Thursday, 31 March 2011

Hand sanitiser in a Waragi bottle and other packing tips from the spatially challenged

Tomorrow I’m departing for Kigali en route to Uganda for a couple of weeks. Its the TTC holidays and genocide memorial week back here in Rwanda so it seemed like a good time to see another part of East Africa. However packing for a holiday has never been such a challenge.  Anything I take with me has got to fit into quite a small rucksack and be taken on the back of a moto along a long and bumpy dirt track, then squashed between my knees on countless bus journeys and finally lugged on my back around many towns. The pressure is on to pack light, or else suffer from restricted circulation between the knees on the bus and risk overbalancing on the back of a moto. So here are my top tips for a lighter rucksack...

1) Decant big bottles into small bottles.
This is easier said than done. My industrial sized bottle of Tres Semme shampoo probably weighs more than I do at the moment so it has to be decanted into a smaller bottle. The only smaller bottles I had were Waragi (dodgy Ugandan gin) bottles and hand sanitiser. The Waragi bottle was made of glass so it had to be the hand sanitiser. So I put hand sanitiser into the Waragi bottle to leave at home and shampoo into the hand sanitiser bottle. Voila! Lets just hope I remember its hand sanitiser before my next swig of Waragi...

2) Rock and roll
Those air roll vacuum bags are genius. Just squish your bulky towels and jumpers in it, seal it up and roll all the air out of it. But don’t sit on them as they pop! It does make your clothes look a bit like you’ve slept in them all night but I probably will have done that anyway so I won’t look any different.

3) Take a sarong
Definitely the most useful item you can take. Forget sleeping bag liners, pashminas, head scarves and beach dresses, the sarong does it all.

4) Travel wash
Ok so I do hate washing my knickers on the road, it can be very embarrassing hanging up the Bridget Jones knickers to dry on a hostel window but sometimes you just have to because it leaves more room in your bag for shopping.

5) My big fat Thailand trekking hairband
It makes me look like an old Babushka but it covers a multitude of hair sins and enables you to take less shampoo, see point number 1.

6) Leggings
Can be thermal underwear on a cold mountain, pyjama bottoms, or worn underneath an otherwise culturally indecent dress.

7) Flip flops
The essential footwear for hot days which take up very little space. They also stop you from getting electric shocks through your feet in the shower, as mentioned in a previous blog post.  

8) The cloth bag
Rolls up really small but allows you to put lots of things in it as and when needed. It can be a shopping bag or it can also have dirty clothes put in it, muddy flipflops or a wet bikini.

Well those are all my packing tips for now. I will be reliant on using internet cafes as and when I can to access the internet for the next few weeks so there may not be many postings on my blog for a while. Needless to say I’m sure I’ll have endless adventures to share with you later xxx.

1 comment:

  1. Camilla i love your lists ... top tips, inavaluble items!! hope you have a lovely couple of weeks travelling xxx