All you need is 4 pair socks, 2 pair of jeans, 4 pair of underwear and 4 shirts – it doesn’t matter how far you’re going. Pack less; less is more. However your first trip you will over pack – its unavoidable – don’t worry about it. You need to over pack the first time to really learn what you actually need. You will end up shipping it home from the hotel at the half point in the trip.
If you know me then you have heard this story before and because you know me you will hear it again many times, but it’s a true story and I like it.
This story was told to me by a Monk (*actually a Franciscan Friar) and is as verbatim as I can recall. As monks travel they stay at monasteries. There is always a receiving monk that welcomes the traveling monk and shows him around. It’s a bit of a running gag but here is what they typically do. The receiving monk show the traveling monk to his room. The rooms in the monastery are all Spartan and the guest rooms are even more so. Envision a room with a very small bed, a wash basin, a wooden chair, a candle and a small table to place your bible on. The receiving monk then tells the traveling monk when the meals are served and says “if you need anything, anything at all please don’t hesitate to let me know; I will be happy to teach you how to live without it”. That perfectly sums up my idea of what you should pack. My buddy “DeathMagnet” has a slightly shorter way of putting it in perspective “can I rub a credit card on it and make the problem go away?” meaning pack way less and take a credit card. DeathMagnet wont pack much on his bike if he knows there’s only a 5% chance of him needing it and it costs less than a hundred bucks.
- You can ship cloths to the hotel before we leave.
- There are wash and fold laundry mats all over the place.
- Almost all hotels have a washer and dryer.
- You can ship dirty clothes from the hotel to your home
- You don’t need 3 weeks worth of cloths on the bike…
- You need 4 shirts, 4 underwear, 4 pair socks and 2 pair pants.
So what else do you need or should you take? Less than you think especially if getting wet isn’t a big deal to you – in 2012 I road across America (4,000+ miles) in jeans, T-shirt, Jacket, Cowboy boots and ½ helmet just to prove it could still be done. Another note 1 quart plastic sandwich bags are cheap and light and can make a lot of things water proof.
- Pack less stuff.
- However, your first trip you will over pack so have a plan to ship stuff home at the half way point.