There have been a lot of requests to share the kit list and the equipment that we carried, individually and as a team. I am detailing it all out, by category, with observations, pros/cons. Hope it will be of help to future adventurers to any desert region and if you have any questions, leave a comment. Though this is an exhaustive list meant only for warm climate treks/expeditions, but it cannot claim to cover all requirements.
Clothing: Considering the duration of the trek, 2 months in our case, we could have been easily tempted to carry more of this. More so since washing opportunities were next to nil. But thankfully for our camels, we did not. I laid down simple math- a change of inner wear every 15 days, a change of outer wear every 30 days.
The second thing we had to account for was the weather – both warm and cold, with occasional showers. Layering your clothing is always a good idea instead of wearing one bulky item. If you need to be weight sensitive, always keep more of the inners over the outers.
So my clothing list finally looked like this:
- Lightweight trousers – 3 – I carried two Adidas track pants and 1 cotton trouser, both worked fine to beat the heat as well as the cold. These types are tough and withstand rough use.
- Cotton shirts / kurtees– 3 – These were all full sleeved and made of cotton. My experience with Kurtees was great, they are a good substitute for shirts. I would not recommend a salwar-kurta combo because firstly, the kurta is longer and can hamper your stride and second while using the salwar, your thighs tend to rub raw within hours. Avoid these. I also purchased a Northface all weather ultra shirt with a SPF of 30. It has great wind vents on the sides and handy pocket near the hip.
- Underwear – 5 pairs – go for cotton, always. You can go for thicker weave if you prefer, over thinner/less dense material.
- Light sweatshirt/fleece jacket – 2 –this is type that is light on weight and bulk, yet good with keeping you snug.
- Lightweight wool socks – 2 pairs, not the very thick ones, they cramp our feet all day long. Or just use them in the night.
- Cotton socks – 4 pairs – cotton so that they keep your feet dry. These tend to bunch up sometime, and as soon as they do, either wash or discard.
- Rain protection – 1- nothing that will flail, or be dragged with the wind. Bring something light, that clings to the body and has a hood.
- Bandana/scarf – 2/3 – can be used for keeping unruly hair in check, covering the neck and ears if your hat is not big enough, to wipe sweat and tie things up. Even if you don’t use one, take a couple along, they can be used in a lot of ways.
- Beanie – 1 – merino wool will be great and light too!
- Wide brimmed hat – 1 – with a fastening band that goes around your chin. Running after the hat in the desert wind is tiresome business.
- Woolen neck gaiter – 1 – I did not carry this personally, but will come in handy in a lot of ways. It can cover your neck, warm your hands, and even your ears.
- Buff – this is one versatile piece of clothing at my team mate Carrie gifted me. It can be used in several different ways and can be a beanie, gaiter, tube top, hair band, ear protection..all in one. Must have, carry several.
In my next, I’ll elaborate about baggage to contain your personal effects and equipment.