Sach Kanayama is one of Wells Gray Tours most frequent travellers and I have had the good fortune to not only travel with Sach on several trips but learn from her expertise.
No matter where we have travelled together, Europe, Vietnam & Cambodia and recently Bhutan and Northern India Sach has everything one could need in her suitcase. For example in Bhutan hiking was part of the itinerary, the most rigorous of which was the 2500 foot climb to Tiger Nests. On the hike down I was flooded with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and grinning from ear to ear. As we neared the end of the hike Sach said to me, “Don’t forget to have a hot bath with epsom salts to prevent any aching muscles”. Really, epsom salts, we are in the Himalayas of Bhutan! Where would one get epsom salts? In Sach’s suitcase of course! This amazing lady is prepared for everything.
Sach’s suitcase is no bigger than mine but here is a list of items that she takes with her.
- Various sized compression bags – This organizes your suitcase and will help you from needing to rummage through looking for an item.
- Eagle Creek Garment Folder – for slacks and blouses(http://shop.eaglecreek.com/packit-garment-folder-large/d/1324
- Large size for jackets and sweaters
- Medium size for T-shirts
- Small size for panties & socks
- Several plastic clothes hangers with clothes pegs that can be attached to the hanger – use to dry socks, panties, etc. when doing hand laundry
- Laundry kit which contains a twist grip clothesline with 2 suction cups and some small plastic clothes pins
- Small nylon bag for dirty laundry – I keep my laundry in the bag until we have a two night stop as my laundry doesn’t always dry on an overnight stay
- Alarm clock
- Small day pack
- Small flash light
- City souvenir and Canada flag pins (get city pins from your city and Canada flag pins from your Member of Parliament); British Columbia pins can also be obtained from your provincial representative – always a hit anywhere in the world
- Extra batteries and battery charger for your camera – plus extra memory cards.
- Water bottle
- Several scarves for accessories
- Sun hat, rain poncho, gloves – depending on where the tour is going
- Take along used pocket books for 50 cents and leave them or trade with other members on the trip. No need for electronic readers if you do this.
- Extra meds for colds, sore throat, etc.
- Trail mix – several small bags for a quick snack. Granola bars are excellent as well.
- White round plastic sink stopper, duct tape, face cloth and a long handle shoe horn which is great for putting on boots
- Supply of various sized Ziploc baggies – snack pack size to extra-large (extra-large size great for packing bottle of booze in your suitcase)
- Small sized reseal-able storage bags (buy in craft section of the $1.00 or bulk foods store). I use these for my supplement pills (vitamin C, D, etc.) I prepare a bag for each day I’m away.
- Prescription pills should be kept in original bottles in your carry-on luggage
- Jewellry – earrings, brooches, necklaces go in small individual bags and then in a larger Ziploc bag.
- Epsom salts – great for a relaxing bath for sore muscles
- Shower gel (usually in small bottles in bathroom of the hotel) for a soothing bubble bath
- Gratuities for tour guides and bus driver, if required, before leaving on a trip are labelled and in Ziploc bags
- Luggage Strap (Wells Gray Tours has a great one for a very reasonable cost). This adds an element of safety and makes it easier to spot my luggage on the luggage carousel.
- Luggage lock: I use a cable tie (buy at $1.00 store with cutter for around $2.00 – 100 ties). Carry the cutter or scissors in outside pocket compartment of check-in luggage.
I was not blessed with the packing gene and have found Sach’s packing tips a life saver. I don’t think that I will miss my rummaging through my luggage. Next challenge: training my husband.
Sach is not only an expert packer, she takes along on every journey an insatiable curiosity for all that is going on around her, a positive attitude and sense of humour. If we are ever delayed anywhere, I know Sach will always find something of interest to occupy the time. Always eager to share her findings we have engaged in some incredible moments of discovery, laughter and memories.
Thank you for sharing your packing secrets with me and the Wells Gray Tours family, Sach. You’ve made every trip we taken together just that much more memorable. I can hardly wait for our next adventure.
Written by: Joan Niemeier