This is the communication my daughter-in-law shared with me when we hiked the Fish in 2008! Here's the Packing List we shared too .... hope you get a laugh, if nothing else out of it!!!!!
Here is the official pack list - it is highly recommended that you pack your backpack and do some 10 km walks with all your gear to get used to it. Hiking on the beach will be great training for the canyon!
· One tent for every two people (okay so we squeezed all four of us in our tent!)
· ** 1 high density sponge mattress (think yoga-mat).
· ** A light, but warm sleeping bag - My green (Spring) First Ascent 'bag was perfect for me.
· ** Space blanket x2 ( didn't have to use mine )
· Pillow (something small and light. I normally stuff my sleeping bag's cover with clothes).
· Strong hiking boots (these have to be worn in, and sturdy enough for the terrain)
· ** hydrating system Water bottle (max 1 litre, to carry on your belt/somewhere easily accessible -
· Map of the hike (can be bought at the base camp at Hobas)
· Tracksuit (optional) bottoms –
· Windbreaker jacket (light, light, light - I carry a drymac that is both waterproof and warm, and then mix that with a warm-ish pair of tracksuit bottoms)
· 2 pairs of shorts
· 3 light shirts (I recommend something with a sleeve, as sleeveless tops tend to cause chafing under the backpack's straps. Again, you'll figure out what you prefer on your training hikes)
· Underwear for 5 days
· ** Falke 4 sets of thick wool socks - these worked well, until the last day when I changed to lighter, thinner socks.
· 2 pairs of short nylon socks (just cut the foot-bit off an old pair of pantihose!) - we have found this the best way to avoid blisters - we wear the pantihose socks over the wool - the wool absorbs moisture, while the nylon takes any chafing or rubbing. Alternatively, you can invest in the professional version of this. Good sports shops tend to stock them. Socks are washed pretty much twice a day, once over lunch, as it dries quickly, and at night if needs be.
· Hat (cap or something bigger to ward of the African sun)
· Sweatband (optional, for that '80s look)
· Extra pair of light shoes (to wear at night and to use when crossing streams. Preferably something that dries quickly, but with a decent sole. Think Rocky sandals. Very orthopaedic-looking. http://www.rockydirect.com/productDetails/1019891/1000851/1000074
· 2 Handkerchiefs (no idea what these are for, have never used 'em! :-/)
· ** Gaiters ("kamaste"). Our local outdoor shop stocks these, but they are a little pricey. If you can't find any, let me know and I'm sure we can arrange a pair. (normally issued in bright orange. Sorry. )
· ** Additional laces for your boots
· Swimming costume! (yeah, baby!)
· Small towel
· Sponge or washcloth
· ** Environmentally friendly soap/shampoo
· Toothpaste and -brush (either buy a small tube of toothpaste, or just use one that's about three-quarters empty. For a toothbrush, I use one with the handle cut off. Weight matters! :-P)
· Deodorant (but a small tin! :-) )
· Foot powder (optional)
· Cream (body- or hand lotion)
First aid (not too much - people tend to bum off each other):
· ** Friars Balsam Antiseptic / Mercurochrome/ Methiolyte
· All-purpose salve (think Zambuk) or something for sore muscles (Deep Heat, aaaahhhhhh)
· Bandage (in the event of a sprain. Also useful to tie soles to shoes ..... )
· Anti-allergy stuff (if you need any)
· Eye drops (this helps for windy days!)
· Eardrops (if required)
· Needle, thread, small pair of scissors ( for those blisters - thread the needle, insert into one side of blister and out the opposite side, cut thread off, leaving a little thread dangling either side, and leave to drain. DO not cut the blister open!!!
· Painkillers (oh yes, baby!)
· Muscle relaxants (wintergreen or similar)
· Insect repellant (lots of mozzies and "muggies" last time)
· ** Sunscreen (the highest you can find - factor 50+ for my face and 30 for the rest of me)
· Biodegradable toilet paper
· Plastic plate - something a little deep, that can be used as a bowl too.
· Mug ("blikbeker"!)
· Gas stove + windbreaker (normally a piece of corrugated cardboard covered in foil) - don't worry about this - we are likely to have issues carrying this in our luggage, so will buy/borrow there.
· Gas canisters
· Billy can or pot
· Environmentally friendly dish liquid - ideal if you can use it as washing powder to rinse your clothes & socks.
· Drying cloth
· Small flashlight
· Hiking stick (optional)
· Sunglasses (don't leave home without them!)
· Small spade for toilet-digging
· Matches or lighter
· If you carry tins, tin opener ( tins are not a good idea if you can help it - hevy and u have to carry them out again, albeit empty!)
· Plastic bags - to pack your stuff in, and for litter.
· A couple of washing pegs - I use these to peg my washed shirts to my backpack so they can dry as I walk. Also handy for securing things when the wind blows.
And lastly you might want to take a "luxury" item or two for spoiling yourself ... like a tiny tin of Coke or other favourite drink ... these can be cooled in the river - it gets icy at night!