Time to Lighten My Load by Saying Goodbye to Some More Stuff

Time to Lighten My Load by Saying Goodbye to Some More Stuff

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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