Packing for Madagascar, La Réunion and France
Packing for a trip with different climates and vibes has been a challenge. It’s been a while, too, since I’ve done any sort of backpacking or adventure travel so I have almost forgotten what it’s like to pack for it. Madagascar and La Réunion will entail hiking in hot and chilly environments. France will entail a lot of walking but I want to look respectable, preferably fashionable! I don’t want to bring three sets of clothes so I have to pack ones that will be (somewhat) suitable in all three places.
Choosing a Bag
I didn’t spend too much time humming and hawing as I normally would. I was going to take my hiking bag but when the Osprey Farpoint 40 went on sale, I opted to buy one. I liked the idea of being able to open up the bag like a suitcase and when I tried it out, it seemed fairly comfortable. I have chronic shoulder/ neck issues and nerve damage from a 9-month backpacking trip I took 10 years ago due to an ill-fitting backpack, so I value comfort above everything else since I don’t want to exacerbate and already bad issues.
For a daybag, I opted to get a packable Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack in grey and I bought a cheap H&M black purse for days where I don’t need the pack. The purse has a zipper and can fit my camera and little trinkets so it seems perfect, even though I’m worried the strap is a bit flimsy.
I’ve heard Osprey has a great warranty program which is another reason I bought two bags from them. I’m worried about the Ultralight being able to hold all my camera stuff and a water bottle and then some but with the warranty, I can breathe easy from a financial perspective.
I might have a packed a bit too much and I may buy more clothes in Paris!
- Socks (no-show exercise, regular)
- Underwear, sports bra, regular bra
- Jean shorts
- Leggings (one capri cotton + one sports style)
- Running shorts (Bring running shorts + leggings combo instead of hiking pants)
- Thin jacket
- Three tank tops
- Two t-shirts
- One long-sleeved exercise shirt
- One nice dress
- Sun dress
- PJs (shirt, jogging pants, super short leggings)
- Trail Runners (La Sportiva Ultra Raptor, not waterproof)
- Sandals that can also be used in the shower
- Adidas Miss Stan sneakers
- Buff (for neck, ears etc)
- Rainproof Jacket
- Packable running jacket, weather resistant, light for extra warmth
I also don’t want to overpack but I’m not sure what the facilities and amenities will be like in Madagascar and La Réunion and I have a few chronic health issues, which means I need to take a lot of medication or health-related products. My list includes:
- Malarone for Madagascar
- Antibiotics lest I get traveller’s diarrhea
- Three sets of medication for my digestion sensitivities
- Topical ointments for eczema
- Nasal spray and Allegra-D for allergies
- Gravol for motion sickness and nausea
- Other OTC medication including Imodium, Pepto-Bismal, Benadryl (for allergies in the rainforest), Tylenol, Sinus medication, Tums
- Hydration tablets
I’ve also had to watch what I’ve been eating due to my digestion sensitivities so I’m bringing Nakd bars, Lara bars and ginger chews for snacks while on the go.
I have very sensitive skin so I need to pack a few toiletries. I’m also bringing a small amount of makeup.
- Face cream and body cream (in small travel-sized tubs)
- Shampoo/Conditioner combo
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
- Band-aids and antibiotic cream
- Naked2 Basics Palette
- BB Cream
- Tiger Balm
- Deet Free Bug Spray (very allergic to Deet!)
- Lip balm
- Tweezers and nail clippers
Most of these items are for when I’m hiking, but I will carry some with me when I’m walking around town too.
- Headlamp with batteries
- Rain cover for my large bag
- Dry bag (mostly for my camera)
- Laundry line
- Swiss army knife
- Emergency blanket
- First Aid Kit
- Bug Jacket for mosquitoes
- Sports Tape
- Packable towel
- Safety Pins
- Sewing Kit
- Flashlight and whistle
- Disposable Gloves
- Water purification tablets
- Ziploc Bags
- Bounce Sheets
I didn’t want to bring too many electronics since I want to unwind (more about that later) but there is a lot of camera gear it seems
- Fuji X100T with WCL-X100, TCL-X100 converters, 5 Batteries, 3 Memory Cards, 1 Polarizer, 1 UV Filter and charger
- iPhone and iPhone Charger
- Beater cellphone
- Kobo Mini eReader
- Travel adaptors
- Acuball and therabands to work on body mobility
- Guidebook for La Réunion and Paris
- Eye Shade
And voilà, my bag is packed. I may remove a clothing item or two, but I think I’m set!