LEARNING – what to pack

As I get ready to embark on the next leg of this journey I find myself with a somewhat familiar question – what the heck do I pack? I’ve spent the last couple of weeks inventorying my stuff (at least what’s left of it) and figuring out what I might need and what else I can get rid of. I’ve made many lists, done a ton of sorting, and I think I am ready to go.

Both bags fully packed.

My general rule for purchases is “in with one, out with another”, but this time around I had to break my own rule more than once. I needed to purchase some general travel gear (head lamp, travel pillow, safety whistle) and replace some items that I have had for far too long (under garments). I needed some new/used footwear (boots for trudging through the farmland and sandals for trudging through the rivers) and some new (second-hand means new to me) clothes; shirts to dirty up and skirts to dress down. I purchased some new toiletries and plenty of sunscreen and bug spray. This was the result…

Way too many clothes: a couple pairs of jeans, a fleece ensemble, two dresses, two skirts, many shirts, undergarments, socks, boots, runners, sandals, sun hat, baseball cap, coat, vest, long underwear… that might be it.

The miscellaneous travel gear: sleep sack, travel pillow, pack cover, clothes line, locks, head lamp, travel towel and washcloth, and my yak wool shawl.

A random assortment of toiletries. I know – too much.

The sunscreen and bug spray collection. Did I mention that I’m a redhead and mosquito magnet?

A random assortment of health related items: allergy stuff, vitamins, and plenty of ear plugs of course.

Needless to say, I’ve packed entirely too much. My pack is ridiculously heavy, it takes a supreme amount of effort to get it all the way up to and then onto my back. Then once its up there I have to try really hard to keep from falling over backwards. Insanity… What a brilliant idea it was to sell all of my belongings and carry the rest around on my back. Can you say – crazy! I also collected some smaller bags to contain all of this stuff separately inside the big bag.

Step one – gather the stuff. Step two – stuff in smaller bags. Step three – stuff in big bag.

And that’s only the big bag. I also have a computer/day bag. This is what went in there.

Contents of the small bag – computer and paraphernalia, sketch book, note pad, books, phone, camera.

Oh my. What have I gotten myself into? Maybe I should just take the baby instead…

My sweety of a niece. Way cuter and way way way lighter.

I will most likely end up ditching some of these things along the way, and of course as I use up stuff the pack with get lighter too. But for now – it is a super heavy load. I’m glad most of my traveling will be by bus, where I can just leave my big bag at the curb and the driver will take care of the rest. Well, wish me luck.

Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of food, your closet full of clothes – with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That’s not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating. – Michael Crichton


Thanks for reading!

– Rene

11 responses to “LEARNING – what to pack

  1. I can’t believe you got all that stuff in there…incredible. It has to be hard to pack when going to new places and not knowing what to expect. I think you did very well.

    • Thanks Mom. I think after this first trek into the unknown I will have a better idea for the following forays. In the mean time, I’m just going to have to deal with it. -Rene

    • Thanks Will and Sarah! It was great to see you guys too and that adorable little girl. Thanks for putting me up and putting up with all my stuff being strewn about your living room. Enjoy the rest of your summer! -Rene

  2. May I suggest a bunch of plastic bags (always handy for wet or dirty clothes and muddy shoes), as well as a face net which you can wear over your head. Very useful when riding horses I am told by my British mother in law, an avid rider and occasional cowgirl like you (including British Columbia and Argentina). I’ll be sure to send her the link to your blog, so she can follow your adventures, she’ll love that!

    • Oh yes, a few extra plastic bags are great for so many things. Your mother in law sounds like a pretty cool lady, I will keep the face net tip in mind when it comes time for the horses. Thanks David!

  3. Rene, you are always amazing to me, what would i pack, how could i do that…..well i have no suggestions, because you are so far evolved compared to me and how i approach things. i have much to learn from your struggles! i’m sure you will make the best of the trip, no matter what is in your pack, but with your experience at least you can be more than a little prepared. it reminds me of outdoor school….most peoples real taste of “i did a great job packing, or i wish i would have known what the hell i was getting myself into”! i can’t wait to hear from you on the farm!! Love You!!

    • Thanks Anonymous (I wish I knew who you were, you definitely know me 😉 ) Outdoor school is such a great concept, I wish it had a larger role in the whole education system. So many subjects would be so much more interesting and easier to learn if put in their natural settings for learning by observation and participation. I didn’t receive that kind of education as a child, so now I guess I’m seeking it as an adult. Thanks for the comment! -Rene

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s