Unfortunately when packing for any trip, my motto has always been “Give me a bag and I shall fill it.” I should have this phrase tattooed on my body as a permanent reminder of my over packing urges. It is also highly likely this phrase will be inscribed on my tomb stone and eulogised by friends and family upon my passing. Every trip I have ever taken, I have over packed for it. I regularly pay excess baggage at the airport for no other reason than that I had space in my bag so I packed an extra jumper, pair of shoes, dumbbell or other unneeded item.
The last time I went backpacking, I took a 70 litre backpack with a 15 litre detachable day sack. After a week in India I sent some things back home and got rid of some unneeded junk (sleeping bag, extra shirt, bike wheel, anchor etc). Oddly enough I literally felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Although with the extra space in my bag and the afore mentioned life motto, it was only a matter of time until my luggage filled up again. Of course I needed the new Beer Saigon vest, four different novels and the emergency jar of peanut butter. Why carry one guide book when you can have three? I even bought two extra bags whilst on my travels which I often used in unison with the others. Essentially I was carrying around 100 litres of junk with me every time I moved places. But this time things will be different. This time I have a plan!
I have in my possession a 40 litre backpack. That is the bag I am taking on my travels. Yes, I will fill this bag to its maximum capacity and then tie more to it and possibly bring a day bag too, but I will not carry twice my body weight with me everywhere I go. My wife has also got a 40 litre backpack, which means we are taking roughly what I took on my last trip between us. I am hoping that in getting a much smaller bag, I will fool the Gods of over packing which have cursed me so often before. Of course I have yet to pack this bag, so stay tuned for stroppy packing posts in the very near future!