5 Tips about Packing for Travel from the Book Wild

Wild Book by Cheryl Strayed

Have you read Wild? Maybe saw the movie with Reese Witherspoon? Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

I read the book and it struck a chord about packing for travel. No, gallivanting off to Europe is not the same thing as packing for Cheryl’s hike. But there is a lot to learn from her story.

In the book, she tries to pack everything she thinks she might possibly need. She literally cannot load her pack onto her back, it’s that heavy.

1. Every little thing contributes weight. Sure, an extra razor here, or shirt there by itself doesn’t weigh that much. It all adds up!

2. Get rid of things as you go along. On our last big trip, I had printed airline and hotel confirmations for everywhere. Like Cheryl does in the book, I got rid of each page once I no longer needed it. Every little bit counts.

3. Pack exactly what you need for toiletries. If I need 15 makeup wipes, I pack 15, not the whole pack of 25. Do 5 makeup wipes really make a difference? See #1 above.

4. You can buy it if you need it.  I won’t ruin the story, but Cheryl ends up needing something super key for her journey which she is able to get eventually.  While hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  In the 1990’s.  Without a cell phone.  If she can do that, I should not have a problem buying something on the road if I really need it.

5. Do your best and everything will be fine.  Can you be the perfect packer?  No.  What if it’s your first trip and you don’t know what you need?  Shouldn’t an expert be helping you?  If her story tells you anything, it will be okay.  Get your stuff together as best you can and go!


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