This is the final result of carefully selecting what is most necessary to bring on a three month trip though Central America, that will include walking through at least one jungle (the Darién region of Panama, on the border to Colombia), in the rainy season.
- a backpack (it’s very simple, with only to compartments, and it weighs much less than my usual backpack.)
- a Kindle charged with some hundred books and papers
- cable for charging Kindle
- lightweight pants of synthetic material. Good protection from bugs (and thus dengue, malaria, botfly larvae, etc), cold, rain, etc.
- jacket of similar material
- small < $100 camera
- a piece of paper with current exchange rates written down (to avoid being ripped off when going from one country to another.)
- $100 in small denominations
- belt for hiding money. Charged with US$ in big denominations. I wish I’d had one of those in Africa.
- earplugs. Improves sleep in noisy places!
- one extra pair of underwear and one extra t-shirt (I’ll wash clothes often)
- three waterproof bags (now is the rainy season down there)
- medicines: aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen), artemether (for malaria), some antibiotic, some for migraine. Most of it I put in a small plastic bottle, for protection against water and physical wear. (I’ve memorized which pill is which, of course)
- tiny flask of water purifying tablets.
- tube of antibiotic ointment (dunno if it works, though)
- fever thermometer and some spare rubber bands
- best possible insect repellent (20% picaridine), put into small bottles in order to go through customs (bottles originally for instant hand sanitizer)
- cell phone
- cable for charging cell phone from USB
- memory card reader
- spare memory card
- small flashlight
- razor with improvised cover (no handle, in order to save weight)
- toothpaste and toothbrush
- solid soap
- vaccination booklet, driver’s license, student card, mastercard, visacard. Dunno if anyone will care about the student card though.
- lighter (not shown)
- pair of socks (not shown)
- DS-2019 (not shown)
- onward ticket from Panama (they might not let me in otherwise) (not shown)
- two 0.5 litre bottles (not shown)
- machete (will buy once there). Might be tricky to get through customs!
On my body:
- no wallet, no jeans, no sweater
- towel (being wet after showering is nice and cooling when you are in a tropical country, and it’s often tricky to get the towel dry after using it anyway)
- guidebook (they usually don’t contain any information you can’t ask the locals about!)
- small gifts (poor people usually just want money anyway)
- “real” shoes (I think they’re clumsy, heavy, smelly, give you sore feet, etc)
- sleeping bag, hammock, etc. I’m counting on the locals…
Interestingly, the backpack is still half-empty, so I can fill it with lots of chocolate before going to places where there is no food!:
Total weight, about 2 kg, I guess. Only half as heavy as the stuff I took to Africa! I can even go swimming with this one on my back (after putting the water sensitive stuff in the waterproof bags, of course.)
Please leave a comment! Is there something more I should take? Am I taking anything that is unnecessary?