Another List: What To Take When Walking Across Europe

Here is what Nicholas Crane took with him when he started out on his 10,000 km trek across Europe:

  • one pair cotton trousers
  • one cotton shirt
  • jacket
  • cotton windbreaker
  • thermal underwear
  • two pairs of socks
  • trilby hat
  • down sleeping bag (well past its prime)
  • bivouac bag (with 24 holes)
  • stainless steel mug
  • plastic teaspoon
  • two-blade pocketknife (smallest Swiss Army knife available)
  • 38mm-long can opener
  • maps
  • compass
  • notebook
  • pen & ink cartridges
  • airmail paper & envelopes
  • list of addresses
  • cuttings from books (!)
  • Spanish dictionary
  • passport & money
  • picture of his wife
  • scallop shell (symbol of Santiago de Compostela)
  • vitamins
  • 4 band-aids
  • glasses and case
  • boots
  • rucksack
  • umbrella

Sheesh. I probably take more for an hour long hike! I’ll bet my first aid kit (which can handle anything from splinters to fractures) weighs more than his entire kit. But I guess you can’t walk 10,000 km if you’re a packrat. Cycling is another matter, though. For comparison’s sake, here is what Dervla Murphy took when she cycled from Ireland to India in 1963:

  • 2 wool vests
  • 2 pairs wool long-johns
  • 1 pair gabardine slacks
  • 1 pair rain pants
  • 2 heavy sweaters
  • 2 Viyella shirts (gotta love Viyella!)
  • 1 gabardine windbreaker
  • 1 wool balaclava
  • 1 ski cap
  • 1 pair fur-lined gauntlets
  • bar of soap
  • face-cloth
  • hand-towel
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • 3 tubes insect repellent
  • 100 Chlorine tablets
  • 1 oz potassium permanganate (against snake bite)
  • 1 doz Acromycin
  • tin of band-aids
  • 100 Aspirin
  • 100 Paludrin (against malaria)
  • 6 tubes sunburn ointment
  • Nehru’s History of India
  • Blake’s Poems
  • 1.25 automatic pistol
  • 4 rounds ammo
  • 12 pens
  • 6 notebooks
  • maps
  • cycling cape
  • camping knife
  • Thermos
  • mug
  • passport
  • money belt & travellers cheques
  • bike repair kit

Now that’s more like it! Two shirts! Woohoo! And wool, wonderful wool. I must admit I’ve been camping with an outfit not much better than Crane’s and lived to tell the tale, but now that I’ve experienced Viyella, Pendleton, and King of the Mountain, there is no going back!

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10 comments on “Another List: What To Take When Walking Across Europe

  1. A says:

    I guess I am sort of more on the side of Crane's “miminalist” approach. “Travel light and freeze all night,” that's my motto. Ok, well not quite that extreme, but….

  2. Stefanie says:

    I'd be sure to have a good map with all the hotels I can stop at circled. Today I will walk or cycle from Hotel XYZ to Hotel ABC. I've camped, and suffered, enough to know that I sleep better in a soft bed after a nice hot shower πŸ™‚

  3. Sylvia says:

    A: LOL!! Spoken like a true Carthusian wannabe. πŸ˜‰ I like the Scandanavian motto: there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

  4. Wil Cone says:

    Between my dad and my brothers and me, we seem to be in a race to see who can go backcountry backpacking with as little as possible. My dad gave me Ray Jardine's Beyond Backpacking, which was inspirational (and turned me on to the GoLite brand)…and then there's the Tom Brown ideal of going out with nothing but a knife and a loincloth, but I just can't seem to shed my pants…

  5. Sylvia says:

    Ya, I draw the line at pants!

  6. Heather says:

    But…but….no ipod!!

  7. Sylvia says:

    I'd rather have shampoo than an ipod! πŸ˜€

  8. A says:

    This is getting off topic, but your reply to me reminded me of another favorite line of mine by Garrison Keillor, who said that “The Norwegians, being a seafaring people, are never really at their best until they are soaking wet and sick to their stomachs.” There is some truth there.

  9. Sylvia says:

    Heh. My motto has been: It's not fun unless you get wet, dirty, and sustain minor injuries. πŸ˜€

  10. […] in your bag?” meme. As a packing enthusiast (I dream about it, have lists, have blogged about it), this was right up my alley, but as I didn’t have a blog yet I couldn’t participate. […]

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