Monday, November 9, 2009

Packed and Underway

I'm pretty happy with the final pack weight, 7.2 kg (15.8 pounds). I added a down blanket for this trip and combined several watercolor paper pads into a single book bound in leather to lighten the load compared to the last journey. Here’s the breakdown…

Backpack: 1.8kg (3.92lbs)
Teva sandals: 0.4 (0.8)
Down blanket: 0.6 (1.3)
Towel/bedding: 0.4 (0.9)
Daypack: 0.15 (0.3)
Emergency kit: 0.1 (0.22)
Liquid toiletries: 0.56 (1.23)
Dry toiletries: 0.04 (0.08)
Extra clothing: 1.6 (3.4)
Watercolor paper/supplies: 1.5 (3.2)
Notepads/miscellany: 0.1 (0.22)

Surprising distribution when I weighed it all out… 25% of the weight on my back is the backpack itself, and it’s a pretty uncomplicated 30-l Vaude.

After that, the next heaviest portion is all of the packed clothing. At 21% of the weight, the extra clothes takes up about half the volume. I organize the clothing into small ditty bags to keep them neater and so I can optimize the arrangement inside the pack. The list does not include the weight of the clothes I wear while hiking, which is 0.6 (1.3), nor the weight of my boots, jacket, and hiking sticks, which are all on my person, not on my back.

At 20% of the weight, my art supplies are an unnecessary indulgence most people wouldn’t carry, but I get enjoyment out of it, especially since I don’t carry a camera. Some might find the little nylon daypack is unnecessary as well, but I find it useful when I have those touristy moments roaming around in the evenings or on rest days when I won’t have my full backpack with me.

Everything else aside from the pack itself, clothing, and art supplies combine as the final 9% of the total weight. Not bad. The weight of the liquid toiletries – separated for the flights into a clear plastic bag hand luggage requirement – are pretty much at an average now and will vary along the way as they’re consumable and need to be replenished. Similarly, supplies of dry toiletries will vary a bit, but that weight is small potatoes.

Once the hiking begins, I’ll typically carry some nuts, chocolate, or dried fruit along with me in the pocket of my jacket amounting to negligible weight and perhaps a 0.3-l bottle of water, which might add a consumable 0.3 kg (12 oz). Not much there in terms of weight or volume.

I have a small leather pouch to carry on my hip for easy access to a map and my credenziale, a notepad and a pen, some pocket money. Hanging on my pack are a thermometer, a compass, a LED flashlight, and a durable timepiece. I’ve somehow become separated from the little plastic whistle that was on my shoulder strap on the last pilgrimage, so I’ll have to replace that one of these days soon.

I easily made the first leg of the journey flying from Denver to New Jersey to visit with Mom and Dad and other relatives before I leave the country for the next 5 months or more. Two more days here and I fly to Kyiv.


Ukiefriend said...

Pryvit! I finally had a chance to visit your site. Love the way you have explained the symbols and the warnings of H1N1. You're a true "palomnytsia" -- fear is not in your vocabulary (just stay away from lil dachsunds)! I'll be excited to know the precise moment you start your "proshtcha." Dobroji Dorohy, all your Ukie friends.

Ukiefriend said...

I am checking your blog everyday! Hope you aren't "hostage" at Kyiv airport!

kathiben said...

Hi Anna! Glad you made it safely.Heard you are having coffee with Petro tomorrow. Give him a hug for me. Safe travels!!!