Tomorrow is the day!
Which means that today is the day that I finally have to finish up all the stuff I need to finish up before I can get on a plane. I’m almost there.
One of the things I have to get done is a post about my final packing arrangements – what bag(s) I’m bringing, and what I’m carrying in them. I started finalizing a packing list a few weeks back and did a test pack where I managed to fit everything I really needed into just my Tom Bihn Aeronaut, which is awesome. There were two minor problems:
- It was pretty full.Not a lot of room for bringing back souvenirs and such.
- It was about a pound too heavy for the carry-on baggage restrictions.
Now, the extra pound wasn’t such a big deal – odds are it wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at the gate unless I looked like I was labouring under a terrible weight. And I had packed an extra bag to use as an everyday carry, so I could have slipped my iPad and some other stuff into the second bag at the gate and come in safely under the limit.
But I wasn’t all that happy with the Cafe Bag choice for an everyday carry on this trip. It’s a great bag, but it’s not quite as big as I wanted. I wanted something that would hold my iPad, camera, and a few other things, and the camera just didn’t fit into the Cafe Bag very elegantly. I’d settled on the Cafe Bag because it fit very easily into the Aeronaut with the rest of my stuff.
Most of my other Tom Bihn bags were just a little too large to qualify as a personal item as a second bag. So, I settled on my Red Oxx Gator Carry-On as a second bag. It fits the size requirements neatly, is big enough to carry the stuff I want with me during the day, and small enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m lugging around the world. My one worry is that, while it is water resistant, it is not waterproof. But I think a little common sense will overcome that limitation.
So, with that sorted out, here’s my packing list.
I’ve got most of my clothes in a large Aeronaut packing cube in the main central compartment: two pairs of cargo pants, three merino wool t-shirts, a long-sleeved button shirt, and a sweatshirt. The central pocket also holds my laptop in a sleeve, my Tilley hat and, in the mesh top pocket, my 3-1-1 kit for liquids. That way, I can just unzip the center compartment and pop out the laptop and 3-1-1 kit for airport security.
One of the end compartments holds my socks and underwear in an end pocket packing cube, and the other holds my toiletry Kit with toothbrush, tooth tablets, sink stopper, and clothesline. It also holds my travel towel and my rain jacket.
The slash pocket on one end is for my organizer pouch full of reservation papers and such, and the other is for my phone, keys, wallet, and travel tray.
Fully loaded, the Aeronaut comes in at just under 17 pounds.
The central pocket is for my iPad, camera, and Snake Charmer with all my cords, chargers, adapters, and what not for my electronics. The snap pockets on the front hold my sunglasses, reading glasses, and regular glasses. The gusseted end pockets hold my travel notebook and pen and a few Clif bars.
And the Gator weighs in at 11 pounds with this load.
Well, I’m wearing one set of clothes, including a short-sleeved overshirt, a t-shirt, socks, underwear, cargo pants, and hiking shoes. And I have a really cool fold-up backpack from Sea to Summit. That’s the total of what I’m bringing to get me through a three-week journey all over Ireland. It’s significantly less and significantly lighter than what I carried last time, and that’s a good thing. Not only will it be easier to haul around, it will give me a little extra room to pack a few souvenirs – that was a pretty tight fit last time.
I added one last thing to the itinerary last night – I booked the Evening of Folklore and Storytelling dinner at the Brazen Head for the Friday night I’m in Dublin. It looks like fun. And with that, the itinerary is locked.
Which is a good thing, because I leave tomorrow.
And then I’ll finally start having some interesting things to post here.