Make a list. Check it twice. But don't waste your time deciding between naughty and nice. No, this list should be focused on your gear and whether or not you're actually using it on the trail.
I don't know about you, but when I pack for a camping trip, a day of climbing or even a stay at a friend's house, I tend to shove way too much into my bag. I take an embarrassing amount of extra gear and clothes for those "just in case" moments, thinking it's better to be over prepared than under. But consistently unpacking multiple pairs of clean socks, dumping full hydration bladders and putting away layers I didn't even realize I packed are likely signs I need to rethink my strategy. If you have the same issue, or even if you think you have packing down to a science, you'll want to take note of this tip.
Next time you pack for a trip, make a list of all the items going into your bag, starting with the ten essentials. The magic happens when you return from your trip and start unpacking. You'll need to pull out that list again, this time going through and marking all of the items that you didn't use. Remove those items from your list and make a point to leave them at home during your next expedition. Of course, emergency items such as first aid kits should be considered an exception to this rule.
Making a list and checking it twice is a simple practice, but adding this extra step to your packing routine can help you save weight and space over time.
What methods do you use to pack efficiently? Will you add this to your list?
Trailtime Tips: Make a List and Check it Twice
By Lauren Seidl
December 22, 2015
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