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October 9, 2019

3 weeks in a backpack: outdoors edition

I haven’t done this in way too long. Here’s my packing list for my upcoming three week trip to Bolivia and Patagonia.

Original source images here (RIP polyvore). Note these aren't the exact items I own and I changed some colours.

As usual, attempting to go carry on only, this time in a new 35L sports backpack. Unusually for me, this is going to be a very outdoorsy holiday, hence the reason why this list has a bit of a different look to my previous ones.

I’m going to be spending a fair few days doing proper hiking and/or roughing it in the elements, with unpredictable weather and temperatures between 0C on the Uyuni salt flats at night and 25C in Buenos Aires. This made planning a bit difficult as I don’t own any technical clothing. I didn’t want to buy lots of outdoors clothes to never use again, but at the same time wanted make sure I would be comfortable. So I tried to strike a balance between borrowing and trying to buy things that will be versatile for future use.

I’m taking more outerwear than usual this time. I’m borrowing my father’s parka for being outdoors in the rain and as a general jacket. I’ve also borrowed my mother’s padded jacket for when it gets cold at night during camping or on bus rides. It’s synthetic, not down, and doesn’t pack down very small unfortunately; I toyed with the idea of buying a Uniqlo down jacket, but decided not to as it’s not something I would wear day to day. I also bought a Uniqlo fleece jacket on sale, as I’ve read that fleece is good for warmth while being active. I’ve already worn it lots casually (it’s so warm for its weight!) so I’m not too mad about having spent money on it.

Just three t-shirts, as I’m very much working with layers this time. The black tee is an Icebreaker merino one which I bought earlier this year - you may have heard I swear by merino since it’s temperature regulating and goes for ages without needing to be washed. It’s been a staple in my closet this past winter, especially layered under a jumper, so cost per wear is already less than a dollar. For any hiking I’ll be wearing the merino top, and for other days I’ll wear my other two for variety.

Again, more pants than I would usually pack. Jeans are a must for me, I feel comfortable in them and plan to wear them on walking-around-town days. I’m planning on wearing the leggings and joggers for hiking. Both are quick-drying synthetic from Uniqlo‘s activewear section. I figured I’d keep getting wears out of them post-trip as opposed to traditional hiking pants.

Hiking boots were the one area I couldn’t cut corners with, as I didn’t want to injure myself or endure wet feet for days on end. Unfortunately they're so ugly they make me want to cry. There were better looking ones, but were either too expensive or uncomfortable. I ended up settling on these Columbia ones which I got for about $120 on sale. I wore them on an 11km hike a few weeks ago and didn’t have any problems, so that’s a success. The other pair I’m taking are my trusty Chelsea boots which always end up being a vanity pack since I don’t really need them. I just love them so much. Funnily they’re actually a tad heavier than the hiking boots so I’ll be wearing them on the plane, which will make going through airport security easier.

Trusty Kanken daypack, hat, gloves, and sunnies self explanatory. Not pictured are underwear, socks (including hiking socks), flip flops, and a top and leggings I’ll be wearing as PJs that I could wear out and about in a pinch. Most of the rest of my pack space will be equipment like a sleep sheet, torch, toiletries, first aid kit etc. We'll be hiring sleeping bags and tents, so we don’t need to worry about that at least. I’m not planning on doing much shopping but I’ve packed a light tote bag to use as an alternate carry on in case I need to check my backpack at the end of the trip.

I could seriously go on and on and on about packing, I love it. I will see if I can do a review post of how it went when I get back!

October 6, 2019

Cemetery Drive

Another year, another Hidden show at Rookwood Cemetery. It's the largest and oldest cemetery in Australia, and every year they hold a sculpture exhibit amongst one of the older sections. I'm not finding I like the works as much as I used to, but I really enjoy visiting in the springtime and this gives me a socially acceptable excuse to go.