Packing my bags!

Thats it, I’m packing my bags! This can only mean one of two things and I am pleased to tell you this means a road trip! First one of the year and we’re headed for the Isle of Mull. The Dude and I haven’t done Christmas presents for a few years now, we prefer to spend time together and have adventures.

We have visited Bratislava, Budapest, Berlin and a few years ago we had just returned from Reykjavik.

Iceland. Travel Blog

Bloody hell it was cold! But some how this didn’t matter because it was so damned beautiful.

What do these little January jollies have in common? My favourite essential kit and must pack and take with me items:

My Salomon walking boots. Nearly ten years old and have never given me so much as a red mark on my feet let alone a blister! Even when in the mountains in Nepal. With the Ortholite cushioning making every step comfortable combined with great grip they are ideal for someone who is like Bambi on ice only not so dainty! Even just walking down the drive.

My Paramo Cascada jacket. I love it because it is longer and covers my bum, making sure that whenever I am climbing over something or lay down on the floor trying to photograph something I am not getting a freezing cold back! Plenty of pockets for camera batteries, lens caps and a hat. The multi-adjustable cuffs are perfect for keeping out the cold but also allow me roll the sleeves up too. I couldn’t be happier with this piece of kit and even though it is a few years old now, because we keep it well proofed with Nikwax I stay nice and dry even on the soggiest of days.

Loch Leven Heritage Trail, Kinross, Scottish Travel Blog

My super cheap fleece fingerless gloves (with mitten cover). These bad boys are perfect for several reasons. Firstly, they didn’t cost the earth so if I lose one it’s doesn’t matter. Secondly, I can keep my hands warm and still operate my camera without having to keep taking them off – Bonus! Thirdly, well I am not sure there is a third except that I get to keep my hands warm.

Any of my Osprey bags. My first one was the Talon 22 for which I used as a day pack whilst in Nepal. Eight or nine hours walking and starting with a full hydration bladder and it was still really comfortable – even for a rather well endowed lady like myself! Straps all sit well and are long enough. Lots of pockets too. For any flights I now use my Osprey roller bag. Perfect for hand luggage when flying I find that I can carry my camera and lenses safely along with clothing and any other non essential stuff I may be taking. It’s size is deceiving and I find that I can comfortably take everything I need for a few days away.

Number five some of you might find a bit odd but I always take a couple of carrier bags out with me because sadly some people think it’s okay to leave the remainder of their lunch on the floor or tucked in between rocks, wherever they my have been sat. I just think that if I can clear up a couple of bits then someone else won’t have to and they can enjoy the view instead. Sometimes the bag comes in handy to kneel on when I am taking photo’s too.

For the evening’s, once I’ve thawed out I like to write a travel diary. Notes about where we have been. People we met. If we saw any wildlife. What we had to eat. If I slipped over. You know the normal travel diary entries.

Since having BCC skin cancer removed a few years ago I cover up much more now and this includes protecting my face. A double whammy of SPF 50 sun cream and a Tilley hat does the trick. It’s important to do this even in winter too.

Dun-da-lamh, Cairngorms, Scotland

Rather an assortment of favourites but if I am warm and dry-ish then I am a happy girly. These things just help on my little adventures, even the carrier bags (which are, if possible re-used for picking up someone else’s rubbish!).

What is your favourite or must have on any trip?


  1. Rachel January 14, 2016 at 20:05

    I regret not keeping a travel diary when I was visiting places with work, we didnt have decent cameras pack then, so it is all in my head x

    1. Melanie January 15, 2016 at 08:21

      Never to late to start. I like keeping a diary because in years to come when I look through some of the photo’s they might not not mean anything to me. I think it’s nice to remember how we felt when we finished climbing a mountain or how sweet the little lady was who offered you a hot drink.

  2. Tori Gabriel January 14, 2016 at 20:53

    How sweet are you? It’s really good of you to clear away other people’s litter. I don’t understand why people think it’s acceptable to leave tubbish anywhere.

    1. Melanie January 15, 2016 at 08:24

      I think it’s everyone”s responsibility to look after our surroundings. People visit the beach, mountains and countryside because it is so beautiful. Imagine if we all left our crisp bags and banana skins on the floor, everything would be spoiled. I’m just dong my little bit

  3. Lisa (Travel Loving Family) January 14, 2016 at 21:22

    I’m with you re: the Osprey bags. I have to have lots of pockets to have some sort of organisation whilst out and about. I also pack heat packs for my hands as gloves alone do not seem to do the trick!

    1. Melanie January 15, 2016 at 11:12

      Since moving I think the hand warmers may be the way forward too.

  4. Natalie Ray January 14, 2016 at 23:54

    I love your travel diary idea. I think I will do this for when we go away for a long period in a few years time. I have taken a travel diary on a couple of big trips but ended up using it predominantly for practical purposes. I suppose blogging is a great way to record what you’ve been up to. Have an amazing trip – I know you will.xx

    1. Melanie January 15, 2016 at 11:15

      I started writing when we went to Nepal. Even after eight or nine hours walking in the mountains I found just a few minutes to write how exhausted I was but just how stunning everything was. My other epic entries were my month in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. I want to remember these good times.
      Blogging is a great way to record things but who knows if we shall be able to access it in our old age?

  5. Kara January 15, 2016 at 09:29

    I have my trusty Helly Hansen waterproof coat………it has been a godesnd on may an occasion. I am so desperate to go to Iceland!

    1. Melanie January 15, 2016 at 11:18

      We all have that one thing we can’t go without and with the weather as it has been these past few weeks I would imagine you have had your monies worth from your Helly? hahaha.
      Put Iceland on your list. Truly amazing place and people.

  6. Sonya Cisco January 16, 2016 at 18:30

    Ooh Iceland is high on my bucket list – I love a beautiful cold place! And you are right fingerless gloves are a must for camera purposes! And I commend you on your approach to litter- wish everyone was like you!

    1. Melanie January 24, 2016 at 16:16

      It is truly beautiful. The light for photography is so soft too, especially in January when we visited.
      I love my fingerless gloves and with the additional mitten tops they are perfect. I just think if everyone did just one piece of litter then we could all help. Or just not leave it in the first place! Wishful thinking

  7. Ickle Pickle January 16, 2016 at 21:02

    Oh how beautiful – I have never thought of visiting Iceland – I am not great in the cold. I am living in my Trespass fleecy weatherproof coat – the weather here is shocking! Kaz x

    1. Melanie January 24, 2016 at 16:20

      I am not particularly good in the cold but I love being wrapped up and outside. It’s always a good excuse to go for a beer or hot chocolate too. I think it’s essential to have a decent warm and waterproof coat to at least try and keep us dry in this weather.

  8. Sonia January 21, 2016 at 09:46

    Adventures are far better than presents! Have a great time!

    1. Melanie January 24, 2016 at 16:10

      I agree. We have seen and done things we wouldn’t have done if we had just given each other a pair of socks! haha


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