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PREPARATION- “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst,…

As the other day we talked about planning, today we will talk about preparation, the carry through the plan outline. We will realize that there is a lot of factors from the plan which will be altering our preparation as could be the way of travelling the weather or the budget, as we talked before.
We will start from the most general stuff to the most specific one in order to not forget anything.
THE TRIP: This it is basically the documents we will need:
§  Personal documents:-Passport
-Visa (if necessary, check which countries require it)
-Driver licence (check if need an international one)
-Credit/debit cards (check they are not expiring and have balance and work in foreign countries)
-Official documents to do some activities (Scuba, paragliding, etc.)
§  Travel Documents:   -Tickets (plane, train, etc.)
-Reservation (numbers, documents)
-Insurance (medical, travel, etc)
§  Public transport:       – If you are travelling in public transport
(Plane, train, etc.) And you have established the days you are travelling, you may want to buy the tickets. Will be cheaper.
§  Own transport:         -If you are travelling by bike you want to make
sure that the bike runs well and that you have the proper tools and the knowledge to fix it.
-If you are walking or hiking, you and your back pack should be in good “shape”
-If you go in your own car/van make sure that the car has the insurance for the country you are travelling and that it is reliable. You may want to do a checking and fix all the parts.
§  Alternative transport:-Hitch hiking: nothing is sure when you are
Hitch hiking but you can check this link for tips in different countries.
CarPooling: A good way to travel, but you will normally need time to check and an internet point.
THE BAGGAGE: Your luggage it is going to be your source for your trip so it is one of the most important things to prepare good when you are going to travelling. It depends in many factors and it is affected by your plan and the points above. Obviously it is not the same to travel in a car than doing it by hitch hiking. The two main elements that you can play with when preparing your luggage are the weight and volume. Depending of the way you are travelling you will have different preferences. In a car maybe the volume will be an important factor. In a hiker the weight it is essential as it is in a biker. So everyone should adapt their luggage to their own conditions, priorities and of course your budget.
Top five important points when getting your luggage ready:
o   Sleeping stuff:If we have done a good planning, we will know the conditions that we will have and thus what we need. Depending on our plan we will need:
§  Shelter(outside layer): Tent, bivouac bag or emergency shelter
§  Comfortable layer: Mat (inflatable or foam)
§  Temperature layer: sleeping bag
o   Clothes:Again determined by your trip. If you are doing a long trip and you are hiking or biking, try to get as less as you can. Try to follow the three layers systemin bad conditions will be your life. Try to keep the clothes in a dry bag so they will not get wet (wet clothes weight a lot!)
With 2 or 3 T-shirts, 1 or 2 warm layers, and the shell for the top and 2 pants and 3 or 4 changing clothes will be enough for long terms trips. A technical towel and a swim coat, and gloves, scarf and winter hut (in case you will need it)
o   Shoes:We have to take good care of our feet as they are going to be our way of moving. It is important to keep them dry and comfortable. We will need boots especially if we are hiking in High Mountain and in hard routes. We can also use all the new variety of shoes for mountains as the trail shoes, which are a good combination of comfortableness and technical shoe. Would be highly recommended to have waterproof shoes! If we are not doing hard stuff will be enough with this second option. It is important to have a second pair of shoes, hopefully very light and comfortable, just in case the boots causes pain or they get wet.
o   Utensils and tools:In this category we have to include all we thing it will be necessary and useful for our trip. I recommend the following objects:
Pot, stove, gas bottle, lighter, pocket knife, big knife (if necessary), cutlery, cap, Flashlight (preferable head lamp), first aid kit, some rope, toiletry bag (soap bar better), pen and paper, solar protection and lip balm, phone and wallet.
o   Food:Your diet will be linked to your trip conditions, especially to your budget, and the way of transport. Also the distance between shopping points. Always try to have a little bit of extra food in case you have any troubles in your trip.
It is always important to have a healthy and balanced diet, even when travelling, this will keep us ready for the trip. When the weight it is one of our handicaps, especially for hiking and biking, we want to have dehydrated food, in order to save some weight, such rice, lentils, mashed potatoes, nuts, dehydrated fruit, etc. The cans normally are so heavy and generate lots of waste, not really well for long hikes. Try to carry some snacks on hand when you are hiking or biking, they give you power to keep going in your journey.
These are briefly the main steeps that you should take into account when preparing your stuff for a trip. I will keep adding more information and going in deep in every aspect in future post!

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