Show me what you’re walkin’ with 2

Me and my backpack

Me and my backpack

Photo courtesy of my daughter, thank you little lady.  My Goruck “Echo” backpack, as you can see, is SMALL, the fact that it comes no where near my derriere (notice the french) highlights this beautifully, but if you want actual measurements, here you go.

image via

image via

Unlike my shoes, the backpack needed serious breaking in.  Built in the USA, Go Ruck packs are patterned after military gear, translation, it’s tough, further translation, it almost caused shoulder blisters the first time I took it on a practice walk.  However, now that the pack is embracing my shape better than my Birkenstocks ever did, it feels like a second skin.  It sits very high on the back, placing the weight on my upper shoulders which is far more comfy than my lower back or hips.

So, what will I be taking in my back pack?  For our 17 day trip that will include time in Paris as well as 10 mile/day hikes through Normandy, here’s what’s going in my “turtle shell”:

Toilet tree bag:  4 toothbrushes, Tom’s cinnamint toothpaste, Soapwalla deodorant, Dr. Bronner’s lavendar soap,  John Masters Organic sunscreen, California Baby sunscreen stick, Fresh Soy Shampoo, Pureology Hydrate conditioner, Mineral Fusion mascara, lip gloss, band-aids. (everything no larger than the airline appointed 3 oz)

Gray Greatest Pants in the Universe – and yes, in my opinion these are the greatest I’ve ever tried (my husband is also responsible for me falling in love with his, I mean these pants)

Patagonia undershirt (white)

Black sweater

Smartwools (2 pair)

PJs – black leggings, black l/s shirt

Exofficio undies – why mens underwear trumps ladies so completely is beyond me, but these things are magical

Berlitz French travel companion (thank you Janet)

Book – TBD


Spry Cinnamon gum (aka bribes for my children when a rebellion seems imminent)

Water bottle

Mesh draw string bag (to carry outside pack in case “laundry” is not yet dry when we start walking)


That’s it……oh, maybe a small hairbrush for the little lady who took the first picture.  To date, the purchases for the trip include: shoes (4 pairs), backpacks (2), Patagonia undershirts, Exofficio undies and a LARGE map of Northwestern France. Other foreseeable purchases may include, the aforementioned travel hairbrush and a book for pleasure reading.  I’ll be so happy if we can keep that as our total tally for new items!

Next time – what I’m flying in for the trip.  No promises but I’ll try for some photos.  And then you will have, in probably far too much detail, what I’ll have available while traveling.