Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bag packing

24 hours until we fly, we’ve almost got the bags packed.

We’ve gone on plenty of 10 day cycle tours, and for the main part packing for 3 months is not as different as you might think, as either way we can only carry a couple days worth of clothing which get washed as we go along. This time, we’re preparing for a wider range of conditions which does add a bit to the packing list: from desert heat to below freezing overnight on the high Andes passes, from the Patagonian wind to tropical rain-forest rain.

Perhaps the biggest unknown though is preparing for a continent neither of us has travelled in before. For example, I was grateful to receive a small world-band radio hoping to pickup a bit of “This is the BBC...” world service on shortwave, but only the other day I found out BBC have ceased South American broadcasts.
Another example is working out what sort of camping gas canisters will be available along the way. We have an Omnifuel stove which can take unleaded petrol or even diesel, but it’s much easier and quicker to use gas with it when available. Things is, there’s at least 3 different connections and different ones can be prevalent in different areas. We do have adapters but they’re very bulky should they not be needed, so we’ll go without them and use petrol if needed. Anyway at least this article suggests MSR gas should be available. 

So, over the last few months, and in particular the last couple days, we have iterated our packing list to the point we’re happy with it. Of course, travelling by tandem means we only have one bike’s worth of pannier carrying space, so it’s a fairly fine tuned list. Will be interesting to see how it compares to what we carry by the end of the trip.

Final task for tomorrow will be to wrap up Dobbin (our touring tandem) for flying, and do a quick final check of those bags.