Feasibility test

Saturday, 2nd May 2009; 8:06 pm - Location:

I did a little experiment this afternoon, to determine how reasonable my packing plans are. I recently saw a blog by a guy who’s scooting from Miami to LA, and to be honest, he did a lousy job of packing for the trip, which seems to be spoiling it for him. He’s wearing a hiking backpack (bigger than the one I used to carry all my food and gear for 10 days in the wilderness) and those things just aren’t designed to be worn sitting down. So I wanted to confirm that the list of things I’ve been planning to bring along was reasonable.

One nice thing about traveling through civilised parts is that I don’t need to pack food. For the first time in ages, I’m vacationing somewhere that when you want food… you just stop some place and buy something to eat! That should make it much easier to find room for everything else.

So this afternoon I got out a few shirts, briefs, socks, my tent, my sleeping bag, a toiletries bag stuffed with items to simulate the space that it’ll probably take when I put everything together, etc. I strapped the tent/pad/bag combo to the “back seat” (the section of the Buddy’s ample seat where a passenger could sit and get very friendly with the driver), stuffed the clothes into the pet carrier*, and laid out the rest of the items so I could visualize the space they’d take.

Well, it won’t all fit with the scoot equipped like it is, but that’s what I expected. The pet carrier isn’t that big, and I’m not that efficient at packing. I ordered the Buddy with a rear rack installed, but there’s nothing mounted on it yet, and that’s where the rest of the stuff will go. I haven’t picked out a trunk yet, but from what I’ve seen today, I don’t need to get an especially large one to fit the rest of my gear.

The camping stuff on the back seat fits nicely, even when I’m sitting on the seat. I’ll need to figure out a good way to strap that stuff into place, but one that’ll allow it to be unlashed easily for access to the gas tank, which is underneath the seat. I may yet have to cut an item or two from the list I’ve made so far, or I may have to add a small daypack to stuff a few items into, but at least I know I’m in the ballpark.

*This is a tongue-in-cheek term among scooterists for the under-seat storage found on most scoots. Apparently a scooter manufacturer’s legal department put a little sticker under the seat showing a cat with the universal “NO” symbol over it, and ever since, it’s been a running joke to call that the “pet carrier”.

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