Some of you have been asking me to put a kit list together, so here it is!
These are the items that I’d take on any non-specialist adventure.
I’ll run through them one item at a time, from top left to bottom right (like reading the lines of a book). This is not listing them in order of importance.
1. Instant noodles
I always have at least two packs with me. Just boil water and within a couple of minutes, they’re ready! They fill me up after a long day and they taste great.
2. Dry bags
I carry five; one red for dirty washing, three green for clothes and one spare.
3x sock pairs, 3x boxer shorts, 3x shirts, 1x trousers, 2x shorts. Underwear, I have one set on, one to be washed and one clean.
4. Hip flask
Holds a good amount of alcohol for when things are a bit overwhelming. It has calmed me more than once!
5. Paracord (wrapped around hip flask)
Strong enough to hold seven of me, it’s great for making repairs, securing things, hanging washing and more.
Obviously, I’m away from plug sockets most of the time. This item holds about 6 charges and keeps me in-contact, aware of my location and calm and happy with familiar TV shows and music.
I use a Thermarest Z-Lite. It is the most comfortable and heat-retaining mat I’ve ever found. More comfortable than some hostel beds and it only cost me $35.
8. Walking boots
Needed for wading through tall vegetation and for walking long distances, sometimes in the rain.
9. Army mug
Indestructable, cook or boil with it on a gas stove or over an open fire. It holds 0.75l and can be used as a cup, bowl or to hit tent pegs in with. $6 on eBay.
10. Army knife
Infinitely useful with multiple tools, whether it’s chopping food, trimming the moustace or scaling fish.
11. Gas bottle/Stove burner
Never question the morale-boosting power of a hot meal or cup of tea. $25 for both burner and bottle.
Protect the eyes and look stylish.
After all the walking, you need to air your feet. These are cheap and slip on and off.
14. One-person tent
I picked mine up for $15 in Kazakhstan. You could spend more but unless you’re willing to spend $800 and up, it will be more weight and size. All you need is protection from the elements and animals/insects.
To protect against dust, snow and pollution, to keep light out when sleeping, or to just look cool wrapped around your wrist. $1-$35
16. Sleeping bag
A summer-grade one is all you will need. If it is too cold, just put more clothes on; this was fine in -10° on the Pamir Highway. Winter ones will just take up a lot of space and weigh you down. I had a winter one at the start of my lap around the planet, but I never even zipped it up.
17. Down jacket
You’ll need this even in hot climates when the temperature drops suddenly. Down is best but synthetic works well too.
18. Bivvy bag
Sometimes, there’s no room for the tent. And when there is, it adds a waterproof layer to the sleeping bag, as well as 3-5° of heat.
19. Day bag
To carry water, phone, wallet and essentials when you’re stopped at a hostel or house. Mine cost me $4
Mental health is as important as physical and a good book is great for that. And it never runs out of battery.
21. Rain jacket
You need to be ready for the elements. You don’t need to spend a lot, just get something that will keep rain off you.
22. 60L Rubber dry bag
Some things can’t get wet like the sleeping bag and electronics. It lines my backpack and has been one of the most important items. Ortleib guarantees 100% waterproofability.
23. 65L Backpack
Invest in a good one, it will be your home for the trip. Lowe Alpine or Osprey are best. You’ll be using this item the most, so it should be comfortable and durable.
24. Microfibre towel
It drys me even when it is wet and air-dries quickly.
25. First-aid kit
Painkillers, wound dressings, wipes, disinfectant and more. You’ll need it more than you think.
26. 3-in-1 Coffee sachets
A cup of morning coffee is part of my routine and keeps me anchored, no matter what madness is going on around me.
27. Dental kit
I dont need to tell you the importance of dental hygeine. It’s also a morale booster.
28. Survival kit
Only needed this once in -3° Armenia when I left the rest of my kit behind and had to start a fire. You never know where you might end up when night falls.
Self-explanatory, used to hold visas and pass between borders. Your most important item. More important than a kidney, because you can lose one of those.
Like the coffee, a familiar cup of tea can lift your spirits.
Not pictured, but very important. Bring spare batteries too.
There were more items in the beginning of this trip and even more on my first ever adventure. Use this as a guide, but we all bring too much in the beginning. Avoid ‘just-in-case’ items and question ‘why’ you need each thing.