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Packing Success and Failures

Dh and I just returned from a 2 week, 2000 mile driving trip in Oregon. We each had a 21" roller bag and a backpack.

Successes:
1. Dh just packed a rolling carry on bag (a 21" Travelpro)! I am slowly trying to get him to pack lighter and he originally said he would use a 24" roller but was able to pack less. We found a laundromat about a block from a B&B we were staying at, so did laundry halfway through.
2. I used my new eBags Piazza RFID Crossbody (https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/villa-crossbody-20-wrfid/340525?productid=10688993) When you click on the link it says $49.99 I did not pay that. With the coupon code it was $20. It is a little bigger than I typically carry, but I ended up really liking it. I kept my phone in the open pocket, cash in the zippered pocket inside, receipts in one outside zippered pocket and my masks in the larger zipper pocked. I didn't worry about securing zippers, but it would be easy to do so.
3. We packed a small styrofoam cooler and carried a small roll of bubble wrap, along with a wine bag that was insulated and padded (for 6 bottles). We ended up buying vodka at Glacier 45 Distillery as well as wine at a variety of wineries and filled both. Even though there were some quite hot days, they stayed cool in the trunk and didn't roll around.

4. I packed a small soft sided cooler for water and a small plastic container with nuts and granola bars and the like. They stayed neatly on the floor in the back seat and were very useful, especially on a couple of our longer drive days and when there wasn't much on the road. I packed a large portable charger (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JIWQPMW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and I was glad I did. We stayed in really older hotels and B&B's and plugs weren't always easily accessible. I often charged my phone with it on the nightstand. It is heavy and when I travel, I also have a 20000mAh bank I use instead. The battery on my phone is really poor and this helps a lot

Failures:
1. I overpacked, yet again. Despite everything fitting easily in the roller bag, I still packed way too many tops. I also packed some things for work in my backpack, optimistically thinking I'd do it on our drives. Nope, I didn't. I still would have brought the backpack, but could have had less in it.
2. While I have decanted my toiletries, I could even go smaller. I had more than I needed for two weeks. I plan to rethink how much I carry. I thought I had it figured out, but need to look at it again.
3. I also discovered one of my small cosmetic jars didn't work well. Luckily dh could open it, but I couldn't. Basically the cream got on the side rivets (not sure that's the right word) when It was upside down and on its side. No matter how loose I closed it, it became tight and stuck. If you decant, try placing the container on its side and upside down and make sure this doesn't happen to you!

Oregon was beautiful and in our attempt to stay in very rural areas, we visited places we had never been before and probably would have never gone in normal circumstances.

Posted by
5688 posts

Hi PandaBear — oh what a pleasure to read a packing post! Thank you for writing it up.

It sounds like you and your husband had a wonderful trip. I have always dreamed of going to Oregon, and your “rural sights” trip must have been great.

I am glad for you that you did NOT do as much work as you had anticipated. Interesting about the cream container getting stuck. Annoying!!

Posted by
1711 posts

Thank you for the packing report. We too are always trying to find ways to pack lighter without sacrificing too much. An item we didn’t use on one trip might have been used on the next. It is a difficult decision. We try to bring the items we know we would have a hard time finding overseas and don’t worry about the rest, for example, an umbrella.

Posted by
2643 posts

Thanks for our first report in months! So glad things were opening up to our north and you had a good time in Oregon. My brother and SIL from Oregon have been sending us the most beautiful pictures of their summer hikes the past two weeks. The wildflowers and vistas are amazing this year. Can’t wait to be able to get back to Oregon soon. You’ve given us some new areas to think about and explore.

Posted by
9466 posts

Happy you liked our part of the world, PandaBear! Where, exactly, did you go?

It’s funny: we pack light for overseas travel so that our train transfers are easy. When we do a domestic trip by car, we load up! Three pairs of shoes for a week, 3 jackets “just in case,” and and our traveling Nespresso machine. Styles vary.

We are off on a week long trip to a part of a Oregon less visited than our own. It will be interesting to see how travel goes in the current situation.

Posted by
198 posts

Yes, OR is beautiful (born and raised there) and the rural areas even more so, IMO. Glad you enjoyed it:)

We are also doing a road trip, but but backpacking, to rural OR (SE area). Really looking forward to it and to getting away from people, lol.

Laurel--What area are you headed to, if I may ask? We are going to the Steen's to get away. Thankfully most people don't want to backpack, especially in such an isolated area, but that has always been the draw for us for there as well as the Wallowa's.

Posted by
9466 posts

Mikliz we are going to the Southern Coast where the virus is scarce, the towns small, and the easy-hiking abundant. Also lighthouses. 🐳 And whales.

Posted by
7839 posts

Thanks so much! I love to know how people's packing strategies worked!

Nice purse, darn it!

I also appreciate your advice on the small jars. I'll have to make sure any new ones have "testing" done on them, lol. I broke a plastic jar on the last trip and need to replace it.

Posted by
1175 posts

Taking a car, I don’t worry about packing

My cousin had that attitude. She brought a 24 inch suitcase for a 5 day trip.

On day 2 we had a 2nd floor room in a hotel with no elevator. She couldn’t lift the wheels up the stairs. She had to repack her overnight stuff into her knitting bag.
On the other had, I shot up the stairs.

Posted by
96 posts

Happy you liked our part of the world, PandaBear! Where, exactly, did
you go?

Here is a link to my post. Feel free to ask if you want details about anywhere....I just basically gave an overview. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/beyond-europe/oregon-summer-202

Taking a car, I don’t worry about packing

Yeah, I definitely bought more than usual. However, we stayed in 8 locations in 14 days, and I was glad that I wasn't lugging so much around (despite over packing, it was easy to manage my luggage). We also stayed in multiple locations that didn't have elevators.

Panda

Posted by
122 posts

Taking a car, I don’t worry about packing

Same here, but not that I go overboard with clothes or big bags, mostly I want to be prepared for the road: car battery charger, water, food, cooler, playlist... things that can stay in the trunk while I only get my bag and purse.

But packing? Nah. I don’t weight stuff or decant everything like if I would if I were going overseas. I tend to relax my packing more on road trips.

Posted by
198 posts

Laurel--Enjoy:) We were going to stop at a hotel on the way down to break up the drive, but think we will skip that. I am not trusting that area as many there don't mask up etc, so I think camping will suit us just fine even on the way there.

Posted by
9466 posts

MikLiz the businesses in Coos County were handling things very well I am happy to report. We did have to walk out on tow restaurants that were not acting responsibly but most were very compliant and rigorous in their adherence.

Posted by
198 posts

Laurel--That is encouraging! My daughter and I did a remote backpacking trip last weekend. We did stop for burgers on our way home and that place was doing really good. You ordered at a window on one side of the building, and then walked around to the other side for pickup. All of the outside seating was taped off, so you had to eat in your vehicle, but the lot was big so with that people were distancing. Every person we saw, except one, had a mask on. That one was odd though as the wife had a mask on, but he did not. We are headed out camping tonight. No plans except fo the general area of the state. We don't need to interact with others if we don't want to and are self sufficient, so looking forward to that. We are taking our 4 person car camping tent so there is room for both dogs;)

Posted by
11473 posts

Okay, I am bored so ...............

Mine; packing for a European fishing trip. Because I have sort of a long layover and because I will be leaving the town where I land shortly after landing, I don’t trust checking a bag. So it all has to be carry on. Temps will be pretty cool in the mountains but I will be down on the coast too so that’s warm.

I checked Turkish Air limitations for size, weight and quantity. It is one 8Kg carry on of the exact dimensions as the RS original backdoor bag (which I happen to own) and one 4Kg personal item which can also be a small bag with extreme size restrictions so it fits under the seat in front.

It’s a two-week trip and it is a fly-fishing trip. So first the fly fishing.

The under-seat bag: Found one on Amazon which was perfectly sized per the Turkish Air size limitations for $12. Weighed in at a hair under 4Kg when loaded
Fly reel
Pair of Hip Waders
Pair of Wading Boots (size 12 and the heaviest thing on the trip)
Fly Box
Line and tippet
Indicators
Neck Lanyard which hold the forceps, nippers, tippet, floatant
Heavy socks
Mid-weight long johns for layering and under waders as the water is cold
Sunglasses with mag lens (for tying flies)
Floppy hat
Line and tippet

Main Bag: Weighed in at a hair under 8Kg when loaded thanks to the RS bag being so light.
Folding fishing net
7-piece 5wt fly rod
Light weight wind breaker / rain shell (top)
5 long sleeve nylon fishing shirts (these look pretty nice even for casual wear and I always bring one or two when I travel cause the dry fast and i can clean them in the room if need be)
2 pair quick dry fishing trousers (I bring these even if I am not fishing. Wash and dry fast and easy)
1 pair dress trousers
Swim suit and t-shirt (mainly for around the hotel room)
Flip flops
7 pairs of boxers (i am that kind of guy)
4 pairs socks
Flecanide, vitamins, chloroquine, etc.
Sunglasses
Very small first aid pouch with the usual assortment of band aids, aspirin, ointments, Alka-Seltzer flu tabs, etc.

Toothpaste, deodorant toothbrush, hairbrush
Aggie Cap
One plug adapter and one charger for my cell phone (after I get through all the weighing I will put a backup phone battery in the bag too. Till then its in my pocket.)

Finally, one more item. My neck bag sized cross body bag that I have carried for a decade. Wire strap and three locks on the flap to reduce the possibility of unauthorized entry. Perfect size for my passport, wallet, watch, rings, cash and everything else that I need to carry through security. Oh, and pair that with what I wear on the plane. Jeans (don’t like to but they are heavy so it works better than packing them) and a sweatshirt and nice-looking walking shoes which no one will think out of place at dinner. Normally I would wear a sports coat too, but don’t think I will need it on this trip.

Total about 11kg, two weeks including fishing gear..... sort of proud of myself.

Okay, boring and who really cares.... but it helped me think thru it and remember a few things i missed. I actually got packed a week early. Thats a first for me.

Posted by
11473 posts

Well thank you acraven. I know we get sideways from time to time, but you have always been decent. So my apologies for the times I got under your skin. This post really was about boredom. I fish fairly often in Europe but I've always checked a bag or gone to Budapest first (where I keep some of the more bulky stuff). But Budapest is closed right now and I have this long goofy layover in Istanbul and I am afraid of luggage getting lost.

There is one guy that pops up here from time to time and tells me I should fish at home. To head him off, Europe can be a bit cheaper for me than a place like BC or Colorado.... and the sights are amazing and experiences are singular. Now that I am semi-retired and can take the time away I am thinking about organizing a few packages. This trip is fishing and research for the package idea.