Simple Packing

I’m sitting here right now about to get ready to leave on a trip, with a post I’m supposed to write, and two ideas written on a piece of paper in front of me that have been knocking around for a while.

I’m going to have to get up earlier than usual in the morning to get ready and leave for the trip, and at the time it is currently I don’t think I have the time to properly research and give my other topics their due space. So I’m going to write about packing because it’s on my mind.

I’ve never really needed to pack much. It would take me a little bit of the night before a two week trip to pack for said trip when I was younger and needed less things. It would still probably take me very little time, mainly a set or two of clothes and my EDC (everyday carry) bag to go on almost any trip today.

Unfortunately, I have recently taken to both packing in the morning and needing to take more things to “keep up” with work. I inevitably rarely use said things, but I take them and am paranoid about leaving many of them (these are mainly notebooks and computer accessories). These two things lead me to being needlessly worried on my trips.

So I started two procedures that I hope to finally fully flesh out this trip. Having a Travel Checklist (which my parents do) and having most of my things in pre-prepared bags. For instance I use my EDC bag every day and taking it along is no real problem. I also use a travel toiletries bag in my bathroom to keep things organized and it is very simple to just zip it up and take it with me.

Having pre-defined bags like that (or say, my computer case that has slots that I use for only certain accessories) has helped me quite a bit in getting ready in the past, but the human brain is a forgetful thing. And my brain in particular worries quite a bit about the things that I forget. This is where the checklist comes in. I have so many other checklists in my life I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make a packing one (maybe because in the morning when I was getting ready it was too much {and I did make one when I was moving, but that’s a bit different}).

Adding a packing checklist to my simple taking bags that I have specifically integrated into my life so I can both use them everyday and take them on trips is the perfect way to round out the system. And it allows for me to add things to the list that aren’t already in my bags and might not need to be taken (like say, camping equipment) and it makes the whole system much more flexible.

So that’s what I’ll be doing for this trip; if it works, this post might be the end of it, if it doesn’t, I will be making an update. I’ll see how it goes.

Using a Pocket Knife

“Using a Pocket Knife.” I wrote that title a few months ago on a list of things to write at some point. I’ve added a lot and crossed a lot off of that list since then, and I still don’t remember what I was going to write about. Obliviously, the world doesn’t need an online written tutorial on how to use a knife (that would be sad) but I can come up with something.

So I’ll be the first to say (well, maybe not the ‘first”, some people speak real fast) that knives aren’t as relevant in the lives of regular people as they once were. And I really don’t have too much of a need to carry one around. I still do, though, and while I don’t use it every day all of the time, when I do use it I am glad I have it.

I know that most of the tasks I use a knife for could be replaced with the scissors, utility knife, and letter opener I already have. But it is very handy to just have a dedicated thing I can use for all of my opening and tearing down needs. I see quite a few unboxing videos on the internet (because that’s a great content source and it should be exploited more) and most of the people in those use a kitchen knife or something to open a box, which it has never occurred to me ever to do. I did grow up with a dedicated folding knife in a drawer for small tasks and scissors right nearby to cut tape.

But while in general my cutting tasks could be done slightly less conveniently with things everyone already has around, sometimes there are scenarios that pop up where using a knife is the best way at that time. How am I going to cut this string? How can I get this bead out of that crevice? How am I going to cut this hose? How am I going to strip this wire? etc. And it’s super convenient and sometimes the only possible way to do things where I am.

I get that this isn’t as applicable to everyone, and some people use their knives more (like for food preparation, which is another thing I would never have considered: using a pocket or “carry” knife for food) or less (like not at all) often than me. But I think that at some point everyone has a use for a pocket knife or something similar. And it’s probably worth everyone having a Victorinox Secretary, Pocket Pal, or Classic, or something like that around. Knives are useful, for some people more than others, but still useful, and worth having around even in this day and age.