My luggage has been getting larger, more extensive and cumbersome during the past few years. The ski collection becomes fatter, and longer with added rocker leaving little spare room for the essentials.
Ski boots, helmet, avalanche gear, camera the list goes on. Each suitcase, bigger than the last, swelling quicker than my latest injury. An injury sustained from the afore-mentioned ski bag. There had to be a solution, a better way, and hiring a sherpa was simply out of my price range, especially in a post Brexit Britain.
Then I discovered vacuum packing. Whilst the added hardware is admittedly a problem, ski clothing is filled with air. Jackets, pants, hoodies, the growing sock collection, all taking up precious oxygen in my North Face duffel. The solution was right there all along.
The first time vacuuming a down jacket, changed my life for the better. The hoover, bellowing noise around the room, sending the dog into a frenzy. The suck that crinkled the plastic sent shivers through me, and then, calm.
A package presented itself, solid yet pristine. Half, maybe even a third of the size.
The implications were huge or I should say small. My luggage down sized, neatly compacted for convenient travel. So I thought anyway.
My suitcase and ski bag have, of course, stayed the same size. Now I seem to take three jackets instead of heartbreakingly leaving them in a cupboard. My sock collection continues to grow, holes galore. And a pillow, sucked flat, ready to inflate wherever I rest my head.
A word to the wise though. Make sure you have a vacuum handy, trust me, you will not be so thankful for this wondrous revolution when you let the air back in at Gatwick’s check in desk.
I guess deep down, I always knew it existed, I just didn’t know I needed it.
The enjoyment I now get from this menial task is hard to put into words. You won’t believe me when I tell you it has become a Monday evening activity in the family home. Things often get packed just to see if it is possible, usually, we are successful.
With pound shops offering a selection to try, I now have quite the collection. I am the envy of, precisely, no one. The XL bag holds two jackets and two pants. Medium size containing thermals and hoodies, while two small flat packs are used for accessories and miscellaneous items. All neatly sucked and packed away during the off-season, ready and waiting for the relocation back to the mountains.
I keep spares with me at all times, and now I wonder, can you vacuum pack vacuum pack bags?