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Packing Tips

Dearest Dragons,

This is the point when most students are deep in the packing list, picking apart details, so we thought it would be a great time to post a quick note about gear.

We encourage traveling light, which can mean three things: simplicity, packability, and light weight equipment.

Simplicity means only bringing what you need. The packing list was designed specifically for our Fall 2020 itinerary, and we think it’s quite thorough. Please read it carefully and stick to it. It should have all the answers you need. And, if you’re thinking about bringing something extra, we advise you to take it out.

Packability means bringing items that are not bulky. This will especially come into play when we’re backpacking—in addition to your own gear, you’ll need to fit group gear like a pot and stove and up to 10 days worth of food into your backpack. If you’ve chosen a sleeping bag that occupies half the backpack, we urge you to reexamine. What one person brings becomes the burden for the entire course

Light weight is our ideal for backpacking, and it does not always mean expensive and fancy gear. It’s easy to build a heavy backpack by not knowing how much your items weigh. You can easily throw in a few small items with the justification that “nothing weighs nothing.” As Jeff will quickly tell you, nothing weighs nothing. Ounces add up quickly. It’s common practice for backpackers to weigh every item they’re putting into their pack to see how much they really weigh. There’s great advice out there. If you suddenly find yourself weighing gear late at night, you might nerd out with Mike Clelland’s book.

As an old philosopher once said, your tools aren’t just something that you create—they take on a life of their own and control how you move through the world. If you pack in a manner that’s complex, bulky, and heavy, it will weigh down your trip, with heavier burdens on your body but also on your time and mental energy when it comes to packing.

Questions? The gear list is long and complex. If you have any questions, please reach out to Dragons, and we’ll answer them quickly!

Your instructors,

Keshet and Jeff