Before leaving for my unlimited trip, I read a lot of theories about how to pack one’s bag. I watched videos, even gender oriented ones, tried to carry the bloody bags several times in different places. I prepared a list of « essential » materials months before. I did a collect. I questioned every element with the « list 3 different contexts you might need that thing?« . And all of the items merely passed the test.
I balanced the pros and cons of HOW to carry everything in small package, HOW to roll your stuff and use pockets effectively (are you aware of the power of pockets ?). I equipped myself with multi-task items. Learn to rool my clothes. I decided to carry 2 bags : one big for the not-so-frequently-but-important material and one, small, in my front for the things I might use often. I thought I was ready. But what I did not knew at the time was that I will give to charity half of my belongings and send back to France another quarter.
What happened ? What was wrong in the first place ?
Firstly : The 2 bags were freaking heavy ! #RookieMistakes Despite long thinking about what I should bring, I did minimize one tiny little details : I was unable to carry a 20kg bag for more than 20 min. It killed my back, my muscle and my health (and my knee : don’t forget about your knees they are so damn important)
Secondly : Having 2 backpacks was a total disaster, reducing my mobility while on long transit and making me feel unsafe because of that. For some people it works but not for me, no, not on a long run.
Thirdly : It made me looks like someone you do not want to help in the street … Not tidy and not confident, people looked at me crazy. But, let’s talk about the traveller’s expected look and style in another article 🙂
How did I handle the bags issue ?
At every stops, I did the same choreography, over and over until I reach the perfect balance between weight and usefulness. Sometimes, I convinced myself that some stuff needed to be swap from big bag to little one. Sometimes I changed side from right to left. Eventually, I get rid of my belongings. Lucky me, I was still in Europe with possibilities to send back some items. The rest was given to charity shops. It took me 2 months, approximately 10 to 15 hours of arguments with myself to reduce my bag to no more than 15 kg all together.
I also swapped my second back bag into a side one style, lighter and more accessible.
Because we all have different needs, different skills and different traveling style, I will not list the things to bring or not – Therefore, you can check HERE, here Or HERE. I wanted instead to introduce you to my newly « Prioritization graph ».
Plus, you can use it for any topic in your life : relationship management, up dating closet, cleaning kitchen, etc.
=> The Priorization graph <=
Process of use :
- Put all your things on the floor/table/on your bed according to the design.
- Get ride of the Red and Grey Zone : transform/sell/swap/give to second hand shop
- Preferably only keep things on the upper half of the purple zone, think about muti-uses items
- Preferably keep only things on the upper half of the green zone
POSSIBLE heavy ITEMS TO CONSIDER regarding my experience
** Little things, like coins – « Look at that tiny, tiny little pair of electric cables, they are defenseless ! »
Having one or two tiny things make you believe they weight nothing. Add to them tiny little tiny packaging and you easily reached 1 or 2 kg. Tiny tights might kill your back. Prefer bills to coins; if possible use a single cable for multiple items thanks to universal plug; get rid of any kind of packaging and store your stuff in freezer bag instead ;
** Sentimental baggage – (No pun intended)
I convinced myself I needed those stuff in Orange Zone and it took me 7 stops to get rid of them. I admit I still have 1 or 2 (ok, 5) things from the Grey zone and, ok, some Purple zone items could fit at the bottom of the graph. But come on, isn’t it heavy to carry your past on your back?
Tips : Turn into numeric whatever possible and take the first chance to send back your sentimental baggage home.
** The ‘What IF ?’ item – ‘This hammock might be useful IF I find 2 trees, at good distances, in the summer time, in a safe place. I mean, I really might need one, who knows ?’
Stubborn as I am, I really wanted a hammock. Full stop. I romanticized myself in a camp, happily sleeping in my hammock. The memories of my roommate, Marielle, did played a big part in that decision : she seemed to be on the most relaxed spot on earth. I also carried a hottie for winter, never used it. What is your hammock (or your hottie) ? Truth is, you can borrow anything locally if you look for it, or build it yourself.
Results : Nomad skills level +2 completed
Sources : Direct inspiration from Ike App on google store I use to get things done