Divide and Conquer
When you come to a fork in the road, pick it up… and make sure to pack nine more. At least that’s how it is in our family.
A three-month long trip can be exhilarating, but packing can be a real hassle. The number one rule to packing is to pack light, and for a teenage girl who will pack a months worth of clothes for a three-day trip I was doomed to be put in charge of creating “the packing list.”
The first problem I ran into happened to be the number one rule: pack light. How do you pack light when you have 10 people in your family? You have to have 10 of everything! You have 10 toothbrushes, 10 plates, 10 pillows, 10+ pairs of shoes (I say 10+ pairs of shoes because we have little boys in our family who have stinky little feet. The shoes need some time to air out. You’d be amazed how often we have to remind them to change their socks because they seem to forget that you have to change your socks daily). The second problem was the fear of forgetting something. We had a lot of gear we needed to pack and I was overwhelmed. The old adage, “divide and conquer,” finally gave me the direction I needed. The job was too big as a whole, so I divided everything into 5 classifications.
Understand what you are packing for. While traveling from July to October it’s important to be prepared for the blistering heat to cool, crisp fall air. Know how often you’ll do laundry and pack accordingly- you don’t want to be wearing stinky bus clothes. You can pack cute, comfy shoes as long as they last through the duration of the trip. Most important though go casual, simple, and light. In the end it doesn’t matter what you wore or what you looked like, but the memories created and the fun you had.
This category was what worried me the most, because I do not want a bus full of stinky people. It’s nice to have toothpaste, soap, and deodorant pre-purchased but three months worth of this stuff isn’t realistic. Fortunately, the US is full of WalMart’s that supply all your personal hygiene needs.
If you live in a bus, you’ll be cooking in that same bus. You need tableware and silverware essentials, but it’s also nice to have some appliances. Microwavable mixing bowls, can openers, and blenders are useful kitchen apparatus. Because of the lack of space and air conditioning on the bus it is also suggested that you bring your basic camping supplies to cook outside.
You can’t go three months without a good cleanse. So don’t forget your bathroom cleaner, vacuum, and Febreeze to keep your bus looking and smelling squeaky clean.
When cycling across the country you need to be prepared for breakdowns, flats, and even crashes (especially if Aspen is cycling). Bring a helmet, first aid kit, and lots of extra tubes and tires. You’ll be replacing your tube about every 400 miles and your tire can last between 1,000 to 3,000 depending on the type.
Packing may seem daunting and overwhelming but, our new old adage for the day, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,”.
Just don’t forget the forks.