October 6, 2010

Packing 101

Ross has told you all about the mechanical considerations for this trip and so I'm going to tell you about the really important stuff-clothes!

This has been an enormous packing challenge as we are dealing with huge temperature extremes from the heat of Central America to the cold of Antarctica. Space is limited because we don't want to have anything that doesn't fit in our locked, aluminium panniers.

We have allocated one pannier each for clothes, shoes, toiletries and other personal things. The pannier bag measures 20" x 12" x 6". Steve and Ruth Ann have taught us their packing system which is based on 'cubes' for each type of clothing such as pants, shirts and underwear and socks. Realistically, three pieces of each type of clothing is sufficient if they are made of fabrics that wash and dry overnight. So we have taken our three pairs of convertible pants (zip off legs) and rolled them tightly and packed them in a cube. A shirt cube contains microfibre t-shirts and first layer long sleeve shirts and the sock cube has socks, underwear and long johns. Toiletries are also in special cubes that can also accommodate medicines, jewellery, sewing kit, etc. The beauty of the cubes is that the clothes don't shift and stay reasonably uncreased. Some cubes are double sided so we have used one to put in a dress shirt for Ross and an outfit for Jean to be worn as the occasions arise such as the New Year's Eve party on the ship to Antarctica or should we be invited to some presidential palace.

The bag also contains a clothes line and bar soap so we can wash out our clothes by hand and be ready to go in the morning. A woman's work is never done! In our other pannier, we have fleece sweaters for the colder climes or to be worn as a first layer when the mornings are cool or the altitude is high. Riding gloves will also double as mittens later on and we have balaclavas and 'cool snakes' (neck ties you wet to stay cool) to deal with changes in temperature.

So we think we've got things covered. With such few things to choose from, it won't take long to decide what to wear!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm - Gotta find out more about those CUBES. We use compression sacks, which are cylindrical and never quite fit the saddle bags right.
    Evie (FingerLakes Rally)