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Comments on 9 Useless Things travelers tend to pack | nicolasdecorte.be

Comments on 9 Useless Things travelers tend to pack

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27 January 2010

You may or may not remember that some time ago I've written an article called 9 Useless Things travelers tend to pack. If you didn't know, it's quite important that your read it before continuing this post!

What was it all about?
Well, shortly summarized, I was wondering what other people take on their travels, mostly to compare with my own packing list and to see if maybe I could get some tips for lighter or better packing. But what I found out was that people tend to pack the strangest things, and that there's some stuff that many pack but which is - in my eyes - totally redundant.
So I decided to write an article about that.

I listed following nine items: a sleeping bag, a guitar, expensive camera gear, makeup, hiking shoes, umbrellas and hats, presents for the locals, cash and zip-off pants.
Now if you look at that list you're probably wondering what I was thinking, the list contains some pretty useful stuff. And you're right, I do admit that some things are sometimes even necessary, depending on your trip.

But it was never my plan to provide a list where everyone should stick to - or just not stick to. As far as I'm concerned people can pack whatever they want. Hey, if you like to bring five cobblestones, be my guest, as long as you don't ask me to carry your backpack.
The plan merely was to write a satirical article. Everyone has his own ideas about certain items and I tried to bring the "negative" ideas into one article. I tried to bring an the image of clichés, the happy camper with the walking shoes and the zip-off pants who never walks more than five kilometers a day, the rich tourist with his expensive camera and fat wallet who gets robbed and the hippy with the stupid sombrero and the guitar playing all day the same old song.

That said, it seems that some people didn't really understand my purposes.
You may or may not know that my stories also get published on BootsnAll, and so did that one. Boy, did my article start a discussion over there. People got totally offended because I told them their favorite shoes couldn't come anymore and they had to leave their favorite umbrella...

AWESOME!

You can't imagine how happy I was with all the comments. I have been twittered a lot that day, which was totally new for me, and I found it awfully exciting!

If you don't notice Irony or satire when you see it, well screw you!
Here are my favorite comments:

Tickles said:
Interesting article… it started off good but I have to disagree with some of these. Hiking boots? hats? Seriously? If I didn’t wear a hat while in the desert in Egypt my face would have burned off. And don’t lots of backpackers do a fair amount of hiking?

globetrots said:
As a longtime backpacker and traveler, have to disagree strongly on some of these. It sounds like you spend a lot of time in Europe in the summer. A hat is definitely needed in cold weather places in the winter and in hot places where you’d get sunburned. Zip-off pants are key in countries where you culturally need to wear pants outside but can unzip them in the hotel/hostel, or when you’re hiking the Inca Trail and the weather changes 30 degrees from dawn to mid-day. You’ll need those hiking boots too for the Andes, the Himalayas, or the ever-popular volcano hike.

askin said:
expensive camera gear? cash? ATMs?
I’m afraid I have to disagree with some of the points listed above – the article, in general, is dominated by personal opinions and experiences – doesn’t work for me at all

But my favorite:

Eric Bayne said:
I wear sandals and they are hot. Beautiful women and smart children throng to my sandals. Wise elders smile knowingly at my sandals. Jealous men snarl at my sandals. Sandals sandals sandals!

And yes, I do notice irony quite easily!

If you've read the article, I would very much like to know what you think.
If you haven't read the article, what are you waiting for goddammit?

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