Lessons Learned: Packing

Lessons Learned: Packing

Actually, I’m still learning about this, but this much I know so far:

  • Packing_chaos_longterm_travel

    Utter chaos the day before I flew.

    Aged 19 I was given this advice: ‘When you’ve worked out what you intend to take, put it in a pile.  Make another pile of the money you intend to spend.  Half the stuff and double the money.” I’ve yet to achieve this, but I try.

  • Gents, pack a belt. Ladies, bring clothes with room to expand.  I’m sorry to say, it seems women put on weight when they travel and men lose it. I know, it’s unfair. Very unfair.
  • If you’re dithering about bringing an item with you, leave it behind.  Without exception, every item I brought with me on this trip that was in the ‘dither pile’ has not been used.  I’ve either given it away or worse, paid to post it home.  Yes, I’m looking at you just-slightly-uncomfortable-strappy-summer-dress.
  • Packing cubes are your friends.
  • Roll, don’t fold.
  • Keep one T-shirt/top/shirt aside as your ‘going out’ top, it’s nice to wear something you haven’t worn for  3 or 4 days solid, even if it’s not clean.
  • It’s highly likely the only attachments you’ll use on your swiss army knife are knife, bottle opener, corkscrew and flat head screwdriver. I’d also say scissors, but you can easily bring these separately. It’s unlikely you’ll need to get stones out of a horse’s hoof.
  • Some days you just want to wear jeans.  It’s ok to bring jeans, you won’t be too much of a  social pariah.  Be sure you’re in a climate that can handle them.  I posted mine home from India – see bullet 3, above –  but I loved every time I wore them up until then.
  • Ear plugs are essential wear.  I’ve tried loads and these are my favourite. Bring a bunch of them.  You’ll thank me.  No, really, you will.
  • Ditto eye mask. I find moulded ones more comfortable and my eyes don’t get so puffy if I use this style.   M&S do a really good one.
  • Carry a few photos, letters (remember those, kids?) or other small items that mean something to you.  I don’t just mean electronically either.  I always carry a couple of photos of my family, a leaving card from my best friend that makes me simultaneously weep and laugh when I read it.  I also have a copy of a letter my dad wrote to me not long after his father died. They are lightweight and a strong tether back to the people who love and miss you.  (Bring copies, and keep originals safe)

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Much of the information and advice expressed on this website is the personal opinion of the writer. If you choose to follow any advice you do so at your own risk with no recourse to the writer or Adventures in Overland.

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