conspiracy theory

The Universe is conspiring to force me to pack. I don’t want to pack! The mere thought of it kind of exhausts me. Although this weekend we are headed to New Hampshire so I have to semi-pack. This just means more laundry next week!

@matadornetwork featured an article on their weekly newsletter called: Essential Packing List for Multi-Day Treks… which is probably stretching it a bit for me. For you backpackers, its a sweet read. For me, I know I’m not going to pack a stove, so I’m out. After I realized it was very camping-centric, I headed toward the “Packing Tips” page. There is so much info on this page, culled from blogs and firsthand accounts, it is a bit overwhelming.

Here’s what I walked away with:

  • “stuff-sacks” – although I have never heard them referred to that way – are awesome. I first came across these when I packed for Spain the first time around and needed to take some sweaters. Pop them into one of these oversized bags (aka SpaceSaver bags) and you can save yourself some room and compartmentalize your stuff. This is particularly helpful when you are asked to unpack your suitcase for security (see: Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport).
  • mix & match. Don’t pack specific outfits. I picked this up from the packing gurus at OneBag – you can do a lot with repeating attire. Throw on a belt or a scarf and change it up a bit. Settle on a pair of comfortable shoes, bring some flip flops for beach or shower and saddle up. I realize this is terrifying for you fashionistas. Check out this article for more advice on packing light and staying fashionable.
  • quick dry is key. This tidbit saved my life in Costa Rica two summers ago. If you can avoid it – don’t bring jeans! Denim is the slowest drying fabric ever, and you’re only going to be pissed off when you try to pull on damp jeans after they’ve been hanging out for 12 hours. I love UnderArmour for this, as well as any of the fabrics pushed by athletic companies like Adidas that support quick-dry and sweat-wicking fabrics.
  • stash a bag. I haven’t attempted this yet, but I can definitely see how it would come in handy. Several sites have advocated for the addition of an extra duffel bag that you can fill with souvenirs for the trip home.
  • carry it on. Whenever possible, I will avoid checking luggage at all costs. Even if I’m on a direct flight, I board a plane knowing that I may never see my suitcase again, so I pack accordingly. As noted in this homage to traveling light (which includes a plug for Rick Steves), you have less to worry about losing.
  • must-haves. The Nikon (never leave home without it). A journal (this is both cathartic and useful while traveling).
  • stop procrastinating, Kelly. It really is better if you practice-pack, as noted here. I swear I’ll do it. Just not right now. (you’ll notice in this post the author gets yelled at for suggesting not traveling with a laptop. I am absolutely bringing mine and that is not particularly applicable to my trip.)

Here’s my theory: Pack for ten days, add some weather-appropriate attire. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. High maintenance, right? Not. I’m going to a town where there are (1) clothing stores, (2) shoe stores, and (3) washing machines. I’m a habitual layer-er already, so I’ll pack a bunch of different layers, and hope for the best. I promise post-New Hampshire that I will post a list of what is actually going with me.

Ten days to go, folks!

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