Das Leben ist eine Reise. Nimm nicht zuviel Gepäck mit. (Billy Idol)

post for 20 Sep 2010 by Ben

Music for today: Aereogramme - A Winter's Discord
Before starting my first backpacking trip through Europe, I kept a sheet of paper around for a week and noted what I thought I would need and crossed out what seemed unnecessary. I did fairly well and and neither forgot anything important nor did I pack too much crap. Put on my laptop after the trip, this became the base for my packing list. My purchases in the following years were made with life out of a backpack in mind, my guitar is probably the most extreme example. But most of my equipment was free, I had an old 30 year old monster backpack that I had inherited from my dad, a dog bowl for a plate, a pretty ineffective pink sleeping bag...
But then at the 888 I got my small backpack (a necassity since the old monster would never fit in front of the car) stolen and at the end of last year, someone drove off with the freshly fixed blue monster and I ended up hitchhiking through the Balkan without warm clothes and sleeping gear. While it seems worse to loose "perfect" equipment, only loosing things with a history (like "diary", favourite tee shirt and djembe) really hurt.
Since I needed new equipment anyway, I used my experience to get decent lightweight gear so when I started in late July, my back weighted 13kg, including many luxuries like laptop, guitar, pot+stove+fuel, fair trade instant coffee (thanks Fanni! :) and an ugly heavy poncho.
It's all about comfort levels. Amylin travels without sleeping back, but she used to travel with a full size hair dryer because she hates wet cold hair. My list is now organized after "Living room", "kitchen" and such :) I didn't plan to bring a laptop originaly but then without it some things including this blog wouldn't have been possible. I was very happy with almost everything I brought over the ocean, but the three crazy days of Balkan hitchhiking mostly with what I wore and useless paper were one of the most intense travelling experiences so far and I sometimes miss travelling with just a pile of old crap :)
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