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Packing For Your Gap Year Expedition

So you have decided to head out on a gap year but you are unsure what or how to pack. In this article, I will talk from experience, advising you on what to pack.

First things first, before you start packing for your expedition, you are going to need something to put everything in. The obvious and probably correct choice is a backpack. Backpacks are very easy to pack, unpack and transport. There are many different styles of backpack on the market so the best advice I can give you is go to your local adventure travel store and try a few out, make sure you get one that fits you properly especially if you are heading out for 6 months or so. You should also get one that you find visually appealing, after all, this will be also act as your wardrobe while you are away.

You probably have an idea of what things you “need” to take away with you on your gap year expedition. If you are female things like hair straighteners and hair dryers are probably on your list. Forget about these things!  Right now, you may feel like you can’t live without them but a couple of weeks into your expeditions your mind set will have changed and your daily routine will no longer require these things. I am not saying that personal hygene will go out the window. Far from it but you will learn, and enjoy, to live without these luxuries. They also take up a lot of space.

If you are going somewhere hot then I am 100% certain that you will over pack clothes. On my first expedition to Australia, I had convinced myself that I needed to take 3 pairs of jeans and a couple of jumpers. These are things that were staples of my life back home and I couldn’t imagine not needing them. A week after I had arrived, 2 pairs of jeans and both jumpers had been thrown away and I was spending 95% of my time in board shorts and a t-shirt.

You are probably used to thick large towels, get yourself a hand towel for showering, it will take up much less space, is much lighter and will dry a lot quicker. The slight inconvenience caused by not being as comfy as you are used to when you get out the shower will quickly be forgotten as you experience all kinds of wonderful things on your gap year.

Footwear should also be cut right back on. The new friends you make while you are on your expedition will be in the exact same boat as you. You will have many great nights out without needing fancy footwear. Just bring a comfy pair of practical shoes and buy a cheap pair of flip flops if you are somewhere hot.

As you can see, I really do recommend taking less than you think you need. It may seem hard to do this but even when you have cut back I guarantee you will be throwing these burdens away when you land.


About the Author:
World Challenge’s independent adventure expeditions and <a rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” href=”http://www.world-challenge-expeditions.co.uk”>gap year expeditions</a> provide adventure travel, trekking, volunteer work and expeditions in the developing world. Travel on your own or with friends, and explore the world as part of a World Challenge team.
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