Friday, November 22, 2013

Demobilization Packing Test

As I recently pointed out to Lady Jaye, I'll be leaving Scotland in a matter of weeks. That means packing up all of my stuff - well, some of my stuff. I brought plenty of stuff with the expectation that it would be left behind upon my return to America, but I also had the expectation that I'd pick up a few items to take back home with me. Being the superior personal logistician that I am, I'm sorting through all of my stuff to figure out what I have room for.

Let's take shirts, to name but one example. I've written previously about my T-shirts. Although it'll cost me a bit of coin, my intent is to leave behind shirts that I can replace. For example, I get a lot of my shirts from Ranger Up. I can get a replacement for my black Saint Michael t-shirt, and I actually already own replacements for my Saint Michael Army, Saint Michael Marine Corps, and Live Free or Die shirts. However, Ranger Up's The Lord is a Man of War shirt has been discontinued. The guy who does one of my favorite webcomics has made some shirts. The Negotiator, which is derived from the comic of the same name, is still available, as is My Parents Never Taught Me Arabic, the latter of which I already have a replacement for; those will be left behind. However, Steam-Powered Heart has been discontinued, so I'll be hanging on to that one. Both the black and tan Major League Infidel T-shirts from Crye Precision are still available, so those will get left. My Don't Panic and Carry a Towel shirt from ThinkGeek is replaceable, so... Are you sensing a pattern yet?

I arrived in Scotland more than a year ago toting a 5.11 Rush Delivery Messenger Bag and a 5.11 Rush MOAB 10; the messenger bag got binned when I moved out of student housing in early September. I'm not confident that the MOAB 10 is going to make it back to America, either. I think it's entirely likely that Gray 3 will become the happy recipient of the gently-used MOAB 10, though I'll obviously reclaim the American flag and Jolly Roger patches that are currently velcroed to it. They were both great to have, and my initial misgivings about the messenger bag subsided during the summer when I was working on The Dissertation, and was able to carry papers and notebooks in lieu of my laptop.

Meanwhile, the seabag that Gus brought a year ago contained a Hydration Bladder Carrier by Voodoo Tactical, which they appear to have replaced with a new version that's unnecessarily fancy, only available in Multicam, and more expensive than the one I bought in March of 2012 for the last leg of my trip back home from the Middle East - my previous demobilization. It also contained an ancient Eddie Bauer backpack that I received as a high school graduation gift, that I'll obviously be holding on to. The packing test will likely include cramming a few things into both of these, although my entirely irrational hope is that much of the stuff that's currently crammed into the MOAB 10 and littered around my current digs will be expendable. I suppose we'll see.

The whole thing isn't without its challenges, though. For example, Gus is having me mule back some whisky from Glen Moray, and the Man of Steel wants me to bring him some IRN-BRU. I hope to bring back some Highland Park 18. I'm still not sure how I'm going to accomplish that, but I imagine that I'll figure something out. In the mean time, I'll be test-packing to figure out just how much wiggle room I have to work with. Let's hope that the laws of physics take a brief vacation while I'm packing and carrying all of this stuff back to America, huh?

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