Packing for Adventure

May 24, 2011 8 Comments »

Social Media Syndicate Mongol Rally

Learn more about our team and Epic Trip!

When I was a kid my family used to go on vacations in the summer. We would all pile into our family car…a Honda Civic hatchback…all 5 of us and drive for hours and hours to get to our destination. Considering it was the gas crisis of the late 70’s /early 80’s – the Honda Civic was a very reasonable choice for a family trying to save money. My brother, sister and I would share the limited real estate of the back seat trying to torture each other in ways that would only siblings could.

The hatchback posed a few packing challenges for a family of 5; there was very little room for luggage. My father came up with the brilliant idea of packing our clothes and gear in paper bags instead of suitcases so that our bags would mold to the curve of the back better. Suit cases were just too rigid for my family apparently. So we each walked out with our brown paper bag of clothes and squeezed them into the small space of the hatchback ‘trunk’.

My family often jokes about this as we get together sharing memories, yet the joke is going to be on me this summer. I will be reliving this scenario as an adult.

The Social Media Syndicate team has started to kick packing into high gear. Literally – we have created a massive spreadsheet of gear that we need for the trip. Trying to figure out who has what and who can bring it is a challenge in itself. Thinking about how it will all fit into our car seems like mission impossible.

To make matters worse, I got a lovely message on twitter from Francine Jay (aka Miss Minimalist) saying that she was looking forward to seeing  how I packed for the Mongol Rally.  Shit…now the pressure is on – I’ve got to prove I can pack lite as Miss Minimalist will be evaluating us!

However we did have some good news this weekend; All Ways Rentals has purchased our team’s Mongol Rally car (more details and pictures on that coming soon).  It’s a pretty little 4 door hatchback – good for gas mileage and hopefully easy to fix when it breaks down. However, when I say little…I mean little. Let’s do some quick math.

  • There are 4 of us. We are big adults.
  • We will have 4 backpacks full of maybe 4 outfits that will take us from sweaty hot environments to potential below freezing environments.
  • 4 laptops
  • 4 cameras
  • 4 phones
  • 4 sleeping bags
  • TwoNav GPS
  • First aid kit
  • 3 tents
  • camp stove
  • camping gear (plates, spade, etc)
  • tools (hammer, ratchet set, screwdriver, duct tape, etc)
  • Extra tire(s)
  • Extra hoses, belts, tow ropes…and whatever else we may need to keep a car running in impossible situations.
  • 2 gerry cans to be filled with gas
  • Water bottles
  • And hopefully some food and books

You don’t have to graduate from MIT to realize that our cute little car will most likely look like this:

car luggage rack

I honestly have no idea how we will fit ourselves along with all of our gear into our car…and then live with it for 6 to 8 weeks.

If I think about it, it defeats me. So I try not to think about it as a whole, and instead simply focus on how in the world I’m going to find a tent to take with me. One thing at a time will get me there…right?


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