Im a first time backpacker going on a 6 month rtw trip to brazil,argentina,chile, peru, nz,aus and thailand. been looking at things to bring - first aid kit, water purifier tablets, super absorbent towels...does anyone have THE definitive list of what to bring? Dont want to forget anything important, but dont want to bring too much. for instance do i need a first aid kit with sterile needles and the like?
Thanks in advance for your help,
I don't have a complete list, but one thing that is a MUST in your backpack is Toilet Paper.
It may sound ridicilous but in many countries the toilets are not equipped with any paper, instead you have a bucket of water standing in a corner somewhere (if even, especially in cheap hostels).
TP has some great help for packing and travel tips under "tools" at the top of the page. Here is a link to the "Packing List" in the tool section. Cruise arond the "tools" section and you will find lots of help. Plus, others will be letting you know what they felt were essentials for their travels.
I'm with Pardus on the toilet paper thing and remember, if you're on a long bus or train trip, you'll want it in your daypack, not packed out of reach in the bottom of the coach, or with the rest of your luggage that you've left in storage somewhere. Small detail, but worth it when the time comes......
It depends what you want to do - a first aid kit would be handy definitely but most hospitals in South America (not sure about Thailand) have sterilised needles etc. and are reputable just ask to see the needle first before they take it out of the packet if you become into such a situation where you would need one. Since I have been and so now have some experience of South America I would advise the following:-
Camping gear and toiletries etc. can be found in the major cities so I wouldn't bring them! I would bring copies of medical insurance documents and passport copies! I would also leave passport copies at home and keep my passport no. separate from my passport. A cross between plastic, cash and travellers cheques for money!
Also clothes wise, a few T-shirts, trekking gear including one or two waterproof items and one pair of jeans. A few smarter clothes and going out clothes but only one or two items (I am planning on teaching out there next time so that choice is optional for anyone else)! One pair of evening shoes, one pair of sandals, one pair of daywear shoes and one pair of walking shoes (will be doing a lot of trekking also)! Last but not least - mosquito net and mosquito repellent (DEET if poss but don't wear if have sunburn)! Clothes to cover up against mosquitos such as long pants and long sleeved t-shirts (important in northern parts of Brasil and many other parts of South America)!! Also yellow fever vaccination certificate (needed for Brasil legilly to enter the country if entering from a country such as Bolivia or another YF infected country)!! Malaria tablets can make you sick so it is up to you - my advice is just to give yourself full protection against mosquito bites!!!
That's all I can think of