“Who wants to travel far must spare himself“, said Jean Racine.
So to be sharpened like blades, ready to pounce on every occasion, to throw ourselves headlong into the adventure – this beautiful and sweet scents which smells of the perfume of the great unknown – we better equip ourselves accordingly.
Step 1, essential but not least : updating vaccines
(or how to have enough antibodies for the next 3 generations)
Let’s be serious for two minutes. It is important to prepare your body to such a “marathon” trip, especially with 92 countries in the crosshairs. In total, and if I counted well, we got eleven injections administered per explorer ! Yes, yes, I assure you:
-1 injection against Yellow fever, the only vaccine required when you move in “tropical” countries, especially in Africa, South America and the Caribbean – and highly recommended in general
-1 injection against MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella), pure prevention, since I didn’t have measles as a child. And adult measles, it is best to avoid … It seems to sting a bit.
-1 injection against Hepatitis A
-3 injections for rabies pre-exposure : the 1st at D1, the 2nd at D+7 and the 3rd at D+28
-1 injection against Typhoid fever
-2 injections against Japanese Encephalitis: the 1st at D1 and the 2nd at D+28
-1 injection against Tdap-IPV (Diphteria-Tetanus-Poliomyelitis-Pertussis)
-et 1 injection against Meningococal Meningitis
Plus some nice fevers… It is part of the “package” !
Step 2 : Administrative
(and no…it’s not facultative… snif…)
Yay ! I love running from right to left for a forgotten tampon, a signature in the wrong box on the x or y form, or a new copy of the identity card – because on the previous one does not recognize any of your head, the printing is awful…
In short, once all these festivities ended you have in your possession some essential tools for your “Super Explorer” equipment :
-2 passports (Yeah ! That’s the class), and one of which is called “big traveler” with 16 more pages to welcome all your future customs stamps
-1 International Driving Permit (attention, it is only valid for 3 years)
-1 new identity card. Yes, I was obliged: try to explain to the customs border control that it is you, the little beardless boy on the old school photo, while today you have a 5-day beard and your hair mid-long…
Step 3 : the backpack
(or how to try not to look like a mule while your bag weighs 30kg)
A mix – no, more like a Chinese puzzle ! – to successfully fit into a single backpack all the necessary equipment to travel – from clothing to sleeping through to the toiletries – not out for one but for two explorers! Why will you ask? Because Ludo will have on his shoulders all the technical equipment, and believe me, he will also carry his cross. Result : we optimize, reduce to a minimum, and look for the most compact and lightest equipment.
Quick summary of an “optimized” backpack for one person:
-1 pair of hiking boots, airy and waterproof, protecting the ankle and allowing your feet to breathe correctly (I hope …)
-7 pairs of anti-blister socks (love progress!)
-7 beautiful adventurer boxers/briefs
-2 convertible pants shorts
-1 light and windproof coat
-2 cotton long sleeve shirts
-1 lightweight sleeping bag
-1 silk coth bag, which makes you gain 3 to 4 degrees and allows you to keep your sleeping bag clean
-1 hammock, with net system and anti-rain integrated
-without forgetting… the first aid kit !
The equipment seems to work nicely and the first steps in South Africa are going very well. It only remains for us to experience a night in hammock under the African stars…