What We Are taking...

Almost everyone asks exactly what it is we are taking. It is hard to fathom what we would take for a whole year--and in a single backpack. While that is still in fluctuation, we have the basics now.

There has been no more contentious aspect of this trip than the decisions about what to take and what not to. There have been many tearful discussions over weight and volume versus desires and needs.

George is of the "Just take a Swiss army knife and a change of underwear" school. Salli is of the "We need enough medicine for a small hospital, clothes for every change of weather, and a few treats" school. And Cassidy wants to add a few thousand pounds of toys, while Samantha wants to take a lifetime supply of toilet paper and feminine napkins.

Somewhere in between the magic combination lies.

Our Eagle Creek packs are perfect for what we are doing. They are a good size, durable, convert easily between being suitcases to backpacks and have removable parts. All of them have zip-off day packs, and the two larger ones (for the tall folks in our party--George and Samantha) also have zip off fanny packs and an extra compartment that is large enough to hold a sleeping bag. So far, our only problem is telling them apart.

But here is what we have in our packs now:

We land in Phoenix with much more than we thought we had left with. Much of this was meant to stay in Arizona and California.
  • basic toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)
  • five changes of underwear
  • five pairs of socks
  • jeans--2 pairs each for Sam and Salli, 1 for George (4 pairs of stretch pants for Cassidy instead of jeans)
  • 1 pair of shorts (3 for Cassidy--and Salli's convert from slacks to shorts with zip-off legs)
  • shirts--3 tees, 1 light-weight long sleeved (George skipped the tees and has 4 long sleeved shirts), one turtleneck
  • 1 sweatshirt or sweater
  • 1 "dress up" outfit, light weight (a longish dress for the girls, nice slacks for George)
  • sleep shirt (George has sweat pants)
  • swimsuit
  • shoes - good walking shoes, a pair of rubber slip-ons and (at least for the start of the trip) the girls have cheap dress shoes
  • dark glasses for each of us (and prescription glasses with a spare for those of us with "mature vision")--and one set of cleaning and repair supplies for the group.
  • Samantha and Salli each took a couple of pairs of earrings that they like, but wouldn't cry forever if they got lost.
  • Cassidy has "Daddy Dog" (her favorite stuffed animal), a host of small plastic toys, a plastic fashion doll (Jasmine) and some paper dolls.

Each person also has a small flashlight, an emergency (silver plastic) blanket, a fleece sleeping bag liner or (for Cassidy) a small thermal blanket, a journal, a few audio tapes, a book or two and a personal cassette player. George and Salli have Swiss Army knives, and George has a Leatherman tool.

When we figured out that we would encounter fairly cold weather in Japan and China, we added a duffel bag of minimal (but bulky) cold weather gear: hats, gloves, vests and jackets. In that duffel we also have a couple of backpackers towels, a few trinkets to give away (such as enamel pins), vacuum packed feminine napkins (courtesy of Aunt Randi and Uncle Larry), guidebooks for the first few stops, and Salli's hospital (everything from herbal remedies to broad spectrum antibiotics). We expect to get rid of the duffel- but not all its contents - as soon as we get out of cold weather. We'll see.

We also have a few games (a deck of cards, Tangoes), a camera, a pair of binoculars, the laptop computer, and a soft sided briefcase with stationery and greeting cards, a few business files, insurance forms, and copies of our passports, tickets, itinerary, medical records, glasses prescriptions, marriage and birth certificates.

You may note a lack of raingear. This is a very large bone of contention between Salli and George. I sure hope those garbage bags work. . . .

Home :: About :: Journals
If you'd like to write to George, Salli, Samantha or Cassidy, drop them a line!

Copyright 1996 - 2011 - No form of usage or reproduction allowed without express written permission