For nearly a year I’ve scrolled through pages upon pages of blog recommendations, visited five separate outdoorsy stores (multiple times), tried on countless backpacks and scrutinized my pack list. Now with just one day left (full panic mode), I’ve reached some stage between organized and ‘throw it in the bag, lets go’.
Blog recommendations made me nutty at times. It was similar to reading Amazon reviews for a product. One person raves about how much they used their sleep sack and another assures me it’s useless. There’s a good chance I’m packing items that I won’t end up needing or using and completely missing items I will. Perhaps I’ll be making a few donations along the way or hitting up markets throughout the world.
One of the bigger purchases I made for this trip was a new backpack. Traveling relatively light is essential for me since I tend to complain and whine when discomfort sets in (doobeedoo). My old Osprey Aura 50 may have worked, but the improper fit leaves me with welts and the top-loading-only aspect isn’t ideal for all the stops I’ll be making. In the last hour, I settled on the REI Vagabond Tour 40L. It is front loading, has a built-in rain cover and seemingly fits. I’m sure it’ll work out great for this type of trip. For a daypack I’m using my lightweight Black Diamond Magnum 16L. A long way from the stick and bandana I imagine setting off with when I was younger.
I’ll be carting around more electronics than I’ve ever brought traveling before. This is all crammed into my daypack…all ten pounds of it!
- MacBook Air 11”
- Olympus E510 w/2 lenses; 2 filters; spare battery; tripod
- Panasonic Lumix Point & Shoot
- Memory card reader
- Portable hard drive
- Ipod Nano w/headphones
- Locks (2)
- Chargers (many)
- Not pictured: socks (4), undies (10), buff, hat, sports bra, bra, bathing suit
- Laundry soap sheets, sink plug, dryer sheets, rope (clothesline), Tide-to-go pen
- Moo cards
- Extra passport photos
- Locks (2)
- Silk Sack
- Extra ziplock bags
- Immunizations record
- Quick-dry towel
- Copies of cards, passport, insurance, etc
- Water Bottle
- First Aid Kit
- 2 Eagle Creek bags of mixed toiletries & medicines
I think that’s everything…I hope that’s everything. I weighed in with a main pack of 17lbs and daypack of 10lbs. My hiking shoes won’t even fit inside a pack. Perhaps I’ll have a pound or two off in the next day before my departure…or for anyone who has read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, perhaps I’ll start chucking essentials out of my bag when the going gets tough!