Over-Packing Heroics


I don’t often feel this way, but I can honestly say that I felt like I did something heroic this weekend. 

I didn’t rescue anyone by jumping in front of a bus or anything. I am a hero for just doing what I do.

David always teases me about over-packing. My over-packing is the primary reason that I will never go backwoods camping – I need a car to transport my gear. 

We went away overnight to a tournament in New Brunswick for Captain Alpha. We left mid-morning Saturday and I carefully packed for all four of us. 

Everything went according to plan until it was time to leave after the tournament on Sunday.

It started snowing. (It is November in Canada, after all.)

We packed up and headed out of town and managed to get on the right highway - headed in the wrong direction.

Here is where I should tell you that I am no fun to drive with in heavy snow or rain. I get a tad nervous. 

I can imagine that would be a bit distracting, so that is the only excuse I can think of for the fact that we drove for over an hour before we realized we were going the wrong way. All the highway signs were covered with snow. It was getting dark. And it was still snowing hard. 

I finally took our GPS out of the glove compartment and checked it – because we didn’t need it on familiar roads, right? – we were 12 km away from the nearest town.

SnowyHighwayOverPack Over Packing Heroics

This was the next morning. Sorry, but I was not in a picture-taking frame of mind as we inched our way along the treacherous highway the night before. Imagine it like this, but with no daylight and lots of snow flying at the windshield.

We drove on, trudging down the snow and slush-covered road, until we saw the street lights at the next exit. 

After booking a night at the nearest motel (Thank you, HoJo!) and ordering a meal from the only restaurant that delivered (Holla, Pizza Hut!) we settled in for the night.

We had warm showers and – thanks to my over-packing ways – there were fresh socks and undies for all. And the next morning – oh yeah! – there were fresh changes of clothes, too.

But as is the way with heroes, my efforts were largely overlooked, overshadowed by the cheesy garlic bread and bed-lounging-TV-watching.

MotelLoungingOverPack Over Packing Heroics

But that’s OK, I don’t do it for thanks.

I do it because you just never know when you will need a cotton swab and a butterfly bandage. Or an extra pair of socks. You never know when you will end up on a snowy Canadian highway with no idea were the heck you are.

Over-packers – keep on doing what you do. They may never notice when you come through with everything they need. But they would probably notice if you didn’t.

Are you an over-packer? Has it ever come in handy? 


ippp polaroid 125 x 125 Over Packing Heroics


About Kim Steele

Kim is an early childhood educator turned stay at home mom who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband. Together they are co-piloting two little Captains, Alpha and Bravo. She writes about the funny and the sentimental of everyday life with her boys. Kim is fond of Jane Austen and science fiction and can often be found singing in the car - although she has been known to stop for coffee or chocolate. Connect with Kim on Twitter and Facebook.

Comments Make Me Geek Out

  1. Seriously! When we went to Great Wolf Lodge last weekend, I packed in a hurry and not carefully (like I normally do), so of course, the toddler had 16 diaper blowouts in two days. Overpackers, unite!

    And um….eating Pizza Hut in a warm hotel sounds kind of awesome. :)
    Greta recently posted..Alone Time #iPPPMy Profile

    • Over-packers unite, indeed! I will never feel bad about it again. You just never know when it will come in handy.
      And Pizza Hut in the hotel was much better than driving on the snowy highway, for sure! :)

  2. YAY for overpacking! I’m with you 100% on this.
    We take the car anyway, so what’s an extra suitcase, right?
    (that’s why we have a motorhome, there is no way all this stuff would fit in a tent. If you ever camp in BC you can hang out at our campsite, I’ll have enough for everyone :D )
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted..My first 5KMy Profile

  3. I love that your overpacking served you well in this one. ;)
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..A Thousand YearsMy Profile

  4. I am generally a light packer – for myself.
    But, I always overpack for my kids. Because you just never know.
    Go you!!
    Alison recently posted..Comfort FoodMy Profile

  5. You are a hero! I overpack for my kids and forget half the stuff I need :)
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  6. I always pack at least one entire extra outfit, because you never know what may happen. Good for you.
    Christopher D Drew recently posted..Sharing ChristmasMy Profile

  7. LOVE this! I am also an overpacker, so had I found myself in your situation, my family would have thanked me, too…fine, so they wouldn’t have thanked me exactly, but they would have been happy when they had clean undies! ;)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..Would You Rather: Listen To Where The Streets Have No Name Or Beautiful Day?My Profile

  8. Ha! I am a chronic over-packer. My hubby travels for work and prides himself on 1) being able to make it a whole week on just 3 paris of pants and 2) Therefore, being able to pack an entire week’s worth of clothing into 1 carry-on size suitcase. Not me!! He gets annoyed by my over packing, but the one time I tried really hard and truly packed just enough, our plans changed mid-way through the trip and I had nothing to wear! :-)


    I’m the same way. And completely unappreciated for it, LOL!

  10. I am definitely an overpacker. And it did come in handy once on a trip to Montreal with an ex. We hit major snow on the way back home in upstate NY. We found a Holiday Inn that was like a beacon of light, and we ordered up some room service and I enjoyed all of my extras.
    I do it even more crazily now that I have kids, of course.

    • You situation sounds similar to mine – except that we got lost with a GPS in the glove compartment. :)
      It was a nice feeling to know I had everyone covered clothes-wise at least. :)

  11. I think this is FABULOUS. ‘Cause you know who would’ve been upset if they couldn’t have clean socks and undies? EVERYONE.

  12. This is totally my husband! He packs way more than I do. And he brings a first aid kit and travel snacks on school field trips!!
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  13. Love this, Kim! Way to be a super hero. I’m with Alison. I’m pretty good at packing efficiently for myself because I want to carry-on for business trips, but I usually overpack for the kiddos. You never know when you’re going to need an extra pair of undies!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Ready to Rock Richmond: Race GoalsMy Profile

  14. My mom is a notorious over-packer and I think I inherited it from her. My purse is always full of extra stuff. I keep trying to be more efficient and overcome this tendency. But during my last trip, I had to do laundry halfway through, which was kind of a pain! I kind of wished I had brought more stuff!
    Stevie recently posted..Tiny Baby ShoesMy Profile

  15. Yes! Finally! My over packer ways are justified! Everyone I am sure was grateful for those clean clothes and fresh socks. Go Kim!
    Ilene recently posted..Upside DownMy Profile

  16. Oh where do I sign up?!
    I am trying so hard to pack just what I needed but the last time I traveled to Australia for 3 days I ended packing more than I needed even after carefully planning it. Eek!
    Maureen@Scoops of Joy recently posted..A Date With My MotherMy Profile

  17. I’m an overpacker and every time I cut back on my packing I regret it and forget something .
    Julia recently posted..Not a RunnerMy Profile

  18. I’m a horrible packer! I forget something crucial every.single.time.
    Adrienne recently posted..My Blog Was Nominated!My Profile

    • When we go camping, I am famous for forgetting one thing every single time. Thankfully we camp close enough to small towns so that we can grab something if it essential – last time it was toothbrushes. :)

  19. You’re amazing. We moms know. We just KNOW. Excellent packing foresight Kim.
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  20. You’re a rock star! I’m a total over-packer. It’s never saved the day, though, but I’m not ruling out the possibility.
    Andrea recently posted..Ten Ways To Avoid Stress Over The Holidays – My post at at QueenLatifah.com today!My Profile

  21. Over packers unite! If we are going somewhere for two nights, I pack for four. It came in handy when one of the kids got motion sickness and threw up three times on three outfits in two hours. My husband doesn’t complain as much about it anymore :)
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