On packing

I started packing for the camping trip at 1:00 a.m., which is far from ideal. I’ve done this so many times before that it works out okay. I forget to pack my thermal socks, toque and bandana. I make due without them. I run out of time to make bannock (campfire bannock is delicious). For the most part I pack smartly. Some of my friends opt for items like beer or cots that I don’t bring because they take up space or I think they’re unnecessary.

I talk to my sister about this later when we go hiking. We’ve both lived abroad and done more than our fair share of travelling. We were both know the importance of being prepared and how to pack light and smartly. We agree that there is nothing more frustrating than travelling with someone who overpacks or who is ill prepared—or the feeling of being unprepared yourself. When we travel we bring the bare minimum and are fully self-sufficient. Travelling with my sister is easy and almost instinctive.

I also get to thinking that being prepared is a way for me to try to control my environment and the unpredictable. I have a list of gear I want to acquire and spend way too much time on the MEC website thinking about dry bags and backpacks. I make packing lists in my head and think about what I would bring if I were to travel for a month. This is my way of trying to control the uncontrollable; of trying to prevent 1 a.m. packing.

My family is talking about doing the Trans-Siberian. I mention to my father that he will probably need to buy a backpack and what size he should consider. It is clear I’ve thought about this way too much.

The other thing is that every time I forget something while camping (a chair, a hatchet, thermal socks) I make a mental note to ensure to bring it the next time. I also know that I need to make a packing list. I’ve thought about doing an infographic and maybe one day it will grace the pages of this blog. One day. Though I don’t know if the list will ever be quite done.


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