On the road! What I packed for a California road trip

Pretty soon I’ll be on a 2 week driving vacation through middle and southern California hitting up some national parks on the way.  Below is a picture of everything that I packed for this trip, excluding the sandals on my feet.  As usual, I’m only taking my one backpack.

That’s 3 quick dry shirts, 2 quick dry shorts, one regular jeans, 3 quick dry boxer shorts, 2 pair of quick dry socks, Chaco sandals, running shoes, toiletries bag, several small bottles of Woolite, tissue packet, Flexoline, cell phone & charger, electric razor, Sony RX1 camera & charger, Holga film camera already loaded with film, mini tripod, guidebook, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation paperback, National Parks Pass, and a few extra items on the right third of the above picture which I’ll go into below.

I had to pack several more things for this trip than I normally do for a few reasons.

First off, during a few days in San Francisco, we’re staying with friends and family.  I don’t want to inconvenience our hosts by having wet clothing hanging all over their bathroom, so I packed several old shirts and boxers that were at the end of their usefulness & was planning to discard anyway and plan on wearing these clothes for the first few days of our vacation when we’re not staying in hotels.  I don’t own that many clothes to begin with, so it’s not often that I can travel with worn clothes and toss them out before coming home, but the timing worked out well for this occasion.

Second, a few parts of California we’re visiting will likely be cold in the mornings and evenings, so I’m taking a real pair of shoes and a light windbreaker jacket (that I’ll be reviewing soon).  Mrs. Lite Adventurer is more cold intolerant than I am, so she’s taking a real coat, but I think I’ll be okay with a lightweight one.  If I get chilly, I’ll either man up and deal with it for a couple hours or I’ll buy a sweatshirt somewhere.

Third, in the photo above you’ll see a bar of soap on the right side.  I don’t normally take this, but we’re not staying in hotels for a few nights, and I don’t want to be a mooch.  Or use someone else’s used soap.  Or use body wash, because I detest body wash.

Finally, I normally don’t travel with food, but I’m taking some peanuts and cashews this time.  Our connection time is only one hour and it coincides with lunch time.  If our flight is delayed and we don’t have time to eat a proper lunch, those individual sleeves of nuts shown on the bottom right of the photo are a great snack for minimizing the hangry-ness until a full meal is available.  I turn into a raving jackass when I get too hungry, and no one needs to see that.  If everything is on time and we’re able to eat a real lunch, then those nuts will get eaten as we hike around the national parks.

All the above stuff easily fit into this.  Total weight including bag = 14.2 pounds.

Despite all the extra stuff, everything still fit into my one travel backpack, including my Sony RX1 and Holga, which are the two largest cameras I own.  Had I needed the space, I could have easily taken a smaller camera like my Ricoh GR and ditched the 2nd camera.  Or even just used my iPhone.  But when you pack light like this, there’s almost always plenty of room left in the bag.


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