Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Joys of Packing: Eagle Creek Helps

Packing is not my idea of fun. Nor is living out of a suitcase for six weeks. But over the years, I've picked up tip or two from the pros, from people such as you, dear blog readers.

Eagle Creek: Eagle Creek is a brand I love. Not inexpensive mind you, but their stuff is technically in a league of its own. Dear friends and globetrotters, Craig and Lisa introduced me to the Eagle Creek packing envelopes, meaning that they bought me a couple of sets. Use these and clothing arrives organized and unwrinkled. See, you fold the items around the plastic template that comes with it. So all uniform shapes and sizes. Slick.

Then close the envelope and the four sections velcro together.

There's the template.

So I travel with three envelopes - one for tops, one for bottoms, one for whatever. Then besides the envelopes are packing cubes. These are my favorite for unders. One for tops, the others for bottoms, the whole works including thermals, tights, socks and the usual ho-hum stuff. So just grab the cube and the whatever is in there. Somewhere.

Eagle Creek products I get at The Container Store. That's one very dangerous place to go. Second only to Half-Price Books in terms of dangerous-ness. But I digress. Another place to access Eagle Creek is from their website. The envelopes run $20-something per and they weigh about one pound each. Those are the disadvantages but I figure it's worth it. Otherwise my suitcase ends up looking like a tossed salad in no time flat. Well of course Zip-Lock bags work great for the unders because they're light, transparent and cheap. But nothing beats the Eagle Creek envelopes for clothes.

This packing system makes airport security check a breeze. At Moscow's Sheremetevo-2 airport, just prior to check-in, Delta has each suitcase opened and checked by white-gloved checker people while the passenger is standing there. They dig around and poke through most everything. This packing system makes that process easily in lots of ways.

Wall adapters: I use these constantly. Actually I depend on them because most of my gear these days is European made: computer, blow dryer, curling iron, digital camera battery recharger, cell phone charger. So all have the round prongs used for European electricity. So nice, So Very Nice that such things are available dual voltage these days. But come back to the US and wall adapters - well, they're a must

It was David W. who tracked down adapters at Radio Shack. Dear David W, I refer to as my handler. He's a missions-oriented guy, an engineer, and he's good at solving problems. Even easy stuff such as this he's glad to help with. And that makes quite a difference. Thank you David!

How about you? Please share your favorite packing tips.

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