When you are embarking on any kind of trip, its hard not to pack more than you end up needing. I’m a bit of packing list fiend-I have a nerdy interest in comparing notes and finding out what other people are packing, but even more than that I like to hear about what people DIDN’T end up using. here’s our list of things we sent home.
1. Hand-crank radio.
When we left for the trail in January , it was bushfire season and many a person reminded us of that. I decided to reduce our risks by investing a small hand cranked radio. I planned to check ABC local radio regularly for any bushfire threats or updates I might to know. It would also allow me to listen to music at camp. In reality, I was too tired to ever consider music, and 5 mins of hand cracking gave you about 1 min of radio time. Also, every time you go into a new area, the ABC station changes frequency. As soon as bushfire season was over, so was my relationship with the radio.
2. Front saddle bags.
I was packing 5kg in these on Fly for the first few months on the trail without a problem, but after a while he started to get a rub on his withers. I noticed it worsened when he had the front saddle bags on. Sure, he is a big strong horse and an extra 5kg shouldnt be an issue, but things seem to take their toll on the animals when they are travelling for months on end. I decided it wasnt worth it and sent them home.
3. Electric fence poles
After scouring numerous rural supply stores for the smallest, lightest fence posts I could find, I finally settled on some and took them on a practise ride. Even those ones turned out to be big, bulky, cumbersome, heavy and unneccessary. I’m sure I’ll find a use for them when I get home.
4. Yahtzee and Scrabble
Carried these around in my backpack for three months before I realised it just wasnt gunna happen- there was always something else to do on the trail, and besides, we still had playing cards if we got desperate for entertainment.
Uuum, must’ve had a brain freeze moment when I packed this.
Hmmm. An interesting one. Never had time for it in the first hectic month on the trail, and the way I had packed it was awkward and was always getting in the way, so home it went. Now that we are onto things a bit more and have a bit more spare time, I wouldn’t mind that ukulele back- I’d pack it differently of course. We are both really missing not playing music!
7. Kathmandu Solar Charger
Total waste of time. Very expensive paperweight.
8. Nylon buckle halters
These were fine for at home, but rubbed the beasties like crazy when worn all day, every day. We are forever rope halter converts now.
9. Homemade horse rug.
I thought I’d be a bit clever and try to fashion my own lightweight horse rug with velcro inserts so that I could use the saddle blankets as a rug lining at night. Put it on Fly the first night, emerged from the tent the next morning to find it up around his ears. Sometimes it pays to leave things to the experts.
Somewhat freaked out by the idea of drinking scungy dam water for the next year, I packed a lifestraw drink bottle, Katadyn gravity water filter, a steripen, and plenty of fuel to boil water if necessary. Now I tend to boil it or/ and use the filter. I dare say, much of the water we have been drinking along the trail has probably got less rubbish in it than the tap sort.
Id love to hear what Items others out there thought they couldn’t live without on a trek , but ended up sending home!