I'm taking a 65-litre Karrimor rucksack and a hold-all. The first thing going in the rucksack is a piece of chicken wire - if the bottom gets slashed, thieves can't get at my things. On top of that will go toilet rolls and enough Tampax to see me to Australia.
Instead of a bulky sleeping bag I'm taking a sleeping bag sheet which will be cool, washable and useful for less-than-perfect hotel beds and on long train journeys.
Apart from basics of underwear, cotton trousers, floppy cotton hat, shorts and tees, the rucksack will initially contain toiletries and medicines I may not find en route. I'm taking a Boots Emergency Travellers' Medical Kit, antibiotics, blister and sun burn creams, insect repellent, vitamins ... and 210 malaria pills to last 15 weeks.
I won't take makeup - possibly some mascara - but cleansers, moisturisers, tan lotion, tweezers, scissors and some shampoo and crystalline deodorant which lasts longer.
Travelling friends recommend taking a padlock, a wooden door wedge, a sink plug, a penknife and wide sticky tape to seal doors. My money, credit card, passport, insurance certificate, copies of my prescription in case I lose my contact lenses plus my two books of flight tickets go in a cotton money belt. I've copied all my ticket, passport and other numbers to keep separately.
I've a Lonely Planet guide to India with a friend's advice noted in it. The friend I'm travelling with is taking guides to Bali. We'll swap books to read and tapes for our Walkmans and I'll take lots of spare batteries. I'm taking a journal/scrapbook and a camera with lots of film.
I'll buy sandals in India and wear my warm, comfortable trainers plus two pairs of socks to travel out. For the flight out, I'll wear my heaviest clothes, baggy black trousers which can be dressed up if necessary, a T-shirt and cardigan which is more versatile than a sweater and I can tie it round my waist when we arrive in Delhi's noonday heat.
I have a sarong that matches my swimsuit and a bikini that can double as underwear. I'm packing lots of Travel Wash rather than extra clothes and my friend is bringing a washing line. I can probably get away with wearing my check pyjama bottoms as extra trousers.Reuse content