And The Answer Is Anyone's Guess
MY PACKING list has been shot down to size considerably since the decision to travel was made but even with the sawn-off list I still have a residual guilt that I'm packing too much heat.
Originally the adventure was envisioned as a camping experience (cheaper, enables more independent treks) but of course once you utter the word tent, your next thoughts are occupied with gas stoves, cooking utensils, food, sleeping bags, how much beer can be feasibly carried and other such essential items.
After checking some useful internet sites I gave up on the tent idea for South American - they can be rented, purchased, maybe even borrowed, or indeed shared. And in many countries I will be visiting, cheap accommodation is not much much more than the price of campsites. Add throw couchsurfing.com in to the mix and the tent idea has definitely flapped off in the wind.
The next item on the agenda was the backpack and I choose a Doite Sendero 60 litre. Meanwhile, against my advice, my girlfriend and travelling partner Lucia (my Peruvian Princess) opted for a similar but larger 75 litre pack. This may look slightly odd in macho America as she is a lot smaller and weaker than I am (only in the physical sense), but sexist I am not, so more power to you love! lol
As for the contents, it is shaping up something like this:
1 woolly Alpaca hat
1 sun hat
1 pair of sunglasses
1 plastic poncho
1 medium heavy fleece
1 long sleeved collared shirt
1 long sleeved thermal top and long johns
1 pair of gloves
2 pairs of long trousers (non-denim)
3 pairs of underpants
5 pairs of socks
1 pair of boots
1 pair of sandals
1 sleeping bag
1 tent (for Chile's Easter Island and the Atacama desert - expensive places and at the beginning of trip)
Plus essential hygiene items with thinking along the lines that a small bottle of shampoo is good for hair, body and clothes (although the Princess purchased large bottles of shampoo and hair conditioner the other day...well it is a work in progress).
Other items include first aid kit, a clothes line, a sewing kit, playing cards, strong tape, sunblock, factor 15 lip balm, toilet roll, bin liners, ziplock bags, spare bootlaces, batteries, LCD headlamp, camera, MP4 and a few other bits and pieces.
I'm fairly confident I am not too far wrong, and hell, we can buy more stuff en route or discard as needs be.
Roll on Easter Island.