Charity Challenge has been in the business of organising treks for over 10 years, and in this time we’ve acquired a smorgasbord of tips and tricks on how survive a charity challenge; So I thought why not share some of best!?
For the first tip, I’ve decided to focus on a skill that all trekkers will need – whether they’re spending a long weekend on the Etna Volcanic Adventure or trekking to Everest Base camp on a mammoth two week long challenge – the ability to pack light, and more importantly pack precise, is a must have!
So I’ve compiled 5 rules on how to not pack the kitchen sink and stay successfully under your flight weight limit, whilst packing everything you need to take on a charity challenge and have the adventure of the lifetime!
Rule 1) – Do your research.
It can be hard to find that balance when it comes to packing, packing light that is the ideal we all want to achieve, but packing too little is an even worse state of affairs than packing too much. Indeed, making assumptions can be dangerous, for example, just because your trek is in a hot country doesn’t mean you should just pack vests and t-shirts, most hot countries get chilly in evenings so if you don’t pack a jumper or coat you’re in for some very unpleasant nights. So it is absolutely worth it to dedicate some time to researching your trek first, Charity challenge are particularly helpful with this as we essentially do this for you! By providing a detailed day by day itinerary of each of our challenges, as well as a country profile, Q&A sheet and advised kit list. So make sure you read all of these thoroughly before you even start putting your stuff together!
Rule 2) – Be realistic
Think about where you’re going, what you’re doing and what you 100% absolutely need. What works well for me is to make a two columned list, one column labelled ‘must haves’ and one labelled ‘maybe’. For example, if you’re going on the Thailand Jungle Expedition, insect repellent is a must! And Mascara or say an evening jacket is more of a maybe (once again, Charity Challenge helpfully does this for you! As our kit-lists come with a ‘must have’ and ‘optional’ labelling!) You’ll find that pretty much everything on your maybe list is expendable and can be chucked out the rucksack. For some, this may prove a very painful process, but take comfort in the fact that if you successfully follow these 5 rules, and your luggage passes the point 5 test, then you can reward yourself buy re-instating a couple of luxury ‘maybe’ items’!
Rule 3) – Use every inch
Think Mary Poppins and her magical bag, it really is amazing just how much you can fit into an everyday rucksack if you pack properly! I find the key is to make the most of the space you have: Firstly, if you can, wear your bulkier items – like trekking boots, coats and cargo trousers – during your flight to save space in your luggage. Then take advantage of any space you can, roll up your T-shirts or flat pack them down, stuff your socks into your trainers and basically approach it like a jigsaw puzzle. All these little efforts combined really can have a Tardis like effect on your rucksack!
Rule 4) – buy miniature
Chances are you’re not going to get through a full bottle of shampoo, or a whole tube of tooth paste in the duration of the trek, so buying miniature versions of these products or decanting them into smaller bottles is a smart way to save space without having to sacrifice anything. In any case, buying doll size toothpaste, tiny little moisturisers and amazing fold-up tooth brushes is half the fun of going away! Well it is for me anyway…
Rule 5) – Have a practice run
The moment of truth! Once your bag is packed, have a practice walking around with it because as soon as you hop off that plane, you could well be the one lugging it around! On most trips we have porters and you only need to get your bags to and from your room or tent at the end of the day, but this point is especially important if you’re taking a challenge like our Etna Volcanic Adventure, where you carry your full rucksack on your back during the hike to the wilderness huts. Be realistic and honest with yourself here, if it’s too heavy, take something out, if you feel you can handle a bit more, treat yourself to an extra item!
So there you have it! Follow these 5 rules, and a heavy or overly sparse rucksack won’t get in the way of you having the time of your life! For more top tips, and to learn more about all our charity challenges, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and, to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.
Blog by Mai, Marketing assistant