Only 4 Sleeps (Packing Rules)

Ok this is getting really real!

This time next week we will already on our 2nd day of our 7 day trek up and over Mount Kilimanjaro… and I just did a little scream of excitement.  Well to be honest there is also a simmering scream of some nervous butterflies working their queasy magic on my tummy too. Every day up till now I have been super excited. Today I started to get nervous. Yes the nerves could be because of the snow on the Mountain, could be because there are some inherent risks with such a climb, but it is more than likely just because I want everything to go as well as it can for all of us travelling and I tend to worry about this more and for everyone.

Getting nervous – needed a distraction – stop thinking about it – finish packing!

I am lucky, the art of packing is pretty easy for me. I have adopted a few rules from people much smarter than me over the years and made up a few of my own. They may work for you as well in future, take a peek:

  1. Never pack a top (shirt, tank, long sleeve) that does not match EVERY one of your bottoms (pants, skirt, shorts). If it does not get along with everyone, it does not get invited to the backpack party!
  2. Never pack that one item you have never worn but you are certain it would be perfect for this trip. Nope, its not. Even if you pack it, you will never actually wear it. Well you might try it on but it will never leave your hostel, hotel, B&B, tent, etc. Trust me. Leave it at home or better yet pass that thing on to someone deserving feel the relief.
  3. If you do not love how something makes you feel at home you will hate it even more abroad. Travelling is about absorbing all around you and is not about adjusting and worrying about wardrobe. It is not the time to try and suffer through those skinny jeans that really don’t make you happy, or the bra strap that never stays up.
  4. Do always bring a very basic scarf that can go with anything you bring as a fashion accessory, to keep the neck warm when you get that weird sore throat that seems to always happen on planes, and to cover those shoulders and any cleavage if you are visiting any churches or the such. Also a scarf is great to put on the seat when you are wearing shorts or skirt so your bare skin is not on that well used train cushion.
  5. Do always toss in a couple of Ziploc style bags of different sizes and a couple of those bag closure clips in your backpack. Nothing worse than buying that awesome peanut snack mixture and having no way to close it securely before you put it in your pack to roll about with your nice clean clothes that need to stay that way!
  6. Of course, roll all clothes – do not fold!
  7. Put the big stuff in first and fill in the open gaps in the bag with the little rolled clothing. Put the heavy stuff at the bottom of the bag.
  8. Never leave anything to memory. We have all said to ourselves “I will toss in my ___ the morning before I go” and then you get on the plane and you have that sinking, awful feeling cause you know you forgot! If you need to put something into your bag at the last minute or when the laundry is done or whatever, write it on a post it and put that on or by your bag. Replace the post it with the actual item before you leave and voila.
  9. Charge it all before you go to the max. Camera, phone, Kobo, Kindle, iPod or whatever get it to 100% so you are not worried about getting a place where you can charge it more than you are about soaking in the amazing place you have traveled to.
  10. If you absolutely cannot imagine the trip without an item – do not leave it to chance in your checked bags. Carry that thing or those things on to the plane. I am carrying all my Mount Kilimanjaro essentials with me on the plane, and wearing my boots as well.
  11. Final trick, if you forgot it – it wasn’t mean to come! Ok this does not apply to important medications and deodorant but I mean that shirt, or those blingy flip flops, etc. Don’t sweat it. Embrace it!
  12. Absolute, final trick, If you are that heart broken that you forgot it… its a sign you are meant to buy it when you get there! Come on it could be your souvenir! Ha ha ha 🙂
Osprey packing

My day pack for Mount Kilimanjaro with everything I need for the Mountain (carrying this guy on the plane) .. with post it notes for items I still need to add.

Ok back to packing and being mindful of my own “rules”!


PS: only, for real, no joke, can you believe it, 4 sleeps left!

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