Connect the dots

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gear shopping

Does blue suit me?

What do you bring when you're traveling for one year?

Aside from a week's worth of clothing and the usual things in our toiletry bag for shorter travel, here are some additional items on the list:
  • camera - check! the above picture was taken with the Nikon Coolpix P7000
  • back-up drive for our laptop
  • binoculars
  • backpack (65-85L and daypack)
  • universal adapter for chargers
  • rain gear
  • long underwear
  • wool socks
  • mosquito nets
  • permethrin (to ward off malaria infected insects)
  • DEET - 30% bug spray
  • sleep sacks for dirty hotel beds
  • batteries
  • first aid kit
  • rope
  • packing tape
We made a slushy trip after the big snow storm to Paragon to cross off some of the items on our list.

Joseph, a very helpful salesman seemed nonplussed when we described our upcoming world travels with an almost 3 year old and shared his desire to trek through Patagonia. He assisted us through the myriad of wool socks, water bottles, back packs, daypacks, silky sleep sacks and an amazing water purifier! Using UV light, you swirl this little blue wand into the water and in 90 seconds, MAGIC - cholera and E.Coli free water!

Two hours later, and my head spinning from deciding between a 65L or 85L, top-loading or conversion travel pack, GOR-TEX pac-lite or water resistant, silk or synthetic, we finally made a few choices but we're still without a main backpack.

Off to Tents and Trails, of course! More choices, better? More choices = more confusion.

Did I forget anything? Anyone have any other gear suggestions?

A Date!

It's official: January 24, 2011. First stop, Belgium! I know, Belgium doesn't sound very adventurous. We have to pay a visit to the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) for our shots. Travel medicine is hardly ever covered by insurance in the US and certainly not by NYC Dept of Ed's insurance policy! The agent at the ITM stated that our shots in the US would cost 4x more in the US than in Belgium. That was a no brainer. We'll be there a week and then hopping on a 10 hour flight to Accra, Ghana.

Unfortunately, the plans to meet up with my former professors and some current OT students have been nixed. Just could not get it together before the end of January. And since the next semester begins in February, they'll be long gone by the time we get there. We decided to stick to Accra anyway. At a recent Christmas get together, we met someone who is married to a Ghanian and was there recently. She said that it was fairly hassle free to get around and would be easy with a kid.

The Travel Independent website speaks frankly about the pros and cons of West African travel. This author found Ghana to be a highlight in the region for it's friendly people, better developed (by W. African standards!) infrastructure, and variety of things to see and do. Buses that run on time? Good cheap food, beer and accommodations? And yet no McDonald's in sight? All sounds just right to me.