Packing isn't my favourite part of preparing for a trip. I want to have everything I need, but also really dislike to overpack and get stuck carrying around excess stuff. To make matters more complicated, I often visit multiple countries in one trip, or need quite a bit of practical equipment for my adventures. Last month, for example, I went to Morocco to ride horses on an epic camping trip, plus had astopover in Dubai to go camel trekking, and also a total of 6 days of transit to travel to and from a tiny Thai island to a small town in Morocco. I needed my riding gear, camping equipment, photography stuff, plus clothes and toiletries for this two week trip. I definitely wanted to travel light, and knew I'd be unpacking and repacking daily as we moved campsites from one bit of Moroccan wilderness to another.
Fortunately, I think my packing list was just right! I had everything I needed for each aspect of the trip, and my checked bag weighed in at under 12kg! While I realize this trip is pretty specialized, the packing list applies to other travels, too. I'll be bringing almost the exact same things for my upcoming journey back to Africa, where I'll be spending a month trekking, camping, and on a horseback safari(!!). Check it out to see what I packed, and find details on some of my favourite travel and outdoor gear!
camping gear & luggage
My tent and sleeping bag were provided, so I just needed to bring my sleeping bag. I didn't end up using the sleeping bag liner, as it was warmer than I expected (plus the dogs in my tent donated some body warmth!), but I'm still glad I brought it since it didn't take up much space, thanks to my compression sack! I stored my electronics & valuables (passport, wallet, etc.) into my daypack (my carry-on for flights), which I kept safely stored in the support vehicle while we rode our horses through my new favourite country. Packing cubes are essential for travel! They keep everything organized (I usually pack tops, bottoms, and underwear in separate cubes initially, then clean and dirty clothes separately as the trip progresses), plus I use them as pillows when camping.
horseback riding gear
First of all, I highly encourage you to buy clothing secondhand! I bought almost everything on this list off eBay or from thrift stores for super cheap! For example, the Lululemon tops are extortionately priced, but I pay between $5-15 when I buy them secondhand on eBay. This is one of my top tips for saving money to travel, as I can get quality items for a small fraction of their retail price.
I brought the hiking pants for my Dubai camel trek, plus the first chunk of my travel time, and around camp in the evenings. I wore my thin Teeki sweatpants around camp each night, and kept a second pair clean for the 2.5 day journey home. The linen pants were kept (fairly) clean for the hotel dinners on our first and last nights in Agadir, and for the overnight layovers I had in Kuala Lumpur both on my way to, and back from, Morocco. I initially thought bringing the down jacket was over-preparation, but because it packs up so small I figured I may as well take it... and I actually ended up wearing it on our final night of camping by the coast, as the sea breeze was surprisingly cold! I didn't need the thermal leggings or hat but I'm glad I was prepared... especially since living in Thailand means I put on a sweater when the temp drops below 24C!
Toiletries & personal items
photography & electronic equipment
I wouldn't normally bring my laptop with me, and I didn't use it at all during the ride (obviously), but since I had so much transit time I brought it along to work/ write posts/ edit photos in the days I spent traveling to and from Morocco... I was super productive so it was really worth it! During the riding trip I kept the computer, and my Lumix camera, in my daypack, safely stored in the support vehicle that met us every night. I actually just got this Olympus camera, so I didn't have it in Morocco. I've owned older models in the past, and love having a small camera that's up for a rugged adventure (it's waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, etc.). The TG-5 can shoot in RAW, which is ideal for editing, and I can't wait to see what short of shots I can get with it! If I had it at the time of this trip, I would maybe have brought it instead of (rather than in addition to) my Lumix. I love the Lumix but I don't take it on horseback, so only used it at campsites, and I think the Olympus would have sufficed for the short of shots I was after in Morocco. I'll definitely bring the Lumix as well as the Olympus for my upcoming horseback safari in Kenya, as I'll want the Lumix's superzoom capabilities to get great wildlife shots on our game drives. The Olympus is perfect for getting photos and videos on horseback, since it's easy to use with one hand and can withstand the elements easily.
What do you think of my list? Got any travel essentials to share? Let me know!
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