Packing for a Journey

the task of packing

the journey, or the trip has now been decided on… a starting point was determined and usually a destination is in mind, although that is usually open for discussion, such as how successful is the trip proceeding, a sudden change in the itinerary ….. yet regardless of the journey, every journey has a task that must be preformed, and most of the time, one dreads this process, but still it must be done…. that is packing for your journey…
depending on your journey, sometimes the packing is very basic, very little thought has to be put into it, while other times your basic survival will depend on whether you packed the required items…. for years i did a lot of ocean kayaking along the coast of California de Sur or what is better known as Baja, Mexico… some trips ran up to 2 weeks long and was along a rather isolated coast with very few villages within walking distance from the shore….. planning exactly how much fresh water would be consumed daily was vital, as one cannot drink salt water…. then how many days before a reliable water source would be encountered….. this determined the amount of water i had to store plus i always brought a little extra for that fresh water shower that i cherished so dearly…. then there may be a hundred mile backpack trip in which i would carry a heavy pack… how many calories of food did i have to consume daily and then how many pounds of food would i have to carry…. could i form several food caches and then these caches would have to be established even before i began the journey…… with a high alpine trip my clothing became crucial, as i had to be prepared for all the possible weather situation…. and the list goes on..

over the years i made this task a little simpler as i accumulated dozens of packing list for various trips and each years these list were modified by either adding or deleting items… i still use many of these list as the needs of some of these trips really hasn’t changed over the years…
but this was the easy part of packing, now comes the hard part… what book or books would accompany me on this journey, and this doesn’t means what books i had on my iPhone….. i’m sorry, when i’m on a journey my hands need the feel, the smell and the comfort of a real book, something that had pages i had to turn and i could fold the corner of pages to mark points i must return to, often at times if necessary, as those words held a special magic to me….
often times the journey will influence the selection of books that are taken… on a two week hike of the Grand Canyon, Colin Flecter’s, A man who Walked trough Time and Edward Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang were chosen….. on a cruise around South America i took Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast and Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle……. often the words of Henry David Thoreau would accompany me just so various pages could be reread again and again, they were marked by folded corners that have been worn over the years…. and my list could go on and on….. if one was to look at the shelves in my library there are small piles of books that were pulled out and waiting for the journey that would include them… and often when i’m browsing the shelves of used books stores, and i love a used book, as it just has a certain feel that a new book has yet to attain….. and often while randomly reading the titles i often find a book that i know who be perfect if i took a given journey, so now that book must find a place in my library……
and of this journey, my bags are slowly being packed… but the hardest task still remains, what books will make this journey with me…

tess julianna 5/3/17

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