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ADV PreppingPack for a Purpose: Make the Things You Pack Count

Pack for a Purpose: Make the Things You Pack Count

 An easy way for Adventure Riders to give back to the regions they visit.

Published on 12.30.2015
Sometimes the most rewarding memories of your trip happen when you give back to the local communities you visit.

It’s not often that adventure riders get an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy with the communities they pass through in their travels. Tight schedules might leave little time for adventurers to engage with local people or simply they don’t know how to help.

Pack for a Purpose is a website that is making it easy for caring travelers to make a difference in the regions they travel through. Established in 2010, the program encourages travelers to pack a few extra supplies they can donate to deserving communities across the world. Once a traveler has decided on the country he or she plans to visit, the website will direct them to projects that are making a difference in the region and the supplies each organization is in need of. Some of the organizations include schools, orphanages, family care centers and nature reserves.

Donated items can be conveniently dropped off with one of the accommodation establishments or tour companies that work closely with communities to ensure supplies reach people on the ground. Or if you prefer, it’s also possible to take the supplies directly to the people in need in certain instances.

pack for a purpose makes a difference.
Carrying a few essential supplies in your luggage for a school, orphanage, family care center or nature reserves can have a huge impact. (Photo courtesy packforapurpose.org)

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The Pack for a Purpose website is incredibly simple to navigate. Prospective travelers to any of the world’s continents can browse an interactive map that, at last count, features 56 destinations, hundreds of projects, and thousands of items needed.

The list of items in need is vast and ranges from school stationary to sterilizing agents, from soccer balls to solar calculators, from memory sticks to needle and thread; basically, stuff that takes up little space in your luggage but is most useful to people who don’t have them. As Pack for a Purpose points out, a traveler’s humble gesture can have a huge impact in a local community.

Pack for a Purpose recommends bringing about five pounds of supplies (2.27 kilos). Even if you have limited luggage space, you can still make a big difference if you pack light and make room for a few items. You and your traveling companions can also help share the load. The bonus is that the space vacated after donating the items can be filled with mementos from your trip!

The program is clearly making a difference – from May to August this year, travelers carried more than 14,660 pounds (6,650 kg) of essential supplies to local communities across the world, a 20% increase in weight over the corresponding period last year.

Put differently, knowing you made an impact on the local communities you visit can make your adventures all the more rewarding; all it takes is a desire to help make a difference, and let Pack for a Purpose show the easy way to do it.

Other Ways People are Helping

You can also support Pack for a Purpose without taking a trip by using AmazonSmile to shop Amazon. Sign in with your Amazon ID, and choose Pack for a Purpose Inc. as your charity of choice. Whenever you shop through the AmazonSmile platform, 0.5% of your eligible purchases will be automatically donated to the program.

Motorcycle Tour companies are also working with Pack for a Purpose to support the local communities they travel through. For example, Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals recently became the first motorcycle tour operator to become a partner. The company brings needed supplies and toys to 13 schools in remote villages in rural Ecuador. You can either drop off supplies at their headquarters or if you join one of their guided or self-guided tours, you have an opportunity to visit the schools and distribute the resources personally.

For more information on the Pack for a Purpose program go to:

Pack for a Purpose

Author: Derek Alberts
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One thought on “Pack for a Purpose: Make the Things You Pack Count

  1. Thanks for bringing awareness about this amazing program. As riders, we sometimes need to be reminded there are more important things than the latest bike model or our next leisure trip. Well done.