What To Pack For A RTW Trip

Did you ever play that game, ‘if you were stranded on a desert island, what is the one thing you would want to have with you?’ Well packing for a RTW trip is a bit like that.  I want to pack as light as possible, remember I’m carrying it all on my back.  I’ve been thinking about this for months, and will likely have another couple of months to consider it before i finally board that plane. 
First on the list is getting a new backpack.  The one I have now i took with me to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It’s sturdy and has good volume (plus a bonus pouch for a camelbak and drinking tube) but the big drawback is its inaccessability.  Its top loaded and doesn’t have any other access, so inevitably the one thing I needed was always at the bottom of the bag and I ended up pulling everything out and then cramming it back in again.  I want to be a little more organized this time. 
There are some things I have determined to be must haves. (and again this is after trekking through Africa.  I’m sure my time in India will be under similiar conditions.)
 – I found these great little handsoap sheets that melt when you add water and they come in little packages and take up very little room.  Also hand-i-wipes come in handy .       I liked my lightweight microfibre quick dry towel.  It really worked and didn’t get stinky.  You really do appreciate the ability to freshen up and wipe some of the road grime off you while backpacking.  I bought a new one, along with a cooling towel… it stays cool even in intense heat… you just shake it to reactivate.
Toilet paper is a MUST have on the road, because you won`t find it in very many places.  I found these small package dipensers but they don`t have the roll so it’s very compact. 
A couple of large safety pins are handy to make repairs on the road.  Duct tape is also very handy and works for just about anything.  I plan to bring several ziplock plastic bags in various sizes. 
I have a couple of small flashlights (or torches) that I plan to bring with me.  Electricity is unreliable just about everywhere in the world, so they will come in handy.  I`m not sure if I will bring the headlamp… it’s small and handy for those late night latrine runs (especially when faced with one of those squat type toilets).   I just learned about something called Flaresafe , a combined smoke detector and flashlight, that sounds like an extra measure of safety, I’ll have to investigate.
I think I’m going to pass on the Swiss Army knife or Leatherman Micra .  They just create too much trouble at the airport.  I’m not willing to check my one small bag because i have a pocket knife inside.
I can’t forget a notepad and extra pens (what kind of writer would I be?)… eventhough I will be bringing a computer with me.  I haven’t decided about whether to buy a new laptop or notebook.  They both have pros and cons, but I will be bringing one or the other. It`s amazing how much of your life you can store on your computer.  (just be sure there`s nothing that you wouldn`t hate to fall into the wrong hands if you lost your computer.)  I`m going to look into a simple laptop lock as well.   
I will definately bring ear-plugs with me… probably a pillowcase and a light thin silk sleeping bag liner.  
Of course my digital camera is the MUST have item and my pocket tripod.  Again I’m thinking of trading my camera in for something more compact, but one that takes good pictures.  I’ve been a fan of the Sony Cybershot for years, and will look at what’s new.  I always bring extra rechargable batteries and  a charger plus a big memory card and the cords to transfer photos to my computer.  And I don`t travel without my Flip video camera … it plugs directly into the computer with a built in usb.  
I have a small first aid kit, and just got a new one but it has safety scissors included which I might have to lose for airport security. It has the basics, bandaids, medications, but also antihistamines and something to soothe insect bites. It also has a small first aid guide included which is a must have in an emergency. 

I wondered which jacket I should take with me… a rain jacket or a light jacket or both… well I found this jacket through Scott-E-Vest that is their Tropical Jacket… sleeves zip off, waterproof, lightweight and airy, also it has 18 pockets for everything from a pocket for your keys to one that fits an iPad.

Don`t forget some underwear, quick dry t-shirts,  swim shorts, hiking shorts (better than those zip offs), a pair of khaki cargo pants, some socks, sneakers, extra reading glasses (for those over 40).  
Don`t forget to make copies of your passport, credit card numbers and emergency numbers… then email them to yourself so you can always access them.  
If nothing else don`t leave home without your passport and credit card (s)… the rest is just stuff you can pick up along the way.

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