I truly admire people (like this couple) who are travelling the world with nothing more than a day pack. I know the golden rules of packing light…I just ignore them!
For a start, just our cables and electronic gadgets alone weigh a couple of kilos and take up a fair bit of space. It doesn’t help that every time we purchase a new camera/ MP3 player/ hard drive it comes with a new USB port?? Why can’t they just be universal??
Trying to pack light for a trip which will potentially cover an temperature range of 60° tends to complicate things somewhat too- especially since I’m a tightarse and refuse to fork out hard earned money for fancy, lightweight, ultra-warm North Face products. So in addition to my normal clothes I’m now also carrying a heavy snowboarding jacket (gifted by a generous winter-sport loving friend in Rotterdam), heavy thermal socks (to make up for my otherwise woefully inadequate footwear) , gloves, beanie and head to toe thermals. Thankfully we can ditch most of the winter gear once we hit Beijing.
And then there’s all the random extras- the coffee percolator (absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary but it seems sad to leave it after it’s traveled so far with us!); oats, milk powder and cup-a-soups for the Trans-Mongolian trip; China Lonely Planet (which probably weighs about 3kg on its own); hairdryer (which will definitely get the flick once we are out of the pneumonia-inducing climate of Siberia and Mongolia) and our collection of games (backgammon, chess, yahtzee, cards and dominoes).
I will try to be more ruthless next time we go traveling. Or we’ll plan a trip that takes us to strictly dry, temperate places where the coffee is consistently amazing. Either way!