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What to pack for an adventure holiday

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Summary of essential items to take on an adventure holiday

An adventure holiday is one of the most exhilarating and memorable travel experiences in which you can participate. Frequently your excursion will take you to remote areas of the world off the so-called ‘beaten track’, travelling across rugged landscapes through sparsely populated regions and through areas which are not designed or modified for tourists. For these reasons detailed advance planning is essential for a safe and enjoyable trip and a key part of preparation for any adventure holiday is knowing what equipment to take with you.

Photo Credit: delmarextreme


Remember that this is an adventure holiday not a ten day poolside sunshine break in the Mediterranean, so you may find that the usual holiday garb of flip flops and bikini is rather inappropriate. Take a range of clothes that are cool and comfortable for walking and climbing; lightweight items may be preferable especially if you expect to get wet trekking through the rainforest (jeans have a habit of becoming like lead weights when soaked). In some parts of the world wandering through forests or woodland areas may require a ‘cover up’ approach to prevent tick-bites and a nasty dose of encephalitis when you get home. Also remember that some cultures have a dim view of exposed flesh so it may be respectful to wear clothing that conceals what lies beneath without suffocating you in the heat of the sun.


It goes without saying that extensive amounts of walking may have consequences for your feet if you don’t wear sensible footwear so don’t think that the old pair of boots you have knocking around the loft is necessarily going to do the trick. Properly fitting, hard-wearing and waterproof boots from a high quality retailer are essential, along with thick socks. An comfortable pair of casual shoes for the evenings will help your feet to relax at the end of a long day of walking.

Staying Healthy

Illness – either during your holiday or when you return – is probably the last thing on your list so don’t venture into the unknown without being properly equipped. Sunscreen, aftersun lotion and insect repellent will be a good starting point along with a compact first aid kit, painkillers and (for a little home comfort) toothpaste and shampoo. (Don’t forget to arrange all your necessary vaccinations before you leave home.)


It’s not very likely that you’ll be staying in many five star hotels during an adventure holiday and may find that you sleep on the move, so an inflatable mattress that you can deflate and roll up for portability is essential.


Don’t expect to be able to bring your suitcase with you on your adventure holiday – it simply won’t be practical. A strong lightweight rucksack, preferably with plenty of zipped compartments and a large inner section, is ideal especially if you can fasten it across the front of your waist for extra support. In all probability the rucksack will be tossed on top of a jeep or soaked with river water as you canoe your way through a rainforest so strength and durability are two of its most important characteristics.

Practical essentials

One of the exciting aspects of an adventure holiday is that you never quite know what is going to happen so be prepared for the unexpected. A head torch is ideal for helping you to find your way around if exploring underground cave systems or under the cover of darkness while a compass is invaluable (when used in conjunction with a map of course). A Swiss army knife can be a useful tool in all manner of situations but check your airline’s policy for the carriage of this item in checked luggage.

The little extras

There are also numerous other items you would probably wish you had remembered to pack so don’t forget a good book (these can be a little hard to come by in remote regions!), your camera for those once in a life time photographs, a flash drive with a copy of your passport and visa, your mobile phone (though it may not always find a signal) and an iPod – even on an adventure holiday there may be considerable amounts of time when you need to while away the hours and without the distraction of satellite TV, restaurants and bars you may find that a little background music can help immensely.

Adventure holidays are a fantastic way to explore the world but proper preparation to ensure that you travel fully-equipped is vital to enjoying a safe, relaxed and memorable experience.

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