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Archive for December, 2009

What shall we take?

We’ve been refining gearlists around here for some months now.  Our aim is to take two large packs with everything inside, along with daypacks for Bede and Emmett and a larger daypack for one of the mums to carry, the other one will have Florence in the soft structured carrier. 

Thanks to our very generous friend Andrew at Kathmandu in Palmerston North (who gave us  “friends and family status”) Leah was able to stock up on lots of our essentials when she was in NZ in October. 

The summary is that each family member gets two pairs of convertible quick dry pants, one full set of merino thermals, one warm merino top, two quick dry shirts (long sleeved to keep mozzies and sun out).  Lightweight sandals and cross trainers each, and swimwear, sunhats and raincoats complete the list.  Leah and Anna will have long skirts for rural Kenya.

Next on the list are two cameras – indestructible digital, waterproof, drop proof ones.  We are hard on our electronics around here…  Leah is currently researching a Notebook with the most possible battery life for uploading photos, communicating with home and journalling / researching our adventures.  We have found a solar phone and ipod charger as we’ll have very limited electricity in Kenya and we still want family to be able to find us if they need to. 

We’re taking a Ride Safer Travel Vest for Florence as a car seat.  She is going to be bordering on too small for the vest when we leave, but the alternative would be no restraint and we have decided this is the lightest safe option for us.  When we are campervanning in Europe we’ll purchase a more conventional restrainst for that 3 months.

We are still exploring how to carry drinking water.  We use Ecotanka bottles here, but they are quite hard to pack around.  We walk in 30 – 40 degree Celcius heat here and have realised that being out in high temperatures in Egypt and Africa is going to require enormous amounts of water.  We’ll probably use hydration packs for the boys and a large bottle with cups for the rest of us.  We’ll take some small bowls and multipurpose utensils for when we prepare our own meals.  Our camper comes pre-prepared with equipment for cooking on that part of the trip.

We’ll have a pretty large First Aid kit too – with 3 kids there’s bound to be scrapes and bruises.  We’ve discussed precautions against malaria with a Travel Medicine specialist and thought about what medications we should carry for back up against common infections, along with paracetamol, anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.

The kids got some great travel games for Christmas that will come along in their daypacks, including the Playmobil micro in the photos.  Bede will have his precious ipod touch, which he can use for journalling his experiences and for entertainment on long roadtrips.  They will all have a diary and pencils and pens too.

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I’m sure I’ll manage to update this blog a bit more often than every 6 weeks once we’re underway.  Life is busy here getting ready for Christmas.  A plan is also coming together for our trip. 

We leave Australia on March 7th 2010.  The rough guide from there is 1 week in Bangkok, 3 weeks in Cambodia, 1 week in Zambia, 3 weeks in Kenya.  Then 5 days in London, Egypt for 2 weeks, back to London.  Pick up a camper and have 3 months in the UK and Europe.  Next stop Vancouver, Canada, then Mexico and then 2 weeks in San Francisco before heading to NZ for a month with family.  We then intend to spend another 6 months or so in South Australia.

We’ll be volunteering in both Cambodia and Kenya and may also do some volunteering in Eastern Europe.  Our boys are researching interesting aspects of each country on our itinerary over the next few weeks as we get organised to go.  This week will be Cambodia where we’ll be staying in Siem Reap and visiting the Temples at Ankor Wat and volunteering in local primary schools.

On our recent trip to Melbourne we had some practice runs with taking public transport while carrying all our gear on our backs and managing the children. Photo courtesy of Emmett – we instructed him to get all the gear in, clearly faces weren’t part of the plan!

In fact there’s more gear in that pic than we will have with us.  Being fastidious I think I’ll devote a whole post to our gear and then everyone can tell me what we’ve forgotten!  Leah has certainly been using her excellent online shopping skills to buy more stuff to ensure that we can take less! 

Let us know if you’ll be anywhere on our itinerary – we’d love company…

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