7/28/2016

Summer vacation- packing minimalist

Hello, everyone!
The reason, why I have not blogged since a while is, that I was on vacation with 2 of my friends. We spend  2 days in berlin in a youth hostel and then camped at a place at the East sea for 3 days. Before sharing my experiences and photos with you, I want to introduce you to my backpack and everything, I took there. Since last time, when I traveled (Rock am Ring 2016), I downsized the amount of stuff, I was taking with me.

NOTE: My packing does not include the tent and its utensils as well as a picnic blanket and the camping cooker. Those are items, we colloquially took there, because all of us used it. Two items, I took (a towel for washing dishes and a plastic cutting board), however, I took for all of us to use.
(black and white numbers name an item, that I used. Red numbered items I did not use)

Essentials:

I took my purse (1.)) with money and important cards, my smartphone (2.)). As for the smartphone, I would not really regard it as an essential. I usually use it to take photos and notes. Because one of my friends took a lot of nice pictures, I did not really do so. I also started taking notes on real paper, because I still have a lot of scribbling paper in my possessions, that I want to use up. I, however, used the phone at the very end of our vacation to send my parents the time, I will be home. Apart from that (and I could have evene done this before, without a phone), however, I could have done without a smartphone. To be honest, I deliberately used it as little as possible and my friends using (and worrying about charging it) annoyed me sometimes.
I also took 3 sheets of important paper (3.)) (a map of Berlin, the ticket for the youth hostel and a plan of the places, we want to go). I did not use the last sheet, because we in the end just went, where we felt like, regardless of our original plans.

Sleeping:

As like last time, I took an air mattress (1.)). Having  kept in mind the blowing expense, I also took a pump (2.)). As it is a ball pump, however, it did not work any quicker or easier than blowing the matress with the mouth. So, I did not use it. Next time, I will either have to look for a special pump or blow the air mattress by mouth (what really is not that big of a deal). I also took a sleeping bag (3.)). This time, it was a smaller bag, that was a littler easier to carry, but also thinner and colder in the night. I am still questioning, whether this sleeping bag really is a better choice.

Clothes:

In contrast to my last travel, I really downsized the amount of clothes, I took with me. I took 3 pairs of socks (1.)). On the campsite and the surrounding area, I walked a lot of ways bare foot. This is a practice, I really fell in love with. Feeling the ground really added to my enjoyment of nature there. This is also the reason, why I was completely okay with taking "only" one pair of shoes. I either wore shoes and socks or walked bare foot. At home, it is not so very different. I also took 6 pants (2.)) and 4 tops (4.)). Of course, I also packed my bikini (3.)). Something, I did not use was my sunglasses (5.)). I really kept "sun protection" minimal at this vacation. In contrast to wearing sunglasses, a hat and a thick layer of sunscreen, I spent time in the shadow and left the sun, when I had enough. My sunglasses broke at the second day in Berlin. Apart from the hotpants, I wore, I also took a smaller one (6.)), that was kind of too short to be really used (I think, I wore it one morning). I also packed a sun cap, I never wore.
As we had running water in the youth hostel and at the campsite, I washed my trousers(not on the picture; a hotpants I wore on the way there) and my 2 T- Shirts (7.)) using sunscreen to soap sweat areas. Then, I hung the pice on a cloth hanger or clothesline to let them dry. It worked out quite well.
In general, I felt very fine with having that little amount of clothes. I, however, found it sometimes problematic to find and organize my clothes. For upcoming travels, I want to use sub- bags (like this, although I plan to sew it myself)  to organize my clothing items.
Moreover, I should have definitely packed at least one long top and bottom clothing items. Occasionally, it got cold and all I had to wear was a T-shirt and hotpants.

Hygiene:

Next to the clothes, my hygiene items was the second type of items, I downsized. My father made me pack "normal" sunscreen (1.)) that I, however, only used one evening. As I said before, I am working on keeping my "sun protection" more natural. As for this, I wanted to try out coconut butter to replace conventional sunscreen. So, I took a small glass and filled it with coconut butter (6.)). As coconut butter melts at already room temperature and therefore was liquid, when I took it to Berlin. The first morning there, I applied it to my skin. Although it was a little difficult to apply (it would have been easier using a atomizer bottle), it worked. But then, it happened what had to happen. The bottle leaked and soaked my backpack with coconut butter. So, as I used it only one day, I cannot really estimate its functionality.
The other items were a razor blade (2,)), toothpaste (3.)) (I just packed it "in case", because I am brushing my teeth using only water right now (a blogpost about this will definitely come- it is working out fine so far), deodorant that I filled in a smaller bag (4.)) (I did not want to carry a huge roll- on bottle to just carry a few milliners of deodorant), tampons in case (5.)), a small towel (7.)) and a handkerchief (8.)), I did not have to use due to my hay fever declining), a toothbrush (9.), my braces in a box (10.)) and a hairbrush (11.)). This hairbrush is way smaller than my previous and also is made out of wood instead of plastic.
In general, I am working on downsizing my items of hygiene, not only because of minimalism (and zero waste), but also, because I found that it helps my body better using as few chemicals in products as possible.

Food:

As always, I took 2 food boxes (1.) & 2.))of different size (a blog post about my zero waste progress on vacation will come soon), a reusable water bottle (3.)), a plastic cutting board (4.)), that I packed for everyone to use, a bowl, I did not use,(5.)), a big plate (6.), it was bigger than last time, what was very positive), a towel (7.), for everyone to use) that I rolled around fork (8.)), knife (9.)) and spoon( (10.)). I used all three of them, but, however, recognized, that I should take a really sharp cutting knife next time. I also might pack chopsticks instead of a fork.

Entertainment:

Last, but not least, I packed something for spare time. I took my calendar (2.)) and a pen (1.)) to take notes (camping triggers inspiring ideas in me) and 3 books (3.)). As my friends also took books, we could exchange them and had a broad variety of books this way.

So, all in all I feel like having packed less "necessary" items while having more space to pack fun items.
As you could see, there are some items, I should indeed have taken with me additionally:
-Long clothes. By replacing some clothing items with long pieces, I would definitely had been more comfortable sometimes. Also a rain jacket might have been nice.
-Sub bags to organize my clothes and generally avoid chaos in my backpack.
-Atomizer bottles for coconut butter(sunscreen) and deodorant. Just, because this is easier to apply (and hopefully to carry without leakage)

But all in all, I am fine with the amount of stuff, I packed. I also recognized, how less stressed I was with having very little stuff with me. As my friends had way more items than me with them, I realized the contrast once more.
See you soon and have a nice day,

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