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Travel ::

Many graduates prefer to take a year out before getting a career based job. The most popular way to spend this time is Traveling.  Backpacking is a common  way to do this. There is no doubt that It is a great way to see the world and meet different people- but there are tips to consider and things to look out for.

Travelling on a Budget

Kit Advice

Tips and Tricks for Backpacking..

  • All recent tents use fibreglass poles (or equivalent). These can be separated from the rest of the tent, and strapped onto the outside of your rucksack. When travelling in remote areas, remember to carry a spare pole section and elastic. In an emergency, use micro pore tape to strap up those splintered poles
  • Take a pair of fold-up pliers. This is one thing many people forget. Not only do they come in useful for un-bending tent pegs, but also minor boot and rucksack repairs, and a torture device when your companion does not do his share of the washing-u
  • Wear two pairs of socks. By using a thin synthetic pair of socks under your usual Coolmax pair, you will reduce the friction at hot-points and allow socks to be worn for longer!
  • Layer-up!! Too many people wear hundreds of pullovers to keep warm. Unfortunately this just aids sweating, which in turn causes cooling - oh dear! The best policy is to wear a thin wicking layer next to the skin to drive away the moisture. Thermal T-shirts are ideal (not cotton!). Next an adjustable insulation layer is needed for warmth. A fleece is ideal. The top layer should be waterproof, windproof and breathable - the classic waterproof/Gore-Tex jacket. by wearing these three layers, each can be adjusted. When the rain is pouring down, but you seem to be a little sweaty, unzipping the fleece will not affect your ability to keep out water :-)
  • Waterproof your matches. You can buy storm-proof matches, but in our opinion, these are seem create a lot of smoke, and smell awful! The best idea is to dip your matches in wax. This keeps them waterproof and helps them burn. Alternatively a flint and steel works wonders!
  • Use a Sigg Bottle to keep you warm! Not only to Sigg bottles keep fluids from leaking, they keep them warm/cold at your desire. Pop one in your sleeping bag full of warm water, and the chill factor of a cold sleeping bag is soon reduced.
  • If you buy one piece of equipment, buy a Platypus or Camelbak. These 'water bladders' come complete with a hose and nipple that can be attached to your rucksack. It's amazing how much more you drink with one of these things (that's good by the way!). Watch out for those who don't have their own - they tend to ask for a 'suck of your nipple'
  • Don't rely on Camping-Gaz or Coleman fuel in foreign countries. If you can, buy a duel-fuel stove that will accept the above plus unleaded fuel. If the worst comes to the worst, some will even run of the local spirits



 3 pairs of comfortable underwear
 3 pairs of walking socks
 3 pairs of undersocks
 3 T-Shirts
 2 pairs of trousers (not jeans!)
 2 pairs of shorts (can double up as swimming shorts)
 Fleece
 Thermal T-shirt/layer
 Waterproof trousers (can be worn over shorts on hot days)
 Waterproof, windproof, breathable Jacket (with hood)
 Belt (webbing belts are lighter)
 Sunhat
 Long-sleeved shirt (for evenings when the mozzie's bite)
 Sweater


 Rucksack (no more than 90L)
 Day pack (30/35L - ish!)
 Stove (duel fuel?)
 Tent (share between packs)
 Fuel
 Penknife
 Small pliers
 Torch (Petzl are great)
 Sleeping bag (with cotton liner)
 Camera (and film, batteries, etc.)
 Soap
 Shampoo
 Shaving things
 Hair things
 Mirror (small!)
 Toothbrush/toothpaste
 E45 cream (good moisturiser)
 Glasses + prescription
 Sunglasses + case
 Towel (trek towels are very small and absorbent)
 Sewing/Repair kit
 Small combination lock (for pack/tent)
 Diary + Pen
 Pre-printed Address labels (saves you carrying addresses around for postcards)
 Passport
 Vaccination certificates
 Cash
 Travellers cheques/Visa/other card
 Student card
 Driver's license
 Plane Tickets
 Photocopies of all documentation (keep separately, or with embassy)
 Washing liquid/powder
 Pegs and washing line
 Alarm clock
 Suncream
 Lipsil


(Please include your own personal medication)
 Paracetamol
 Aspirin / Ibuprofen (avoid at altitude)
 Antihistamine tablets
 Eye drops
 Diarolyte (rehydration powder, add to all drinks when doing lots of activity)
 Inhalers
 Crepe Bandage
 Plasters (Band-Aids)
 Wound dressing
 Non-fluffy burns dressing
 Triangular bandage
 Sting/bite/itch cream
Keep thinking......!

The rest

 Reading book
 Small solar calculator
 Pens, etc.
 Playing cards
 Zip-lock, or waterproof sealable bags
 Stuff-sacks
 Small roll of Duck-Tape
 Big industrial bin-liners (for sleeping bag, clothes)
 Survival (bivvi) bag
 Candle
Happy Packing!



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