A Fair Share of Packing

Over the years, I’d done a fair share of packing.

I’d taken over my parents’ living room sorting through five months of food to portion out for twenty plus, well planned out mail drops along the Appalachian Trail. Seven years later, Bec and I’d commandeer the family living room in readying for the Pacific Crest Trail.

Preparation for setting out on a cross country bicycle trip provided its own set of unique needs and parameters.

In the end, let’s just say A New Kind of Packingdays and weeks lugging a pack on the trail and countless miles pedalling have done a thorough job of instilling the concept of ‘bare’ in bare necessities.

Yet, none of that prepared me for the sight I laid eyes on as Bec carefully organized everything we apparently needed for our inaugural family Fijian getaway for the Christmas of 2013.

There, in the spare back bedroom, right where I always remembered a bed being located, was a pile of gear to rival that seen for an international climbing expedition at Everest Base Camp. A slight exaggeration, but only just. To be sure, it was an intimidating pile to lay eyes on.

A mountain of clothes for every occasion and potential bowel disorder started the pile followed by a proportional quantity of diapers, wipes and baby powder. Then came the milk bottles, spare nipples and various cleaning and sterilizing accoutrements they apparently required.

As Bec was scheduled to return to work after the trip and had subsequently stopped breastfeeding, there were enough packaged breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack packets to feed a backwater 3rd World neighbourhood for a month. Throw in some spare pacifiers, a hat, a couple bathing suits Kaia’s special shampoos, soaps, sunscreen, bug spray, towels and add a compact ipod docking station (to play the lullaby music that Kaia’s fickle sleep patterns depended on) and we were just about there.

We only needed to add our stuff. Toiletries and two pairs of surf trunks and a t-shirt for me and not much more than that for Bec. And then, there was the Baby Bjorn carrier since, there was no way in hell we were adding a pram to the mix.

It was as overwhelming a pile of ‘luggage’ as I’d ever seen and the worst part was, apparently, we weren’t actually overpacking. I was incredulous but, as Bec rattled off each item’s raison d’etre with the authority of a Four Star General, I quickly came to learn everything was actually, pretty much, essential.

And, in the end, Bec managed to somehow fit everything into a single suitcase the size of Tokyo hotel room, two carry-ons and a baby bag that still doesn’t know what hit it.

And just like that, we were as ready as any first time parents could hope to be. Fiji, herniated disc or not, we were coming and thankfully, for only 9 days.

All I could think was, “Surely, it has to get easier.”


One Comment

  1. tracybuasmith July 31, 2015 Reply

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