We were happy to spend some time at home during the holidays in part because it gave us a chance to reevaluate what was in our packs and change some things up.
On the first half off the trip, Eric didn’t have any major issues with how his packing list worked out. There were a few things he decided that he hadn’t used much, so he took advantage of being home and dropped some items off. The main things he left out this time were a merino wool sweater (which had shrunk in a laundry and hadn’t really been used since Africa), a wide-brimmed hat that had only been used on safari and a belt which he never used.
Eric’s pack, a Go-Lite 65 Liter pack, has one big section and a small detachable top section.
In the main section:
- A cotton sleeping sheet. This was hardly used in Europe, but Eric thinks it may come in more handy in potentially seedier Asian accommodations. The fabric was originally off-white, but after washing with other fabrics is no more of an off-blue.
- Two swimsuits and two miniature microfiber towels, stored in a Ziploc bag
- Two fleece tops (a thinner gray one and thicker brown one), two long underwear tops, one long underwear bottoms and a workout shirt. Stored in a soft-sided packing cube.
- A large toiletry kit containing overflow items from the daily one that Della carries. Items include extra floss, extra soap and shampoo, extra razor heads, extra anti-malarial drugs, other extra drugs such as probiotics, and a pair of small scissors.
- Utility items – rope for a clothesline, an over-the-door hook, duct tape, gorilla tape, wine/bottle opener (bought in Greece), super glue, tape measure (also bought in Greece), extra dirty clothes bags – stored in a Ziploc bag
- Extra computer items, stored in one of the bags the travel underwear came in:
- Flash drives
- Camera charger
- Old camera and its charger to be used as backup
- SD card
- Cord to connect camera to computer
- Everyday tops and bottoms, stored in a packing cube:
- two long-sleeved collared shirts -one Ex-Officio travel shirt as a gift, another a generic polyester shirt from the thrift store
- three short-sleeve collared shirts – all found at the thirft store
- one t-shirt – poly-cotton blend, a gift from our friends at The Real Dill
- one pair zip-off pants from the thrift store
- two pair of polyester slacks, one khaki and the other gray, both from the thrift store
- Underwear and socks, stored in a small packing cube:
- Five pair of travel underwear, all received as gifts
- Two pair of SmartWool ultralight socks bought on Sierra Trading Post
- Two pair of SmartWool medium socks received as gifts
- One pair thick merino wool socks
- Two pair polyester socks from the dollar store
- Pajamas, stored in a random stuff sack that a promotional blanket came in:
- Poly-cotton blend shirt from kickball league
- Workout shorts
- One pair thick merino wool socks
- Extra books
- Pair of strap sandals from the thrift store
- Black flip-flops for the shower
In the top section:
- Swiss Army knife
- Flashlight and headlamp, stored in an underwear bag
- Cover for bag, which Della’s family created out of a gate check cover for strollers
- Extra water bottles
In his day pack (a Go-Lite pack as well):
- Raincoat borrowed from Eric’s dad, plus a dollar store poncho
- Rice University hat
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Primary reading material
- Primary water bottles
- Steripen (UV-based water purification tool)
- Computer (ASUS Transformer Book T100TA)
- Computer accessories – power cord, USB connection cord, small mouse, stylus – in a Ziploc bag
- Cell phone charger plus car charger
- Zipper bag with a deck of playing cards and a notepad and pen
In his pockets:
- Unlocked GSM cellphone with T-Mobile Simple Choice International plan (the included texting and data in most countries is awesome)
- Camera (Canon Powershot ELPH 115 IS) in case
Eric’s large backpack weighs only 27 lbs! However, like Della, he also carries a day bag. His day bag is slightly heavier due to its bigger size and the computer. The weight of the day bag depends on how much water he is carrying!