How to Pack

My wife is a lister. She takes her cues from Santa, making a list and checking it twice. However, she never forgets a thing. Ever.

Me, I have nothing against lists. They certainly keep me focused when walking into the grocery store. Yet when it comes to packing for a trip, they don’t work for me. A list is only as good as what I can remember to put on it. And its those few things I forget that drive me nuts and make the trip miserable.

Every year I trek off to the wild mountains of San Diego County for sixth-grade camp. I’m gone a week. It’s not really camping. There’s a heated shower and beds and a fireplace. It’s more like a hotel. It’s glamping (glamorous camping).

You’d think by know I’d have a solid list prepared, but I don’t. Instead I pack everything a few days in advance. One reason is that I know my mind takes a while to filter things. As it begins to churn over the idea of living for a week in a musty over-heated room, it begins to sprout new thoughts as to what I’d need. As the days get closer, I grab what comes to mind and pack it. I even pack all my toiletries and live out of the bag for a few days. I figure if I have to go back for something in the medicine cabinet, I ought to consider taking it.

Don’t get me wrong, I also make a few lists. Mostly things I can’t pack because I need them in the car or use them everyday. The goal is to make sure I could live out of my suitcase and not want for anything (other than a decent TV).

Tim Kane