Packing List.

Packing for New Zealand.

+ My first real pair of hiking boots. One of the ways I know I’m actually an adult: planning a trek enough so that I’m NOT launching into a 60K hike with New Balance sneakers and a Jansport backpack. This has definitely happened before.

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Arthur’s Pass, 2009

+ Smart wool socks, because only the best. Socks are the most important comfort item I can think of for this trip.

+ No makeup! Pretty excited for my skin with this one.

+ My beloved camping backpack, bought off a dear NC friend in NZ for something ludicrously cheap. I probably paid her in beer. It’s now lovingly adorned with patches from NZ, Bali, and… The Bahamas? Looking forward to seeing it through another trek.

+ Inflatable pillow.

+ My Greenstone.

+ Reading material. It always amazes me how quickly the exterior of things falls away when you’re immersed in nature. Backpackers and hardcore hikers have consistently been some of the most intelligent, well-read people I’ve met, and I think it’s because they have the time to think, without all of the interference.

+ Overall, as little as possible. The nature of backpacking is to bring only what’s crucial, so that means less sundry items and more of what’s potentially necessary in the four-seasons-in-a-day New Zealand weather. It’s a fantastic exercise in minimalism.

+ An open heart.

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