How to Pack for an Origin Trip: A Guide

Posted by Archers Coffee on

Unsure what to pack on your first-ever origin trip? 

Worry not, friends! Our experienced coffee-origin jet setters at Archers summed up 10 absolute origin trip essentials to guide you. The key criteria are utility, comfort, and of course, fun!

How to Pack for an Origin Trip

If you have food allergies or any dietary restrictions, you must let your travel organizers know in advance, to give enough time to meet your requirements.

What Bag to Use? 

1. Handy Luggage 

You’ll want to bring just one duffel-type, hand-carried bag that will fit everything else on this list.

A single piece is best, to nearly eliminate the risk of lost luggage, for your peace of mind. 

Duffel-type is most recommended, versus hard- or even soft-shell, for easier stowing in possibly small spaces while we’re on the go. At origin, it is sometimes unavoidable to travel by a small car among several people (each with their luggage), and a soft bag would allow more flexibility because it typically takes up less space.

How to Pack for an Origin Trip

What to Wear?

2. Functional Fits 

At an origin trip, we dress for the weather and the nature of our activities. 

That said, we always check the weather forecast to guide our clothing choices and bring just what the locale and the season require. We make sure to know the itinerary very well, in advance, too.

In Ethiopia, for example, the capital Addis Ababa — the jump-off point for our exploration — may be warm in the day but get very cold at night. We can expect that when we head to higher altitudes where the farms and processing facilities are, it will just get cooler. So, the best bet is to pack layers that will be easy to pile on (or shed) as the situation and your comfort calls for.

Also, our adventures at origin necessarily involve a lot of trekking through varied terrains, including hilly and muddy farms and washing stations. Because of this, the sensible footwear choice would be proper, and already worn-in, all-terrain boots paired with good hiking socks that help regulate the temperature of your feet while preventing blisters.

How to Stay Clean & At Ease?

3. Your Self-Care/Sanity Kit

Being away from the comforts of home means that while we need to tweak our usual hygiene routine, it’s wholly possible to maintain our well-being. These help the most. 

3.1 Grooming Tools, et al.

To stay clean, comfy, & sun-safe, apart from common, basic toiletries (e.g. toothbrush + toothpaste + dental floss, shampoo, body wash, antiperspirant, et al.), remember to bring anti-bug spray, lip balm and a skin moisturizer to prevent windburns from high altitudes and the cold, as well as SPF 50 sunscreen.

3.2 Personal First-Aid (should be OK’d by your doctor!)

You may want to pack a kind of ‘personal pharmacy,’ that could include loperamide (so a sensitive stomach can cope with unfamiliar food), paracetamol (for the sudden headache), hydrocortisone (for itchy bug bites), and something for motion sickness (for extended car rides). 

For these, make sure you take your doctor’s advice.

3.3 Self-soothing Aids

During an origin trip, we will frequently be on the move in unfamiliar territory and the diverse company of friends, acquaintances, as well as strangers. 

It’s natural to want to step back, as the itinerary allows, to recharge our social battery and even reconnect with the feeling of home. 

What can help here is an item that readily makes you feel at home. Our Dave Peralta’s friend once brought a local gin from his country. 

To help reclaim or create a sense of personal space, earplugs are a mainstay for our Kemal Risyad. Noise-cancelling earphones would serve their purpose too.


How to Capture Memories?

4. A Camera (or more!) & Peripherals

This barely needs elaboration, but bear with us a bit.

It’s just a must to document it all, or as much of it as possible. At origin trips, we’re guaranteed to see picturesque scenery, be a part of endearing slice-of-life episodes, and share unrepeatable crazy-good moments with people we might not have the chance to spend time with, in the same way, again or at least not for an immensely long time.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to gather visuals for your specialty coffee endeavors, be it a coffee shop, roastery, or the personal brand you are crafting and nurturing as a specialty coffee practitioner and personality.

5. A Notebook & Pen

Related to #4, it’s been said that we experience everything at least twice — as we are living it and when we remember. The remarks you jot down during the day or before you turn in at night would complement the photos and videos you took, and may be useful for when you need to curate a set of visuals for different purposes.

How to Stay Nourished?

6. A Reusable H2O Bottle

We can’t have a great adventure without staying healthy, and staying hydrated is key to that! Make sure you always carry water with you and can re-fill as often as you need to, especially in case the weather turns hot and humid. And even if it doesn’t, all the walking and interactions we’ll have will require frequent thirst-quenching throughout the day.

7. Coffee!!! & Brewing Gear

Sure, we’ll probably be cupping a whole lot of coffee — but what about for breakfast and our breaks, right? Our Frederick Bejo has a penchant for bringing Ethiopian coffee whenever, and wherever he travels.

To brew your own, we’re almost too certain you know the drill. But just in case, it doesn’t hurt to mention it here too. At the minimum, you’ll want to bring: 

  •   A scale
  •   A hand grinder
  •   An unbreakable, handy brewer — popular ones are Aeropress and Hario V60
  •   A way of heating water

How to Pack for an Origin Trip

For us at Archers, the coffee we bring to origin is not just for brewing and drinking.

When we know we are visiting a producer or a farmer that we’ve sourced coffee from, coffee is most definitely also for gifting! We love to present them with the finished product — at least the Archers version of it — that would not at all be possible without their passion and hard work.

We believe that the feeling of joy and fulfillment is mutual for us, as partners. For them, we believe it’s from seeing their name on finally roasted and packaged coffee, granted a place of pride on their mantlepiece, so to speak. For us, it’s from taking part in their journey to success.

How to Pack for an Origin Trip 

8. A Snack Stash

Constantly driving between farms and washing stations can take a while, and it will not always be possible to make a pit stop to grab something to eat. 

It’s a smart move to carry nutritious yet fuss-free finger food with you, to tide you over until the next proper meal. It will also be good to have in case certain meals, for any reason, do not agree with you.

For instance, you may prefer to pocket protein bars, nuts, and beef jerky for these long journeys, or count on cup noodles.


What Electronics to Bring?

9. Staple Gadgets

Apart from your camera and mobile phone, which is unlikely for anyone to forget, remember to pack your charger, an international adapter, and power banks, for good measure. 

The same goes for the other gadgets, for example, your laptop, tablet, earphones, and camera, that you need to be traveling with.


How to Make the Most of Your Origin Trip?

10. A Learner’s Heart, an Open Mind

There will be times when we may need to eat food we are not familiar with (with the exception of dietary restrictions due to our religion or medical condition). There will definitely be instances when we need to socialize with folks from a wholly different way of life. 

To make the most of everything and thoroughly enjoy it, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. All in all, it’s a matchless, immersive experience, integrating so many things we love. Coffee, friends, travel, and fun that make learning and amassing meaningful memories nearly effortless.

How to Pack for an Origin Trip

Enjoying specialty coffee is an amazingly effective, and delicious, way to enhance our cultural quotient, and going on an origin trip exponentially amplifies that. If we let it.

Save this guide somewhere easy for you to find. We’re so excited to experience an origin trip with you soon!

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