Three weeks in Japan should be easier to pack for than 6 weeks in Spain but it turns out to be very similar because I will basically be doing the same thing just for a shorter amount of time. Overall I found the process a lot easier this time around because I’m now “experienced” (LOL!)
I’m opting to bring one of Wally’s ultralight backpacks this time because it is a little smaller than the one I used in Spain and I’m planning on carrying it on the plane and not checking it this time around. My Deuter backpack has thicker straps which makes it a bit bulkier to stow. Here is a picture of the North Face pack fully loaded weighing in at 21.6 lbs. It is that heavy because I’ve got my day pack, hiking boots, poles, etc. all in there — it won’t be nearly that much once I’m dressed for hiking.
Here’s everything that is in the pack (minus the boots) each in their respective stuff sacks.
Here’s my day pack and basic gear for hiking. Unlike Spain, this trip includes gear transport so during the day all I will need to carry is this day pack which will be half empty so I’ll have plenty of room for my lunch or extra layers if needed.
In the picture is:
- my Camino hat
- my Camino walking poles
- black Patagonia rain jacket (folded into it’s hood)
- a lightweight wind jacket in a stuff sack,
- an orange rain cover for the pack,
- the Patagonia backpack with water bottles
- my Teva boots (same model I wore and left behind in Spain)
- my documents (passport, map, credentials, notebooks, pen, pencil
- an orange pouch with “toilet” items for stops in the woods
- my yellow first aid kit
- my gray & white wallet
- sunglasses & case
- gray bandana and last but not least,
- my supercool custom-made by Holly camera/phone/ pouch that I can wear around my neck to get quick access to camera for some great pictures!
Next up are all my clothes. I’m bringing more items than I did on the Camino but each item is lighter in weight and quick-dry. If you followed my Camino trip you’ll remember I ended up switching out most of my gear during the trip because many of the things I brought didn’t dry overnight. Colorado is so dry we can get fooled and think something is quick-dry but once you add in humidity all bets are off. Japan is very humid and it is likely to rain quite a bit so I put more care into choosing clothes this time. Most of the clothes are actually from the Japanese company Uniqlo and they are marketed as “Airism — made with Japanese technology to keep you comfortable, cool and dry” — this trip will test their marketing claims — I’m hoping they live up to their hype.
- two pairs of Eddie Bauer long pants that can fold up and become capris
- one gray belt
- three V-neck t-shirts (black, gray, tan)
- one merino wool long sleeve t-shirt
- one gray packable down vest
- one butter weight black fleece
- one black, one pink light weight, zip up sweat shirt jacket
- three sets of Ex-Officio underwear
- three pairs of wool socks
- two pairs of toe sock liners
- three pairs of black nylon socks that can be used as liners or worn alone
- my black Nike sneakers
- three scarves, one light weight one, two larger shawl size scarves
- two chiffon floral button down shirts for non-hiking city travel days
- one yellow clothes line
Everything mixes and matches and can be layered as needed. I got super-bored wearing the same two outfits in Spain so I’m hoping this gives me more variations. Also the temperature might range from the 50s to the 70s so I want to be able to be warm enough/cool enough as I go along.
The chiffon shirts are a bit of a luxury item but I want to avoid having to buy any clothes on the trip and I want to look decent when sightseeing in Tokyo!
And last and least my odds and ends. Which includes:
- My toiletries
- A travel flat iron (I know I’ll get grief for this but humidity and my hair can be scary — it doesn’t weigh much and it will make me happy)
- An inflatable neck pillow for the plane rides
- Trash bags
- Wet ones, tissues, wash cloth, towel
- Phone charger
- Blister kit
- First aid supplies
- Tape for feet if needed
- Arnica, aspercreme, tums, Ibprofen
- Ear buds
LAST MINUTE UPDATES…. Just had to review gear again before leaving! The forecast is for lots of rain so I’ve changed the shoes I’m bringing — swapped out the Nike sneakers for another hiking shoe — a Salomon that has a really good tred because I’m concerned the rocks might be slippery. Added an umbrella for city walking. Am leaving the gray down vest at home…I think all my other layers will be sufficient. Am not bringing the head lamp. Got some compression socks for the plane ride. Added some pony tail holders for my hair and threw in some plastic bags for my feet if we get soaking down pours… I do like dry feet and the bags worked like a charm in Spain.