Thanks so much, moriond. You always have such helpful advice, especially with the vision aids! Speaking of that, do you have any experience with the Ollo clip for iPhone? I'm taking a monocular (since my useful vision is limited to my right eye), but heard about Ollo Clip just a few weeks ago.
I'll definitely download ClearRecord - that's just what I was hoping to find! I'll check out Dream Reader also.
I'll just add one suggestion to consider that was helpful on my trip.
I checked my one large duffel bag( this was close to 20 years ago) and carried on my backpack. But I packed a smaller duffel in the bottom of my larger one.
While I was there I picked up a few olive wood nativity scenes as presents for family. On the return trip I packed them in the extra duffel and carried it on the plane with my other personal item.
Ok one more thing... I was also on a study trip and what I found was that we did most of our reading/ text study on the bus traveling from point to point.... So while we were actually at the site, we were able to take it in. So the issues of sun and trying to read outside may not be as big of a worry. Ymmv
I prefer the best sun protection, which for me means wearing quick-dry pants or capris with a sleeveless shell QD top (no low-cut necklines for Israel) and a QD long-sleeved shirt (think Ex Officio, Columbia, or Royal Robbins). If it's warm I wear the shirt opened with sleeves rolled to 3/4 length and it doesn't get hot. If it's chilly I can button up the shirt.
I use Sunday Afternoons hats, I usually wear one and pack another one or two. They have fantastic sun protection and pack very flat. You might want to ditch one pair of pants (you list khaki and stone colors which are pretty similar) for a mid-calf-length skirt. In Israel a skirt is much more respectful for holy sites and the Western Wall. For this trip I would take a pashmina shawl for chilly times and a another lightweight scarf/shawl.
Quick-dry items are a must, including underwear. Another really good take-along is a camping towel. It's great for rolling sink-washed clothing, even Q-D items need to be as dry as possible when hung. The camp towel dries in a flash. I have one from REI, their own brand, that has its own little packing envelope. I always take a couple of inflatable hangers, clothespin hangers, and clip pant hangers. Once in a while I string a length of tent cord as a clothesline, but this might not work for your trip.
I would take the Aeronaut and don't have it full when you leave so you have room for a few purchases.
I thought I'd report back on my lessons learned from this trip, which will guide my future overseas, longer trip packing lists. First off, I left behind one pair of pants, so total of 3 pants packed. I wore yoga pants, and packed a skirt also. I should've taken either the skirt or yoga pants, but wasn't convinced we didn't have to have a skirt for some of the churches. I left behind the pashmina and packed a super light scarf for a head covering, but again, didn't need it. I left behind my kindle (great move) but also didn't need my iPad - a huge lesson, as it's one of the heavier models. The flight had plenty of in-flight entertainment, and the wi-fi was so spotty at night, the iPad served no real purpose. My phone could do everything, as was suggested here. I also only took a journal - no notebook or small Bible, and that worked well. I actually could've taken a much smaller journal than I did, but I had no idea what that real need for note-taking would be until I got there. Finally, I reduced to 3 pairs of socks, which was a good move. I was glad I kept all the shirts, and I used two per day due to our strenuous activity, so that was a plus. Oh, and no hairdryer, which was a great move also since it would've added lots of bulk and turns out we had one in the room.
I wish I'd taken a clothesline and stopper. The sinks had no stopper and doing laundry was a challenge. There wasn't much space to hang clothes, so the line would've been nice. I easily could've done with one long sleeve shirt as well. I kind of wish I'd had a more packable rain jacket, but the one I brought worked when others had on bulky fleece. I just wore my warm up jacket and the rain jacket over it, which worked great. All good lessons for my Europe trip in September.
The Aeronaut was a charm. I actually checked it both ways since it only had clothes and I had to wait on the others anyway. You all will appreciate that my bag weighed in at 15.7 pounds, to the abject AWE of the group, ha ha! On the way back, with all my paper materials plus souvenirs packed in the Aeronaut (I only had 3 pieces of glassware and my iPad and purse essential in my Synapse), the bag weighed 22 pounds. Others started out near the weight limit and fretted the entire time about getting souvenirs home under the weight limit. Some bought bags to carry on for the return trip, and one person donated clothes over there to a church so he'd have room for his souvenirs (he could've bought a bag, but nice of him to donate since they said the US clothes were so popular with those in need).
The ultimate win was fitting two prints in tubes into the Aeronaut After I got them to the room, I thought there was no way they'd fit. I unsnapped the main section, though, and they just fit! I easily packed everything else around the tubes and had no difficulty whatsoever. TB prevails again!
Thanks again to everyone who commented and made suggestions here. I really appreciated the help!
A special thanks to TavaPeak - I thought of you several times on this trip. We stopped at the Jordan River, and I told several folks your story of bringing home the water for your children's baptisms. Awesome story. Plus, on the third or fourth day, I stood at the top of a tell, totally overwhelmed and wondering why I had even come because I was drowning in information I couldn't absorb fast enough, and remembered that you said to focus on what you want to pick up and don't worry about the rest. It helped a lot. I just took notes and was very grateful for the info they gave us to take home and unpack over a period of time! Very wise words; thank you!
dwright - Thrilled you had a great experience. Did you bring back some Jordan water? (and boil it really really well when you returned?)
It took me years to connect the dots on some sites - and 20 years later, I'm still working on more. You can always read Jerome Murphy-O'Connor for what you may have missed. And I'm curious - did you read your neighbor's Bible? ;-) Thanks for reporting back.
@TavaPeak - No Jordan water for me, though it crossed my mind! It was at a pretty good height when we were there. i was told to expect a trickle, but apparently they'd had some good rain the month prior to our trip, so it was more than creek size. I took my phone and had my Kindle app ready for the readings, but the guide and our pastors read aloud when they were doing teachings on the site, so I didn't really need to pull mine out. That part was incredibly special, too - a teaching right there on the site!
So we were on top of a large tell, overlooking the Jezreel Valley, and I put my indigo Synapse on a rock way out on the precipice and took a picture for the forum. When I got home, it was missing!!! I have no idea what happened, but apparently the picture didn't snap! The sun was incredibly bright and we were in a hurry, so I didn't check to see how it turned out before leaving, and was so sad my "adventure pic" didn't make it! I have one other pic from the Mount of Olives but the lighting was really poor and the backpack doesn't stand out like it should. Oh well, I guess I'll have to go back and get that pic!
I found my TB Synapse pic! This is overlooking the Jezreel Valley - enjoy!
@dwright17 I love my Indigo/Solar Synapse, and this picture makes me fell as though it has vicariously traveled to overlook the Jezreel Valley. I'm just curious, though, because in an old post back in September 2012, after Solar Dyneema was first retired, you wrote:
Originally Posted by dwright17
Do you still feel this way? Because, of course, when Solar Dyneema returned last June, (Cordura) Navy/Solar became an option for the Synapse 19 again. Also, I recall that you were looking for a Navy/Solar Western Flyer when Solar was first being discontinued back in May 2012:
Originally Posted by dwright17
This is also now available, although from your signature line I see you have stuck with your Indigo/Solar Western Flyer.
Originally Posted by dwright17
dwright17 - Was that photo taken at Megiddo? :-)
@moriond - Well, I guess my sharing here outed me, didn't it? The honest reason is that the bright indigo, which I love as a color, seems to be way too bright when I'm wearing earthy colors for hiking and travel. There you have it; vanity! Anyhow, the backpack itself is fantastic, and when I see pictures like this, I really like how it stands out. And yes, I stuck with my indigo/solar WF because I adore that color combination in the ballistic nylon. I wouldn't mind having one in the backpack option as well, but that seems a bit overkill!
@TavaPeak - You'll laugh at this; I looked through my notes and I'm not sure exactly where it is! We were at En Harod (Harod Springs, where Joshua's troops gathered to take Jericho) and then at Jericho itself, and this picture is between the two. We're all getting together next Saturday evening to share pictures and I plan to ask which site this was officially called! I know you of all people can appreciate my dilemma! I went through 750+ pictures last night, choosing my favorite 200+ and labeling them meticulously. I'm pretty sure I'm accurate on most, but this is one I'm iffy on!
I just confirmed today that this is the Nazareth Overlook, and yes, that's Megiddo! Too bad my Synapse picture didn't turn out better. We were about to leave and the sun was so bright, I just snapped, grabbed my pack and started out again.
Originally Posted by TavaPeak
Thought I recognized the view - it's a good photo. When we were there, someone was burning trash below the overlook, acrid smoke billowing everywhere, and loud military helicopters flew overhead. Wasn't hard to imagine an Armageddon there. ;-)
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