READY FOR TAKE OFF

Pilot and Aus­tralian Geo­graphic So­ci­ety Ad­ven­turer of the Year Michael Smith is al­ways pre­pared

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - HOW I PACK - AS TOLD TO PAUL EWART.

MY FAVOURITE TYPE OF HOL­I­DAY IS ...

Planned spon­tane­ity. Whether fly­ing with Qan­tas or pi­lot­ing my lit­tle plane, I love to visit out-of-the-way places and leave ac­tiv­i­ties very loose with enough time to see where the day takes me. I walk as much as pos­si­ble when I ar­rive some­where and go­ing for a dawn run in a new city is of­ten a sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence.

I PRE­PARE MY­SELF FOR IT BY ...

Plan­ning. For me, it’s of­ten as much fun as the trip it­self. That means lots of re­search and late-night web surf­ing be­fore­hand, but get­ting all that done in the lead-up means I can re­ally en­joy the time away.

I NEVER TRAVEL WITH­OUT …

My Hand­presso. One of the great­est in­ven­tions of the past decade, it’s a por­ta­ble espresso ma­chine that uses cof­fee pods and looks like a small bike pump. Add hot wa­ter and pump it up to re­lease pres­surised wa­ter through the cof­fee head for a per­fect lit­tle wake-up shot. Whether on a flight, in a ho­tel, camp­ing, or on the road, ev­ery day starts bet­ter with cof­fee!

MY GO-TO TRAVEL APP HAS TO BE ...

Me­teoEarth. It’s the most in­cred­i­ble weather fore­cast­ing app. Highly ac­cu­rate, it helps de­ter­mine where to be, and where not to be, even five days ahead. While it was in­valu­able for my cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion, es­pe­cially with the ocean cross­ings, it’s re­ally use­ful day-to-day too.

MY LUG­GAGE IS …

Carry-on only. No mat­ter how long the trip, there are laun­dries all over the world, so I take enough for a week and plan ac­cord­ingly. I used a tiny Fjall­raven Kanken back­pack for the seven-month cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion, as I was so lim­ited for space and weight. Some­how I man­aged to live out of it.

For 25 years I’ve had the same Zero Hal­libur­ton roll-on alu­minium case, which is durable, can hold a suit and has a hard shell that dou­bles as a seat when wait­ing in air­ports or bus queues.

My wife re­cently gave me a Vic­tori­nox roll-on back­pack that has be­come my new favourite.

THE PACK­ING HACK I SWEAR BY …

I leave my bag in my study packed and ready to go at a mo­ment’s no­tice. Also, buy as many merino wool un­der­gar­ments as you can: boxer shorts, sin­glets, T-shirts and socks.

They never smell, can be washed eas­ily in your sink, will dry overnight and are cool in the heat and warm in the cold.

MY TRAVEL PHI­LOS­O­PHY IS …

Par­tic­i­pate! Walk, pad­dle, cy­cle, sail, fly, run, drive, nav­i­gate, row, dis­cover, show, en­gage, eat, drink, share – take your time and me­an­der by all means, but don’t be pas­sive.

PIC­TURES: SUP­PLIED

Mike Smith, who made the first solo world cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion in a sin­gle-en­gine fly­ing boat, doesn’t leave home with­out a cof­fee maker, and says the Vic­tori­nox back­pack (be­low, right) is a favourite.

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