What to take on a Commercial Overland Expedition
As little as possible is the basic message. You usually have room for only one large rucksack (70 litre approx.) and a daypack. Front opening rucksacks are a good idea (for accessibility). Remember that if you intend travelling on, the less you bring the better. Also, at some borders you may have to carry across all of your own belongings.
What clothing you take largely depends on the climate the expedition will be travelling through a hot climate allows for less items of clothing, a cold climate makes packing that much harder. The list below details suggestions for a warm weather expedition. However, in the mountains and deserts (especially at night) the temperatures can drop dramatically, sometimes below freezing. So you must allow for cold conditions.
2 pairs lightweight trousers
1 pair shorts
1 long cotton skirt
1 cotton dress
1 pair loose-fitting trousers
: Modesty rates highly in most Asian countries especially for women, so please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. See our Muslim Clothing Guide
Men & Women
1 long sleeved shirt (for wearing in temples etc)
1 pair broken in flip-flops/Tevas (for everyday wear and unhygienic showers)
1 pair trainers/boots
Sunhat (headscarf for women visiting mosques etc)
This list is intended as a guide only, but take into account that cheap comfortable clothing is readily available en route. It is also worth ensuring that your clothes contain one set that makes you look neat/smart. It is advisable not to bring any military type clothing.
Finally, the secret to successful packing is plastic bags and stuff sacks to keep your kit separate, clean and dry.
Most overland companies vehicles will carry their own first aid kit. However, this is by no means universally comprehensive and each individual should bring along his or her own personal first aid kit. Your personal kit might include:
Water purification tablets
Malaria pills (see your doctor or contact travel advice centre for current 'types and amount')
Plasters and a bandage
Antibiotics (Flagyl was recommended for dysentery, giardia or bilharzia [once again see your doctor])
Lomotil, Codeine or Imodium against diarrhoea
Pills against nausea
Aspirin for hangovers
Aids pack (with syringes, sutures etc)
Your brief medical history, including drug allergies, blood group etc.
Soap & box
Toothbrush & container
Aside from the essentials, women should consider bringing a supply of tampons as they are not always generally available.
If you wear contacts, you should consider wearing glasses instead, as lenses can cause infections in hot and humid climates. Also the quality of cleansing lotion may become dubious in some countries (if available at all).
Other useful items
Padlocks for your rucksack
Towel and sarong
Tent (if you have a small tent you are welcome to bring it, otherwise we will supply 2 man tents)
Sleeping bag (at least 3 season)
Petzel-type head torch (essential for rough camps)
Walkman and tapes (we will have a communal tape player)
Camera and equipment