Living out of a 36 liter pack is both liberating and difficult. I love the freedom of carrying everything on my back. Thanks to Andrea and Lydia , my belongings are really pared down. But with toiletries, rain gear, sleeping bag, and 2 liters of water, it’s still a bit heavy for me day after day.
Everyone packs their backpack with ziplock bags of stuff: toiletries, etc, and one of the cliches of the Camino is being woken at the auberge in the early morning by someone wearing a headlamp rustling plastic bags as they pack their backpack for the next day’s hike.
My backpack contains everything I own for the moment, and I’m constantly impersonating that guy in the cliche: dumping out everything onto the bed and finding whatever I need, and then repacking it for the next day. In the process, I do my share of rustling through ziplock bags.
At Trinity we had a homeless parishioner named Joyce, who came early every week and repacked her bags in the safety and good light of Trinity Hall.
I feel a new sympathy with Joyce now. As a Peregrina, I’m on the move every night, and my pack holds everything I own. And I’m constantly repacking it and editing what’s in it.
Of course I’m privileged to have a bank account, and a home to return to. I’m grateful to have the experience of both traveling light and being deeply rooted at home. And for my mental health. Joyce, tonight I salute you, and pray for you.