First Packing Practice Run

Well, it went incredibly well. I packed my regular duffel bag first. I fit very comfortably, with 2 entire sections (including the bottom part) to spare. This bag contained basically all the toiletries for the next two years. 25lbs.

Then I decided, while I am at it, let’s do a practice run of my clothes too.
3 shoes, 3 jeans, 3 pants, 6 skirts, 1 exercise shorts, 72 undies, a couple of socks, 6 tank tops, a sweatshirt, 13 t-shirts, 5 blouses, and just a little bit of space left. 30lbs.
All of that fit into my Gregory pack.
I am didn’t try packing makeup – won’t take up too much space, more shoes, or bras. I am also missing just a few things that I still need to buy – but batteries and electronic stuff I need won’t take up much space either.

I was really impressed with how much I got into my Gregory pack. It was 30lbs and felt fairly light. I think seeing everything in there though – it is too much stuff. I am going to cut out a pair of pants, a pair of jeans, and probably some t-shirts. The skirts seemed to take up the most space. I need to find a way to pack them more efficiently. That calls for some internet research. Plus, some of my clothes will go into my carry-on backpack.

I like being able to subtract stuff. I have enough space to add more items, but knowing that I can fit so much is quite a lot of peace of mind.

I wonder what people do for purses. My skirts don’t have pockets and I plan on using a couple of reusable bags for the market. I don’t want to haul my backpack around though. I wonder what I should use that is safe for carrying around cash and my passport.

43 days until staging. Wow, feels like an eternity now.

Plus, I have gained 4lbs so far. I am pretty afraid of losing a lot of weight when I get there, since either a) food doesn’t sit well with me or b) I can be picky sometimes.

Also, went to the doctor today for a general checkup. Spent 30 minutes talking to him. I got a list of scripts signed just in case. I also got a new Rx for the birth control that Peace Corps has on its formulary.  I was able to get 6 months of my current Rx, but it isn’t on the formulary, so this way I know which one to go with after that. I also talked to my doctor about warning signs and looking for melanoma, his recommendations for diarrhea, and his recommendation for which malaria pill to take. I have such a great doctor, he was so excited for me. It was wonderful. I loved getting to talk to him for such a long time.


5 thoughts on “First Packing Practice Run

  1. I guess I need to do a practice packing never thought of that. Got my yellow fever today and LOTS of advice. She did want me to take a prescription just encase I get a bad case of diarrhea-with fever. Hopefully NOT. Going to compare your clothes against what I am taking and see how I stack up. Just found out my kids are giving me a going away party.. so excited.. if someone wants to bring something I am going to suggest things for the kids books games hard candy etc so I can at least make friends there. Ha!! Then have it shipped to me when I know where I will be assigned. 43 days can’t believe it. Talk to you soon. Barbara

  2. Great info.
    Thanks for detailing your practice run.
    Regarding something to use as a purse, have you considered a messenger’s bag? Timbuk2 gives Peace Corps volunteers a 50% discount. Simply send them an email identifying yourself as being with the PC and ask if they will extend a discount to you. the smallest messenger bags are roomy enough for an overnight and they can be worn safely (across the body with the opening flap against your body). Check them out at:

    Best wishes with everything ahead!

    • Lew, thanks for the info! I never would have thought about Timbuk2. Already emailed them about a discount. You reminded me that I need to order my Chacos too!

  3. Howdy!
    I’m starting to put together my stuff for Rwanda and I have to admit you’re farther along than I am – but I’m so caught up in working and paying off bills aaah! haha anyway, I wanted to ask if you’d considered putting up a Packing List? I’m always interested in what other invitees are bringing. =)

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