Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What I am Packing--What it Weighs

I have laid out all of the stuff I am putting in my GoLite Breeze backpack---Weight---9.3 lbs.

Below is what I am wearing which includes my camera waist bag and iPad bag--Weight--9.1lbs.

I have learned in my travels, especially when I hiked the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, that your travel enjoyment improves greatly with a light weight pack. This works for me. I have often seen travelers carrying not only an overstuffed 60 lb pack on their back, but also a fully stuffed day pack strapped to their chest while they are wearing just a tee shirt, shorts and flip-flops.   I can travel with ease whether it is by bus, train, boat, or on the back of a moto-taxi with my pack weight under 10 lbs.

What's in the Pack?---9.3 lbs

Here are some of the key items that help reduce the pack weight:

  • Golite Breeze Pack has a 47 liter capacity weighs just 13 3/4 oz. compared to most others that weigh in at 2 to 6 lbs. Golite discontinued this pack, and I would recommend you check out their packs as well as light weight packs by Gossamer Gear.
  • Outdoor Research (OR) rain jacket weighs just 6 5/8 oz and it does not get that clammy feel that so many other heavier rain jackets do.
  • Two short sleeve light weight silk Hawaiian shirts and two V neck tee shirts sealed in a gallon ziplock bag that weighs 12 1/2 oz. I compress the bag by sitting on as I seal it so it packs better and protects the clothes from getting wet. I use zip lock bags to protect most of my stuff in the bag rather than relying on the pack's waterproofing.
  • Agua Mira water purifying drops are added to water I put in a 1 liter "throwaway"water bottle, and the Agua Mira weighs 2 5/8 oz. I fill the bottle from the tap rather than carrying a heavy water filter system or even a steripen. You can buy this at REI or just order online.
  • I use the "free" 1 liter water bottle wrapped with some duct tape (used for patching stuff) rather than any fancy nagalene or metal bottle that weighs much more. This empty bottle with duct tape weighs just 1 5/8 oz. If it gets nasty, I just replace it with another. I avoid buying bottled water which results in emptys filling up land fills if not recycled.
The other items in the pack include:
  • P.Js, swimsuit, Golite LS windshirt, pair of underwear and socks in ziplock bag--17.9 oz.
  • OR mosquito head net--2 1/4 oz.
  • Combi padlock for hostel lockers--4 1/4 oz.
  • Brazil Guidebook in ziplock bag--14 5/8 oz.
  • Brazil Guidebook 12 cutout sections in individual qt. ziplock bags --14 5/8 oz
  • Green bag contains Fuji camera recharger, SD cards, USBs, iPad connectors--9 3/4 oz
  • Black bag contains Panasonic video charger, battery, manual, and two "N" connectors since Brazil has round plug sockets rather than our slot sockets--16 1/4 oz.
  • Soap, sunscreen, DEET, hair gel are in ziplock bags. I put these in the outside pouches so if they leak, they do not ruin things inside the bag. I speak from experience here--13 1/4 oz.
  • Black net bag contains vitamins and OTC drugs, band aids, spoon, extra pens, Cipro, needle & thread--9 3/8 oz.
  • Red bag contains deodorant, Rx drugs, band aids, flashlight, aspirin, toothpaste,& brush, floss, paper tape, earplugs, whistle, doxycycline, cardboard nail file, pen, and lip balm.--13 5/8 oz.
  • Two microfiber wash rags -- emergency towels in case the hostel has no towels.--1 1/4 oz.
When you begin to pack, you need to have a postal scale that measures down to the 1/8th ounce so that when you are making choices of clothing or other items you will be able to go lighter by the choices you make. For this trip, I returned the REI Ultra light rain jacket that weighed 17 oz for the OR rain jacket that weighed just 6 5/8 oz. The Hawaiian shirts weigh just 2 1/8 oz compared to another one that weighs 7 oz. The REI pants weigh 14 oz compared to a pair of jeans that weigh 28 1/8 oz. And so it goes with packing for light weight travel.

What I Wear?---9.1 lbs.

These 14 oz REI pants are 100% nylon which means they are durable and they are easy to wash out at night and be ready to wear in the morning. You only need to take one pair of pants with you. I especially like them because they look more like street pants than those funny pants that convert to shorts. Besides I do not like to wear shorts. These pants have two zippered back pockets plus two zippered pockets that are hidden along the side seam so it adds a higher degree of security for the contents in these pockets.

For plane travel, I will be wearing a Territories Ahead soft cotton colored T shirt and a wrinkle free LS shirt with my rain jacket in one of the outer pouches of my pack in case the weather turns bad.

My favorite travel shoes are the Merrill Jungle Moc slip ons and weigh a hefty 34 oz, and work well when visiting temples where you have to remove your shoes. I even wore these when I hiked the circuit "W" in Patagonia and the Leaping Tiger Gorge in China.

Some of the other things I carry include:

  • a money belt--1 5/8 oz
  • pedometer--1 oz
  • compass--1 1/4 oz
  • watch that tracks altitude gains--losses, has two time displays and two alarm clocks--2 3/8 oz
  • Sunglasses and sleep mask--4 1/4 oz
  • Handiwipes which I use for washing hands and as toilet paper--2 1/2 oz
  • Camera waist bag with video camera, Fuji camera, iPad earphones and charger--30 oz
  • Chile shoulder bag with iPad, red folder with travel documents--40 1/4 oz
Since I am traveling so light, I am going to throw in a Tom Clancy novel in case my iPad battery wears down between recharging spots.

It is now on to the SEA airport for the start of my Brazilian Adventures.

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