African Rucksack 101

Since I don’t have any news to report on the past few days, I thought I’d share the contents on my rucksack that I brought with me to Africa.
In the past whenever, I’ve gone traveling, I’ve always brought a huge suitcase or a 115 liter rucksack…which was massive. For this trip I limited it to a 50 liter one, and Flor managed to fit all her stuff into a 45 liter one! And I also brought a 20 liter daysack(which I compressed into my main rucksack.
Its true what they say; “pack what you think you’ll need, then throw out half of it”!

So here’s the contents of my rucksack, broking up into Clothes, Gadgets, Medicine and Miscellaneous.


  • 1 pair of sandals,
  • 1 pair of trainers,
  • 2 pairs of socks,
  • 2 T-shirts,
  • 2 shirts,
  • 2 pairs of pants/combats
  • 4 pairs of jocks
  • 1 thermal long sleeve top,
  • 1 rain jacket,
  • 1 sleeveless top.

With the exception of the rain jacket and the sleeveless top all the clothes were made out of quick drying material, and also have a wicking(carries moisture away from body) effect. They also compress into a very small size, so they were convenient for traveling. There was also a anti-microbial substance in the clothes which kept them from smelling…..and they do work….I proved it 🙂


  • Mini Panasonic camcorder(size of a packet of cigs)
  • A SLR camera(1 lens) and a compact camera.
  • Mini Laptop(writing up blogs, and watching movies)
  • Mini hard-drive with 60 movies burned onto it. Also used for making a double copy of all our photo’s, incase I ever lost the laptop and vise versa.
  • External speakers(listening to movies)
  • Ipod
  • Nintendo DS+game card with 60 games(a life saver for long distances on buses…believe me)
  • Phone
  • Adapter plug.

The Nintendo DS really was a great purchase as it made long journeys that bit more tolerable. We had one each so it also meant we could play against each other on certain games. You may think its a bit childish but there are some great puzzle games available for it. The laptop also allowed us to watch movies whenever the boredom got too much in the evenings, or when there was no T.V available.


  • Anti-Malaria tablets(Larium) Crazy stuff….no wonder its nicknamed Satan’s pill!
  • Painkillers(Ponston)
  • Antibiotics(Ampicillin)
  • Valium(havn’t had to use these so far 🙂
  • Anti-Fungal cream
  • Motilium
  • Arret(Diarrhoea)
  • Bandages and plasters.

All the above kept in a small medical pack.


  • Travel towel(100% a definite for any trip. 5 uses out of it before you need to wash it. Soaks up to 10 times its weight, and have anti-microbial agent in it to prevent bacteria etc building up. Compact.
  • Knife(a big 4 inch blade one I brought with me. It also had a bottle opener on other useful tools on it. We used it for everything, from eating and cutting wood. Very handy here in the flat in Kampala when you don’t have a sharp knife.
  • Travel line(very handy for drying clothes overnight in hostels etc)
  • Travel sink plug
  • Sunglasses
  • Ducktape(we used this for mending clothes, hanging up curtains and 101 other things)
  • Notebook
  • Washbag(shaving gear, toothbrush etc)
  • Lonely Planet Guide

So that’s what I’ve been traveling with. Everything fits. The only thing is that any books that I’ve bought and read, I’ve had to leave them behind because of space.

There are things I would do differently though for again. For example, we brought our money in US dollars, as we were told its the best way. But we know now that its not. We exchanged our Euros for dollars before we left, then changed them as we needed them to the different currency depending on where we were. But if we just brought the Euros with us, then we would have gotten alot more. We worked it out to be something like an extra $1000 we would have had to spend if we brought Euro instead of dollars.

I also wouldn’t advise people to eat unrefrigerated liver for breakfast like I did in Nairobi when we first arrived. 🙂