Ping pong tables are the greatest packing aid, you can see everything pack, unpack cull unnecessary items tossed to the floor their adventure is over, sometimes they make it back to the table and maybe to my bag. The best part is I am not bent over, easy on back and knees. Yes I am going to climb a mountain and I worry about hurting myself packing.
Over the years I have gotten really efficient and only take what I need nothing else. I have a few sentimental items that always make the trip like my dingy white ECC shirt that has been with me on every mountain and has multi colored stains left from 6 continents. My ghost whisperer puffy has duct tape from repairs over last 5 years, I use a different color tape on every trip making it even more hoboish. To top off the homeless look I wear a pair of $8, wonderfulness to my feet crocs. My wife will not let me wear them in public and ask me if I have looked in the mirror. There are no mirrors on a mountain I am not judged and will even rock wool socks or down booties when it drops below freezing.
I am sad my Millet 8000 meter boots were tossed to the floor they didn’t make the cut. They are getting a lot like me, old, broke down, faded, taped up holes from sloppy crampon work, leaky, and not as good as they were 4 years ago. Replaced by a expensive, shiny new, lighter, Italian made, La sportiva that I will bring on their first mountain. I hope my wife doesn’t use the same criteria about me.
Lesson to grandkids:
Balance where you came from to where your going. Don’t be in a hurry to toss something out because it’s old, or out of style, evaluate its usefulness and remember it or they have got you to the top of a lot of mountains.