So I went through a few things that made it in my backpack, but some items where not so appealing. Things I’m not bringing:
Guidebook (paper copy) – I’ve always taken guidebooks in the past but I’m trying something new this time around and here’s why. There are electronic versions out there along with apps that should meet all my needs. Thank you all encompassing smartphone (long live my battery). Also and perhaps more importantly, I’m trying to ween myself off of guidebook suggestions and put more value in good old word of mouth. And finally, if I change my mind, there are bootlegged copies on just about ever corner in Asia.
Traveler’s Cheques – I brought these for my first trip to Costa Rica and it was nearly impossible to change them into actual money. ATMs are also everywhere so there’s no need to carry around a ton of cash. I won’t waste my time this time around.
Nice “going out” clothes – Am I going to go out during my travels? Yes. Is anyone going to be wearing nice clothes? No, and neither am I. It’s 85 degrees and 80% humidity and the one shower you take a day is right before bed so that you can sleep well. Simply put, this isn’t Vegas.
Sleeping Bag – This is an obvious one to anyone who has gone backpacking, but I was still asked about it multiple times. You should practically always have some clean sheets to sleep in and if you do go on some sort of camping expedition, all the equipment will be provided. Which leads me to the next item…
Rope – My buddy is convinced that a rope will come in handy at some point and is adamant about bringing one. I can’t convince him that he won’t use it a single time and that he’ll hate himself for having to carry it around on his back. I think he’s watched Boondock Saints one to many times.