Perhaps it is too many years of running checklists in airplanes. Perhaps it is my failing memory. These days I find it hard to get out of the door in the morning without a checklist. Perhaps it is just the paralyzing fear of finding one’s self half-way around the world without a good book.
My usual means of packing for a trip is to open the trunk of the car or the door of the airplane and start throwing things in until I can barely close the lid, which typically finds me a long way from home with sweaters in July, too many pairs of shoes, and no toothbrush. Not exactly a system. I also find it difficult to imagine that the weather where I am going is that much different from the weather in my yard, whether I am going to Alaska in the summer, Boston in the winter, or Florida any time. Given that we will be in the British Isles and northern Europe initially, later in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and eventually the Far East and finally in Australia in autumn there, the weather is variable at best, runs the gamut at worst. Hard to know how to pack, but when the weight limit is 25 pounds and a good half of that will be the devices and chargers that we seem to think are necessary in today’s world, the choices become either more simple or more complicated, depending on one’s point of view.
I do take some comfort out of the fact, as pointed out to me by a friend, that I pretty much dress the same year around. I’m hot in the summer, cold in the winter, but comfortable most of the time. And even more comfort in the fact that most of the planning has been done, most of the critical items have been gathered and are in place in the airplane – most all of it done by Adam over months of careful planning.
The really interesting part has been the equipping of the airplane, the long discussions of max range and max endurance and lift over drag and lean-of-peak operations and adjustments for weight, which changes with every moment of flight, and altitude and winds. The mathematics becomes complicated and math in an airplane is always problematic. I have seen too many pilots with graduate degrees in applied math sit in an airplane and add three and three and get nine. More on all that …should have kept better notes.
First cut at the basic paraphernalia looks like this:
File of important docs
Forms holder for charts docs etc.
Spare $12 watch
Small Lenovo X200 Thinkpad
Charger for above
Ipad & charger
Cell phone & charger
Four small memo pads
Old small, light Kodak digital camera
Charger for above
Business cards for Adam & George
Sunglasses and case
Spare eyeglasses and case
Backup Dual GNS 5870 GSP & USB charge cord
Small analog multimeter
Two small 1AA Cree flashlights
Small folding calculator
Two cables to repair HF radio
Two AC adapters for different national outlets
Aircrew ID badges & lanyard
1 legal pad
Signal mirror & whistle
Great circle flyers baggage tags
Packable day pack
Adam’s Medjet card
Total weight: approx. 15 pounds Time to saw the handle off of the toothbrush.