Saturday, June 4, 2011


This past week was spent trying to trim a packing list down to only what will fit in a carry-on bag. I've yet to succeed.

This is odd for me since I've traveled with only a carry-on before without any problems, but I didn't save any of those packing lists. Besides, this time, I'm organizing my packing list according to the 15 Essential Systems.

As a result, after I get this list done, I'm planning to use it as the basis for a master packing list that will have additional components for such things as kite-flying and motel camping during road trips.

That way, I'll already have my packing list and will only have to copy it to make a new file then delete whatever won't be needed for the current trip. I thought about simply printing it and crossing off what I won't need, but don't want to waste the paper and ink printing unneeded items and want to keep a record of what I packed for various trips. If I find something that consistently isn't being used, I can delete it from my master list unless it's a preparedness item such as my whistle or water purification tablets.

I don't think it's the preparedness items that are making me have too much for a carry-on. I think it's having clothing for temperatures ranging from 45° to 80° F. Theoretically, I should be able to layer a shirt over a top, adding thermal underwear, a beret or knit cap, convertible mittens, and a windbreaker if I get cold. Or, not wear either the overshirt or the top if I get too warm.

It isn't the quantity of clothing, either. Except for one or two sets of thermal underwear, I'm planning on three sets of underwear (one to wear, one to wash, and one for spare), two skirts, one pair of pants, two long-sleeved shirts, two short-sleeved tops, and one of my summer seersucker dresses to double as a nightgown to eliminate my needing a robe to go down the hall. That isn't much for a three-week trip. It isn't much for a one-week trip.

For footwear, I'm planning on one pair of shoes or boots that I'll wear plus flip-flops that I'll pack, so that's not the problem.

Thinking about it as I write this post, I think the problem is my tripod. Since 9-11, some airlines have been ignoring the Bern Convention that says camera equipment is exempt from carry-on limitations, so I'm planning to pack it into my carry-on instead of carrying it separately in its own case as I did prior to 9-11. However, doing so may mean I'll end up checking a bag. Damn terrorists!

I've also been considering different backpacks for my Grab & Go bag. I nearly decided on one before realizing it has about the same capacity as my travel pack which qualifies as a carry-on bag for air travel. That's too small since I want to be able to carry camping equipment as well in case I decide to get into backpacking which sounds really good to me right now.

Finally, thinking about cooking, eating, and sleeping outdoors whether I get a backpack or not, I started working on a camping list based on my 15 Essential Systems. I plan to create the list, then see what I actually have and which items I need to buy to fill in the holes. I think I already have everything and using the 15 Essential Systems to organize my list will ensure I do.

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