I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage; “Less Is More” – well maybe not in the context of packing for a trip, but over the years its the one solid truth we’ve learned about traveling – you always end up bringing too much; so less really is more. It dramatically improves your trip since you’re not ladened down with heavy gear, making you more nimble so you can focus on the travel and not the trip. Packing for the Bermuda Races certainly taught me how to focus on the essentials, how to keep things dry and to control the “what if I need….” feeling. Learn to know what you absolutely need for a given itinerary. For instance, I know if I’m sailing in the BVI’s for a booze-filled escapade, I’m going to wear the same T-shirt until I probably should have thrown it out. Speaking of throwing it out, I actually have implemented this concept that I learned from one of my sailing Zen Masters – Mark, for this trip. Bring your oldest underwear and/or socks – you know, the ones that are starting to show signs of wear (guys, half inch holes are signs of wear – Cathy refers to them as my piranha wear), and then each day after you wear them, just throw them out! It lightens the load as you progress through the trip and opens up space in the event you come across something you just have to have.
Back to packing, lay the stuff out on the bed, do some soul searching, cut it in half, and then cull it out again. For an extended motorcycle trip, you have to bring the foulies – so our starboard saddlebag is dedicated to rain gear and seat cover for the bike. The port saddlebag is reserved for essential bike gear, spare parts, portable pump, cleaner, rags, etc., with some room for change of gloves, goggles, light hoodie, and stuff. Our saddlebag volume is not huge, but fairly waterproof and quick release removable so they do the job.