Packing light for Thailand – 7kg into a 35 litre pack – updated

So here is my packing list as promised. A must for any travel blog. I love reading these, they are so additive and many of my friends who travel seem to agree with me.

Having said that, speaking to several people of my parents generation this week, I have discovered that they seem to think it is a daft idea, why would you want to know what other people are packing…

Anyway here’s the rundown.  I went to America in 2010 for three months and did Camp America.  I took an 80 litre euro hike pack that wasn’t fitted properly and ended up donating it to a Goodwill store and buying a 65 litre pack which fitted me correctly.  I still had waaay too much stuff.  Ok so for camp you need more clothes than travelling as you can’t wash your clothes in a sink (ours went in the camp laundry) and you may need to change clothes several times a day due to messy activities, but anyhow…

In 2012 I took my 65 litre to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  I took loads of stuff I didn’t even unpack, and we rented all the gear anyway, really cheaply.  Apart from the climb we only stayed in three hotels and were driven between these so it wasn’t too bad.  But I still got fed up with my pack. I have read more ‘packing light’ blog posts than I can count.  I have deduced that if you buy a small pack, max 40 litres I’d say, then you can’t take much due to space.  Also don’t pack things ‘just in case’ you can buy EVERYTHING and I mean that, worldwide.  I saw Head and Shoulders and Colgate in Tanzania, as well as many more brands, extra socks, any type of clothing, everything.  For women it might be a little different for toiletries in rural areas but basically don’t be a Boy Scout and try and be prepared for everything.

Carry on only: I will be going carry on only for the first time.  I cannot personally claim to have experienced the merits of this as I have never had trouble collecting my checked in luggage, but the idea is that you can get off the plane and off you go.  No waiting around. This means no pen knives and only carry on liquid sizes.  If you need it, buy it when you get there, full stop. I have a 35 litre pack and it weighs about 7kg when packed.

My list is below.  Some people’s blogs guide you through exactly what to pack.  But I will just say; firstly you should shop in your own wardrobe before buying any technical gear.  You can mostly wear normal clothes anywhere, just research the country and find out if you need long sleeves, trousers for modesty, jumpers for the evening, gloves for that cold morning hike you’ve planned etc.

My bag is a 35 litre Lowe Alpine Eclipse and is in the ‘trail running’ section of their website which means it is very light, less than 1kg. It also has a hip belt to take the weight off your shoulders, something that is not common on most bags that are 35 litres or less.

List:

Clothes:

-Shorts – brown with black strip so they go with both colours
-Grey trousers – lightweight synthetic material
Black trousers – lightweight synthetic material – didn’t really need these, I could have used the grey pair on the only occasion I wore these and it would have been fine
Beige trousers – convertable zip off bottoms (lots of people dislike these but I have to see for myself if they are useful while travelling or not) – only wore once are are just taking up space in my bag
-Short sleeve t-shirts x3 x2 – synthetic material – update: only bring x2 not x3 didn’t need the third
Dark grey long-sleeve t-shirt – synthetic material – only used once at a temple, I could have used my dress shirt (see below next item) for this purpose
Long sleeve dress shirt – for evenings/smart occasions/temple modesty – only used once and I have now decided it isn’t worth carrying
-Tank top for beach and sleepwear
-Merino wool jumper light grey – I have read about the properties of this wool and how great it is for travelling – they cost about £45 but I got mine in a car boot for £1.50!  I’ll let you know if it is any good when I have worn it and if it would be worth buying new (or try ebay)
Dark grey camping fleece – but smart enough for evenings if needed – I love this fleece and I will have to carry it on this trip as I don’t want to dump it but one jumper is enough – update: actually posted this home
-Swim trucks – pack into a pouch
Black rash vest – for wearing underneath a wetsuit when diving and to stop me getting burnt on the beach – I can use a tank top for this purpose, not really allowed outdoor clothes in pools in England but no one minds here
-Microfibre underwear x7 x5 – update: from 7 to 5 as 5 is plenty
Waterproof North Face jacket – folds up small like a pack Mac but much more waterproof – this is my best waterproof and it is awesome but I haven’t worn it once so I have posted it home
-Socks x2 – high trainer socks one to wash and one to wear (I plan to be in sandles anyway most of the time)

Toiletries:

-Deodorant – hard Thai deodrant stone (lasts 1 year)
-Toothpaste – tiny tube as I will buy out there
-Suncream – tiny tube as I will buy out there
-Ear plugs – a must for hostels
-Razor
-Comb
-Tiny travel laundry sheets
-Dr bronners peppermint hard bar soap x2 – for washing hair and body
-Toothbrush
-Lip balm
-Floss

Medicine bag:

-Hydration sachets – just in case
-Imodium – just in case
-Paracetamol
Basic antibiotic – for Emergancy only – you can buy EVERYTHING out here, they even have a Boots Pharmacy
-Blister plasters – same as above – very useful
-Plasters – same as above

Shoes:

Black Toms – decided to leave behind, I will buy a pair of cheap espadrilles out there if I need them
Green closed toe sandals – turns out these were a bit worse for wear after Africa, I will buy some out there
-Flipflops – but can buy these
-Trainers

Other:

-Prescription Sunglasses
-Prescription Glasses
-Packable rucksack for use as a daypack
Packable Oyna brand shoulder messenger bag (packs down into a tiny pouch) – didn’t really use this, one daypack item is enough

Tech:

-IPad mini – second hand from ebay in case it gets lost or stolen
-Chargers for everything
-Phone – my provider has locked it for 3G and 4G so it can only be used for WiFi so no internet charges – I will buy a cheap local one to use out there – I didn’t buy one as I didn’t need it
-Camera – point and shoot but with a good lens
-Universal travel plug adapter

Other:

-Large packable travel towel – Mountain warehouse about the size of an orange
Thin gloves – I thought I might need these for the North but I’m not even going to explain what a joke bringing these in this heat
Face buff – same reason as above plus I have my sarong
-Sarong type thing for use as a beach mat/towel/face buff
-Travel clothes line – basically a piece of twisted elastic – needs no pegs
-Travel sink plug – rubber not rigid – so it will fit any sink
Notepad and pens – I took a whole pencil case full (the multi coloured one pictured below) I would only take a couple of pens next time and replace when they run out
-Address book for postcards (and in case my iPad gets lost)
-Guidebook & phrase book
-Swimming googles
Roll of tape for repairs – got through Gatwick ok but not allowed through Dubai airport? and was taken off me at security, will buy if needed
-Head torch and spare batteries
-Silk sleep sack
-Money belt
Mozzy head net – posted home as I haven’t used it and there aren’t many mozzys here
Babour waxed cotton hat – from an Oxfam charity shop – lost on the plane out here and bought another hat in Bangkok

Seems like a lot but it all fits nicely.  Not much room to expand though… I organise it all in packing cubes, see picture below. Not pictured is my camera, blue north face waterproof and my jumpers which I will be wearing on the flight. I may do some posts later on reviewing some of my gear.

Check out this post for my itinerary for the first week. That’s all for now folks.

My packing list for carry only travel

Next up: first impressions of Bangkok

Previously: my Thailand itinerary

Related posts: lightening the load – stuff I posted home – packing light update.

Advertisements

Annie Leibovitz exhibition: Pilgrimage at Dimbola Lodge

Another post today. Firstly any tips on how often to post?  I know could just google that but I was hoping for some comments on the subject (hint hint).  I have read a lot of contradicting information, some people say daily, twice a week, weekly, some say daily is too often etc.

So today I went to Dimbola Lodge in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, which is the home of Julia Margaret Cameron, a women who made a breakthrough in early glass plate photography and who was friends with Darwin, Tennyson and Lewis Carroll.  She even had a special gate built in her garden wall so Tennyson could drop by across the field from his house without being bothered by servants and the public.

I was especially pleased to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibition: Pilgrimage.  A documentary of her travels to visit houses and frequented haunts of famous figures in the history of art, photography and science.  The picture that moved me most was of a tunnel of trees in autumn, the ground covered with copper leaves, entitled, ‘The path at Sandlot where Darwin walked every day’.

Worth going to see, it only costs £5 entry into the house which includes the exhibit. It is on till the 12th of July this year.

Here is a good review (written in 2011) that explains a bit more about her pilgrimage.

Then we had lunch in the cafe and played giant chess on the table!  I won the first game and my Mum won the second. Not bad as I haven’t played properly in years.

  

The cost of marine litter.

Yesterday I took a walk down the esplanade at Shanklin, it was hot and sunny. I was having a play with my new camera, which I will review at some point, and I took this snap of some plastic debris on the beach.

The cost of Marine Litter

The cost of Marine Litter

It reminded me of a horrible picture (on the Internet) of a tortoise maimed by some of that stuff that drinks cans are held together with. I did some googling and found that a group of people in Cornwall did a beach combing project to raise awareness about beach litter:

A huge string of 60,000 plastic bottle tops has been displayed on a beach to highlight the problem of marine litter.

Then today I went to Quarr Abbey, which is looking awesome btw after having a new heritage centre and car park built using their lottery fund money, and dropped into their new craft room.

A lady there was making some wonderful art using driftwood, scrap metals and plastics found on the beach. I know this is quite common nowadays but she had some great pieces, I wish I could have afforded one. Some of the metal was possibly from crashed airplanes!

Check out: www.gillianconnorart.com she paints really cute tiny beach huts into her art too!

But there will be no shortage for hundreds of years of waste in the ocean for projects like hers, so please remember this summer, on your holidays, take your litter away with you and don’t drop anything over the side of your boat. I’m sure it’s not you but just remind your friends too.

Here is the Wikipedia site for marine debris for some interesting stats.

On a more positive side, Quarr Abbey had some super cute piggies. Here is a pic of them fighting over mum and one of the runt of the litter, she was so sweet.

  

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A

Today I went to Gloucester Road to collect my Visa for Thailand. Yesterday I dropped it off for processing and then visited the Natural History Museum.

Today I chose to go to the V&A to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition because it is only on until the 2nd of August and I will still be away then. The exhibition is described as the first and largest retrospective of McQueen’s work to be presented in Europe. It was certainly much bigger than I expected and covered his entire career. I especially liked one of the pieces from his final 2010 collection; Plato’s Atlantis, in which the fabric for several pieces has been digitally printed with images of things such as jellyfish and moths wings.

It is totally worth going to see and it is free to members so you have absolutely no excuse not to go. There is not really any need to book (I didn’t) because they release tickets for each time slot every day.

It was amazing and I even bought the book, but I had a discounted student entry, I might not have done so if I had paid full price. These exhibits are so expensive now!

It was amazing though and used multi media to great effect. It was almost as good as the David Bowie exhibit I saw last year. But I won’t tell you any more in case you plan to see it.

In case you do want to book or just read more about it, here is the link:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-alexander-mcqueen-savage-beauty/

What I’ve planned for the first 10 days of my trip to Thailand.

So my flights are booked and I fly out on the 4th of June. I am flying with Emirates Airline with a changeover in Dubai on the way to Bangkok, arriving on the 5th of June. That’s a whooping 16 hours traveling!

So I mentioned that I had booked a trip with Geckos in order to induct myself into the country, I have now received the itinery for this trip and I have detailed the basics of it below. I am arriving two days early and staying in the same hotel as the group will meet on the 7th of June.

The trip is called ‘Tales of Thailand’ and is seven days long. It starts in Bangkok at thee Nouvo City Hotel (Canal wing) which I will have spent the last two nights.  For what I can gather from the person on the phone, there are about eight of us booked on the trip.

So things to do on the first few days are: 
-Take the Skytrain
-Take a riverboat to Chinatown
-Visit the magnificent Grand Palace
-The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
-The Khao San Road

Now I am not one for packing a bunch of stuff in just for the sake of it but I will be doing everything on this trip as the rest of my time in Thailand is completely unplanned so I will have plenty of time to ‘see where the winds takes me’ as they say.

Day 1: BANGKOK

Day 2: SUKHOTHAI

Accommodation: Sawasdipong Hotel, Sukhothai 

-Travel to Sukhothai – ‘The Dawn of Happiness’ by local bus approx 6 hour.

-Ride bicycles around the temples and other archaeological relics in Sukhothai’s historic area.

-Sukhothai – Historical park guided cycle tour

DAY 3-4: CHIANG MAI

Accommodation: People Place 1 Hotel 

-An early start for the trip to Chiang Mai. (Approx 5 hours in a mini van)

-Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang. Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital is a non-government organisation in Thailand which aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants both domesticated and wild. We stop off at this center today to see the fantastic work this organisation is doing to care for the elephants in Thailand.

-Visit some of tthe temples in the northern city of Chiang Mai, with over 120 temples in the centre alone.

-Optional excursion to the top of Doi Suthep, with fantastic views over the city

DAY 5: DOI MAE SALONG – small southern Chinese village

Accommodation: Baan Sue Sue Guest House or similiar, Doi Mae Salong 

-Travel by public Bus to Doi Mae Salong via Mae Chan. (approx 4 hours to Mae Chan and 1 hour to Doi Mae Salong)

-Tea in a traditional Chinese tea house overlooking the mountains.

-Visit the interesting markets, full of produce and crafts made by hilltribe people.

-Climb the 719 steps to see a budhist temple with a great view.

DAY 6 : CHIANG RAI

Accommodation: Baan Warabordee Guest House or similiar, Chiang Rai 

-Travel on local songthaews, to visit the point of the Golden Triangle where the Thailand, Burma and Laos borders meet.

-Visit to the House of Opium Museum for a deeper insight into this area’s problematic past.

DAY 7 : CHIANG MAI

-Visit the famous white Temple in Chiang Rai Wat Rong Khun to see the best quirky temple you have ever seen.

-Bus back to Chiang Mai (approx 3.5 hours).

-Back in Chiang Mai board an overnight train for Bangkok (approx 13 hrs).

DAY 8: BANGKOK

-Arrive back in Bangkok.

Sounds exciting! Now I did I say I would post my packing guide for packing light, and I will…..

Tomorrow off to the Thai Embassy to get my Visa!

Next up: packing light for Thailand

Flights are booked!

So my flights are finally booked for the 4th of June, and with a flexible return flight as I don’t know how many months I will want to spend out there? I have also booked a trip with Geckos Adventures, called ‘Tales of Thailand’, which is seven days.    I decided to do this as I have never been to Asia and I thought it would be a good way to induct myself into the country. You can check out their trips @ http://www.geckosadventures.com they are small group trips aimed at 18-39 backpackers.

My next post will probably be my packing light backpacking guide. A must post for all new travel blogs 🙂

Welcome to our new blog.

Hello my name is Jeffrey Salkilld and I run William Stone Upcycled goods. I will be traveling abroad this summer and I thought this would be a great way to keep you all up to date with where I will be.

This blog will mainly be about William Stone, our lastest products and ideas and tips on upcycling from us. I have pulled together all our sites, like Pinterest and Instgram so you can keep up to date with all of those in one fell swoop.

Thats all for now.

 

Jeffrey