1. Other than getting the car ready for the trip and carrying the necessary car parts, carrying the appropriate items would also ensure a successful and enjoyable completion of driving trip. In drawing out the packing list, I consulted Jim Rogers books and of course the few rally friends I have. As I did not expect to traverse over large tract of uninhabited areas, there was no need for me to carry items for camping out. The main items carried are:
(1) Navigation items. Here GPS is crucial. I bought a Garmin 255W at cost of about S$450, inclusive of maps for Indochina and China, from from Dennis Lee of Cool Asia, Thomson Road; a friendly and helpful chap. With a set imported from Taiwan, he reckoned there would be less compatibility problem with China map. The more advanced model is 760, which would cost about S$800, with route planning, blue tooth and MP3. As I do not need blue tooth and MP3 and route planning is a good to have, I could live with a cheaper model and save the money. GPS is a very useful tool to navigate through cities, and I would consider it a must have. Having said this, traditional maps and compass are still essential, as GPS does not really provide the big picture, and they are important back-up should the GPS fail.
(2) Laptops, for posting of blogs, emails, search etc.
(3) Steering wheel lock, anti-theft.
(4) Torches and fire extinguisher, for emergency use.
(5) Medical supplies. Had flu and typhoid jabs (Sunny is additionally taking malaria tablets) before departure. Carried medicine for headaches, fever, diarrhoea, colds etc, as well as personal daily medications.
(6) Documents. Carnet, international driving licence, visas, and support and facilitation letters from Embassies.
(7) Music. iPod with iTrip and some CDs.
(8) Travel guide books. We have the necessary Lonely Planet books.
(9) Souvenirs and gifts. STB souvenirs (caps, merlion key chains, and bags) courtesy of STB, and US$1 notes.
(10) Cameras and portable colour printer, for on the spot printing (belonging to Sunny).
(11) DC to AC convertor, for charging of electronic equipment, e.g. iPod or camera, using the cigarette ligher port; loaned from Leslie Chang.
(12) Portable stove, for cooking instant noodles etc, with 2 foldable director chairs
(13) Many copies of passport size pictures and additional copies of important documents, e.g. passport, vehicle log card etc.
(14) Tool kit, spanner, razor, screw driver etc.
(15) Fishing rods (its Sunny's hobby), golf shoes ( for game of golf when we can find time).
(16) Satellite Phone, courtesy of Michael Ma who had kindly loaned it to me for the duration of the trip, plus many other outdoor items.
(17) Makan stuff, biscuits, chips, sweets, instant noodles etc, to keep ourselves awake while driving.
(18) Personal items, shirts, pants, shorts, shoes, sun glasses, reading glasses, sweater, toiletries, insect repellent (bought one that works on frequency).