This may sound weird, but I love packing. When essentials are limited to two 50-pound bags – what a van can carry – a 40-liter backpack, or even just a carry-on, the things you think you need to take versus the things you actually do take is a fun game for me.
My most recent trip had a slightly different take on our typical domestic climbing adventure and my packing volume was restricted to a boatload – literally. We were going to take a boat down southern Utah’s Green River, camp on a sandbar, prepare Thanksgiving dinner, and climb desert towers. That’s a lot of shit to remember to bring, and it all had to fit on a raft. We would be somewhat remote, a day’s boat ride and drive from Moab, so forgetting an essential could range from a hassle to devastating. JT gave me his short list as he rushed out the door to work the day before we left: pruning shears, axe, hatchet, waders, two each of #4, #5 and #6 Camalots, and three cases of beer. I don’t know what concerned me more: the request for an axe or that we might be climbing something that would require all that wide gear.
[Packing the boat along the shores of the Green River. Photo: BAG’s iphone]