29 May 2010

The Infamous Packing List...Pending Approval of Course

In just four days, I pack my bags and set out for Washington D.C. where I and approximately 40 other volunteers will get together and prepare ourselves mentally, and logistically for our journey to Sierra Leone. However lets be frank, at least I and probably most of my fellow Peace Corps colleagues, have had about a year and a half to do all the mental preparations for a experience as serious as this, then again; Is one ever ready to be a Peace Corps volunteer? From the stories I've read and the conversations I've had with past Peace Corps volunteers, the answer would at first appearances seem to be NO. But somehow that uncertainty, at least for me, makes me that more excited and anxious to get over there.

So what am I to do? Well the least I can do is make sure that my packing list is in order!

Let's review:

 An asterisk (*) signifies uncertainty over the number of the particular item I should bring 
 An (^) signifies uncertainty over whether I should bring the particular item

15 boxer briefs
8 under shirts*
6 ankle socks for running(*)
4 breathable T-shirts + one cycling shirt (*)
1 light Columbia water-resistant windbreaker
2 ties*
2 business casual khaki pants
2 long-sleeve button-down dress-shirts
1 pair dress pants
1 pair swimming trunks
3 sets of traditional African clothing (Tailor-made during my time in Nigeria)
2 long-sleeve shirts/sweatshirts
3-4 short-sleeved button up shirts(*)
2 pairs comfortable zip-off/hiking pants
2 pairs jean shorts(*)
1-2 pairs of jeans(*)
2 pairs athletic shorts
1 pair Merrell hiking sandals
1 pair Chaco sandals
1 pair Keen sandals
1 pair flip-flops
1 pair running or track shoes (^)
2 sun hats
2 belts(*)
4 bandanas
1 Kente cloth (Courtesy of Reimi)
2 African kofia hats (Red and black)

Bicycle lights
Mini travel alarm clock
Digital watch
8GB USB flash-drive
Wall battery AA/AAA charger
16 rechargeable AA batteries
8 rechargeable AAA batteries
Headlamp (Petzl E89 Tactikka XP)
Digital Camera
Solar calculator
Grundig G6 Aviator shortwave radio
Electric hair clippers (^)
Voltage Converter (^)
Small travel speakers (^)

3 tubes toothpaste + 1 travel size
4 toothbrushes
4 packs floss
1 bottle mouthwash + 1 travel size
Small comb
Large tube vaseline
Travel size vaseline
2-4 sticks deodorant + 1 travel size(*)
Travel toothbrush holder
1 large hand sanitizer bottle
3 travel size hand sanitizers bottles
Small travel mirror (^)

1 extra large Eastern Mountain Sports pack towel
2 pairs prescription eye glasses
1 pair sunglasses
1 Patagonia travel sling
1-2 stainless steel water bottle
8x42 Stokes Talon binoculars (An absolute must have for birding)
Columbia travel pillow
Regular size pillow
Tent (Eureka Backcountry 1 solo)
Dreamsack (Extra-Roomy opening)
Magnifying glass
3 Carabiners
Yoga mat (For camping!)
1-2 journals (*)
1 2010-2011 weekly planner
U.S. stamps
12 passport photos
Photos from home
Jump Rope
Yoga ball (^)....Probably not necessary?
Soccer ball (^)
Duct tape
Mini stapler
Swimming goggles
Incense/incense holder(^)
Bicycle seat pack
Bicycle bell
2 TSA locks
Basic bicycle tools
Index cards
4 pack small notepads
National Geographic laminated world map

Birds of Western Africa
Bradt Guide to Sierra Leone
Oxford Pocket Dictionary
College level Biology textbook
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer
Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky
Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell (To bulky!)(^)
The Slave Trade by Hugh Thomas (Could theoretically take me the whole two years to read this thing!)(^)
In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's botanical legacy in the Atlantic World by Judith Carney (^)

This list is pretty much set with the exception of the few particulars I've listed. To pack it all I have:

An Outdoor brand duffel bag (14in x 30in)
A two wheel suitcase (28in x 19in x 10in)
1 Timbuk2 medium Hemlock backpack (14.20in x 24.60in x 6.30in)

Of course the duffel bag is empty, but this is just to give you some perspective. I don't think this load is too unmanageable at all. I will check in the suitcase and the duffel bag. There are restrictions though. Combined, all checked in luggage can't exceed 80lbs. The heaviest bag can't exceed 50 lbs, and the combined external dimensions of my checked in bags can't exceed 107 inches. My checked in bags combined have an external dimension of 101 inches, just shy of 107 inch limit, and I'm pretty sure my suitcase won't exceed 50 lbs, if it does, I'll just transfer items to duffel bag to even things out.

I hope this helps anyone struggling with what to pack! I'll update the list once I'm finished evaluating what I need and don't need.



Anonymous said...

I would really like that giant duffle bag for myself