When packing for an active holiday, there are often more items to bring in our opinion. Other than the usual travel necessities like your passport, wallet, personal medication, travel adapter etc, having appropriate apparels and accompanying accessories/equipment for the outdoors is important as it provides comfort and support for you during the activity.
There is usually an extra packing checklist that I follow when preparing for my active trips. I will be classifying them according to the type of activities I take part in.
On Hiking Trips
I put a good amount of effort into packing during my pre-trip preparation. Because there is no convenience store just around the corner where I could buy something should I forgot to bring it along when on a trail in the mountains. There is some science behind packing for hiking trips as you only want to carry the weight of what is necessary during the hike, nothing more also nothing less. This is a list of essential items I will bring along for day hikes.
Haversack/backpack – Having a good sturdy bag pack with appropriate straps helps with carrying my hike essentials such as water and food, medical kit, electronics, hiking pole and travel documents.
Waterproof pouches/waterproof bag cover – The thing I am most concerned about is weather proofing the contents in my bag, especially my essential items like passport, cash, emergency contact list and electronics such as mobile phone and power bank, so having a waterproof bag cover or pouches provide me an ease of mind in case of adverse weather.
Hiking pole – I usually do not like to use hiking pole as I find it cumbersome at times, but I tend to bring one along nevertheless because I never know when my hiking companion and I will need one.
Hiking gloves – I will bring along 2 pairs of gloves and I love those with rubberized grip as it comes in really good use when I need a firm grip when touching the natural elements like muddy ground or rocks. They also protect my hands from thorny plants.
Hiking shoes/boots – Having a good pair of hiking footwear and socks really makes a difference to the amount of comfort I feel during the hike, especially towards the end of the hike where tiredness kicks in. The shoe must have good sole grip and is fitted well to my feet, and a pair of good anti-slip socks will ensure that my toes does not get stubbed during descent.
Long sleeve hiking top – To help with preventing sunburns, I like to wear dri-fit long sleeve t-shirts on hikes. If I do not have enough long sleeve tees, I will make sure I bring along my arm sleeves.
Long tights – I love wearing tights on hikes compared to hiking pants because I find it provides more movement flexibility. My tights come with side pockets, great for keeping my mobile phone within reach whenever I need it.
Sunglasses – This is a must for me because I am sensitive to bright lights, so having a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection makes my hike a lot more enjoyable when admiring the scenery. Also it is very important to protect our eyes from the harmful UV rays.
First aid kit – I will always make sure I bring my own first aid kit even if there is one provided because I believe it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious. Also if you are on medication, ensure you always bring your own medicine and bring more than enough, because the medicine you consume may not be available in the places you visit.
Hydration bag – I’ve tried bringing water bottles on hike before but find that hydration bags are easier to pack because it helps even out the weight in my bag pack. Plus the water tube helps to control the amount of water intake each time which is great for rationing water. Another important factor is that I can take sips of water anytime I like without the need to stop and open my backpack and retrieve the water bottle.
Whistle & Torchlight – These are essential safety items that I will make sure is packed into my hiking bag. We never know when we might need it during the hike in an emergency. Using a whistle requires less effort compared to shouting for help and if the hike drags till nightfall, a torchlight will provide you with the necessary light and sight.
Miscellaneous items – Swiss knife, insect repellent, sun block, balaclava, cap, snacks, passport, mobile phone, portable charger, emergency medical details.
On Cycling Trips
During cycling trips, I do not need to bring along my own bicycle or snacks because that is provided during the ride. Here’s what I pack into my suitcase:
Cycling helmet – A must for all my rides. Afterall, I only have one head. I will often bring my own helmet for comfort and hygiene purposes.
Cycling gloves – I love gloves that expose my fingers as it is easier for me to swipe my phone if I wanted to take pictures along pitstops.
Cycling jersey – Wearing a proper cycling jersey is the best on rides because of the specially designed pockets at the back of the jersey, allowing me to stuff items like my phone, some cash, even my water bottle! I am now accustomed to wearing tight fitting jerseys because they help to reduce wind resistance significantly.
Cycling cap – I will always wear one under my helmet as it helps prevent sweat from rolling down my forehead into my eyes when riding. Also, it helps to keep my hair in place.
Cycling footwear – Footwear that covers my toes fully is good for cycling. This is to protect my toes in case of any unforeseen accident. I like to tuck in my shoelaces too, to prevent it from getting caught in the bicycle chain when cycling.
Arm sleeves – I learnt a hard lesson about not wearing my arm sleeves. Because a cycling jersey is snuggly fitted everywhere, I had a very distinct and ugly tan line on my arm for not wearing a cycling sleeve during my ride in Batam. It took me months to get rid of that distinct tan!
Sunglasses – It is a must for me to wear sunglasses especially when cycling as it helps provide some protection towards my eyes, especially when natural elements come into play, like wind, rain or environmental particles. It also helps to protect insects flying into my eyes.
Wind/water resistant jacket – I will also bring a wind or water-resistant jacket on all my rides in preparation for any wet weather, or strong cold winds. If there is no adverse weather like lightning and thunder, the ride will usually go on, so it is good to be prepared.
Balaclava/neck scarf – This clothing accessory is useful when cycling in cold or hot weather, or in dusty conditions like along the roads. It protects my neck from being exposed to the elements, and if the air condition is dusty I can just conveniently pull the scarf up over my nose and mouth.
Cycling pouch – I like to strap waterproof pouches onto the bicycle, on the bicycle frame or handlebar. They are used to keep my valuables in my pouches such as personal medication, wallet, portable handphone charger double layered in waterproof mini pouches.
Cycling water bottle – I like to bring soft squeezable bottles for cycling trips as it fits better into the bicycle bottle holder.
Bicycle lights – Though most of the cycling trips I take are during the day, I will still bring my lights along just in case the ride takes longer than expected, or if I want to go for a night spin. They are also useful on wet weather days.
On Running Trips
I pack the least on running trips because it is one of the most fuss-free activities compared to the previous two!
Running shoes – A good pair of running shoes is a must to ensure minimal discomfort throughout my run. I will bring along the pair of shoes I have been training in. A brand-new pair is not recommended as shoes need to be broke into to make it comfortable.
Dri-fit T-shirts – If I am participating in a local marathon race event, I would be wearing the event tees given by the organisers. My favourite t-shirt so far was the one I wore during the DMZ International Peace Marathon. I also love the t-shirt worn during the Kagoshima Marathon! They make great souvenirs after the trip. I will bring another dri-fit t-shirt along to change into after the run.
Running tights – I prefer wearing tights over shorts when I run at it helps prevent any abrasion from running, plus it protects my legs from getting sunburnt.
Arm sleeves – This is a must to cover my arms when the sun gets too hot. The sleeve also allows me to easily wipe off any sweat that gathered around my face during the run.
Cap – Wearing a cap not only shields my face from the sun, it also helps to keep my hair away from my face, which can be really distracting when I am trying my best to complete a race hahaha.
Sunglasses – Again, I must wear my sunglasses while running to protect my eyes from UV rays and natural elements. I do not run as fast as Speedy Gonzales, but it’s still good to protect my vision hahaha.
Waist belt – Though I try to run carrying bare minimum items, I will still wear a running waist belt to keep items like some energy bar that I may need during the run.
Lightweight jacket – If I am running in cold climate, I would usually wear a lightweight jacket at the start of the race. As the race progresses and my body heat increases, I will wrap the jacket around my waist. Hence it is important that the jacket must be light!
Of course, on all the active trips I take, I will definitely bring along our Travel Wander flag! Sheryl & I (and a lot of our members) are big supporters of our iconic TW flag hahaha! Are you too?
We are available for a chat on: Line, KakaoTalk, Telegram, WeChat, WhatsApp & Viber @ +65 8714 3321.