules on August 1, 2013

Fancy yourself as a bit of a daredevil?  You aren’t alone.  Extreme sports holidays are taking an ever increasing chunk of the holiday market.  Following a small downturn during the recession, more active holiday destinations are once again growing in demand.   As the tourist gets braver and the opportunities for adventure increase, so does the price tag.

For that reason, key customers typically fall into one of three relatively wealthy groups: single young professionals, active affluent families and over-50 adventure seekers.  Now that I find myself in my 40s, I’m nearer the more mature end of the market so I’d better get a move on if I want to join in with the active holiday trend.  I may no longer think of myself as a Lara Croft but I’d like to imagine that I could pass myself off as her slightly less mobile aunt!  With so many places that I want to see- many of them off the beaten track- it’s time for me to make plans.

So, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and starting off relatively sedately with a hike around Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.  But I’m doing it properly.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that it’s going to take a bit of time and a lot of expensive planning.

I have discovered that raising funds and devising a route is only a small part of my adventure.  With limited luggage, the difficulty is working out what I really need to bring with me.  The list (so far) contains:

  • Trekking trousers
  • Lightweight, long sleeved tops
  • T-shirts
  • Lightweight boots
  • Waterproof breathable jacket
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Water purification tablets/ drops
  • Camera
  • Swimming costume and towel
  • First aid kit
  • Sleeping bag and liner
  • Long-sleeved top/fleece
  • Socks and underwear
  • Thermal underwear
  • Toiletries
  • Bin liners
  • Wet wipes
  • Padlock

I’d also like to learn some key phrases in Khmer and Vietnamese.

As a bit of a beginner, one place where I’ve found a lot of advice is RV Ops Ltd.  Run by ex-servicemen, it supplies all of the clothing, equipment and advice that anyone could need for an adventure into the unknown.  What’s more, it is currently running a competition to get my hands on a £100 voucher, which will soften the blow of my kit bill somewhat.

Now, I just need to find a travelling companion…any volunteers?

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