Debbie’s Packing Comments

Here are the clothes that went to Africa with me:

  • 2 pair pants – 1 linen, 1 technical
  • 2 cotton T-shirts
  • 2 long sleeved linen shirts
  • 1 long sleeved wool undershirt
  • 1 pair wool leggings
  • 1 down sweater
  • 1 lightweight rain/wind jacket
  • 1 thin plastic rain poncho
  • 1 cotton scarf
  • 1 toque
  • 1 wide brimmed sunhat
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 2 bras
  • 3 pair of undies
  • 2 pair of socks
  • 1 pair of light hiking shoes
  • 1 pair of flimsy shower flip flops

I basically had two sets of clothes – pants, T-shirt, linen shirt – which I used as daytime/nighttime wear. I switched them around depending on where we were. On safari in Botswana the technical pants were daytime wear in case we got wet (fast drying), but in Zanzibar the linen pants were the daytime wear. I found out that the technical pants were not good in the extreme heat – I got heat rash on my legs from ankle to thigh!

Safari Debbie

Tanzania Safari Debbie

I think an extra T-shirt would have come in handy as I would not have had to wash so frequently if I had a third T-shirt. I still find the linen shirts abit too heavy in the extreme heat so I will have to continue my search for a lighter weight linen.

The wool undershirt and down sweater were worn on the long haul flights and one evening/night when we were camping. The wool leggings got worn, and slept in, that same night too.  All these articles got worn in London when we went into town. If we hadn’t got delayed in London, the leggings would have been worn only once. I still think that it was good to have these three warm layers with me even though they were not worn alot. I hate being cold, so they are a must for me and are not bulky like a fuzzy.

I had bought a lightweight rain jacket at Goodwill before we left and I am glad I had it. I wore it almost every early morning and late evening on safari in Botswana. It did not repel rain well, but it kept the wind out. The rain poncho came in extremely handy on two occasions in Botswana and kept me dry. If I didn’t have a poncho, I would have gotten soaked. A poncho is a must have for a safari, especially in an open vehicle.

I must find different bras to travel in. I also got heat rash under my arms were my bra covered. The material in the bras must not breathe well and they were too hot.

I wished I had an extra pair of socks. I had one lightweight short rise pair and a heavier higher rise pair. I got the higher rise pair for the hiking to protect my legs, and was glad for them but they were too heavy to wear in the heat of Zanzibar, so I ended up wearing the same socks for about 4 days straight. They will never be the same!

The footwear worked well. My only comment is that it would have been nice to have sport sandals in Zanzibar, but extra footwear means extra weight and bulk. Do I take them to wear for 1 week out of a 6 week trip? No.

Overall, I think what I took for clothing worked very well. I did get tired of wearing the same clothes over and over, but I also did not want to carry any more weight.

Shopping during our hike on Mt Makarot

Shopping during our hike on Mt Makarot

We took sleep sacks with us in case we stayed in a hotel with questionable bed linens. They got used once when we were camping and it was more for warmth than cleanliness. We could have left them at home, it’s always a gamble whether we will need them.

We took small drawing books that only got used a few times. Should have left them behind.

The first aid kit came in handy for a couple of small wounds incurred. It is always a good idea to travel with a small first aid kit and we will always take one. We took a partial role of toilet paper. Unnecessary and it got left behind somewhere.

I get better at deciding what to pack on each trip we take. We will just have to take more trips to practice!

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