Oct 8, 7 years ago

Pack Smarter on Your Next Trip: The Adventurer

Pack Smarter on Your Next Trip: The Adventurer

You know who you are. You probably don’t have a permanent mailing address, use duct tape to fix everything, sleep in your car, and have a working list of ‘projects.’ Whether your goal is to bag peaks, make a first ascent, or boat down a river, here are a few tips to consider when taking your adventure abroad.

Your first step is to estimate the percentage of your time you’ll be getting after it (whatever ‘it’ is to you) in the backcountry. This, in many cases, will dictate whether you bring your own gear or rent. If you’re bouncing around cities and want to visit a National Park in the area for a week or less, it’s definitely best to rent your gear instead of lugging it all with you. Nobody wants to haul around a rack of climbing gear or a tent that you rarely use, right? Keep in mind that you may be able to rent equipment in heavily traveled tourist areas where there is a demand, but don’t make any assumptions in areas that see even a moderate number of travelers. One drawback of renting is that if the option is available, you’re likely to pay heavily for that convenience. For example, to rent trekking and camping gear for 10 days outside of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile costs nearly as much as buying the same equipment new…seriously.

One big note: if renting gear or even taking a day trip with an outfitter that provides equipment, make sure to check the integrity and wear. All to often, fly by night outfitters attempting to push up their profit margin use worn out gear or cheap, inferior equipment.

If you’ll be in the backcountry for an extended period of time, you’ll definitely want to bring your own gear and/or buy locally to supplement. You’ll save tons of money while having the luxury and piece of mind of your own gear and equipment. Research ahead of time where you can buy provisions in country, such as gas canisters for your camp stove plus odds and ends. Remember that you can’t fly with any kind of pressurized camp fuel and make sure your stove is compatible with the local canisters that are sold (threaded or unthreaded). Also make sure to plan well in advance and secure any necessary permits that you’ll need.

Hope these thoughts help! In the end, it all boils down to planning ahead to make your time enjoyable.

Lead Image: CC Image used courtesy of winkyintheuk on Flickr


Ryan is a writer, photographer, and teacher living and volunteering throughout Latin America.

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  1. October 15, 2012
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