Packing: Weekend Getaway

A friend of mine recently described me as a snail, since I’m basically carrying around my home in one shell of a bag. A bag that weighs exactly 24.8 kilos (54.6 lbs).

I know this because when I checked in for my flight to Indonesia I had to pay $170 in overweight baggage fees. This was for a plane ticket that only cost $75. Ouch!

I’m getting damned tired of paying overweight fees so I have a new 3-pronged Lean & Mean Packing strategy:

1) Downsizing the gear

Take for example my utensil set. I had a very fancy stainless steel fork / knife / spoon combo that nestled together and had a protective cap. I bought it at REI for about $4.00.

I really liked it – sleek and modern — but it weighed a hefty 4 ounces = too heavy. It’s been ditched for the new plastic “spork” that weighs a mere 0.2 ounce. This is Lean & Mean Living.

2) Leave a little behind

I also leave a little something behind with each stop I make. First it was my two travel bags, then it was a few items of clothing, recently it was a converter set and miscellaneous toiletries.

I’ve been asking myself questions like: Is mouthwash really necessary? How many hair bands do I need? Won’t some moleskin take the place of 20 band aids? It’s brutal I tell you!

3) It’s in the mail

Some of my stuff I’m having trouble abandoning and so I’m mailing it home – on the slow boat. I’ve mailed gear home from New Zealand and Australia both. My last package cost about $34 and will take almost 3 months to arrive.

This bundle contained 2 long-sleeved shirts, a polar vest, a wool sweater and a pair of skinny jeans. Clothing that I figured would cost about $300 to replace and hey, a pair of jeans that fit = priceless.

Off they went on their own sea-time adventure until they’re needed again in about a year’s time.

The Biggest Loser

Once I’ve broken the 20 kilo barrier, I’ll shoot for 15 kilos (33 lbs) since this is the weigh that is free on all airlines. This means I have more than 20 lbs to lose, nearly 40% of my total weigh!

I’m a fairly goal-oriented person, so I bet I get there. It’ll just take a little time…and practice letting go of the few possessions I still have in my shell.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 7th, 2011 and is filed under What to Pack.

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