One week until departure! As you can see in the photo, I've made progress in my packing. I have even progressed as far as getting everything into the Chinese Shopping Bag (or Rice Bag, or Ghana Must Go Bag--seriously, these bags go by many names--Google it, and you'll probably find more). This is a new CSB. The other did not survive the last flight--the zipper broke. In all fairness, I had used it a few times--Samsonite it is not (it would definitely NOT survive a gorilla jumping on it!). Then again, what do you expect from a $6 bag? But, I digress...
Yes, I packed everything up, then got my scale...YIKES! The CSB weighed 50 lbs! Hmmm....that's probably not accurate either (weighing a CSB on a household scale is not the easiest thing to do!). Better move some things to Betsy's suitcase (which IS a Samsonite--still, I'd rather a gorilla not jump on it). Weigh Betsy and stuff...49 pounds! Still not trusting the scale, I take out what I added to the case. Since I had only packed clothing into my carry-on bag (aka the Rack Pack), I decide to swap some lighter weight clothing for some heavier stuff from the CSB. I moved my sleeping pad to the Rack Pack. My sleeping pad is an Exped Synmat 9--somewhat heavy as sleeping pads go, but not heavy enough to make much difference in the overall weight of the CSB. At least the CSB was registering under 50lbs.--but not by much. And, I was able to fit the sleeping pad in without removing any of the clothes from the Rack Pack. However, there is absolutely no more room in the Rack Pack (not even for "One thin mint" as Mr. Creosote would say)! I was still not confident that the CSB wouldn't be overweight. I opted to not take the blue tarp. The CSB then weighed in at 47 lbs! Betsy's suitcase weighs 48lbs. I'm crossing my fingers that those weights are close enough to accurate.
What's that? Why do I have so much weight? Partly, it is that I'm taking Betsy in the suitcase. It weighs more than the black bag she usually flys in. And yet, I am also taking the black bag (for the flight from Stavanger, Norway to Aberdeen, Scotland). I also have gifts for the friends I will be seeing. Not much, but it all adds up. Then there are consumables such as vitamins. Those will also be gone by the time I'm finished. Then I'll have room for a few souvenirs!
One week to go. This will be the week for goodbyes and last rides with friends. Maybe there will be some last minute details to take care of, but I know for sure I will not be adding even one more thing to my gear. Not even one thin mint!