Tag Archives: Packing

What’s in my bag

I’m often asked, “How do you pack for a four-month trip?”

Carefully!  It’s impossible to pack enough clothes to last 4 months.  

The only thing we check is our ego.  We never check our luggage. All of our possessions have to fit in a wheelie carry-on suitcase and a medium-sized backpack.

Remember the mix-and-match children’s clothing line Geranimals?  Created for kids!  An approach to which I subscribe.  Mix-and-match items where every top can be worn with every bottom create a more diverse wardrobe.

Temperatures on this adventure will range from the low-40s to the mid-90s.  I might look like a fool carrying around a down jacket when it’s 90 degrees but my coat also makes for my DIY down pillow.  I pop my jacket into my homemade pillowcase secured by Velcro at one end and voilà. My comfort item which I will use more than anything.

Shoes – what grief!  They take up so much space.  Fashion takes a backseat  (hence checking the ego) to what’s practical.  On this trip, I’m taking my Altra Running Shoes (stuffed with pills and electronic items), Dansko Beatrice clogs, and flip-flops.  I cringe.  

Inside my suitcase:

Inside my pack:

  • Black poncho – serves as a makeshift blanket as well
  • Lightweight Altheta Uptown Hooded Puffer down jacket (bought used on Poshmark) – the inners for my pillow
  • Super lightweight pullover windbreaker
  • Under Armor lightweight zipper-up jacket
  • Camera and gear
  • iPad and Kindle

I’ve been packed and ready to go for two weeks.

Then two weeks became three when we both got super sick and had to postpone our trip……





Follow us as we walk the Via Francigena

map credit ©️OutdoorTravel http://www.outdoortravel.com.au https://bit.ly/2zbnHyh Thanks for the map!

That’s right.  Approx. 1000 kilometers.

This time it’s the Via Francigena (fran chee gena).

From ancient and medieval times it connected Canterbury to Rome. Today most pilgrims start in the Swiss Alps. Luckily, unlike our predecessors, none of us have to return home by foot.

Different from the famous Camino de Santiago where over 200,000 pilgrims annually walk the 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain the Via has only a combined 2,500 walkers, bikers and horse riders.

Bill and I walked the Camino de Santiago Frances in 2013 and in 2016 walked the Camino de Santiago Portuguese with Vino Verde Man, Chapmeister and Rockenstein . It was so utterly perfect that the five of us, on September 3, 2018, will step out the door of our hostel at the Great St. Bernard Pass in Switzerland and make our way to Rome.

The first two days have us descending 6,000′ in elevation. Hello knees…In the meantime, we walk to build up our strength. Unfortunately, the last couple of days have us walking at the local community center as our hometown has the most hazardous air in the USA caused by the horrific fires in California.

Curious about what’s in my pack??

If you didn’t read my ultimate packing guide from the last pilgrimage hop on over and check it out.

I made some adjustments – more than expected in the consummate search for perfection.

Here’s the list (new means different from last time):

  • New pack – the Osprey 24 liter Sirrus
  • The same Nike shorts which unfortunately have been discontinued.
  • New (update – North Face changed the material and the new ones are too thick)  North Face Everyday Pant
  • New North Face on the Go Skirt (forgoing the skort)
  • Target tank top
  • New Athleta Speedlight Tee
  • Same Lulu Lemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve
  • Smartwool – one each – Mid-Weight and Light-Weight long sleeve shirts
  • A crazy and stupid indulgence – hippie palazzo pants from Walmart – who said ya can’t be groovy on a pilgrimage?
  • New My Trail Co rain gear – jacket and pants. Jealous of Rockenstein and Vino Verde  when they stepped out in the torrential rain all duded out with their My Trails rain attire. They stayed dry when I soaked to the bone in my cheap $1.99 rain poncho.
  • New REI 650 Down Jacket
  • OMG – I get to wear new but the same  Altra Footwear Lone Peak 2.5 shoes!! YAY!! Shoes are the most important part of this whole list.  Altra is now on version 3.5 with 4.0 coming out any day now. They changed their design and frankly the changes do not work for me. Geared up to wear the Altra Timp Trail – actually hiking in them with a friend when I realized she was wearing my favorite 2.5’s. Where did you get those???? Rockenstein! The zero drop wasn’t her thing so she passed them on. Well, that generous friend who only wore them twice gifted them to me. Doing a happy dance every time I put them on. Thank you Boo!
  • Crocs backup shoe for the end of the day, showering, etc.
  • Tights, undies, bras, merino wool gloves, a neck buff, homemade pillowcase with velcro to stuff my down jacket in to make a pillow.
  • Travel size toiletries.
  • Sea to Summit Traveller silk sleeping sack to keep the cooties away.
  • PackTowl ultralite beach towel

All weighing in at 11 pounds. Of course, I’ll be wearing some of those clothes so my pack will be lighter.

You men might be wondering what’s in Bill’s pack.  Basic black and flip flops!

We’re super excited. Jump on board and walk with us. Tell your friends to sign up for our blog – http://www.billandpaige.com.  Instagram Story @paigeshawdotcom and Facebook @billandpaige.

See you there!

T Minus 1

ReadyThis May we are celebrating Bill’s 70th birthday by walking the 616 kilometer Camino de Portuguese.

In typical Zig Zagging fashion we are taking the long way to get there – presenting fashion conundrum #1 – the items I pack for the Camino are not necessarily what I want to be seen in outside the Camino…

My whole life (minus food and lodging) needs fit into a 28 liter daypack.

The work-around plan was to pack a small secondary bag with suitable travel clothes which would conveniently be left in the hotel before needing to scale down.

However, as the departure date nears I’m throwing fashion out the door – checking my ego (right) and opting for the “I don’t give a shit” look.  Something like that happened 8 years ago when I ditched blonde hair for gray.  It was so freeing – perhaps another evolution.

How to simplify ones life into 28 liters:

The daypack is something I picked up in Salamanca, Spain 3 years ago the day before we left to walk the Camino de Santiago.  It was the only pack in the store – a simple decision.

Included: 1 down shirt, 1 Icebreaker Zone Long Sleeve Half Zip, 1REI Smartwool Long Sleeve Top, 2 short sleeved shirts, 2 Target tank tops, 1 pair of Nike Rival Shorts, 1 Patagonia Tech Fishing Skort, 1 pair of Lululemon Studio Pants , a pair of leggings, Altra Zero Drop Running Shoe, Crocs, undies, toiletries, silk sleeping sack, head lamp, poncho, hat and my new FishLipsKisses stickers.

Total pack weight – a whooping 13.5 pounds. Bill’s pack – 25 pounds.  Look like we’ll be eating Wheaties for breakfast.

We’ll see what wins out in the coming weeks – my cleanliness phobia (Clorox wipes, baby wipes and hand sanitizer = poundage) or embrace the cooties!

The handy iPhone 6 will be my camera and blogging machine.

Stay tuned……




Packing – 22 days and counting.

We did a test run on packing.  Everything is laid out and ready to assemble. Anxious? Crazy excited? Anal? My clothes weighed 7.6 pounds wrapped up in their little Packit Folder thingy from Eagle Creek!! Not bad. Also packing  toiletries, shoes (we’re both wearing our Dansko clogs and packing ultra light weight Nike Celso Flip Flops and 7 oz. Merrell Barefoot Access sneakers) and down pillows (we don’t leave home without them – an essential creature comfort from home).  Total packing weight goal – 15 pounds.