Celebrating 30 Years of KE
Celebrating 30 Years with 30 Top Travel Tips
Over the last 3 decades we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help make your adventure holiday experience that little bit easier. In celebration of our 30 years of travel we would like to share our Top Tips with you...
1. A small roll of Gaffa (Duck) tape
Never travel without it. It can help you fix many things in an emergency, from a hole in your tent, broken rucksack strap, snapped sunglasses, to keeping soles on boot.
2. Learn a little of the local language
It is always appreciated by the locals if you try to speak a bit of their language even if it is just a 'hello' and 'thank you'. Lonely planet produces excellent pocketsize phrase books.
3. Use different coloured dry bags inside your kit bag
Separate up your kit when using large kits bags as on most of our camping trips you are repacking every day; this is a great trick to find what you need easily, even by head torch!
4. Take spare batteries
Don't forget to take spare batteries for your digital camera! This way you can go trekking for a week without having to recharge. In cold temperatures it is also helps to put your camera inside your sleeping bag at night.
5. Roll clothes don't fold!
Rolled up clothes take up less room when packing and don't crease as much!
6. Make your own pillow
If you are camping use your sleeping bag stuff-bag with a fleece or two inside as a pillow.
7. Carry a photo of your home and family
It is a great ice breaker when you're making friends in other countries and learning about their home, people are usually curious to know where you've come from.
8. Take pocket-sized bottle of antibacterial hand gel
Most hand gels kill 99.99% of common germs and as it is sometimes difficult to clean your hands before eating this you will be more likely to stay healthy - ensuring an enjoyable holiday!
9. Pack some earplugs!
The difference they make is huge ! On group holidays where you sleep in mountain huts they should be the first item on your list. If you do not like to foam ones the new silicone plugs are great.
10. Put your sunglasses on a neck strap
Very useful when trekking, scrambling, cycling, etc not only do they not accidently fly off your head when it's windy, but if you dangle them around your neck when not in use, you do not loose them!
11. Always have a pack of cards on you
It is the nature of many high mountain walks that for acclimatisation you reach your camp or hut early afternoon and have lots of spare time. Porters love card games.
12. Stop shampoo explosions on trek
Put insulation-tape on the tops of bottles and use a plastic zip-lock bag for your wash-kit; which is inexpensive, waterproof and far lighter than anything else.
13. Pack a 2 blade Swiss-army Penknife
One of the most useful items to take is a small 2 blade Swiss-army penknife with scissors; the tweezers and toothpick are also really handy. But remember ALWAYS pack sharp objects in your check-in luggage when flying.
14. Beat the Leeches
If you're ever going to areas where there's potentially leeches; take some salt sachets, along with cola, lime juice and alcohol wipes they are really effective for removing leeches once they've suckered on to you!
15. Respect the locals
Be open to new ideas and respect the countries culture and religious views. Always wear appropriate clothing, particularly woman no matter what you may think it's not your country or culture so behave accordingly.
16. Don't be afraid to try local street food
The best tip is to follow the locals and eat where it is busy, you can usually tell by sight if it is clean and it is best to eat food cooked in front of you. Even bring your own utensils.
17. Take a pee bottle!
On a high mountain holiday where you camp above the snowline take a pee bottle for the evenings. In a storm they are a god send, best to use a wide-mouthed Nalgene or Gatorade bottle that you mark with tape!
18. Take too many photos?
When you get home make a photo album - digital photos usually get left on a computer so make a photo album of your best shots, funny moments and even that one of the loo on the side of a mountain!
19. Always pack a scarf or sarong
The reasons are manifold! It keeps you warm, it keeps you cool, it helps you cover up your shoulders and head if necessary but takes up little room. Never travel without one.
20. Keep your valuables dry
You can get caught out by sudden downpours in the mountains. Therefore pack expensive items like camera, phone, and wallet in small waterproof Ortlieb bags. In addition to these, use a larger one as a daypack liner.
21. Save weight with a Buff!
Pack as light weight as possible and one essential item that covers a multitude of uses is a buff! Balaclava, cap, face mask, headband, hair band, liner, sun guard, neck gaiter, wristband are just a few of its uses.
22. Don't worry about what you've forgotten to pack
As long as you have money, passport, air tickets, nowadays you can pick up virtually everything at your destination. Kathmandu has more gear shops than Keswick!
23. Take a portable elastic washing line
They are a compact peg less design made of twisted elastic where you simply tuck your clothes and towels inside the twisted thread.
24. Protect your ears and neck from the sun
Sun protection is always very high on our list and a broad-brim Tilley-hat is probably the best choice for looking after your ears and neck.
25. Buy good quality sunglasses
It's not about looking cool; the glare from the sun especially on snow is dangerous and can cause snow blindness. Carry extra good quality sunglasses, if you don't use them one of your porters may need a pair.
26. Save your gloves - old school style!
On summit day our guides always see several expensive insulated gloves or mitts sliding down the snow, dropped by members of a team above. Reduce the chances by using a string wrist loop.
27. Hide some emergency cash
Pack some local cash and some emergency money well hidden somewhere. A roll of 20 x US$1 notes can always help out when you are looking for some cash unexpectedly, US dollars are excepted every where.
28. Copy your passport
Always carry a couple photocopies of your passport and record of your credit card numbers.
29. In case of an emergency...
Pack some emergency food that you do not like, this way you will be less tempted to use it apart from in a real emergency. I carry energy gels because they are horrible and so they will only get used when really needed
30. Smile at folks, it works!
Want to share your Top Tips with like minded people?
>> Email KE your Top Tip along with your name and we will add you and your tip to our list or share your travel tips on our facebook page.