The Packing List

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Examining the method and madness of our brave, stunningly attractive, exceptionally intelligent, worldly (alright, I might be embellishing just a bit…) hero.

I’ve got a bit of time before my first flight leaves, so it’s time for me to start catching up on my blogging!

I put some thought in to what I packed. I also did a little bit of research in the process. I doubt that I got it right, but I don’t think that I got it too wrong either.

The thought process:

  • Duration: This coming three months will be the longest that I’ve ever travelled. That said, it’s much shorter than some of the journeys that people I admire have taken, and shorter than the journeys that I ultimately aspire to.
  •  Destination: The destinations that I’ll be hitting these next few months are forgiving, but offer a diverse range of possibilities. I’ve got Hawaii, where I’ll be staying in Kona as a WWOOFer for two months, and I’ve got Spain.

I backpacked Hawaii with a camp when I was younger, and while the circumstances are a bit different, I think that my biggest concern is gear that can handle working, hiking, surfing, and getting wet. Currently, I don’t foresee much else.

The last time I went to Spain, a few years ago, I fell in love with Madrid. I had an incredible experience that came from me being able to interact with the locals and see the city from a much more intimate perspective. I’d like to do that again. This means having gear that allows me go out without looking like a troglodyte. Europeans tend to have a much higher standard of dress than Americans, which presents challenges for a backpacker trying to be conscientious about the amount of shit (s)he’s lugging around.

My Conclusion? Screw it, I’m throwing in a bit of everything and using this is a learning experience.

On me: I wanted to keep down the weight of my bag. Excess luggage fees tend to occur at 20 kilos from what I’ve seen online, and pack wasn’t going to be light (I found out at the airport that it was 33lbs, so I was in the clear. This isn’t the recommended way to go however, and luggage scales can prevent expensive miscalculations). This meant wearing heavy items. Additionally, I wanted to wear my Bill F*cking Murray shirt in case I encountered any Chivers (long story for those who aren’t in the know).

  • -BFM t-shirt
  • -Jeans
  • -ExOfficio boxer briefs
  • -Thin, quick-dry, synthetic hiking socks
  • -Cowboy hat

Conclusion after today’s testing: This setup worked pretty well. I kept the hiking boots loose, and they turned out to be comfortable and quick to slip on and off at security. The cowboy hat (which goes with me everywhere) proved to be a bit of a logistical PITA because I couldn’t wear it while sitting down, couldn’t store it in the overhead without worrying about it getting crushed, and was a bit sketched out about it being under my seat. It spent its time in my lap.

In the Day Pack (my carry on): I wanted everything valuable that I had on me at all times. I also wanted to be able to keep myself entertained and connected, as well as be able to take care of myself if my primary back pack disappeared.

  • -My mac and its charger
  • -My kindle and its charger
  • -iPhone w/ OtterBox and its charger
  • -Sunglasses
  • -Seeing glasses w/ case
  • -3 notebooks (one for each of two online courses that I’m taking, and one general purpose)
  • -pens
  • -passport
  • -neck pouch with uncuttable strap
  • -a mini notebook
  • -my toothbrush
  • -floss
  • -deodorant
  • -a long sleeve synthetic shirt
  • -ear buds
  • -a first aid kit with immodium and benadryl

Conclusion after traveling with it all day today: I packed it perfectly. I primarily used my kindle, but also started this post in the airport. The long sleeve was very useful for when the flight got chilly. I sleep easily, but if you’re a light sleeper, I might consider the addition of ear buds. Also, I think that I’ll be adding a water bottle for next time.

My backpack: tons of things. I wanted to be able to test out EVERYTHING. When I’m done with this trip, I’ll know what I do and do not use, and won’t have to suffer through questioning whether or not there was an item to bring along with me. Additionally, I brought my travel Electrician’s tool kit (mini drill, kleins, channel locks, level, multi-meter) in case I can find some side work. Even as full as it is, it only came out to 33lbs total weight. Not bad.

  • -Athletic shoes
  • -Dress shoes
  • -Flip flops
  • -Rain Jacket
  • -2 Board shorts
  • -1 Rash guard
  • -1 Synthetic pants
  • -1 Short sleeve quick dry shirt
  • -Wrist brace
  • -Work gloves
  • -2 Thin, quick-dry, synthetic hiking socks
  • -1 ExOfficio boxer briefs
  • -Luggage lock
  • -Tool Kit
  • -Sleeping bag
  • -Sleeping pad
  • -Mini tent
  • -Pocket knife
  • -Floss
  • -Tooth paste
  • -Dr. Bronner’s soap
  • -Medium travel towel
  • -Head lamp
  • -Lip balm
  • -Sun screen
  • -Bug cream
  • -Aloe
  • -Small cologne vial
  • -Condoms

Conclusion: I’ll have to let yall know in 3 months!

Have yall got any thoughts on what I packed?  Suggestions or comments from your own travels?

-NSTB

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