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  1. #1
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Can this packing list be lightened without losing functionality?

    Hi all! If you love packing lists and want to comment on mine, read on. If not, probably better to skip this post!

    I'm getting ready for a work trip that will happen in November. I'm going to Germany for 8 days, which will include 5 days of being in an office, one day of wandering around a small town I used to know, and two travel days. I put my planned packing list into Lighterpack and was dismayed to find that even though I haven't entered the weights for everything yet, I'm already at 19.5 pounds/8.8kg! And of course that will go up as I weigh the rest of the things. I'm not at all worried about going over my weight limit for carryon luggage, just worried about things being too heavy to carry comfortably.

    I've already made the cuts that were obvious to me, for example leaving my personal laptop at home and just taking my work laptop. Do you see other places I can lighten the load (literally) without losing too much functionality?

    Bags
    Halcyon A30, probably with frame sheet & hip belt (the frame sheet & hip belt will add to the weight, but I think they'll be worth it. I'll test it out at home first to make sure.)
    Personal item, which will double as work bag, purse, and walking-around bag: Co-Pilot, MCB, or DLBC (the CP or DLBC would have a strap, either a standard strap or Op-Tech Mini SOS)
    2 luggage tags, one on each bag
    Probably 3 small packing cubes
    Probably 1 all fabric 3DOC to organize things within the second bag

    Clothes
    I've worked out a complicated laundry schedule for when to wash each thing, so I don't think I can cut this down any farther without getting smelly during the trip. Smilie
    3 tops, merino wool (will also be pajama tops)
    2 bottoms, one long skirt and one pair of lightweight, easily-packed pants
    2 pairs shoes, one worn and one packed
    1 merino cardigan
    2 bras
    3 pr underpants
    4 pr socks (1 pr compression socks for flights, 2 pr other socks, 1 pr cozy socks for wearing at hotel--including while washing all the other socks)
    1 pr tights (adding these made my complicated laundry schedule fall into place!)
    2 pr shorts for under skirt (will also be pajama bottoms)
    1 necklace
    1 decorative scarf (light and small enough that I think it's worth including)
    1 very large scarf that can act as an extra blanket on the flight
    raincoat?
    packable down coat? it would be easier if this coat were waterproof and could double as a raincoat, but it isn't (this might double as a pillow on the flight)
    light gloves

    Toiletries
    I've already got my toiletries quite small except for the makeup that I'm bringing because it's a work trip. I object to the fact that my 15 grams worth of foundation weighs 70 grams in its compact, but I've looked into some alternatives and none of them seem worth the small savings in weight. (I was tempted to just skip bringing the foundation, but it helps a lot with the professional appearance I try to project at work.)
    Foundation
    Concealer
    Blush
    Lipstick

    CPAP
    I finally bought the travel CPAP I've been eyeing for over a year, a Dreamstation Go! I don't think there are any further weight savings available here. I am bringing an international power adapter, and a travel extension cord in case the outlet isn't close to the bed.

    Travel stuff
    I'll skip mentioning the stuff that's lightweight and has to come along no matter what, like my passport.
    Mini first aid kit
    Noise-cancelling earbuds
    Knitting (I suppose it will have to be one of my smaller knitting projects)
    Knitting tool kit in Altoids-sized tin
    Wallet (probably Nik's Minimalist Wallet + Super Mini Ghost Whale for coins)
    Sleep mask
    Electronics chargers & external battery
    Packable shopping bag such as a Chico bag
    Possibly an empty water bottle
    Inflatable seat cushion (it helps with a minor hip injury I have right now)
    Possibly an umbrella
    Pillow, unless I decide the packable down coat will work well enough as a pillow

    Work stuff
    Laptop & charger
    Possibly a small notebook and pen

    Misc other
    Sewing kit

    Stuff that I'd like, but probably won't bring to save weight and space
    HeroClip
    Hand wipes
    Larger first aid kit
    Travel trays
    Travel-sized light box (helps me adjust to the new time zone)
    Lint roller (I'll just have to make sure all the cat hair is off my clothing before I pack it... though I'm sure more cat hair will spontaneously generate within the suitcase)
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  2. #2
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    If you wear a merino shirt and cardigan, can you get away with a raincoat over that and be warm enough - and skip the down coat?
    Another compromise would be to bring a down vest that can go over the merino shirt + cardigan, and again, under the raincoat... keep your core warm with less space.
    Unless the weather calls for downpours, I would go with a waterproof breathable raincoat and skip the umbrella... Especially if you're in a city/town and plan on walking around and ducking in & out of museums, shops, restaurants, etc.
    It sounds like a reasonable list.... maybe bring a couple more pairs of underwear because they really take up hardly any room or weight and why schedule yourself that strictly? Smilie
    Usually I plan on washing the travel outfit the second day, since travel is often fairly 'dirty' and it has plenty of time to dry... maybe wear that outfit for the walk around day and return travel day. Then you really only need 1-3 interchangeable outfits for work, depending on how fast your stuff dries... hopefully you're wearing the merino more than once.

    ETA, I wouldn't think you need to pack much for a sewing/med kit (other than stuff you take regularly) unless you're staying in a very small town with limited shops/hours
    Last edited by G42; 09-28-2019 at 08:05 PM.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  3. #3
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    It seems like a pretty good list. Would it help to separate the items out by bag? If you look at the total across three categories then it might suddenly seem more manageable:
    -A30
    -DLBC (or other)
    -wearing/stuff in pockets

  4. #4
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    Greetings,
    I find that liquids travel well in a contact lens case. An added benefit is that contact lens cases are usually leak-proof. The containers liquid makeup is packaged in is rarely rated to contain leaks during typical cabin pressure changes when flying.

    For the short length of your trip, you might get enough liquid makeup into one side of the contact lens case. Another liquid, like hand cream or facial sunblock, could go in the other side.

    What are you doing for laundry? Will you be using a washer and dryer? A laundromat or laundry service? I carry a Ziplock freezer bag and do sink laundry. After washing, I roll my merino wool in a microfiber travel towel, lay them flat on a bed and they are usually dry before morning. (If I get up in the middle of the night, sometimes I turn the shirt over.) The Sea to Summit Pocket Laundry sheets pack small. Test them before traveling to see if they will work for you.
    https://www.rei.com/product/785917/s...t-laundry-wash

    I wear hiking boots daily for the ankle support. When I'm traveling and need to wear dressier clothing for dinner or an event, I have tried the folding flats. They weigh less than regular shoes or sandals and take up much less space in your luggage. Don't waste your time or comfort with the cheap ones! Get a pair of Tieks, they are worth it.
    https://tieks.com

    Disclaimer. I have no affiliation with these companies, I find their products useful.

    A note on the down coat. In November it may be beneficial to have a warm layer like this. I bring either a packable down jacket OR a fleece jacket. Layered with a packable waterproof rain jacket, I'm usually warm and comfortable.

    A packable rain hat is lighter and more compact than an umbrella.

    Consider the Heroclip in medium size. I haven't tried the small one yet, but the medium is worth the weight. I attach one to my carry on bag and one to my ukulele case. Being able to keep my things off the restroom floors, especially in busy airports, train stations, and bus stations is worth the tiny weight.

    Your clothing list looks positively minimal! Merino wool really travels well. I love your tip about the tights and laundry day! Thank you! elisa

  5. #5
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    It sounds like you know Germany and our temperatures, but I personally would freeze in just merino clothes and a rain shell in November. I’m normally already wearing a winter coat in November and probably a thick wool sweater underneath. So I would definitely take the down coat, wear it on the plane and leave the pillow at home. I’d also leave the extension cord at home. If you’re in a hotel they should be able to help you out in case it’s needed. And I wouldn’t take the umbrella, if you have a rain jacket. If it rains all the time you can always buy one for very little money. I also don’t think you need the sewing kit.

  6. #6
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    Hi, I would be cold in Germany in November, it could snow (depending) so I vote for taking a down vest (or jacket if that's what you have).

    Removing:
    * I would take a long cold look at your electronics and associated chargers. Take one power adapter only, check if your CPAP can do without a transformer, can you charge your phone during the day at the office leaving the charger for the CPAP at night?
    * Don't bring the umbrella. Bring a lightweight wind/water shell instead (I wear one with my down vest under in Swedish November).
    * Can you leave the CPAP (I had to look up what it is, please ignore if this is like lifesaving medical tech, I am just ignorant).
    * I might leave the knitting and instead bring embroidery. Or at least you can consider whether you have an alternate craft that will be OK. When I went this summer, I took paints and an A6 watercolour notebook, they were lighter and filled a similar creative function. A week is not so bad to be without a favourite craft.
    * don't take a pillow. A down jacket or vest in a packing cube or cotton envelope (tie up your small scarf?) will do. I keep taking pillows and they keep being useless, unlike a big scarf, which has a thousand functions.
    * one pair shorts?

    I think the lightest of the day bags is the answer as well, I think that's the DLBC; but the co-pilot will stash temporary food and drink so might be worth it - otherwise just put the shopping bag to work as a secondary food/drink bag.

    Hope this is helpful and not annoying meddling!

  7. #7
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    I don't see any benefit to not bringing a HeroClip or 2. I have a couple that just perpetually live on the outside of a couple of my EDC bags, and when I travel they go to the outside of my travel bag. Doesn't take up any interior space, and is always ready and accessible.

    Obviously you can't leave the CPAP behind. Stuff like the hand wipes on your list could easily be purchased (or a reasonable facimile) where you end up. I agree with suggestions to skip the umbrella. There are some very lightweight rain shells available that pack up quite small. I'd also consider leaving behind the small first aid kit; you can get bandaids anywhere you are!
    DLBC (black Dyneema) **Missing **, Synapse 25 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), Synapse 19 (Navy/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), PCBP for TriStar (Iberian), Synapse 19 (Navy/Solar), Ristretto for iPad (Black/Wasabi), Large Shop Bag (Island),mini Q-kit, various packing cubes, stuff sacks, and pouches.

    Retired but not forgotten: TriStar (Black/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Solar), Synapse 25 (French Blue/Steel).

  8. #8
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Agree with skipping the umbrella, the sewing kit, hand wipes. You might also skip the larger first-aid kit. Could you skip the lint roller? You can always pick up a small roll of tape if you find that your clothes mysteriously still have cat hair on them. Or the office will likely have some tape. And instead of the light box, would you consider taking melatonin?

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Thank you all very much! It's good to have these suggestions, and it's also nice to have your confirmation that my packing list is already pretty minimal in some ways. (Not "ultralight," of course, that's a whole different level.) OK, no umbrella, but definitely the down coat. Come to think of it, my older raincoat isn't as light and packable as my new-ish one but it works really well over the down coat; that might be the way to go. And if I wear the coats on travel day, I don't have to find room for them in the suitcase!

    I think I'll add my silk long underwear, that will help with warmth if I need it and it will barely take any room.

    These are my first aid kits in a Mini and a Small Organizer Pouch, and since I put them together myself they aren't bloated with a bunch of stuff I wouldn't use. I think I won't take the larger (small) one, but I'll definitely take the smaller (mini) one.

    Answering some questions:
    @AlaskaGirl: I'll be doing sink laundry, either with the hotel's shampoo or with some bar shampoo I'm bringing. (One nice thing about bar shampoo, I can just cut off a piece the right size for the trip.)

    @ejvc: I definitely need the CPAP! For some people it is lifesaving; my need for it doesn't reach that level, but without a CPAP my sleep is so unrestful that I need several more hours of sleep than a normal human being (so there wouldn't even be much point in my going on the trip, since I'd need to spend so much of the time asleep at the hotel). That's why I'm so glad I was finally able to fit this much smaller, lighter CPAP into my budget! One nifty thing about this particular CPAP is that it has a USB port for charging my phone at night, so I can skip bringing the phone charger and just bring the cable. I thought that was a weird feature when I first saw it, but now I'm starting to appreciate the idea.

    @haraya: I tried melatonin about twenty years ago and at the time it had the opposite effect on me, but it could be worth trying it again to see if that has changed. Thanks for the idea!
    Last edited by aedifica; 10-01-2019 at 08:30 PM. Reason: add replies to the responses that came in after I started writing this reply!

  10. #10
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I re-read my post and realized that - while they both relate to sleep - the light box is for waking you and the melatonin is for going to sleep. (I really should never post late at night!!) But, with that said, my daughter sometimes takes melatonin and said that on occasion it wears off before dawn and then she wakes up early. So maybe the melatonin can be your alarm, after all! Big Grin

    (Instead of melatonin: might there be an app that will help you wake up gradually?)

    Have a great trip! Will you be in Germany late enough to catch a Christmas market?

    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    @haraya: I tried melatonin about twenty years ago and at the time it had the opposite effect on me, but it could be worth trying it again to see if that has changed. Thanks for the idea!

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Will you be in Germany late enough to catch a Christmas market?
    Sadly not, but I hope to do that another time!
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  12. #12
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    For what (little?) it's worth, I've found that a significant dose of Vitamin D3 (5000 IU) at desired-waking-time-in-target-time-zone helps: one 24 hours in advance of first waking time and another when rising that day.

    EDIT: the rationale is that D3 co-occurs with UV light exposure; some anecdotes about people who benefit from circadian "fixers" like light boxes also having a good reaction to D3 as a sunlight proxy. (Or maybe just my placebo effect. Smilie )
    Last edited by x3n0n; 10-02-2019 at 10:33 AM.

  13. #13
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    This might be the right time to try out and see if sleep apnea is alleviated by sleeping on your side.

    When I looked into this way back for a wilderness backpacking trip with a friend who has severe sleep apnea we found out that you can sew a pocket into a shirt and put a tennis ball in it to force you to sleep on your side. If that works you may be able to leave the CPAP at home; since it's a work trip however I'm inclined to say you should definitely just take it...

  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    This might be the right time to try out and see if sleep apnea is alleviated by sleeping on your side.

    When I looked into this way back for a wilderness backpacking trip with a friend who has severe sleep apnea we found out that you can sew a pocket into a shirt and put a tennis ball in it to force you to sleep on your side. If that works you may be able to leave the CPAP at home; since it's a work trip however I'm inclined to say you should definitely just take it...
    Nope, I sleep on my side most nights and have done so since before my diagnosis! Thanks for the suggestion, though.

    When my partner began to develop sleep apnea, at first he would only snore* when he slept on his back; so when he started to snore I could snuggle him which would cause him to roll onto his side, and he'd stop snoring. Win for me! But as the years went on his sleep apnea got worse and rolling onto his side didn't fix it anymore. At that point he was finally willing to have a sleep study, and now he has a CPAP too.

    * as you may know, sleep apnea often goes together with snoring. I seem to be unusual in having a non-snoring kind of sleep apnea. (At least, my partner says I don't snore and he has no reason to mislead me.)

  15. #15
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    For what (little?) it's worth, I've found that a significant dose of Vitamin D3 (5000 IU) at desired-waking-time-in-target-time-zone helps: one 24 hours in advance of first waking time and another when rising that day.

    EDIT: the rationale is that D3 co-occurs with UV light exposure; some anecdotes about people who benefit from circadian "fixers" like light boxes also having a good reaction to D3 as a sunlight proxy. (Or maybe just my placebo effect. Smilie )
    Placebo or no, I am going to give this a try on my next trip. Smilie

    I can't take melatonin anymore, because it started to trigger vertigo, so it would be nice to have a substitute for jet lag.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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