"Perfect Packing Plan ?"

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Apr 27th, 2004, 01:15 PM
  #1
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"Perfect Packing Plan ?"

Does anyone have suggestions for what to pack and stay within the weight limits - excluding camera equipment ? I assume soft sided duffel bags are the best luggage to pack in - any other lightweight luggage suggestions, or brands that cater to light weight bags ? We will be 11 days in Namibia, quick three days in Botswana, then 10 days in Zambia, three in Livingstone, seven in South Luangwa. Thanks in advance for all packing ideas/help/suggestions -
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Apr 27th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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Go much lighter on the clothes than you think. You only really need three days worth of regular wear - each time you arrive at a new camp put the dirties straight in the laundry and again while you are there if you're staying put more than 2 nights.
Only thing I pack more of is underwear since they don't wash those in the laundry and I don't want to be washing in the sink every single night.
And really go light on the smart wear. Unless you're opting for somewhere like Singita you won't need it. In all the camps we stayed it we just changed into a clean set for the evening but same stuff as we wore in the days, and then wore it the next day.
Take a torch, binoculars, some small packs of tissues for those toilet stops behind termite mounds whilst out on game drives.
Depending on when you're going take a light weight scarf and gloves and hat.
I'll think more later.
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Apr 27th, 2004, 01:37 PM
  #3
sandi
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Regardless the season, pack that scarf, hat, gloves and socks (consider a thermal t-shirt for layering). Even in the summer months in the southern hemisphere (Nov-Apr), those drives in open vehicles kick up a mean breeze (wind). So know it will be wicked in the winter months. Blankets in vehicles don't always do it for warmth.

And though I never seem to follow the rules for myself, Kavey is correct, you don't need more clothings than for the place you stay the longest. So if it's 3-nts/dys, that's really it. It's not likely you're going to bump into the same people again, and if you do - they're in the same situation.

Not knowing your routing, consider that if you happen to be traversing via an airport hub (ie. JNB)at least once during your trip, consider having a second duffle bag with a second set of clothing that you store at the airport or try checking this at the Intercontinental Hotel (across from the Int'l terminal - store in their Held Luggage Room, and pay for it, or tip the attendant). And if your transfers are being handled by a tour operator, say in Livingston (VFA area), they can probably store a bag till you return. This is assuming your flying in/out of JNB. If not, forget above info.

Happy travels.
 
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Apr 27th, 2004, 07:15 PM
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I can't recall which camps but at several of mine they did wash the "smalls" (underwear). But I know at some they will not. We bought the Officio <sp?> brand you can find at travel sites. Worth it! Quick drying.
Yes - soft sided duffle bags, NO wheels. We bought ours at a camping store called REI, I think they were the medium size (if you run a search, you might find the dimensions in a post from last year). We did SA (after Zambia and Botswana) which allows for more weight, so we bought blue bags and black bags. The black ones were called the "Singita bags" and they stayed at the Sun Intercontinental Hotel in J'burg airport until we needed them.
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Apr 27th, 2004, 07:33 PM
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Socks dry slowly (if they are thick hiking or athletic socks) so you'll need a few more pair of those (mine were often still damp when laundry was returned...the maid would hang them in the tent but they needed an extra day to dry.)
Other really useful things-- a bandanna or two-- good to wear around your neck for bug or sun protection, over your nose for dust or smell protection (eg you find some lions by the stinking remains of a buffalo). Rubber Flip flop sandals-- to wear in the shower or in your tent (anything you wear outside your tent gets covered with dust, so I leave outdoor footwear just inside the door). A role of breathable first aid tape, preferably wide and tearable-- I used this to protect cuts and blisters (bandaids are worthless) and to fix any tears I found in mosquito nets or window screens, and for various other useful things. Skip the "smart" clothing-- just plan to add a nice scarf or necklace to clean clothing for evening.
For clothing, I always do stuff that can be layered and used for multiple uses-- like thermal shirts that can be layered for warmth or worn as pajama tops at night (does get cold at night). Pants that zipoff to shorts-- so you can eliminate multiples there and just wear whatever pairs are clean. Coolmax underwear and t-shirts are lighter than cotton to pack will dry really quickly so you need fewer of them.
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Apr 28th, 2004, 12:17 AM
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Tashak, brilliant! I've done this before and your list has given me new ideas too!
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Apr 28th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Kavey,
That 25 lb limit when you have 10 lbs of camera gear really forces packing creativity! I think I've got clothing pretty well down, but still have problems with my obsession with particular toilettries and too many medical supplies! (People in Namibia teased me about having a better first aid kit than the camp...until they needed something from it. The antibiotic ointment and first aid tape had several users, including me...

Thanks for your tips-- especially the one about the mosquito headnets. They are tiny, and I think that given water levels will be put to good use on this trip!
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Apr 28th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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You're welcome!
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Apr 28th, 2004, 06:30 AM
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Tashak, thanks for the first aid tape tip. That's going in my bag. (And here I thought I was the only "bring a pharmacy along" person on this board!)
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Apr 28th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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We bought our mosquito (no-see-um) netting for over hats on our trip to Australia (lots of flies in the outback). It stays in the pocket of my safari vest and has served me well these many years. Looks a bit strange, but you'll be the person "not" flitting at flying things (costs about $10).
 
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Apr 28th, 2004, 02:29 PM
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Yeah I have seen some for £7 in UK shops. Am picking two up tomorrow.

I didn't know they existed before our last trip and only thought of them when we did that mokoro experience. If they hadn't existed I would have made some for this trip from old/ cheap mosquito netting!
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Apr 28th, 2004, 02:46 PM
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PS I have a pharmacy too - a lot of it is courtesy of ma and pa - retired doctors - but I'm happier to be safe than sorry. I'd rather use my weight allowance on that than on toiletries which I can buy there if need be... and extra clothes which are just not necessary with the excellent laundry facilities...
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Apr 28th, 2004, 05:36 PM
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I was just informed by our tour guide that we are limited to 11 lbs per person not including camara equipment. We are only staying at a lodge for no more than 2 nights, plus 8 days in Mombassa. Help! What do we take?
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Apr 28th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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Yikes... 11 lbs! That is a new low! ARe you sure they don't mean kg.? 11 kg-- 24 lbs-- would be do-able. Sometimes I have been tempted to wear multiple layers of clothing. No, I don't mean a shirt, a sweater, a jacket. I mean 2 t-shirts, 2 pair of pants, 2 outer shirts, etc. Find out if they count your handbag, or your camera or binoculars...they may not. Sometimes I put all the heavy stuff-- and the heavy stuff tends to be toilettries and medications-- in my handbag. AT that point, the handbag weighs more than my carryon!
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Apr 28th, 2004, 09:25 PM
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Tashak, I'm sure you are right - it was kg. That would make sense. Also, can you email me at [email protected] when you get a chance?
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Apr 29th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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We are going to Botswana in early Sept. Will it be so cool that we would need thermal undershirts and sweaters?
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Apr 29th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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Yes. Maybe both! I was there in September and it was really cold on drives and at night. Remember that it seems even colder when you are driving in an open vehicle...the "wind" effect is very chilling. And the temps drop fast after sundown. I always take 2 l-s thermal shirts (can wear one to bed, it can be that cold) a fleece and a windbreaker. For women-- a silk scarf is good because it is very lightweight, very warm and can dress up your khakis for dinner.
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Apr 30th, 2004, 05:33 AM
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What great and helpful responses - thanks to all. Now my curiosity is tapped, what is essential for first aid/toiletries ?
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Apr 30th, 2004, 11:48 AM
  #19
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Neosporan (antiseptic),
Dr. Schol's foot plasters (self-sticking),
unscented deodorant and body lotion,
alcohol or sani-wipe packettes,
duct tape (wrap a sizeable amount around a pencil or marking pen - this repairs any/everything),
straws (for drinking out of cans or bottles that have been chilling in ice cubes),
a prescription for Cipro (for bacterial travelers "runs")
... that's off the top of my head, didn't have time to check my "goes with me on every trip list"
 
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Apr 30th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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I am sure I take a bigger medikit than most but it's come in VERY useful in the past:

For diarrhoea I take Imodium for initial symptoms and also Metronidazole and Ciprofloxicillin for use only if it becomes more severe. I also take rehydration sachets (electrolytes) to give back body essentials.

For vomiting I take Domperidone/ Motilium and can also move onto Metronidazole and/ or Ciprofloxicillin if it's severe or prolonged.

I also carry Aspirin, Paracetemol, and Amoxicillin.

Then I have antihistamine as well as antibiotic eye drops, my ventolin (asthma inhaler), Betnovate (for severe rashes/ bites) along with some crepe bandages for sprains etc, plasters, insect repellent, sun block, aftersun etc.

And, believe it or not, I'm not even a hypochondriac. My parents were both doctors before they retired so I've grown up knowing about when to take what and feel confident self-prescribing these drugs.
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