Hopefully we made our last trip in to town today – we’re almost ready for our trip!
We got in after lunch and headed straight to Paddy Pallin so that Leanne could look at lightweight waterproof jackets and Polartec fleeces. We had previously seen some in Mountain Design that were good – but Leanne didn’t really like the colour of the fleece, and the jacket was just too expensive compared to what we’d seen elsewhere.
Fortunately we found some Berghaus fleeces that Leanne liked and were on special, and they had the women’s equivalent of the Mountain Hard Wear jacket I bought the other day in a green colour that Leanne quite liked – also on special. We bought some more tops and some socks and sock liners and had actually checked off everything on our to-buy list more quickly than we had expected.
Since we still had time, we decided to look at sandals – something we had been thinking about for a while. We wanted something that could be worn comfortably around town for warmer weather when we didn’t want to wear our boots – yet providing more protection and comfort than a simple pair or slip-on shoes or thongs. After trying a few pairs of shoes, we both bought a pair of Teva sandals that were on special – far easier than choosing our boots was!
We also found some small screw-top bottles that are the perfect size for carrying shampoo and conditioner. We didn’t want to be taking our usual small bottles given that if the bag gets squashed – the pop-top lids can come open and you end up with a mess everywhere (this happened on our last trip to Adelaide – in our hard-sided Samsonite bags!). Leanne also found a small first aid kit that had most of the stuff she would like to carry, yet was compact enough to not take up too much extra room in our packs (we could even take it on day hikes if necessary).
There’s just a few bits and pieces we need to get – mostly toiletries – trying to work out the best compromise between space/weight and function. Things like finding a good stick/roll-on deodorant to use instead of my normal spray can and such.
We’re having to be pretty tough on choosing what to take for the sake of fitting everything in the pack. It’s not as if we will be in areas where we can’t get anything at all – so better to take as little as possible and plan to buy whatever else we need while away. Most of our travel in the past has been via expensive hotels and limited to plane/taxi trips – we tend to take a lot of gear with us, so it’s an interesting challenge to work with a limited amount of space and weight.
When I think we’re going overboard (either in trying to go too light, or even trying to take too much!), I have to remind myself that we did a 5 week trip to the US a couple of years back and we took both Samsonite bags, plus my little Samsonite roll-on, plus two day-packs (I had my laptop bag, and Leanne carried the camera bag plus a small sling-bag). We took well over 25kg each (just in our check-in luggage!) for our five week trip – while this time we are attempting to carry less than 15kg each for a 6 week trip. Given that I’m also taking a large DSLR with three lenses, a 14″ laptop, a compact digital camera and spare batteries and chargers for everything … weight really is at a premium – so I don’t think we’re really going overboard when trying to minimise our pack weight (although none of that electrical gear will be in our travel packs – day pack only).
We’ll have to see whether I regret taking the extra lenses and the laptop. I could have bought a nice little 12″ X61 ThinkPad – they were on special … but I decided we were spending enough money as it was and I didn’t really need the additional laptop. If I didn’t already have the T41, I probably would have bought the X61 – far better than lugging a 15″ T60 around!