How to: Pack for Long Trips

This is in response to the useful pretty guide by Fashion blogger Natalie on how to pack for a long trip. This is from personal experience and is not to be attempted. I am a professional… something. Also I’m doing it from the research adventure unproductive trip in France I’m on, so resources are limited. I’ve never used crossed-out words to try and be funny before. I promise I won’t ever again.

Everyone needs a list

Before you write a list, check if you are a compulsive list maker and have already finished the tedious business of writing anything meaningful on that whiteboard of yours. Oh yes, you will need to purchase a whiteboard. Chalkboards are for mathematical use only (they are allowed in the quantum probability calculations that come later on in the packing stage).

Here is an example of the correct use of a whiteboard. Note the freedom of expression. Note the joy and creativity it encapsulates.

2013-07-11 23.11.06

Now never touch your whiteboard again. Ever.

Clothes to take

To wear on your legs, I recommend trousers. Or shorts. Or skirts or skorts. Parachute pants are excellent things to be wearing in emergency situations involving the sea or air . Trousers that allow dancing, pedalling and other intense touristic activities are advised. I like to wear grey trousers because that is the colour that best matches England. French cities allow more red or brown shades, some even allow yellow. Here pantalons are designed with a tightness of buttock and crotch that are banned under English health and safety law – special training is required to operate such clothing.

You will need only the clean underpants you can find under your bed and the ones you are wearing. One shirt is necessary, more is a waste of time: trying to iron them is pointless. You can throw it on anytime of day if you want to look like you put on a shirt that has been rolled up in your backpack for a week.
Colours are moot in fashion, black and white being the only acceptable ones to wear. (You are clearly not a fashionable person if you just noticed they aren’t colours – post-modernism is confusing isn’t it?) As Europe is known to celebrate all colours, in all combinations, you should attempt to fit in by embodying all those colours. As you will stand out for many, many other reasons, it is considered rude to not project your foreignness to local French people, allowing them time to adjust to your barbarian ways. I have found giving several weeks notice in some towns has allowed all the inhabitants to enrol onto intense English courses, thus improving the communication all round. As they will hear your carefully practised French as a poor excuse for communicating in their perfect language, they will generally pretend to not understand you anyway.

As I have been resolutely ignoring the weather most of my life in England, I packed the clothes that I would be wearing in a the middle of winter. Unfortunately I spend my time in winter in superheated coffee shops – as it is now October and France has seen snow, sleet and some minor flooding, I am forced to wear all of my wardrobe at once.

So that’s now officially a pro-travel tip: Plan to layer up rather than take bulky winter wear.

Or just go somewhere warm in October.

Holidaying is great exercise

Exercise gear such as weights, treadmills and mirrors are not required when you carry everything you own on your back around several cities. As possibly the only practical advice I’ll actually give here, I would strongly suggest you take no more than you can cycle with on your back (or handy front basket).

Seriously, this simple test will not only allow you to cycle around your city of choice for very little cost and at any time of day (you don’t want to walk to that nice little hostel that time forgot at 3 am), it will also guarantee you can a) wear your bag all day around museums and strip clubs (who can tell the difference now days anyway?) without your knees buckling and b) get onto public transport without requiring the disability ramp and then having to use a small pack of old ladies as bracing for corners. |Incidentally, I found this|

You don’t need to be able to cycle fast, or look particularly cool doing so, though I do feel responsible enough to suggest you should be able to cycle safely.

Space is waste

Using some simple calculations it is possible to convert wasted layers of the space-time continuum into valuable storage space. Here we see an example of the calculation and the practical application. Using the following equation, where ‘i’ is the amount of clean clothes you have right now and ‘t’ is the time you have to pack, you can determine the correct value of ‘H’.

i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial t}\Psi = \hat H \Psi

‘H’ is then determined to be:

 \hat{H} = \sum_{n=1}^N \hat{T}_n + V

Where little numbers and letters start to dance before your eyes.

Packing in 3 easy steps

Step 1: Quantum compression is a powerful storage solution, only use it on objects that can withstand high pressures for long durations. Clothes are perfect. Laptops are not. quantumpacking1

Step 2: Calculate the energy required to compress your luggage module. In this case it is the equivalent weight to an adult male. Adjust the inter-spacial quantum pressure cords and check the safety release system to ensure a safe and pleasant trip.  Incorrect application will result in the Helvetica Scenario.

Step 3: A pressure hull is created by placing the now compressed luggage module into the main rucksack. This also allows for side missions that do not require the entire luggage train.

BEWARE: The Helvetica Scenario will make your face melt off.

The extra use of space allows the rucksack to be packed with much more than it was ever intended to carry, and you will be overjoyed several weeks later when your back is carrying that weight across cities like Lyon on foot.

Happy Travels!

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