i consider myself very fortunate to be able to do a fair amount of travelling each year. from a weekend away at the coast or a 5 day hike in a canyon to an educational for work in northern Mozambique – i have a few opportunities a year.
over time i have noticed that each trip demands a different way of packing.
a weekend at the coast you can pack for in 10 minutes before you go to bed (i always pack the night before – i cannot pack on the day of departure… what if there is something missing or broken or or or… i wouldn’t be able to sleep). and if you forget something, chances are you can go to a shop not far from your tent or chalet and get it.
a 5 day hiking trip takes a little more planning – you want to minimise what you’re carrying, so it’s comfortable, but you have to make sure you have everything you need with you. ‘cos their ain’t gonna be any shops for you to go into along the way… so i find that packing for this will start about a week before i leave.
so for each trip i need to (sub-consciously) assess how far i will be from essential-purchase-opportunities.
as my dream holiday to timbuktu starts in 3 days – i will do my final trial-pack tonight. everything is already lying on my dining room table – the necessary clothes have been washed over the last few days to ensure i have all i need, little extras have been bought that i didn’t have, and now i need to go through the toiletries and medicines to make sure it’s all there and not expired and properly sealed! and put all my documents into a folder and into good order.
as i was going through it all last night, wondering about what i might have forgotten, i was thinking through my itinerary and considering the places i would be, and i thought, well, if i forget something, it’s not like i’m going to the end of earth…