We learned this lesson the hard way on our last extended trip- we accumulated gear, guidebooks and clothes with abandon and when we crammed it all in our packs the day before we left, found we could barely lift the things. This time, with two weeks to go, we are packing everything in advance and putting our bags in “quarantine” while we still have the time to make adjustments. The good news is the gear and packs have got so much lighter. The bad news is my back is 12 years older than the last time we did this!
It’s hard to believe this day is here after the hours spent in REI (and even more hours on REI.com) evaluating and debating- Is this enough? Is it too much? Can we hike in New Zealand with our lighter hiking shoes and not our heavier boots? Will this dry overnight on our little clothesline if we wash it in the sink? Can I wear this in Barcelona and Borneo? Will these pants still fit Miles by the time we get to Africa? How hot will it be in Dubai? How cold will it be in Botswana? Are iPads enough or should we get Kindles, too? How on earth will we manage all these @!# cords?
Whether or not we’ve answered any or all of those questions correctly remains to be seen. 🙂