Travelling Light

We are carrying too much luggage. And by that, I don’t mean that we have one too many pairs of oatmeal trekking trousers in our backpacks and we are worried about the carbon footprint of flying them around the world (although we do, and we are).

We are not people to refuse to carry deodorant for weight-saving purposes. We have sensible, if ostentatiously heavy backpacks, and they aren’t the problem. By “too much luggage” I mean that we have taken advantage of the fact that the first leg of our trip involves driving a large car boot across the States to thoughtfully, pointedly and deliberately carry a bunch of RIDICULOUS crap that we don’t really need. We are considering it one month’s worth of soft start to long periods of being butch and rugged in deserts and on islands (and on desert islands).

Our “America-only” box contains the following highly critical travel accessories:

  • Hard copy guidebooks of all the places we are going to. To be read, and then replaced with Kindle versions for the main trip
  • A tent (so far, so sensible, although ours is yellow and has flowers all over it)
  • A double air mattress (which will already get you frowned at in most semi-serious hiking campsites)
  • A fluffy duvet, two sets of clean, white sheets and some soft pillows (erm…)
  • A bulging bag of heavy toiletries including big bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a heavy glass bottle of aftershave, the world’s second largest bottle of vitamin pills etc.
  • Two bottles of excellent champagne (but of course! One white, one pink, donations left over from our leaving parties)
  • Four bottles of good sauvignon blanc
  • One bottle of 18 year old Bunnahabhain single malt (for those long winter evenings. In the USA, in May)
  • Two huge bars of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (thanks Mum! Thanks Dad!). Also, one bag of fluffy white marshmallows for toasting over campfires
  • A big container of home made muesli for breakfasts (obviously plus china plates, bowls etc.)
  • And, la piece de resistance, a full-sized, mains-powered Nespresso coffee machine and four weeks of capsules (and a milk frother – seriously, what use is coffee without frothy milk?)

Essential backpacking kit. Essential.

Having carried the box back and forth down a couple of long hotel corridors, I also discovered a three litre, three kilogram bottle of ginger ale that had previously been lurking in our fridge at home that Lucy couldn’t bear to part with. We have some serious drinking to do!