Need packing tips---please

Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 04:09 AM
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Need packing tips---please

Since there are many who seems so familiar with Winter in Traverse City, how about some packing tips as well? This is our "first" Winter travel trip and it seems to me that everything needed is so bulky. We will be staying with our son who does have washing facilities, etc. and this will be over an 11 day period. How can I keep my packing to a minimum? How many pairs of shoes would you advise to take? We are not going to be skiing or doing any Winter sports. Mostly some minimal hiking etc. Would you believe I do not even know much about layering? Well, any help here would be appreciated.

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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 05:07 AM
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Space bags. These are zip-lock type bags that you put bulky clothes in and then roll from the bottom to release the remaining air - can compress a heavy sweater to about half the bulk.

They are available at stores like Target, Walmart, and luggage section of some department stores.

They also sell more expensive ones that you need to hook up to a vacuum cleaner to get the air sucked out - have never used these because I never bring my vacuum cleaner on vacation with me!

Two cautions. If you overfill the bags they pop open. And if you use several of them it can make the suitcase really heavy since it now holds more clothes per volume.

If you don't have warm hiking shoes/boots already, buy them there - that cuts down on bulk (it sounds like you are coming from warmer climate). You can then either leave them there for future trips or even ship them home.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 06:23 AM
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Sounds like you're coming from a warm climate, so my guess is you'll be cold all the time, even in the house. Buy some silk winter underwear from Winter Silks or Cuddleduds at Penney's and others, especially a top. I have a Winter Silk white long-sleeved turtleneck that I wear a lot in the winter, even here in Arkansas. Then take 3 knit tops and 2 sweatshirts (so you can layer silk, knit, sweatshirt), 2-3 pairs of pants, two pairs of shoes and a pair of snow boots (cheap at Target or Wal-Mart). Use a basic color, such as navy or black and coordinate the tops so that you can create multiple outfits. Adding sleepwear, robe and underwear, you can get all of this into a carryon-sized bag if you pack in Space Bags, useful both for packability and for ease in sorting out your clothes if you're living out of a suitcase. Take warm gloves. You may find a better hat in cold country than in warm, where they don't understand the functionality of something on your head.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 07:20 AM
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If I overstep my boundries here, forgive me, but are you sure you want to spend 11 days with your son? In the winter, confined mostly to the indoors? We also have grown children and have found over the years that the first 3 days and nights are WONDERFUL and true quality time but it goes down hill from then on. You know, you find it hard to keep your mouth shut when they don't raise the grandchildren the way we think they should be raised. etc, etc, etc. Anyway, just my opinion, have a great Christmas.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 08:04 AM
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Hi again TeeWidow!

Layering is pretty easy and the best way to handle the winter. If possible, use thinks you already have. You can get three thin layers, starting with a cotton t-shirt or silk undershirt, a long sleeve cotton turtleneck and either a crew neck sweater or cardigan. If you will be outside a fair amount for any time, consider long underwear for your legs. But for traveling to town, walking and shopping, I don't think a double layer on the bottom is needed, if your coat covers to the mid thigh. (especially if you have jeans or winter weight pants).

My favorite outdoor item is a fleece neck warmer (like a scarf, only cuts the wind better). Fleece mittens are warmer than gloves. For your feet, layer socks - a thin layer of white or trouser socks, covered by a thicker cotton or wool layer. If outdoors for a longer period, layer a thin pair of gloves underneath fleece mittens.

If you don't have boots, I think an ankle level hiking boot, like ones by Eddie Bauer, work well. These boots can be used back home for sport or trail hiking. They can be worn on the plane to minimize the bulk in packing. (Take a pair of "plane socks" or slippers if you don't want to wear the boots during the whole flight.)

Finally, consider looking at Land's End on line. They have the kinds of layered items I've described above and are a big favorite for Heartland winters.

Best wishes, SusanEva

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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 01:47 PM
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NOte that space bags save volume, but the airlines seem to be sticking to the 50 lb rule. So if you load up a suitcase and fly, be sure to check the weight before you get hit with an ugly overweight fee.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 02:39 PM
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I live in Minnesota and for me its all about the socks. Whether indoors or out, I like some wool content when we hit below freezing.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 02:50 PM
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I live in Michigan and will not leave home without my cashmere wrap. It's like a scarf but large enough to cover me like a coat. I only mention that it is cashmere because it is truely the warmest item that I have ever owned.

I will not fly without it once our temps get below 50 - the planes are soooo cold! Between my wrap and gloves, I barely use my coat anymore!

One more item that I don't know how I lived without was my North Face jacket. It is made of a fleece material and very lightweight. I used to be a full-length wool coat gal - these two items have changed me!

Oh...and my EMU's - like UGG's but cuter and cheaper - still made with quality, warm lambswool lining. I refuse to wear cheap boots - they don't keep your feet warm, especially if they get wet!

I got my North Face & EMU's at Boomingdales - you can get them online, and my wrap at Ann Taylor.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Wow! You all really came through with the packing advise and I so appreciate it. We are from California, so now you know we are warm climate people. As for the person who commented on spending too long with our son and grandaughters, well, we haven't seen them since Thanksgiving of 2004 and I am not concerned about wearing out our stay in the least. Our son just bought a home and he and his Dad have a few projects lined up to keep them busy. Also, the girls will be going back and forth between their mother and our son (divorce) and we will enjoy spending every minute we can with them. As for butting in, never have, never will.
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Old Dec 4th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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If you are staying indoors, you can use the cotton turtlenecks. If you are going outdoors, cotton will not keep you warm. You need a blend or polyester/wicking materials.

Layering is the way to go. The silk underwear are great, but again, if you are staying indoors, you might find it too warm. Cardigan sweaters are great for layering (but not cotton ones), and even better are the "fleece" tops/vests that are lightweight but warm.
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