Packing Keren

In the world there are two types of people, those who under-pack and end up wearing the same pair of underwear for a week straight, and those who over-pack and take 7 different pairs of bikinis to a week-long holiday to Bali. I’m unfortunately the latter and I’m known as a person who pack extensive amounts of shoes to short holiday trips away.

With only a week left until I leave (I know! ahhhh), I’ve had to start thinking about how I’m going to compress my life into a backpack for 5 months. According to my dodgy scales, Keren by herself weighs 1.8kg. This means I have another 21kg to play around with before I reach the Qantas maximum.

Here are some of the things I’m packing for my adventures:

IMG_5230

Photo Includes: Clothes, sleeping bag, toiletries, a travel journal, shoes, a microfibre towel (for its quick drying capabilities!), a day pack, a watch, an exercise armband for an iPhone, an iPad mini, money, a Lonely Planet travel guide to Western USA, duct tape and some Cadbury dairy milk chocolate (for the memories of home that will hopefully not melt on me).

The camp I’m working at requires me to take a few specific things: a sleeping bag (which I recommend to anyone travelling in general), bandanas and a few pairs of jeans for horse riding, an alarm clock for the cabin, a personal mug and at least 2 pairs of closed-toe shoes. As I’m going to be in the southern hemisphere for a month before hand, I also need to prepare for the autumn and take long sleeved shirts, jumpers and long pants.

As well, I’m taking my passport, some thongs (flip flops for those who aren’t up to date with the Aussie lingo), an action camera, a water bottle, bathers, sunscreen, a wallet and all of the other travel necessities.

Pro Packing Tip No. 1: Packing Cells
PackingKeren3I honestly wish I came across these earlier! The amount of times I’ve messed up my neatly packed bag to find that one shirt I wanted to wear is incredible. Packing cells are just lightweight mesh rectangles with a zipper on the side that help to keep your clothes separated, and in my case, also organised. These three are medium sized ones from Kathmandu which cost me $30 AUD for all three – thanks to the Easter sales, if not I think they are around $20 for each. They also come in a larger size (which was too big to fit in Keren) and two smaller sizes for the little things you want to keep separate.

Pro Packing Tip No. 2: Roll Baby
After extensive trial and error by me, I can tell you that the best way to pack is to roll. I know it initially looks as if clothes take up much more room rolled, but in reality they are way more easier to handle this way. They fit very nicely into the packing cells/ corners of the suit case and they are individually stored, meaning that they won’t come tangled up with other items of clothing when taken out, as it tends to always happen with my folded shirts.

PackingKeren2I haven’t completely finished packing Keren as I’m still waiting for my laundry to come back, but I’m hoping to pack lightly so that I don’t topple backwards when I’m walking on the street (wish me luck).  I also don’t want to initially fill her entire 70L up so that I have room for souvenirs on the way back. Luckily, Keren has 4 compression straps on each of her sides, which will help me cut back the total size of the backpack. I’m most likely also going to take a small duffle bag to Argentina to take all of the presents and tim tams my family wants, but I’ll probably leave that bag at my cousin’s house when I go to the USA and pick it up on my way back.

I’ll update you when Keren is ready to go!

– Nadia

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