Entering Final Preparations

How much floss is too much?

Only four days left and Eric and I are packing, re-packing, and re-re-packing. We have both made lists and checked them twice. On a related note: I’m on a mission to collect as much floss as I can find from friends and relatives. (In addition to cleaning my teeth, I could create an emergency zip-line out of a hotel room).

The toughest part of packing right now is all the things I’m on the fence about. There are at least 2.5 good reasons to take each of these items on a round-the-world trip.

  • Furry vest – it can get cold at night everywhere in the world, right? I’ll need handwarmer pockets.
  • Big duffel bag. I’m planning to carry-on my backpack, but if I have to check it, I’ll need a big duffel bag.
  • Ultra-light tripod. I spent a few extra bucks on a really light tripod so I could set up some video shoots on our trip. But now — though light — this item just seems really bulky.
  • Water purification.  I described my Katadyn water bottles and Virustat filters. Well, these are really big. And the filter needs to be replaced after 4 months. Do I really want to carry big filters around to use them 4 months from now?  I could just carry iodine tablets and wait 4 hours to drink the treated water.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones — in typing those words just now, I have eliminated them.
  • Hiking boots. This is the really hard one. People have weighed in on both camps. They are light boots, and waterproof. I’ve worn them tons and they feel better than my tennis shoes. But they’re probably hot and I’ll only wear them a couple days a month, if that.
  • Sleeping bag and/or sleep sack. Most people have said to leave it. But I’ve also heard that hostel sheets can be dicey and you may want your own sleep sack. But I can’t imagine I’ll want to zip myself up in a sack when the overnight low is 85 degrees.
  • Notepads, drawing pads, pencils, knitting needles and supplies and other hobbies. So tough. Will I be bored? Will I be able to find art and craft supplies on the road? They don’t weigh much but they are bulky.
Definitely #firstworldproblem territory, but not easy decisions. For now, I have cut all of the above and will pack without them, then weigh my bag and add stuff back a pound at a time.
– Rachel
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