Before you leave home

Food and gear must be packed and frequently repacked to accommodate the various transportation modes used to get to the mountain. Become familiar with the requirements that face your expedition, such as airline regulations on bag sizes and weights, or muleteer requirements on load balancing. Keep lists of what went into each bag so any item can be retrieved readily. Before leaving home, plan travel arrangements for each leg of the journey and make reservations where possible. Try to work with a travel agent who has booked trips to the region before.

Be as healthy as possible when you leave town because, in all likelihood, you won't get better while traveling. For foreign travel, find out well in advance what inoculations are needed. Have a dental exam and leave no dental care pending. To stay healthy once you get to your destination, plan on purifying all water and be cautious about eating unpeeled fresh vegetables or fruit, dairy products, and uncooked food. And through all the complicated hurry and scurry of getting ready for a big expedition, try to remember that your goal is to get away from it all and climb a mountain.

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