I decided to pack my gear. Whew, what a task! I wanted to see if everything fit and also wanted to know the weight of everything. Bags must weigh less than 30 pounds at the gate or they won’t carry it. I don’t want to stand at the gate and find myself forced to either leave something behind OR carry it in my backpack because my duffel is too heavy.
Packing isn’t easy for me. When I went to Paris, I dedicated an entire suitcase to shoes! I’m definitely not Carrie Bradshaw but even a tomboy like me needs shoe options in Paris! I digress… My point is that trying to pack for a trek up a mountain AND a safari is was no easy task, especially when you’re a pack rat!
Packing took awhile simply because I had to determine how to organize things. Also, I have Attention Deficit so every time I saw something shiny I jumped down a rabbit hole of inquiry with it. Ugh! I had a million stuff and compression sacks to help with packing. I compressed my sleeping bag and my coat which helped a lot with space. I also compressed my clothing in a water proof sack. After divvying everything up, I then started the process of packing it into my duffel and my backpack. The biggest issue I have with the stuff sacks is that they’re all the same darn colors: orange and green. That’s going to make it confusing when I start digging through bags to find things. I can already picture the daily chaos which will take place in my tent: Clothes and gear flying, cursing, etc. as I search for something that I need (which, inevitably, will be lying at the bottom of the bag or in the last place I look).
It took awhile but I managed to get it all packed. Unfortunately, it’s all very heavy! I weighed my duffel it weighed nearly 30 tons pounds. I’d like it to weigh a few pounds less just so I know I’m not in danger of going over but also because I don’t want to cause undo burden on the porters. I already feel horrible about the fact they’re going to cart a toilet up the mountain for me (That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? How imperialistic of me!). I don’t want to make it worse by carrying everything but the kitchen sink with me. My backpack – wow, it’s pretty heavy too. I really need to rethink what I have in there and consider thinning things out. Once I load it up with water, it’s going to be really heavy and that concerns me. On the flip side, having a heavy pack will encourage me to drink lots of water so I can lighten it up! Genius!
My task this weekend is to sort through things once more and determine what is necessity and what is just overplanning and thus, deadweight. For example: Do I really need a steripen? Do I need all the Luna bars and snacks? How many articles of clothing will I really wear? Speaking of clothing, it looks as if I am being sponsored by Mountain Hardwear. Seriously, almost everything I own, clothing wise, is Mountain Hardwear. In my opinion, their clothing is superior to North Face and thanks to Sierra Trading Post, I got everything on clearance. Yah! I digress…(I do that a lot…see, attention deficit…shiny things).
Finally, I need to give some thought to what I plan to wear on the planes. While it’s not such a big deal to wear dirty clothes on the mountain or even on safari, for that matter, who wants to wallow in their own filth for 13.5 hours on a plane? Also, it’s not fair to do that to the poor mug who has to sit next to me.