Saturday, February 27, 2010

Packing for Travel

I was digging through some older photos this morning (working on a photo book), and came across some pictures I took from packing for our trip to India and Italy in 2006:
The first picture makes this look like a lot of stuff, but it's exaggerated because everything is exploded out and piled up. Given all the stuff we wanted to do, and the gear I had at the time, it would have tough to go much lighter.
When we went to Norway this past summer, we did a lot of hut-to-hut hiking and almost no backtracking, so a lot of the time we had everything with us. That kind of travel makes going light particularly important. Technology helped, as I just brought a handful of compact flash cards instead of two portable hard drives for backing up photos. We also didn't do any camping, so I didn't need to carry a sleeping bag (I had one in India for the trekking in Sikkim). The Granite Gear backpack I took to Norway weighed about half of the Gregory I used in India, and I cut down on the smaller things as well: one reading book instead of two, a smaller first aid kit, slightly fewer toiletries, etc. Without food or water, my Norway bag probably weighed only 20 pounds or so.
The picture below shows everything I brought on the Norway trip. Top row: With the fully packed bag. Basic clothing, red puffy jacket, water bladder, gloves. (I lost my hat in Jutenheimen). Middle row: Tripod and other stuff sacks, camera case, day pack. Packed essentials. Footwear.
Everything in the bottom row is also in the middle row, these pictures just show what was stored in the red mesh pouches, camera case, and ziplock bags of maps and books.