I’ve been packing my bags again today because I’m going to Faro in the morning. I don’t own much stuff, but when I’m trying to fit it into my bags it always seems like I need to do something to lighten the load. This time I did just that.
The first thing to go was my hiking boots. The soles had become so thin I could feel every stone I stood on, so hanging onto them was pointless. I’m not complaining though. I bought them in 2015 when I returned to the UK to get a new passport. If I remember correctly, the first time I wore them was when I went to Durham Lumiere 2015. Since then they have trudged through numerous Dutch cities, been hiking in the Spanish mountains near Cordoba, and had a few adventures in Portugal as well. They were good boots, but nothing lasts forever.
I’d also been carrying around a spare battery for my phone. I can’t remember the last time I used it, so it went in the bin as well. For some reason, I was carrying around a number of spare padlock keys as well. I carry two padlocks with me because they come in handy if I’m staying in hostels. One of them came with my Packsafe and it works with the lockers at a lot of hostels. Unfortunately, the shackle is too thin for certain lockers so, even when it’s installed, it’s still possible to open the door. My second padlock has a slightly wider shackle. If my Packsafe padlock worked with all lockers it’s all I would need. It doesn’t so I can justify having two, but I only need one key for each of them. The spares joined the mobile battery in the bin.
I’m a big fan of Swiss Army Knives. I’ve been travelling with one for a number of years. When I was working in the Netherlands, I lost my original knife while I was retrieving headboards from a shipping container. I didn’t want this to happen again so, when I bought a replacement I also bought a clip to attach it to my pants. I’m not going to be doing any more work like that, so I don’t need the clip anymore and it always got in the way when I was using the knife, so I was glad to see it go.
The final item I got rid off was a cleaning cloth I got free when I bought some sunglasses a couple of weeks ago. I still have the cloth I got with my last pair of reading glasses. I don’t need two, and the one from Specsavers is smaller, so the other had to go.
In the end, my backpack weighed 17kg. My electronics bag was only 6kg lighter. However, I was carrying a litre of lemonade with me and a few tinned goods, so that pushed the weight up a little. Next time I travel I’ll try not to be carrying any food. I will also try and get rid of some more stuff.
When you’re a minimalist, the things you own are meant to enrich your life. I still a few items I rarely use and, if they are weighing me down when I travel, they’re not enriching my life. They’re making it harder. So hanging on to them is not smart. However, although the last time I used it was over two years ago, during a flying visit to Tenerife, I think I will keep my Packsafe. It’s made of steel security mesh, so it’s pretty heavy, but I like to have it with me because it’s very well made and, should the need arise, I and put one or both of my bags inside and secure it to something solid like a basin pedestal. Having it with me gives me extra peace of mind. When you don’t have to worry about the stuff you do have, that can be a weight off your shoulders, so it’s actual weight is no big problem.
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