Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trial packing

Jan just bought a new backpack. Actually, it's the same Gregory Deva I have just in a smaller size.

Friday night, we trial packed everything we have on our list. One aspect of the trip is being able to fly on planes and take public transport without too much worry about our gear. That requires that everything we bring fits inside our packs. With a tent, sleeping pads and kitchen - albeit a compact one! - that's obviously a challenge.

We learned that the list I'd made was almost 100% on. We needed to use our small day packs for some of the equipment to make it work The weight of the backpacks  is great with only about 35 to 40 pounds each on trial packing (Our target was 45 pounds), ie weight is not going to be a problem as long as we are disciplined, but volume is. While everything fit 'sort of', it makes the packs filled to the brim in a way that makes it worrisome for plane travel. Airlines don't exactly have a reputation for handling luggage with care.

One option is for Jan to get the same size pack as I have, which would giver her another 12 litres volume. This however, would not fix the part of about the super bulky packs, it just get everything in. Another is for us to bring a third bag (like a duffle), that we'd use for the bulky gear like the tent. That option would reduce risk of damage and loss in transit. The third option is to do both.

We'll do another trial pack today for option 2 to see whether that solves the issue.

Seems like a simple thing, but it actually has some consequences re: trip planning. When we don't have a hotel 'home base' because we are moving point to point, we'll most likely rely on more extensive back country support, ie guides and mules. For trips where we can leave things in storage, it's a different story. Besides, we'll lash bulky things to the outside of the packs for hiking in any case, giving us the interior needed space for food and water.

Next up - our packing list.

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