Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
TZhanks for this wonderful double diary!

I started packing light, albeit for short journeys, very young. My went on excursions practically every week. The older generations liked a whole picnic -- e.g., take lots of food, knives etc., and then sit down for an hour or two somewhere. I however didn't like to carry lots of weight, and loved to go long and far and high.

Now, if I go on a long journey, albeit I never have gone on a journey as long as DeAnander's in Canada or Nomad's in South Africa, I pack:

a) pyjama (I guess this could be thrown out, but I usually found the place)

b) raincoat (not a plastic one, but a 'normal' one that could also keep warm, so no need for umbrella and [second] pullover)

c) towel if I sleep at camping sites/nothing if I stay in a hotel/room or go into the woods (unlike Nomad, I don't need a shower then, spring water will do if I stick or stink too much)

d) 5-7 changes of underwear, socks and shirts (am not an enthusiastic washer)

e) a bag with toothbrush (special "for journeys" one, based on repeated prior experience of forgetting to pack in the last item I used on the morning of leaving...), toothpaste, comb, scissor, soap, diverse drugs and oinments for the case of an outbreak of some allergy

f) a few sheets of paper and a pencil

g) good maps

h) a photo camera (always used to borrow one, now at last I have a digital one of my own, bought used)

i) usually a railway timeplan

j) for daylong journeys, two simple sandwitches (consisting of two slices of bread with liver paste and paprika in-bitween wrapped in something) I made and some drink bought in the morning (or the bottle of what I bought last filled up with springwater) and all this in a used plastic bag for smell isolation

k) a Swiss army knife

l) a 100-pack [an alternative norm to the 10-pack here] of paper tissues (also useful as toilet paper if there is nothing else)

m) my papers & money in a wallet

I used to bring along books, but no more: they are concentrated weight, they don't like wear & tear, however long a journey I like to watch the landscape go by (with map in hand so that I really know what to watch out for), and in the evenings I almost never found the time either. I am a luddite with respect to cell phones (in the rare cases I needed to contact someone, a land line always sufficed), and need no music.

With the right packing order, I can stuff most of the above into a single mid-sized bag, which I can carry on my back, fasten to my bike, hold on my knees, or stuff in any train's bag holder; and if something doesn't fit in, that's usually the camera (will be around my neck) and the bottle of juice (will be in my hand).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 14th, 2007 at 08:05:00 AM EST
Forgot: no shave, either...

Also forgot shoes. I buy shoes for strength anyway, so normally the one shoe on me is the 'all-purpose' one. But it may be that I am on a 'more representative' journey, especially in summer, in which case slippers (in the place otherwise for the towel) are a must. Or, if I go on a serious trek, my trekking shoe is a must (then I spare the pajamas).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 14th, 2007 at 08:17:40 AM EST
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