But what do we have in our backpacks? Knowing that we are two we have common and personal equipment. Being two allows us to have more comfort equipment without having to cary everything on our own. Of course, we could have taking a donkey but since most of the drivers have allergies to donkeys’ hair we decided to do without.
We will give you as well the weights once we will have found a scale, and the reasons why we took all these items.
We took quite a few stuff to be like princes everywhere: portable speakers, coffee pot, etc. It is our choice, even if we decide at one point to leave these items somewhere between good hands.
Come on equipment! Euh no, common equipment
– A tent 2-people-2kg-tent: the Ferrino Nemesis 2. We enjoy the little awnings on each side allowing to leave some equipment outside and to have enough space inside for our big muscles. A good quality/weigh ratio that Rémi carries since a few years already and that had time to prove itself in many situations.
– A moskito-net. We wanted to buy it in Africa but since Rémi’s mother managed somehow to impose it to us before leaving we have to carry it. Like if our backpacks were not heavy enough, thanks maman!
– A wood-cooker from the brand Biolite, it is a bit high-tech, thanks to Santa Claus 2013. It uses the Peltier effect that creates energy thanks to the eat, and will turn on a fan making the cooker super efficient. You can as well charge a phone, a MP3-player or anything that has usb charging.
– A mokka coffee pot. Imagine the situation: you hitchhiked all day, you slept in a shi..y place, you know that another tough day is ahead of you. You can either wake up and hitchhike. Or you can wake up, prepare a nice and smooth coffee, and then leave. This is why it is a necessity.
– A computer: Rémi works regularly as a web developer on computer and thus needs it. It is as well handy to keep up with the blog, get information about the next cities, find hosts, send an email to your cat. But of course you can perfectly do without.
– A portable speaker: we chose Jabra Solemate, 8h of music according to the seller, good sound and resistant. A bit heavy maybe, but it is so nice to be in the middle of a wonderful natural place and to cover the birds’ songs by a nice reggae sound.
– A small and light MP3-player, cheap and reading SD-cards: so finally we have two times 16Go of music, each one of us our sounds in spite of similar tastes!
– A microphone to record fun stuff while waiting for a car in the middle of the desert. Not really used until here!
– A food bag and a box full of spices and herbs found on the market or in the nature. We try to always have a bit of rice or lentils with us.
– A flask with a bit of alcool for the tough times! At our start from Grenoble it was full of Chartreuse of course.
More or less what we have, variating a bit between Arthur and Rémi depending on their taste.
Bags and boxes
– 1 big bag (Gregory Baltoro 65l): all the non-important stuff. This bag goes in the baggage compartment and in the trunk of the cars.
– 1 small bag (Salewa Peak 28l for Arthur, Quechua Forclaz 22 Air for Rémi): You know the expression, you should always put all your eggs in one basket. This bag has all our important stuff (passport, camera, computer,…), we always keep an eye on it and next to us.
– Several cloth-bags: for t-shirts, for underwear and for dirty clothes.
– A bum bag: ok, it doesn’t look cool said like this, but a thin bum bag that you can easily slide under your t-shirt it is really nice. Well, this is according to Arthur, but Rémi did not dare yet to go for it.
– A passport-size bag with possibility of hanging it to your belt between your pants and your leg. And it protects the passport from too fast deterioration.
– Waterproof bags: for computer, cameras and so on.
– Several plastic bags, metal and plastic boxes (like cigar or beauty cream boxes). To put in order all small objects, from the SD-card to the nail clipper.
– 1 baggie full of dried lavender sewed by our mummies that we cherish and that we love. Super cool to put in your clean clothes to give a nice smell.
– 1 jumper/semi-winter jacket
– 4 t-shirts, 1 shirt for all classy moments or when it is really hot, 5 pairs of socks, 5 underwear.
– 1 jeans, 1/2 shorts
– 1 american cap to be capitalist-friendly, or a multi-function “cheich” taliban style that can also be used as towel or scarf.
– For Rémi an owl hat, for Arthur a chick hat (used as speaker protection at the same time).
– 1 rain jacket
– 1 belt with inner zip to hide money as we carry quite a lot of cash. Thank you Rémi’s mam for this present.
– Shoes : flip-flops, city shoes and wandering shoes
– Sleeping bag comfort 5º, limit 0º: Rémi has a Quechua S5Light (about 60€) and Arthur a Millet Baikal 1100 (90€). Both of them in synthetic fabric because they are easier to wash and more resisting to humidity as the down ones made out of real feathers.
– A sleeping sheet: cool when it is too hot and you don’t have to wash your sleeping bag too often. The drying time can be very long and too regular washings make the sleeping bag lose its isolating capacities.
– A pillow cover: you put your jumper inside and you get an enjoyable pillow.
– A mat: especially for cold areas, the mat makes a great difference to isolate from the ground. An excellent sleeping bag without any isolation gives a pretty bad result. Other than that we use it sit down for a while if we don’t want to sit right on the floor.
– A survival blanket: we chose an good one, about 25€, not the unique-use ones. This one is very resistant and has eyelets, small holes, in every corner to be used as a shelter if needed.
Food food food
– A cooking pot with fork and spoon: we are more the stainless metal type than the aluminium-one
– A plastic cup like the ones you get in festivals
– A knife (less than 10€): Opinel nº8 or 9 in carbon. The carbon is easier to sharpen and more solid than stainless steel, but careful for rust!
– Bottle: plastic or old school metal, make your choice.
– Several things: a tea-ball, small black camera roll boxes, lighter and spare lighter, some matches with only the side of the box, etc.
– 2 usb entry sector charger (less than 10€): 1,5 ampere + 2 amperes for quick charges if needed. Nowadays a great deal of chargers and cables are to be found with usb ending.
– 2 usb entry cigaret lighter (same, less than 10€): to charge in the cars while hitchhiking.
– 1 external hard drive (about 70-80€): each of us has one and we regularly transfer our data in case of loss or destroying of one of them. Rémi has a 1To and Arthur a 1,5To.
– 1 camera and a spare battery: we have the Canon Powershot S110 for Arthur and the S120 for Rémi. From our point of view, a great “expert” compact camera that allow you to make a lot of manual settings very easily, especially ISO, aperture and exposition time. It is of course not a SLR quality but the ratio size-quality is superb!
– 1 old phone each.
– A male jack- male jack 3,5mm cable (the classic input of all earplugs and headphones). Allows to put your sound on a great deal of hi-fi speakers if the people don’t have the cable.
– And a female jack 3,5-male jack RCA: combining these two cables, you can connect an MP3 or a computer on the very vast majority of the hi-fi speakers, because some of them might not have the simple jack plug.
– A headphone/earplugs.
Ask your favorite doctor, the information is easy to find and some basic medication for a total less than 40€ makes already a good pharmacy.
This is our solution when the day will arrive that all our money will be gone.
– Ukulele: smaller than a guitar, easy to play and cheap. Is useful as well to charm the indigenous population on the beach under the rainbows.
– Harmonica (in A): small instrument solid and cheap, less than 20€ for a nice sound. A touch of blues in the desert.
– An Irish flute (in B): same, good size lightweight and cheap. Can be used as a club in case of agression.
– Shakers to give a bit of rhythm in the jam sessions.
– A jew’s harp.
– Papers with lyrics, or ukulele and harmonica tabs.
– Photocopies of all important papers: especially passport and the page of your vaccination. We advise to have it scanned somewhere on your email box as well.
– Passport: useful to cross the borders in another way than climbing the mountains or swimming underwater in the river with a pipe to breathe.
– International driving license: for free, at least in France. It can be asked in some countries if you want to drive or rent a car.
– 2 wallets: a real and a fake one. We have some money hidden in our belts, but we have as well a fake wallet. In case of agression we can give the fake one that contains all credit cards, some papers, visit cards and a small realistic amount of cash.
– Maps of the countries we visit!
– Books: usually on or two each that we exchange while travelling.
– A notebook: for all addresses, translations, thoughts, phone number, to make explanation drawings to our drivers, music suggestions.
– A pencil case with a black marker!!
– 5 dices each, a bouncing ball and a small ball, a deck of cards.
– A good headlamp with red blinking light. Maybe one of the most important object, used at night : to hitchhike, to cook, set up a campsite, walk on the side of the road without being smashed, to fumble in the trash, make emergency signals and much more. The headlamps Petzl have a good price/quality ratio. Some reflecting pieces of fabric to put on the backpacks can be a nice idea as well.
– 1 lock-picking set (never used, but definitely fun to have), a 11-in-1 multipurpose survival tool (never used either, let’s see), 1 compas.
– Some metal hooks, carabiners, elastics, some ropes a bit everywhere.
– 15m rope holding up to 250kg (10€): to make a shelter with the survival blanket, to dry stuff, hang a hammock that we don’t have, etc.
– A sewing kit.
– Some cool stones offered by my aunt to protect from evil people, to give energy or to help focusing.
– Toilet paper, for a nice poo in the nature but as well for less nice uses such as blowing your nose.