I feel more relaxed at the trailhead when I pack in a methodical fashion. I use our bed. The pack goes at the head, empty, and everything that will go into it is laid out in front of it.
This gives me an overview of what I’m taking and lets me run through the whole checklist.
This is also the time for a last-minute weather forecast check, eyeballing the amount of food, and one more thought about the goals for the trip. Do I take the big camera? Are we teaching plant and animal identification.
Today’s overnighter includes a fancier meal than usual, so I need two pots. I chose my ancient Evernew set. It is soft aluminum, but it is a lot lighter than the Sigg cookset. It is plenty big enough to make mushroom spaghetti for two. I’m also packing the crew-sized first aid kit, which weighs two pounds. I need to make a smaller first aid kit.
This is my first trip with my Gossamer Gear Mariposa, and Tina is taking my old Six Moon Designs Starlite. It is also the first trip with the Big Agnes Slater UL2+.
I’m pretty happy with the pack weights. Including extra pots, the heavier tent, the bit first aid kit, and with all the food packed (no water), my pack is 20 pounds and Tina’s is 15.
Lay It Out.
Just as you do, I lay out everything in front of the pack to get a visual idea of what is going in the pack.
I also advise our Scouts to “get packed in our head,” i.e., start at the ground and work up: “shoes, socks, pants, underwear, shirts, coat, gloves, sunglasses, hat, etc.”
I like the idea of starting from the ground up. I sometimes double-check by thinking about what happens at different times of the day: evening, go to bed, get up, breakfast, hike, etc.