Published on October 26th, 20128
Packing (LIGHT!) for Oz
g-knows I have a bazillion pre-trip chores to do before I hop on the bus + plane + plane for Oz in just 48 hours (yikes!), but…
As packing LIGHT seems to be an elusive goal for many (it’s taken me DECADES to finally learn how to do it painlessly), I just thought I’d drop a pic and peck a rundown of what I’m packing for 3 weeks in Oz here for all to see.
Honestly? It amazes even me how very little one needs to keep body and soul (quite comfortably) together when romping on most any continent for no matter how many days, weeks, months.
It truly is just a matter of not asking “What do I need?” but rather, “What DON’T I need?”
And though it might seem incongruous with a packing mantra of ever more “l-i-g-h-t”, surprisingly my packing list always begins with a trio of items that stand guard between me and my worst nightmare: being cold. I mean, if life gets too warm, one simply slips off a layer (and/or gets out of the sun). But cold? What is there to do, but shiver and curse that you didn’t at least tuck in a thin wrap and a pair of warm socks.
Thus, no matter how long the trip, nor where it may take me, I always take my trusty silk long-johns plus a pair of wool socks and a thin wool sweater. ‘Cuz you never know when you might find yourself sleeping in a drafty Hill Tribe hovel at 6,000 ft. or (more likely) trying to doze on an 8 hour bus with the air-conditioning set on “Ice Cube”. Suffice, the wool socks go on as soon as I fasten my seat belt on the plane, and the thin wool sweater seldom leaves my side.
That said, as far as other clothes and such – alas it is the techno gadgets that take up the most room these days. Shoot, if it weren’t for the netbook, the Kindle, the camera, and all their requisite tangled paraphernalia (cords, chargers, et al), I could probably travel most anywhere sans baggage entirely – by just layering and stuffing my POCKETS with toothbrush and paste!
Well o.k. maybe that might be stretching things. But the point is, all I ever need will fit into a small 24 ltr. rolling backpack (else a non-roller if I’m going to be UTTERLY off in the wilds), plus a little rucksack for day tripping. Towit – my list for Oz (see photo above):
Wear: black pants, black tank top, gray tunic, b/w scarf (likewise for wrapping neck or knees against the insufferable on again/off again a/c on the plane), ever so trusty Tevas, money belt (with dong, US$ + 2 credit cards for 2 different accounts), passport, copies of insurance, air ticket receipts, etc. + fanny pack w/ smartphone, change purse (with ~ $30 in local currency).
Rucksack: netbook, Kindle, camera plus various ‘n sundry cords, batteries, chargers. Thin wool black cardigan, wool socks, sunglasses, inflatable plane pillow, eye-mask and ear-plugs (the latter, my most indispensable travel item!), toiletries in 1 qt. clear zip-lock bag + my handy-dandy travel towel and a mini medical kit, snacks (peanuts, jerky + a Snickers for good measure)
Note: all techno-gadgets and 3 oz. liquids go in the rucksack, so no need to open the rolling backpack at airport security.
(regulation carry-on size):
khaki zip-off shorts/pants
red cotton top
long-sleeved blue t-shirt
black t-shirt dress
jammies (black sweats + top)
4 pr. panties
1 pr. cotton socks
(allowing… plenty of room to spare for a few souvenirs)
And THAT folks, is pretty much all I need. With such a lightweight kaboodle, even this dodderin’ lass (“of a certain age”) can skip from airport, to train, to bus, to ferry – even hop on a motorbike taxi with swiftness and ease!