Philosophy of Packing…Short Mountain Climbing Trip

I took these photos as I packed for my trip to Portland and to climb Mt. Hood. Thought I’d throw a few tips your way and spread the love of playing the pack mule from time to time.

I had to take some extra sunglasses that offered more side protection than my regular shades. The glare from the snow and ice on the glacier will burn your eyes out really quick. Nothing worse than trying to descend a mountain while blind. I use Oakley’s for both. Instead of spending a few extra bucks on hard sunglasses cases just drop them into your water bottles for the trip. I filled the bottle with some other goodies that needed protecting as well, like my chocolate-covered coffee beans.

My wife bought me a bunch of vacuum space saver bags for Christmas one year. I love them. I pack as much crap as I can into them for the “headed to” part of the trip and dirty clothes for the “headed home” part. They save a lot of space by compressing your clothes and soft goods like summit flags. Because of the mountain climb I ended up packing a lot more than I would for a standard trip. For the ride home it seals in the smell of the dirty clothes without contaminating the rest of my suitcase with funkiness.

Don’t forget to pack any liquids in plastic baggies. I’m having a difficult time with soap right now. I like this camp soap for everything. My wife doesn’t. She says it works okay, but not as good as the real thing. Being a guy and a bit of a minimalist, I don’t understand why we can’t have one single solitary soap that’ll wash anything. Why do we need seperate soaps for our bodies, our hair, our clothes, our dishes, our cars, etc, etc?

My little dude fits perfectly inside my mountain pack. Don’t worry though, they wouldn’t let me ship him that way.

Had to pack the big duffel to hold my walking sticks and ice ax. Put the pointy end of the sticks and the axe blade inside inside the pack and then the pack in the duffel. This will keep them from tearing through the duffel in transit. I like to also multi-purpose my socks and wrap them over the ice ax blade to protect it and add more padding.

All sealed up and ready to go.

I checked both my regular suitcase and my gear duffel on the plane. I know some guys who also ship their gear to their destination hotel, especially if it’s heavy gear for rock climbing. With the new flat rate priority mail rates from the USPS, you can ship a crapload of carabiners and rope for cheaper than paying the baggage fees on the plane. Just be sure to call the hotel and make sure this is okay. I’ve not heard of one refuse it yet.

Recommended goodies…

Space Saver Bags"".

Big Honking Duffle Bags"".

The Packing Book: Secrets of the Carry-on Traveler"".

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