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Less gear this year 
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
How have you cut down on your packing list this year ? -
I've eliminated my sleeping bag (packing a flannel liner, blanket & super light comforter all folded flat in a suitcase -
Instead of pulling out all my camping boxes and going through them, I started with a minimalist list and searched for those items ONLY.
4 zip locks for clothing - warm clothes, underwear & sox, light weight bottoms, variety of tops
One aluminum pole for tarping instead of 3-4. Just in case there's no handy tree to attach to.
no collapsible water bottle. I'll buy a 2 liter bottle with a handle in town and use that.
To save room & confusion - I pre-packed my food bag, my day pack and camp bag (flashlights, batteries, hygiene, etc.)
I got everything into a duffel and a large suitcase. My collapsible wagon goes into a special suitcase and will have my heavy fleece jacket and heavy duty raincoat.


Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:02 am
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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:41 pm
Posts: 88
Location: WA
Years of packing for camping and travel and I've gotten very minimal. For beginners, I recommend you reduce by HALF what you think you need. There will be neighbors who have safety pins and nail polish, the store has batteries, it will be too hot to wear short sleeved Ts (you'll probably go from bundled-up at breakfast to tank-and-shorts, then back to bundled after supper); you need very little in the way of toiletries -- notice what you really need in 6 days in terms of toothpaste, deodorant, etc: I used to wear contacts and find I can get lots into old contact screw-top cases: toothpaste, antibiotic cream, deo gel. Be prepared for extremes: sun hat, wool for night stage, folding umbrella, mosquito repellent. Dress up fancies can be assembled from thrift shop lingerie, scarves, boas, sparkles, face paints. A sarong and a bandana have 50 uses each. Instead of a big towel, bring a washcloth and a dishtowel: wipe with the washcloth, wring, repeat, and in a few minutes you may not even need the dishtowel. If you need more, use your bandana, or walk back and air dry: a special Michigan treat. Snap-top tupperware (Lock N Lock the best) can be both dinner plate and save food for later. Keep your bag from being too heavy by packing a wad of bubble wrap: you or a friend can use it to cushion your treasures from Crafts on the way home! Watch out for packing to the exact maximum poundage if you're flying: I've had dirt and damp add several pounds to my luggage on the way back.

And for inexperienced and experienced packers alike: when you're all packed, find 3 more things to leave behind. It's a trek to get your gear in to where you camp. And it's only a week!


Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Since I'm flying this August I've REALLY reduced my list. This Xmas I bought myself a small flashlite/lantern combo, I'm taking a cot & thermarest instead of heavy air mattress & pump, for coffee (I camp way up in the woods away from Saints) I take an Esbit folding stove & fuel pellets (the size of a paperback book), my back pack on the plane will double as my 'day pack', less warm weather clothing, and I'm still going over my list ! What major changes are you doing this year?


Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:45 am
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 273
Location: Greater Kansas City Area
my list is getting longer not shorter :-)


Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Central Iowa
I'm not planning to do any major changes, because I feel like I've got things pretty tight. I drive, but I hate schlepping.

I plan on eating the meals that are provided, with supplementation from Saints/Cuntree Store. I have this difficulty with being afraid of being hungry. I always felt like I needed to bring some food along, "just in case". The reality is that I'm really not picky, don't usually miss meals, and I can always find something to eat at every meal. If I could give up my habit of taking blueberries home with me, I could then give up the cooler. I also don't pack cooking anything. I try to decaffeinate before fest, so that caring for that addiction doesn't affect what I pack. (Mixed success, there.)

I also underpack, knowing that I will want some goodies from fest. If it's an especially cold year, I buy a Festiewear sweatshirt or something from Crafts. If it's a hot year, and I'm low on shorts, that's what I buy. Judging by my recent Festiewear purchases, I tend to get cold. I re-wear jeans a lot. I usually put them on at night stage for a couple of hours, take them off to sleep, and put them on again for a couple of hours, long enough to go to breakfast. Then I put them back in my day pack, where they stay until night stage.

Pro tip for those who get cold easily: a set of long underwear (top and bottom) take up less space than a sweater/sweatshirt, and generally does a better job of keeping me warm, in my experience, when combined with other layers. I also don't scrimp on socks, and tend to bring fleece/wool ones, sealed 2 pairs to a Ziploc bag. Cotton socks make me blistery, and they tend to soak up moisture. That's why towels are made of cotton. Cold, damp feet make warmth basically impossible, in my experience.

The possible uses for a sarong: campsite decoration, towel, dress, something to sit on, sun shade, scarf to cover head and neck when it's cold, ad hoc bag for carrying things, dancing prop, mood lighting when draped over a lantern, etc. I usually pack a couple, just because they're so darn versatile, weigh very little, and take up almost no space. Bringing an extra sarong lets me bring less clothing, and resist the urge to bring another towel.

The biggest, most important thing that I do: at the end of each fest, I make note of what I didn't use, or only used once. Depending on the year, I leave that home the next year. The only thing that I took last year that I didn't use was a second set of long underwear, and my rain pants. Last year was a warmer, drier year than we have sometimes, so I doubt I'll change much.


Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:42 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
I also make a list of 'not needed or used' items right after fest and put it with my camping list. Yes, thermals and yes, sarongs. I never bring a towel, just use the sarong that's usually in my day pack or on me.I'm taking a light cot & thermarest plus sleeping bag instead of heavy air mattress & pump. Less daytime clothes & adding a goose down vest because I damn near froze last year. Shipping a lighter camp stove (Esbit) and fuel pellets that ends up being the size of a paperback book. I do coffee in camp so I take a french press and small pot for water. Found a light weight collapsible plastic crate that will double as my camp table and I have a tri-pod stool that's light weight. I also got a little flashlight/lantern combo at Radio Shack.


Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:04 am
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 273
Location: Greater Kansas City Area
I did my "didn't use" "don't need" notes on last year's list, but now I need to re-think my whole packing list for this year. My gf is coming along (her virgin year) so that's double of just about everything and my little Honda was fully loaded last year. Time to get strategic about the packing :-)


Tue May 13, 2014 9:26 am
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