July of 2015, Boot Size 10
My dear readers,
When it comes to blogs I spend most of my time on the “Blogs I Follow” and “Travel” readers. Because of this I’ve discovered tons of new places in other countries and in America that I desire to explore. I also see a lot of fashion and packing blogs that advise the inexperienced as well as the experienced how to travel light and easy. The most recent packing one I read was Squeaky Robot’s Guide to Packing Light, and (Bad) Travel Advice: The Ten Stages of Packing. These aren’t huge ones that I’ve read before, just the most recent that I thought were either humorous or helpful. Personally I like to advertise some of the smaller blogs, since I am one, and we need the love! There are countless blogs tell you how to pack, giving several obvious pieces of advice and then some unique ones you may not have thought of.
As a woman, more specifically a young woman, I’m rather proud that I’m a light packer compared to most of my gender. I remember sniggering at my mother who, for a weekend long convention, had a huge jam-packed suitcase while I was there with a backpack and big floppy purse. The only reason I needed my big purse was because I had to bring my camera and technology with me. Yes, I brought a little extra on the clothing side, but hey it was a Steampunk convention, focusing a lot on clothing and accessories. For Anime Boston, Tomas and I would have been able to fit all of our stuff in one suitcase had we been able to combine out packing methods beforehand (we kinda met up, promptly slept, and THEN left for the con).
I’ve never had a problem with not wearing what I bring along, save for my People to People trips, where I mistakenly listened to their packing instructions. I ended up bringing clothes I didn’t want to where in the first place. But other than that? I usually only bring what I need, plus one spare set of clothes to cover an emergency drink spill or rain storm.
But the more a read these blogs about how to pack simple the more conflicted I get. As a proud geek, I have a ton of geek related accessories and- more importantly- clothes. I spend the majority of my down time in Marvel tee-shirts and tank tops. This kinda goes against one of the most common pieces of advice to travel light: wear layer-able clothes.
It’s really hard to have simple clothes when in general I don’t OWN simple clothes. I like showing off my geekery and I don’t let travel stop me. For example, I spent my time in the White Mountains being awesome and wearing my delicious looking Iron Man 2 shirt! I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
How do I compensate for not having layerable clothing? I bring laundry soap and wash my clothes in the sink or tub. It’s that easy. Seriously you get to wear your favorite clothes, and not stink like sweat. And if you want to avoid overpaying on premade laundry packets, you can just make your own! Seriously, it’s easy. Heck if you get a small 3 oz. bottle and fill it with your usual detergent (I’m of course talking about liquid detergent). In a sink it takes two to three drops of liquid detergent to get a sudsy water going. Then add dirty clothes and have a good time!
When I went to Japan my leaders had told up over and over that washing your clothes and hanging them to dry wouldn’t work due to the humidity that is killed during the Japanese summer. This was not quite true. You see, if you’re staying in a hotel like we were, they usually have air conditioning which gets rid of the humidity problem. While I’m glad I didn’t bring my heavy jeans, I would have liked to have brought the pants and other clothes that I LIKE to wear, rather than have been forced to go out and purchase clothes I didn’t particularly like. More often than not I just wore my two fun shirts that I brought along and washed them every night.
Other than that I prefer to bring along a few extra items like my journal, Tony, an unhealthy number of writing utensils, my camera, and usually a paperback book of varying awesomeness. Then depending on what I’m going to be doing I add a few items to my list like a water bottle, hat (though I love my Avengers baseball cap and wear it often no matter what), my knee brace, solid lotion, winter wear, and more.
Granted for situations like backpacking, yeah maybe I should pack smarter and have easier to get around… But I’m gonna stick with what I do because it works for me. And that’s what matters. You should pack the way that makes you comfortable. For me I like to keep calm and geek on!
My other problem is that I never prepare to pack in advance. I usually end up packing the night before or even the morning of! I’ve read that some people start prepping for an adventure weeks to months ahead of time. I do that… for planning what I’m going to do… I just cannot do the being 99% packed a week before my trip thing. Seriously, if I try to I wig out and everything gets put away again. The most I can do is have a little pile of clothes that I know I’ll be bringing set aside but still accessible.
This means that the night before or morning of my trip is spent acting like a spooked chicken. I literally end up running back and forth between the bathroom and my bedroom, throwing stuff into my suitcase/backpack with no consideration for order or room. My advice is to stay out of my way unless you want to end up on the floor or with a knee in your liver.
The whole time I’m doing this, I of course curse myself for not packing in advance. I could have had half of this stuff done and I wouldn’t need to worry like I am right then and there. But I know, deep in my heart, that I’m not going to change. I’ll always be a last minute packer, and it keeps me in my comfort zone. I accept my reckless decision, though I don’t always enjoy it.
So how do you guys pack? Heavy and in advance? Light and last minute?
Until my next adventure,
P.S. I would like to note that I’m having picture editing issues. That combined with my limited access TO my pictures (broken cord to my external hard drive which is where I keep them) and that is why I have not been posting as many pictures. I hope to get this fixed soon!