Friday, February 4, 2011

Packing Pile

I wanted to post some pictures of the mess I have created of packing.  Having too much time to prepare for Peace Corps is not good for me because it allows me more time to think of crap that I "need".  Thus, I have way too much stuff and it's never going to fit into my bags, let alone fit the 80 lb. weight limit.  I'm definitely going to have to get rid of a bunch of this or have it mailed once I am at my site.  I'm still waiting on the arrival of my duffle bag and my ExOfficio underwear. There are still a few things I have yet to buy, but most are small and won't take up much room.  I think.  I feel like my grandmother who packs 6 months early for a week long trip.  But I'm packing 2 months early for a 2 year trip.  It's just getting ridiculous at this point, but I just have to feel like I'm doing SOMETHING to prepare. 

From top left: my pack & the detachable day pack, sleeping bag, journal, water bottle, condom/contraception demo kit, black laptop case, orange bag for jewelry, green veggie bags, ziploc bag with flashlights and leftover glow sticks from Colin's paratrooper days, bag with knives in it, ziploc with markers, pens, pencils, etc.
 From top left, clockwise: Yellow clutch, re-usable shopping bags & drawstring backpack, flip flops, Merrells, bagged clothes, bag with extra glasses, etc.
 Shoes, bras, clothes, bag with extra glasses, radio, speaker, watch, external hard drive
 Another angle
 Bin that is holding stuff that I definitely want during training: toilettries, green fleece sleeping bag liner, blue quick drying towel, washcloths
 Bin holding stuff that I definitely want at staging: Make-up & toilettries, sneakers that I plan to wear on the plane, purple fleece and pink rain jacket to wear for travel into Philly
 Stuff that I will keep in storage while I'm in training, or things that will have to be mailed to me because they won't fit under the limit.  From top left: non-stick pan, extra bras & clothes, Camelbak, good kitchen knife, veggie peeler, can opener, extra toilettries, waterproof camera cage
 Another view of the same stuff
 Bag with my glasses, radio, watch, speaker, & external hard drive
 Another view of the same bag- tape measure is for keeping track of my body measurements since I won't be bringing a scale and my clothes will get all stretched out from hand washing/drip drying and I want to be able to monitor my weight so that I can maintain a healthy weight while I'm gone.  I didn't lose 38 pounds just to gain it back in Africa. 
 My luggage tags, yellow ones stolen from Colin from his deployment, my various pouches for money & passport, luggage locks
Another view of veggie bags, orange jewelry bag, black laptop case, yellow clutch, bag of glow sticks & flashlighs, bag with knives and bag of markers, pens & pencils


  1. Uh oh! That's a lot of stuff! I think I need to start laying my stuff out because I had no idea it amounted to that! I was also thinking that I needed to take a closer look at the dimensions of allowed luggage so I could figure out what that looked like. Have you done that yet? Maybe I should start thinking about the particulars before it's too late!

  2. I'm simultaneously impressed and overwhelmed just looking at your pile. That's insane. I haven't even started thinking about packing yet, but I'm kind of terrified to now. Especially since I have all of my heavy cold clothes to pack. Bonus: they give us a sleeping bag though. More importantly, where'd you get the nifty PC luggage tags??

  3. Tija, I did look at dimensions and stuff. Measured my pack and did the math to figure out how big my duffel could be (BTW, did you know that duffle can be spelled two ways correctly??). I ordered a duffle that's as big as possible but still within the linear requirement of 107 linear inches when added to the dimensions of the pack I'm checking. Absolutely no way that it's all coming with me. It's just not possible. I need one of those bags like Hermione had in the 7th Harry Potter book or like the Mary Poppins bag- small, but held impossibly large amounts of stuff. Where is magic when you need it? Ashley, that's awesome that they give you a sleeping bag- and you are allowed extra weight for Mongolia, too, right? I really wish I didn't have to bring one, but everyone's said that the sleeping bag is priceless on cold Botswana nights. It takes up so much room in my luggage, even in its stuff sack. I got the PC luggage tags at a Buffalo-area RCPV/prospective PCV potluck dinner event I went to back in June. They're pretty cool!

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  5. Ok, I need one too! I was actually making that comment to my girly friends yesterday during our Harry Potter night (because, yes, we do watch a HP movie every week...)! I'm thinking I should just do the math like you did and figure out my pack's dimensions and figure out which duffel to bring (btw I'm impressed by duffel/duffle's dexterity!) and start to packing! I mean, we only have 55 days to accumulate, sort, cut, and pack everything! Ahh! :)