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travel gear checklists

What to buy and take with you depends of course on where you're going. City or resort breaks are pretty straightforward as far as clothing is concerned, so we've stopped short of telling you to pack some underwear. However, if you're travelling and need to pack light, if you're going to be active, or if you're going to be in fairly extreme climates, then your clothing purchases and packing decisions become a little more complex. Some things to consider are:

  • Whether it's a hot or cold climate, lightweight clothing is the way to go in order to either pack more things or carry a lighter bag. Fabric technology is so advanced these days that lightweight and warm do go together - but you'll have to pay a little more for this winning combination
  • Also, in colder climates it's usually best to bring several lighter layers rather than a few thick ones
  • In wet climates, you'll want clothes that dry quickly (jeans might be best left at home). In dry heat it's not such a problem, but in humid or cold conditions you really want to avoid having to pack wet clothes when you move on
  • In strong sunlight (notably midday sun near the equator), you are subjected to a pounding by harmful UV rays that can penetrate your clothes - look for garments with UV sun protection (but more importantly, limit your exposure to the midday sun!)
  • Some t-shirts and tops are impregnated with insect repellent or even silver (used for anti-bacterial protection), which could be worth a try
  • One more consideration is security - avoid pickpocketing by getting trousers with hidden zipped pockets.

Rohan are experts in top quality functional travel clothing and address all of the requirements noted above. Other good brands include Berghouse, The North Face, Lowe Alpine, Mountain Hardware and Patagonia. See our stockist directory for more. But first, figure out what you need using our lists below. They are not necessarily comprehensive; they simply aim to highlight particular things that you may have forgotten about, or never even considered. Please click on a category below or just scroll down.

Warm and Sunny Climates
Cold and Wet Climates
Camping and Hostelling
Mountain Trekking
First Aid Kit and Medications
Other General Things

Warm and Sunny Climates
Sunglasses 100% ultraviolet and infrared filtration are strongly recommended
Sunhat Ideally wide-brim
Sun cream/block Make sure you choose an appropriate factor for your skin
Insect Repellent DEET-based products are most effective, but only recommended for malarial regions
Sandals Flip-flops for the beach, or some with grip and support if walking in them
Lightweight shorts and trousers The best garments offer protection from the sun's harmful rays and offer high breathability
Cold and Wet Climates
Lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers Gore-Tex is recommended
Windproof jacket Windstopper is recommended
Plastic bags To keep things dry inside your rucksack
Footwear with waterproof lining Gore-Tex are the best for waterproof linings
Hat and gloves Essential to reduce heat loss
Thick socks A wool mix is best for warmth and comfort
Camping and Hostelling
Sleeping bag Consider appropriate size/weight for the warmth you require (1- to 4-season)
Sleeping bag liner For hygiene/extra warmth, or used on its own in hot climates
Foam or self-inflating sleeping mat Thermarest are good
Mosquito net Check for malaria zones
Trek Towel We recommend Lifeventure for lightweight, highly absorbent and quick drying towels
Baby wipes Useful when there are no showers!
Head torch Free up a hand - it could be useful! Petzl are best
Penknife Don't forget to keep this in hold luggage when flying
Water bottle Platypus and Camelbak are recommended, especially if trekking
Water purification tablets Only necessary when far from civilisation or you can't carry much water
Biodegradable soap Look after the environment
Spare batteries Particularly useful when travelling off the beaten track
Plastic bags To keep things dry inside your rucksack
Toilet paper Always keep a roll handy!
Travel sink plug For when hostels don't have them
Solio solar charger Genius device for camping and long distance travelling - see Solio website
Mountain Trekking
Day rucksack Typically of 35/40 litre capacity (up to 65 litre for extra layers in cold conditions)
4-season sleeping bag If camping at altitude - look for a high warmth to weight ratio
Hiking Boots Either leather or Gore-Tex lined fabric, with good ankle support and ideally a Vibram sole
Mountaineering Boots For high altitude climbs at sub-zero temps, go for plastic boots designed for step-in crampons
Liner socks Bridgedale are good
Thermal hiking socks A wool mix is best; we recommend Bridgedale and Thor-lo for best warmth and comfort
Sealskinz waterproof merino-wool socks Expensive, but unique fabric technology that could be a godsend in wet conditions - see Sealskinz website
Gaiters To keep your feet warm and dry in wet and snowy conditions
Thermal t-shirts Both long- and short-sleeve, to use as a base layer; Patagonia Capilene is recommended
Mid-layer thermal t-shirts and tops Look for lightweight but warm garments - Windstopper technology is recommended
Fleece top/jacket Look for lightweight but warm garments - Polartec fabric is recommended
Waterproof jacket Either padded for warmth or lightweight for a layered approach; Gore-Tex recommended
Waterproof trousers Ideally lightweight and with leg zips to fit over boots; Gore-Tex recommended
Warm hat Essential to reduce heat loss
Balaclava for extreme cold Essential to reduce heat loss
Well insulated waterproof gloves Waterproofing is more important when trekking on ice and snow
Liner gloves For extreme cold or worn or their own
Water bottle Platypus and Camelbak are recommended
Trek Towel We recommend Lifeventure for lightweight, highly absorbent and quick drying towels
Waterproofing products To keep boots waterproof on long trips
First Aid Kit and Medications
Painkillers Paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen
Cold remedies On long trips you're quite likely to catch a cold - Day/Night Nurse is recommended
Antihistamine tablets/cream For allergies, rashes, insect bites. Loratadine (e.g. Clarityn) is non-drowsey.
Loperamide (e.g. Imodium) Stops diarrhoea - could be essential for the almost inevitable stomach upsets
Rehydration salts E.g. Dioralyte, for replacing lost bodily fluids when you have diarrhoea or vomit
Plasters, dressings, surgical tape Ideally those that you can cut to size
Antiseptic wipes and/or cream For cleaning up cuts and grazes
Blister kit Compeed or Second Skin are good
Bandage and safety pins To hold dressings in place, or support sprains
Lip salve With UV protection, important at altitude
Scissors and tweezers Small ones, and might need to be checked in when flying
Sterile kit Only recommended for long trips in less developed countries
Other General Things
Passport, insurance docs etc Don't forget driving licence if hiring a car
Camera Plus spare memory card, spare batteries etc
Mobile phone Don't forget the charger!
Portable music player For long journeys - watch the world go by to your favourite tunes!
Book(s) Novels, guide books and phrase books
Travel plug adapter So you can charge your electronics
Earplugs For the plane and hostels

See our stockist directory to find what you need.