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Adventure Magazine

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Take It or Leave It?
Forget about what the guy at the shop said. Most travelers hit the road with more than they really need. Here's how to keep it simple, cheap, and light.
By Doug Lansky

Leave: High-tech expedition shell.
Take: Rain poncho and a light windbreaker.
Why: Unless you're doing serious foul-weather trekking, the poncho-windbreaker combo will keep you just as dry. It also costs less, packs smaller, and is less likely to be stolen.

Leave: Blue jeans.
Take: Dark-colored, lightweight pants.
Why: Jeans are bulky and take forever to dry. Simple cotton or synthetic pants (ahem . . . avoid the dorky zip-off legs) pack more easily, dry faster, and look presentable in any number of on-the-town settings.

Leave: Flashlight.
Take: LED headlamp.
Why: Flashlights require bulkier batteries than headlamps, and twice the hands, not to mention they feel like a brick in your pack. LED headlamps have a comparable light output and increased efficiency with half the weight.

Leave: Travel towel.
Take: Sarong.
Why: A thin sarong soaks up less water after a shower so it will dry faster and won't stink up your pack like a damp towel. It also folds down to the size of an envelope and gives you something to wear between the shower and your room.

Leave: Hiking boots.
Take: Sport sandals.
Why: Nothing bulks up a pack like a pair of boots. Sandals are lighter and, in most climes, more comfortable. (You can add socks on chilly nights.) Hint: If you really need boots or dress shoes, you can always buy them locally.

Leave: Daypack.
Take: Small messenger bag.
Why: Daypacks are clumsy to carry in crowds and too accessible to thieves. Messenger bags ride safely under your arm or in front of your body, making them easier to use and much less attractive to pickpockets.

For all 79 tips for better indie trips, pick up the April issue.


Excerpts
From the print edition, April 2004

The American Icons
The Indie Traveler's Handbook
- Take It or Leave It? Our ultimate packing checklist


Subscribe to Adventure today and save 62 percent off the cover price!

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Related Web Sites

Photo: ''First-Time: Around the World Travel'' book cover

First-Time: Around the World
Find writer Doug Lansky's unabridged indie travel tips in his Rough Guide to planning your first around-the-world trip. Stick around the Rough Guide site for up-to-date info on travel destinations, cool new products, and to swap stories with fellow indie travelers.

Doug Lansky's World Travel Show
Every spring and fall, writer Doug Lansky inspires the next generation of indie travelers by imparting his travel wisdom at college campuses from coast to coast. For a schedule of events or to arrange an appearance near you, check out www.douglansky.com.

The Great Adventure Circuits
For 33 ways to explore the world on your own, start exploring with these veteran-tested adventure circuits.



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April 2004



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