Friday, September 6, 2013

Packing Secrets

This is the post where I should be telling you I am packed and ready to go. After all, my plane leaves in 48 hours. The truth is I'm a last minute packer. There are growing piles of things in various spots in the house, but not a single item has been added to my backpack yet. At least there is a pile next to it!

This pile is looking precarious. I need to shift it to another spot as it appears to have outgrown the present one.

There are similar piles in the bathroom and kitchen. I'm sure you are looking at all of that, wondering how it could possibly fit into that medium-size pack. Me too.

I am actually a fairly light packer. I usually take three pairs of hiking pants - the kind that are lightweight but durable. This means if I need to I can wash a pair out in a sink and they are usually dry by the next morning. I will pack two short sleeve shirts and three long sleeve shirts, all made from a thin 100% Merino wool which can also be washed out in a sink and dry by the next morning. I know this next bit is going to be hard to believe, but the four pairs of socks and underwear and the three sports bras I'm taking are also made from the same Merino wool. So there you have my two big packing secrets. Pack light, and pack wool.

Here's the packing problem I haven't been able to solve.

There are charger cords for my iPad and iPhone, my Kindle, my toothbrush (okay, I could probably leave this at home), a charger for my camera battery, and the adaptor things so I can get my pictures from the card in my camera onto my iPad (without this I wouldn't be able to blog). Missing from this picture are the electric plug-in converter things so I can actually plug all those things into a UK outlet. They really don't take up too much space, but reaching into my backpack and trying to extract the one I want makes me want to say bad words.

I have been training for our upcoming walk in Wales. Sort of. I've worn my new hikers twice and hope that counts as breaking them in. This morning I walked a quick three kilometres on the road near us, trying to beat the next downpour. All I could think of was how much I wanted to go home and have a cup of tea. Then it occurred to me that on each of the days on our walk we will be going about eight times that far. It made me very glad I found this great travel mug at David's Tea last week.

 

It's guaranteed to not spill while in your pack. My plan is to fill it with hot tea every morning before we head out. Hopefully it works as advertised or there might be more bad words.

My plan is to blog on the trip, but there might not be a post every day. (I don't think we'll have Internet connection at some of the places we are staying.) Blogging from the iPad can be a bit sketchy at times. If you read something that doesn't make sense the most likely cause is either jet lag or auto-correct gone rogue. And I am pretty rusty at using the Blogsy App, so that might contribute to some glitches as well. Hopefully there will be enough great pictures to make up for the less than perfect prose.

So I am off to pack. I've got wool, both to knit and to wear. I've got my Kindle. And I've got something to drink tea from. What else could I possibly need? And yes, I did throw in a rain jacket. Just in case. But it is probably a waste of valuable space. Not a single picture of Wales in my guide book or at the Welsh tourist site had anything but blue sky.

 

54 comments:

  1. I'm very envious of your upcoming trip. Have fun!

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    1. Thanks Maureen! One of these days we will have to go on an adventure together. :-)

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  2. Bon voyage!
    -- stashdragon

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    1. Thanks Stashdragon! I am hoping the weather stays nice, and the yarn shopping doesn't disappoint.

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  3. Catching up on blogs after a forced absence from my computer. First off, congrats on the book! I do love a good children's/young adult book. Hurrah for you.

    I'm sure you'll succeed in the packing. Though I hear you on all the electronics (& their cords) that we seem to need these days. Love the non-spillable tea mug! Best wishes for the journey.

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I will bog some more about the book when I get back from my holiday.

      The biggest packing challenge is leaving enough room in my backpack for the yarn I want to buy in Shetland. Ha!

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  4. Have a great trip Kristie. I'm sure that we would all be interested in where you found wearable underwear in Merino wool.

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    1. If you click on the word "wool" in my post where I talk about it being 100% Merino wool it will take you to the Icebreaker site, which is the company that makes the wool underwear, along with all kinds of other amazing wool clothes. Sorry the link was so small. I did the post on Blogsy so I could get some more practice before I left and I didn't do a very good job with the link. I highly recommend these underwear. They are a little bit pricey, but last forever and are seriously the nicest underwear i have ever owned.

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  5. Don't be fooled by blue sky pictures! It's raining hard here! The adaptor problem is a nuisance isn't it. I had the same bag of 'spaghetti' on my hols too. I put each one in a tiny plastic bag and then labelled it. It started off well, but then I kept losing the bags!
    Have a great time x

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    1. Great minds think alike, Kathy. I have the same plan for all those cords this time - small plastic bags so things don't end up in a tangle.

      I sure hope the weather rains itself out before we get there. What is the long range forecast for? We don't start our walk until the 13th.

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  6. Kathy is right - take waterproofs. It always rains in Wales - it's the law (although also glorious, sometimes both in the same hour). Have a marvellous time

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    1. Kath and I are both packing rain jackets and pants, and our hiking shoes are waterproof. So we will be prepared. But I am really, really hoping we have mostly good weather. And now I am sure every person from the UK who is reading this is laughing. I guess it would be like someone from the UK coming to Canada in the winter and bringing a hat, mittens and a warm jacket "just in case" it was cold. Ha!

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  7. No, it doesn't always rain in Wales - only about 95% of the time - but it also blows, hard, at times. Water- and wind-proof gear is essential, particularly on that coast! Have a great time.

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    1. 95%? Oh my. I might be using that new rain jacket I bought after all. :-(

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  8. Enjoy your trip, and may the amount of time you spend untangling your charging cords be small! :D

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I have a plan for all those cords this time. I am putting them in small plastic ziplock bags. Hopefully that relieves some of the annoyance!

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  9. Take that jacket!

    Have a wonderful and not too wet time...i'll look forward to seeing the photographs and hearing about your experiences....and watch out for Heathrow on your return!

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    1. Yes, the jacket is definitely getting packed. I have actually purchased a new one for this trip because the zipper on my old one sticks and I sometimes can't get it zipped up properly, which I didn't think would be a good feature in a rainstorm.

      After your post I am almost afraid to go to Heathrow. :-)

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  10. Have a wonderful trip, Kristie! Looking forward to your pictures and stories. I didn't have any problems arriving or departing from Heathrow last October. Only showers of rain in Wales (I was on a 4 day knitting retreat) while sis and husband had beautiful weather walking the Cotswolds. We spent time in London together and that is where we got downpours. I went with a backpack but had to buy luggage in London to bring home my yarn purchases. :)

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    1. It's nice to get a fairly good weather report from someone who has been there! I can handle light showers. :-)

      That's funny that you bought luggage in London for your yarn purchases. I did the same two years ago when I was in the UK. I bought one of those carry-on bags that folds up on itself and becomes just a small packet when not in use. It will be going with me on this trip for sure!

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  11. I hope you have a great trip, Kristie! I look forward to hearing all about it. :)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I hope the stories are all good ones, but you never know. :-)

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  12. I must have missed the post in which you announced you were heading to Wales! I am so incredibly jealous! I've never been there, even though I've been (relatively) close several times. It sounds wonderful, and I'm sure it will be a beautiful time of year to visit, regardless of the rain. I am looking forward to living vicariously though you :)

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    1. You can see if you still want to go to Wales after following my adventure! If we get swept off the cliffs in a gale force wind you might change your mind. :-)

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  13. Successful packing and safe travel, Kristie. The longer-range forecast seems to be for the weather to be a bit unsettled, but with no extremes. Changeable is probably the best single word to describe British weather - sometimes several times an hour. :-) I'm really looking forward to your posts from Wales and Shetland. Happy walking.

    PS I take it you're wearing your wool sweater on the journey, not packing it.

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    1. No extremes sounds acceptable. :-)

      Until last week I wasn't even going to take a wool sweater. Then I started to get scared reading all the comments from all of you in the UK. I will put it in my daypack so I have it ready to wear should I need it.

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    2. It can get quite chilly at either end of the day in September in Wales and Shetland is so much further north that you will definitely need a sweater handy there. I've just checked the 5-day forecast for Lerwick and the maximum forecast temperature is averaging 12C.

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    3. Thanks for that information, Perpetua. I will definitely take the sweater, but hopefully won't need it until I get to Shetland. I expect you to order up some sunshine for me in Wales! :-)

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  14. Give Jean a big hug from me when you make connections in Shetland

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    1. I will Lynne! I am really looking forward to my time in Shetland with her - it is something we have been planning for months!

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  15. Wishing you safe travels, and I can't wait to see your photos!

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    1. I sure hope all those photos don't have raindrops in them. :-)

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  16. Love this post Kristie. I know what you mean about those darn chargers leads! Just one question, I don't seem to be able to blog from my iPad. I can write it but cannot upload photos. How do you do it? Do let me know if you visit London as a coffee and a chat would be good! Enjoy your trip.
    Patricia x

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    1. I use an app called Blogsy, Patricia. You can upload pictures that are in your iPad while in the Blogsy app. There are lots of great "how to" videos at their website.

      I would have loved to meet-up for a coffee/tea and a chat, but we are going directly from the airport to the place we are staying in the Cotswolds, and after Shetland we will be overnight in London, but it will be at a hotel out by Heathrow. Do you live near the airport?

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  17. ohh Icebreaker from New Zealand!!

    Have a wonderful trip, can't wait to hear all about it, hope that tea cup does the job perfectly! travel safe xx

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    1. Do you ever use Icebreaker products, Sarah? I love them, but they are a bit pricey. I have slowly been adding items from them to my wardrobe over the past three years. Our Costco stores also sell knock-off Icebreaker shirts in the fall. They aren't quite as nice, but they are much cheaper, so i have several of those as well.

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  18. Have a wonderful trip Kristie, and I hope the weather is kind to you. You look like an excellent packer, with it all worked out to be very light and easy to care for. All the cords, batteries and chargers have now become part of travel - a few years ago it was just camera and rolls of film! I like the idea of the snap-lock bags. Bon Voyage! xxx

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    1. Thanks Patricia! That is a good reminder about the old-fashioned cameras and film. They were such a pain, and developing those rolls of film was very expensive. It makes me not feel so bad about all the cords! :-)

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  19. Kristie....I am so envious.......hope everything works out beautifully! One question.....where did you find merino wool sports bras? They sound marvelous for travel!

    I am glad you threw in the rain gear, as it drizzled a lot when I was in Shetland last May, off and on a lot but one day it simply poured....that was the day I took a taxi from town back to our hotel.

    Have a wonderful time!

    Barbara M. In NH

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    1. I bought them from a company called Icebreaker. I put a link in the post, but unfortunately because I am blogging with Blogsy I goofed it up and it is hard to see. If you go to Icebreaker.com that should work. They have lots of wonderful clothes! One thing to know about the sports bras is they run quite small.

      The rainwear is packed, and on my way to the airport today I bought a rain cover for my daypack. Hopefully I am prepared! :-)

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  20. http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_keep_your_apple_device_cables_tanglefree#slide-5

    A little help with the cord problem :)

    I'm excited about your trip to Wales. I loved your Scotland trip. See? I can sit right here and enjoy new places without burning a single calorie!

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    1. Thanks for the link - I will check it out. You might not burn any calories by enjoying new places from home, but on the other hand you save lots of money. :-)

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  21. As a non-knitter, my first thought on the space problem was to leave the knitting at home. But I realize that's crazy talk. I guess you are on your way now and all problems have been solved. Have a great trip! I hope you won't need the jacket (but I'm glad you packed it).

    PS - I remember Bekah sharing a packing tip that involved rolling the clothes do they wrinkle less. I'm sure you know that one, I just wanted to show we pay attention and appreciate packing tips. :)

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    1. Definitely crazy talk. Ha!

      I have followed Rebekah's packing advice and rolled everything that was rollable. Thanks for the reminder though. I am at the airport waiting area and it is rather humorous. All these senior citizens keep coming up and asking me for help with their iPads. If you knew how non-techie I am you would be laughing. :-)

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  22. "...so they wrinkle less"
    Autocorrect didn't! :)

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    1. This is a good example of why I am nervous about blogging from my iPad! Auto-correct is not my friend.

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  23. Have the best time lovely lady ... I do hope Wales is everything you're hoping for x

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    1. I am so excited to see Wales! I have wanted to go there for ages. The icing on the cake will be getting a chance to meet you!

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  24. I hope you manged to fit everything in, including the rain coat! Have a wonderful time.
    Sarah x

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    1. I fit everything in, but at the last minute made a couple of changes. Bought a pair of ultra light long John tops and bottoms and substituted them for the two pairs of pyjamas I had packed. I also pulled out my wool sweater. It took up way too much space. My new plan is to buy a wool sweater at a charity shop, then I will just leave it behind after the walk in Wales. I hope it wasn't a mistake, but I'm sure I'll be able to find something once I get there.

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  25. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaSeptember 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    You can always mail the yarn purchases home if need be...Have a wonderful and woolly trip! So looking forward to any and all posts you manage while over there.

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    1. Mailing the yarn home is a great idea! Am I able to avoid paying duty if I mail something home from a trip (as long as it falls under my duty-free exemption)?

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    2. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaSeptember 10, 2013 at 6:26 AM

      I did that once with an Irish tweed blazer that wouldn't fit in my suitcase; when I went to pick up the package at the post office at home, I had to pay the duty and taxes even though I explained about it being under my duty-free exemption, but I claimed everything back from Revenue Canada using the form on the outside of the parcel along with a copy of my Customs declaration showing the total of my purchases abroad. It was a little round-about but it worked.

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    3. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaSeptember 10, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      Forgot to say, on the Customs Declaration was an area entitled Goods to Follow (or some such); that's where you would itemize anything you've mailed home, with the value of same. Mind you, this was many years ago, so I don't know if the forms look the same now.

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