I’ve never been one of those travelers who takes the equivalent of a steamer trunk with 18 pairs of shoes, but I do like a few options in my checked bag. In preparing for the Italian journey I’m on right now, I had to change my mindset and be okay with traveling light. Super light. Like one backpack weighing 20 pounds and a duffle (okay, and a tiny sling bag for hiking), both of which will be carryon.
It’s been stressful trying to boil everything down to just a few items, but you know what? It’s also been rather liberating. I don’t have to check any bags, and I can carry everything I have (though I will check the duffel in a locker while my friend and I are hiking).
What I Started With
You’ll have to watch my Facebook Live video to see my crap spread out. It looks like a lot, but it’s not, not really. Here’s what I’m taking:
Lightweight puffy jacket
Exofficio Insect Shielf buttonup
2 Brooks lightweight t-shirts
Northface capris (LOVE these!)
REI zip off pants/shorts
3 pairs Exofficio quickdry underwear
3 pairs hiking socks
1 pair sock liners
Caribou Creek rain jacket
Camelbak for water
Sleep sheet (thanks to The Friendly Swede for giving it to me to try out)
2 dressy shirts
Candy for my German friend
Toiletries (Divided Between the Two Bags)
Melatonin (to counter jetlag)
Nail clippers & file
SPF lip moisturizer
Tampons & pads
That’s not so much, is it?? I may be tossing items out as I go along the trail!
The End Result
I was pretty happy with how well packing cubes and Ziplocs did to compress and organize my items. And the weight is manageable. Years ago when I did the traditional “backpacking through Europe” thing in my 20s, I had no clue how to pack light, or even what size backpack I needed. I nearly bowled over every time I stood up with the pack on! That won’t be a problem this time.
*Cat not included in packing plan
I look forward to the challenge of not only traveling light, but also hiking at high elevation for a week. By the time you read this, I will just be embarking on my weeklong hike. Stay tuned for updates when I get back.