Packing for Africa

Just finished a mock packing exercise my ahead of my trip out to the African continent on Sunday. In the photo that’s a 60L Mountain Equipment Coop backpack and a day pack. The good news is that it all fits. The bad news is just barely. :)


The weight is manageable but I would like to reduce it further as find its just too bulky and awkward to carry. Plus a bit of a room to spare is always a good thing. The problem is that i am not sure what to take out. The bulkiest items are the two pairs of footwear in there – runners and hiking boots. I had decided that both could serve multiple purposes and were therefore essential.

For example my boots will be good for long hikes, working or walking in rainy conditions, and could be worn with a pair of khaki pants for those occasions where I need to get a bit more dressed up for business meetings or speaking engagements. The runners on the other hand can be worn jogging or to a local gym, or more obviously for day to day walking.

Other possibilities are to jettison my PacSafe anti-theft devices. At a kilo each, these wire mesh nets are designed to be wrapped around one’s bag and locked to an immovable object such as a pole or a fence. As my buddy David V said, “You might not use them frequently but when you need to you will be very glad you had them.”

Meanwhile I am still trying to find room for some water purification props that will aid me in the work I plan to do in the field.

At the end of it, it comes down to prioritising what I need to have and what would be nice to have. But this simple rule doesn’t make it easier to choose. :)