This Safari Packing List from 60 Years Ago Will Make You Laugh

Even cooler? You can go on this exact all-women Outback safari this year.

This Safari Packing List from 60 Years Ago Will Make You Laugh

Ayers Rock, now known as Uluru

Courtesy of Pixabay

Cigarettes, a manicure kit, a skirt suit, perfume—these items are not exactly what you’d think to pack on your way to a rugged safari. But 60 years ago, in 1957, it was all on a packing list for a group of adventurous ladies who set off on a safari in the Australian Outback. The journey stretched roughly 287 miles from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock, known today as Uluru. It was one of the first all-women excursions in the Outback. Naturally, they had to look and smell their best, even if they were going on an off-the-beaten track excursion.

The 1957 safari was sponsored by Women’s Weekly; now, SEIT, an Australian tour operator, is giving women today the opportunity to follow the path of these explorers.

The tour will begin in Alice Springs, as did the journey 60 years ago. There, Edna Bradley will speak about the original tour, which she embarked on when she was 20 years old. The tour then will set off in sprinter buses for Uluru, where participants will explore Aboriginal lands and the jaw-dropping nature the Outback has to offer.

The cost for such an honor? AUD$1,780 per person, which includes accommodation and camping equipment, all meals, transportation, and tours. You can reserve a spot here.

Ready for a chuckle? Here’s the original 1957 packing list:

Underwear: At this time of year it would be quite comfortable to wear nylon undies. The colours should be either pink or blue and if possible, not white. If any passenger cannot wear nylon, swami or cotton would be best.

Nightwear: Pyjamas [sic] or nightdress, whichever preferred. Cotton would be best. A heavy dressing gown will not be required, so suggest a cotton housecoat. This will also save bulky packing and cut down on excess luggage.

Toilet Articles: Face washer, soap (in container), toothbrush and paste, skin perfumes (bottle tops to be cellotaped) talc powder, etc., shower cap and slippers, 2-3 towels. It would also be wise to pack make-up in your toilet bags and don’t forget your face tissues.

Manicure set: A very small manicure set would be advisable. However, a nail file, emery board and perhaps natural colourless nail polish would suffice.

Clothing - Air trip: The best travel outfit would be a suit with a not-too-slim skirt. If possible do not take an overcoat, as this will prove a nuisance. A large type of sports hardback could be carried, thus enabling you to take it on the various trips and so alleviate packing one. A hat would be unnecessary and shoes can be of the type you prefer. Your suit can be worn right through to Alice Springs if you so desire. I have made arrangements for this to be left at the hotel where it will be quite safe.

Clothing - Trip to Ayers Rock, etc.

(a) Clothes: Your clothes should be of the oldest possible kind. The best colours are khaki or tan. Overalls, jeans or light-weight slacks would be ideal. The same also applies to shirts or blouses. If you prefer not to wear this type of clothing, skirts in the colours would suit admirably. Wear whatever gives you the most comfort.

(b) Shoes: Desert boots, rubber soled walking shoes or sand shoes would be suitable.

(c) Sox [sic]: Should be the same colours as mentioned previously and if possible perhaps nylons which can be easily rinsed.

(d) Hats: A loopy [sic] or small type of linen sports hat so that a fly-net can be attached to same. The latter item is most essential. One or two scarves could be packed, as these could be tied around your hair to keep it from blowing whilst driving and also keep the dust out.

(e) Frock: If you so desired you could include a cotton frock, cotton skirt or a more dressy pair of slacks for the evenings. If you are taking a cotton frock you may want a pair of sandals to go with it.

(f) Cardigan: A cardigan is a must. The days will be very springlike but the nights are inclined to get a little cool. Once again, keep to your muted tones.

Essential Miscellaneous Items


-Skin cream. Climate very dry and may affect your skin.

-Plastic water bottle with drinking cup also of plastic.

-Cigarettes. If you smoke, it will be necessary for you to carry all your own cigarettes.

-Sweets. Lifesavers or kool mints are handy to have along.

-Coat Hangers. Do pack a couple of hangers as you will need to put your suit on one which will be left at the hotel.

-Handkerchiefs. If you use these, don’t forget to pack them. Kleenex Tissues (large) would be very suitable and cut down on laundering to be done on your return.

-Torch. This is a must.

-Camera. Don’t forget to carry this as the great outback has wonderful photographic material.

-Put these tickets in your handbag. You can’t get far without them.

>>Next: 9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going on Safari

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