Packing Light

Traveling over the years I have learned one key to packing light is selecting attire that meets these criteria: (1) high quality and performance, (2) versatility, and (3) easy maintenance. With these criteria in mind, my packing list for this trip includes:


1 pair quick dry nylon convertible pants, mocha (Ex Officio)

1 pair merino wool pants, black (Ice Breaker Escape)

1 pair quick dry nylon shorts, sage (Gramici)


1 merino wool short sleeve t-shirt, light gray (Ice Breaker)

1 merino wool short sleeve t-shirt, mocha (Ice Breaker)

1 merino wool long sleeve henly shirt, dark blue (Ibex)

1 insulating layer, dark blue (Marmot DriClime Wind Shirt)

1 waterproof shell, dark blue (Marmot)


2 pairs merino wool hiking socks (Darn Tough)

2 pairs underwear (Ex Officio Give-n-Go)

1 merino wool Buff, blue

1 extra large bandana, blue

1 pair UV protection sleeves, light grey

1 brimmed cap

1 fleece lined wool knit cap

1 pair lightweight fleece gloves


All of the items on the list are the highest quality I could afford. Taking fewer items means I need every item to be durable and they have to perform well in a variety of conditions. Not to mention, I want it to look good because I know I will be going from camp to hostel to hotel, cooking in the wilderness and eating in restaurants, taking tours and going to shows.

Versatility refers to both (a) the ability to layer and (b) the ability to mix and match. For example, I can wear either pair of pants alone or I can wear the wool pants under the nylon pants as leggings (long johns). Layering tops could include all four layers – short sleeve merino wool, long sleeve merino wool, insulating wind shirt, and rain shell – or a number of combinations of these.

The colors are intentionally kept within a very limited palette to make it easy to mix and match. Basically, I can wear any of the bottoms with any combination of the tops.

The UV sleeves can turn a short sleeve shirt into (what appears to be) a long sleeve shirt in an instant. They can also be worn under my long sleeve shirt for extra warmth.

I wear my Buff as a light-weight knit cap, a neck gaitor (scarf), or up over my face when it gets nippy.

Another characteristic common to all of the items is easy maintenance and quick drying. Laundry is done one piece at a time in the sink at hotel or hostel. Drying is a 3-step process — (1) wring out as much water as possible, (2) roll up in a towel to wring out a bit more moisture, (3) hand up to dry overnight. This is the process that makes it possible to bring only two pairs of underwear and two pairs of socks.

I often use the same packing list when I am traveling by air. All of the clothing, plus toiletries, laptop and other electronics fit easily in my Tom Bihn Synapse 25, which fits easily under the seat in front of me on the plane so I don’t have to scramble for overhead space.

On this trek I am carrying an Osprey Exos 58 with everything on the list fitting easily in a 10L Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack.


Look for a separate blog post soon about my walking shoes.


Going out for a little walk

TREK_SIGN_largeUPDATED 26 December

Turning 60 in February 2017. Making plans to trek across America to celebrate.

Remember in the movie, when Forrest Gump started walking across the country? I recall thinking that would be a really cool thing to do. A few months ago we hosted a couch surfer who was pedaling her bike across America. She started in San Francisco following the Adventure Cycling Association’s Western Express Route, which happens to pass through Cedar City. From here, she continued on all the way to Washington DC. I was envious of her accomplishment following her on Facebook.

Spent the last few months researching. Maps in hand. Departing Christmas Eve to start walking on New Years Day. Not planning one long trek, but a series of shorter treks over a number of months.

For the first leg, I originally considered taking my bike with me on a flight to Houston to follow the Southern Tier adventure cycling route to Baton Rouge, then ship the bike back home. Revised plan looks more like this:

  • Shuttle from Cedar City UT to Las Vegas airport New Years Eve.
  • Red eye flight to Houston arrives 6:00 AM.
  • Uber driver from Houston airport to HEB grocery store north of The Woodlands.
  • Hitch hike from HEB to trailhead east of Richards Texas in Sam Houston National Forest.
  • Lone Star Trail from west to east. 96.5 miles. 6-7 days.
  • Hitch hike from last trailhead southeast to Cleveland Texas. Shower. Provisions.
  • Buy cheap bicycle at Walmart in Cleveland.
  • Ride north to Shepherd Texas to hook up with Southern Tier route, east to Baton Rouge, south to New Orleans, then on to Pensacola Florida. 595 miles total. Donate bicycle in Pensacola.
  • Walk north on Great Eastern Trail through Alabama.
  • Side trip to walk from Selma to Montgomery.
  • Carrollton Georgia to visit friends at BlueWater Ropes.
  • On to Atlanta to catch flight to Puerto Rico.
  • Fly to Hawaii for training gig sometime in late February.
  • Home in mid-March to run a couple courses.
  • Red Rock Rendezvous in Las Vegas 24-27 March.
  • Back on the road …..