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Martijn's homepage background info

Background information (my backpack)


A good friend of mine planned her first trip overseas and wanted some tips. Especially what to bring with you. So I described what you could find in my backpack and most of all that you don't bring much. To help you I published my list and the comments here


Hi,So your big journey begins EXCITING!

Here is what I take with me in my backpack and each journey I take less with me.


My first advice is to start with a good travel guide and when I say a good travel guide I mean a good one like the travel survival kit from the lonely planet, the rough guide is a nice second choice, but for me there are no others!

2. Health

During my travels I experienced that although home in the Netherlands I'm seldom sick, you have to be more careful when you travel in foreign countries. Your not used to their standard of living so it hits twice as hard. I always travel with a lot of pills and other medicine (Even when they are good available like in south America)

First I have different kind of painkillers with me at least one for fevers and one that diminish the effect of  inflammation. Something against diarrhea. Not that I use it when I have it because it is better to let it run (juck) but when you have a day of travel it is comfortable. You know you will have some trouble because you are not used to their food even if you watch what you eat and are careful with water. If you have diarrhea keep you waterlevel up. You can use ORS (salt and sucker) to help.

I have all kind of stuff, for travel sickness,  for throat trouble, allergies, muscle ace and so on.

Suncream and something on my head is in most countries very important especially when you are traveling at (high) altitudes. watch that UV your not used that here below sealevel.

3. Clothes and other stuff

This depends on the country and the way you travel. But because you never know the weather it is useful to have something for the warm days and when it gets cold have some fleece clothing with you. I have also a rain- and windproof jacket. Take some washing powder with you it is less big then an extra set of clothes.

If you go hiking or (like in China)  you are not sure about the quality of the sleeping accommodation, take your own sleeping bag and mat. It is probably of better quality of what you can get over there. 

take into consideration that you probably take some souvenirs with you in the form of t-shirts or other clothing.

For China it is a good idea to bring your own cup and waterbottle even your own chopsticks if you want.

4. Papers, money etc.

Make a photocopy of all your important documents, it's easier explaining when they are lost. I myself most of the time have a diary with me and use that for addresses, numbers to phone home (collect call) and important numbers.

If you use a 'money belt' use one that isn't visible and can be worn on your skin otherwise it is an easy target.

In what form to take your money depends on what your travel plan is. Most of the time are travel cheques the best advice (check if it is necessary to take them in US $, because in China Dutch guilders where as easy to use and you don't spend money on change commission twice). I use my creditcard as back up. And depending on the country I have some dollars (or other easy to change money) with me. The use of your PIN-pas is possible in some countries but don't count on it.

5. Extra, photo's, music, books

Taking pictures is a hobby (see the other pages) so I have more then enough film with me but it can be useful to check the price and quality of films available there.

I always travel with music. It's my way of being home when the world around me is getting to me a little.

Books are useful when you travel a lot and have to wait for that train that supposed to be going hours ago. If you take books you don't want to take back home, you can exchange them with other travelers. In China most 'backpacker'-places have a small library that you can use in exchange your book for another.  



Books & Literature

If you have remarks or additional information mail me Mail to

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(c) Martijn Moser, Amsterdam 1997-2001
updated: februari 18, 2001.