Christmas gifts

… for people about to pack up their house and head off on an adventure.

This year we definitely didn’t need any presents that would be put straight into storage boxes, so giving and receiving was strictly limited to a small number of things that can be easily packed and will be useful on our trip. None of them were expensive, so if they get lost or broken, we won’t be too distraught.

  1. New iPad case to replace the current one that has seen better days. Our iPad will be an essential piece of kit for keeping in touch with family at home, planning our next stops, banking, etc, so keeping it protected will be important.
  2. Wash bag for Chris so he can carry all his bits and bobs to the shower block without dropping them.
  3. Is That Bike Diesel, Mate? One man, one bike and the first lap around Australia on used cooking oil. A gift to Chris from his eldest son. We refer you back to our motto – Brave But Not Stupid – and can confirm we will not be riding motorbikes or using anything other than regular fuel to get about.
  4. Bluetooth wireless headphones for Karen. We anticipate headphones will be useful so each of us can cut the other one out for a while, and so we can listen to / watch our own thing as and when we want to.
  5. Bananagrams. A word game to give us something to alternate with Yahtzee.
  6. Travel size toiletries. Always useful.
  7. Amazon vouchers. Our Kindles are being topped up on a regular basis and an Amazon voucher that can be redeemed any time we have a wifi connection is always going to be a welcome gift.
  8. Bug Off Camping Soap To Hell Keep Midges At Bay. Chris is going to need all the help he can get!
  9. Hair clippers. A gift from Chris to himself, although they require input from Karen. A first use has produced acceptable results and Chris is already calculating how much he’ll save on trips to the barber while we’re away. Karen is wondering if she can spend that money in the hairdresser’s instead.
  10. Camps 9 book. A gift to ourselves, kindly brought over by a friend of a friend who came to the UK for Christmas. When we asked online groups what the essential tools for planning a lap of Australia were, we were told repeatedly that we needed to get the WikiCamps app and this book. We’ve installed the app and can see how that will be useful for all aspects of route planning, especially when complemented by the book, which provides ‘a comprehensive and authenticated guide to free and low-cost camping throughout Australia’. It’s big and heavy, but looks super useful. Here’s an example of a site that is surely worth a visit for the name alone: ee37c227-8988-41d1-8d3c-a16579160ed9-3334-0000041933dff37e_file
  11. Bendy tripod for use with camera or phone. Hopefully useful in all manner of situations! Tricky to get back in the box, but it looks like this:
photo: Kungfuren from Amazon

12. Bluetooth wireless speaker. For times when we want to watch or listen to something together!

We were given a couple of other really thoughtful gifts that aren’t pictured: Chris’s younger son has promised to help us (OK, Chris) set up a VPN when we’re ready, and Karen’s mum has given us a night away and a visit to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, which will be a welcome break from packing and planning in February.

So, that might give you some ideas for gifts if you know anyone else who’s about to set off on an adventure, and an idea of some of the things we’ll be taking with us. That baggage allowance is going to be pushed to the very limits!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2018. It’s certainly a year we’re looking forward to!


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