Since I am an authority on this topic, I thought I would share my wealth of knowledge with the world. It's the right thing to do.
To begin, the packer must have goals. For example, someone going to Mongolia would probably choose something like 'Pack Items That Will Help Me to Not Turn Into a Block of Ice' or a past traveller to England might have chosen 'Pack Items to Woo a Prince.'
As for me, my packing goal for my trip to the African Equator is this:
"Pack Items That Won't Make Me Look Like I'm Sweating When, In Fact, I AM"
and the equally glamorous "Don't Get a Parasite."
Now that goals have been established, the next step is to acquire the things that will make reaching these goals possible. What this meant for me was: tie-dyed shirts (loud obnoxious patterns should do a fabulous job of hiding perspiration), dark-colored lightweight cotton pants, and CLOSED-TOE tennies with socks to keep those pesky parasites out of my footsies.
In case you were wondering exactly just how close we will be to the equator, take a look at this:
The line of the equator passes right over where we will be in Uganda. Our team leader, Jonathan, joked that we would be able to look up and see the line in the sky. I wish it really was a visible line, then I could brag about how I had actually seen the equator. Instead I will just have to say, "See this sunburn? The equator did that to me. That's right, the imaginary line equidistant from the poles zapped me with it's rays and colored me red." Amusing maybe, but not quite as cool. Literally.
So, keeping this equator-business in mind, I will therefore also be packing:
a water bottle (we are bringing lots of bottled water with us since drinking Uganda's water isn't advisable)
deodorant (I hear thank you's coming from the general direction of my teammates, although I can't imagine why. I'm just taking it cause I like the bottle, that's all)
and more sunscreen (malaria pills make you more susceptible to the sun)
So all that, plus a few more miscellaneous items like my camera, journal, snacks, bath stuff, and work gloves will no doubt push me dangerously close to my 50 pound baggage limit. Standing in line to get my ticket is always an adrenaline charged moment... "Will I pass or fail? Pass or fail? ....What?...You say I'm overweight? Excuse me sir, there is no need to get personal here." If I had a scale at home I could solve my baggage-weight mystery before my baggage is placed on the chopping block by the airport personnel. But I don't believe in scales. Anywhere. Especially scales in my home. That includes those of the snake variety. I don't believe in the awful creatures, snakes or weighing scales, therefore they do not exist. Simple, really. Anyway where was I? Oh yes, packing.
I think I'll go do that packing thing now actually. Five days of packing and re-packing should be plenty for a paranoid-I'm-going-to-forget-something-or-pack-something-illegal-like-peanut-butter packer like me. I did that once. Packed peanut butter in my carry-on. Who knew it was illegal? Not me. Probably not you either. Now you know.
That's what I'm here for --- providing vital information.
until next time, over and out,