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Saturday, February 8, 2014

What to pack for -30 to +30?

To prepare for our trip to the Middle East, I bought a new backpack very similar to this one. I know we are going to do a lot of hiking so this will come in handy. It is quite light. The front pouch zips off to become a smaller daypack that I can also take as cabin luggage. It has a nice computer compartment and strap. The main pack zips open like a suitcase and hold the clothes with straps, so I don't need to stuff clothes in. In the bottom pouch I can easily fit shoes since I don't need to carry a sleepingbag.

This turned into a kind of crazy trip. It started out as a commitment with a dear friend to go back to the Yukon for Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. Then an invitation to speak at a major literacy conference in Toronto got added to the trip. Followed by library reading in Ottawa.
Since I was then half way to Europe, I decided to just keep going east: Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and more.

Rendezvous is the Yukon's winter festival. It celebrates the Gold Rush and is intended to drive away the winter blues. But it can well be 20, 30 or 40 below zero! Yikes. After this, in Israel, it might be in the mid 20's C. So what do I pack in the way of clothing? I also know that I will be hiking, trudging through snow and a speaker at a conference and in libraries. Yikes again!

The solution: I selected a tattered suitcase on wheels. It still works perfectly well but I have nicer ones so that I can leave this one behind after my first two weeks of cold climate and speaking engagements. I packed it with a wool sweater, a fleece jacket, Rendezvous clothing (even a big old hat with roses on it!), wool socks, and more. All stuff that is still presentable but with which I am ready to part. I will take it all to a Toronto thrift shop when the time comes. I also went to a local thrift store and found a perfect pair of black boots, fur lined. They were 2.- and will be warm enough in the Yukon and then I will re-donate them.

A ziplock bag with first aid things and toiletries is in the backpack. Some small gifts for hosts along the way. I downloaded several new books on our iPad and am taking 3 novels that I can part with when I finish them.

Other than that there are 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of capris and some lightweight, wrinkle free tops. A cardigan, a blouse that can be worn as jacket and a tiny fold-up hairdryer. One pair sandals, one pair dressier shoes. A feather-light silk jacket which I can wear even on jeans and will look dressy. Two scarves. A rainjacket which I will wear over the fleecy in the Yukon and by itself in Israel. Oh, and a bathing suit.
And that's about it. After all, I will need to carry it all along our long distance hiking trails.

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