Packing – the hard part begins

I’m packing today – that is my goal. And you would think that I have this down to a science – but I don’t. Every time I go on a trip I have to modify my list. I start with a basic list, one I put together a long time ago. Then I adjust. Which means I go through each and every piece of gear and wonder if I need it. I am the slowest, most contemplative packer in the world. I could live with that if I ended up being the best darn packer ever. But I’m not that either! I just agonize over the decision to bring or not to bring.

Take for instance the first aid kit:
Everyone agrees we all need to have a first aid kit; but I am day hiking. Chances are, I won’t need a splint, so why carry one? If things get really bad, I can improvise with wood and a t-shirt. A little creativity will lighten my pack. The trick here is to think about what I really need. For instance, if I can live without a particular drug for 5 hours, then why put it in my pack? I carry two or three doses of pain meds, anti-diarhea, allergy meds, and insect sting relief. But I can wait to take cold medicine & antacids. Same with bandaids – I carry a very limited variety – because if I really need more than 2-3 bandaids, I better get off the trail.

I need to remember that I will be passing a store every day on this trip, and pulling into a dozen gas stations that all have C-Stores connected to them. I’m pretty sure that I can pick up anything I forget. However I do always pack:
1) My own Pillow
2) Starbucks Via instant coffee, because I prefer french roast coffee.
3) a bottle opener/wine opener. Sometimes these are very hard to find.
These 3 things ensure I sleep well, have a pleasant morning and a very pleasant evening.

So today I have managed to find my packing list, adjust it, then printed over 4 packing lists from 4 different web sites and compared, refined and compiled my list again. I haven’t packed a thing.

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