Holding my packing nerve

I am currently sitting in Torp airport in the south of Norway, waiting for my flight home. I will have three days to get some extra training walks, wearing the clothes I will be walking in, and finalise the packing before I fly out again. Toiletries, odds and ends will be put in, taken out, shaken all about and no doubt put back in. And possibly left behind in the last minute.

This happens every time, and it’s not just me and not just women – this happens to most of the veteran packers and walkers I know. That perfect packing list can always do with a last week tweak, that top could be replaced by a better one and didn’t I say last time that I needed new socks? And look at the weather forecast, looks like it could be cold. So we change something. Rarely for the lighter and not always for something better.

I have been living out of a suitcase for a few days and I am amazed at how much I brought that I haven’t used or even needed. I could have taken my 20L daypack with just the stuff I wore, but instead I took a cabin size trolley case with spares and options, because I could.

This makes me even more determined to take my 25L Osprey Escapist pack to the camino this time. It is a panel loader and there is no overflow capacity!

Yes it sounds tiny but in reality I reckon it’s the same size as my 30L Tempest but without the lid. That worked for me for years and now I have an opportunity to really pare down what I take and still fit what I *need* in there, though not necessarily everything I *want* to take.

I am not just doing this to prove a point, but mainly because my knees need all the help they can get, and a light pack always beats a heavy one. OK, it’s been a long time since I packed heavy, but still. The only downside is I might get mistaken for a daypack pilgrim with a suitcase waiting at the destination, but I can live with that.

I am now down to two and a half outfits and should be able to cover hot to cool temperatures and wind and rain, plus I will be bringing the marvellous new sleeping bag. A silk liner is a step too far for me – I do like my snuggly cocoon at the end of the day and waking up cold in the night ruins the next day. Wish me luck, I’m going minimal.


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