By Melinda Van Bossuyt

Stay Organized: Keep it Straight

Which pannier is it in? Or where did I put the ____________? Panniers come in sets of two. Mark your panniers with the numbers 1 and 2 in order to keep them straight. Or try tying a piece of cloth or flagging in a different color to each pannier. If you are packing with several llamas, keep a list in your pocket that tells what is being kept in each pannier. "Ahh yes! The first aid kit is in the red pannier marked number 1."

Whose saddle is this anyway? Once a saddle is adjusted for a particular llama, it is easiest to put that same saddle on the llama again the next time you pack up. It saves readjusting. So mark your saddle to indicate which llama is wearing it. You can tie on a small piece of flagging with the name written in permanent marker. Or attach a luggage tag with the name to a ring or loop on the saddle using a zip tie. Or stick duct tape with the name written on it in a conspicuous place. I also have used different colored twisty ties to remind me which saddle belongs to whom.

How much does the standard gear weigh? Weigh your sleeping bags, pads, tents, etc. separately at home. Write the weight of each item on a list. Keep it in your pocket while you are out on your pack trip. This is very handy for quick balancing of your loads, particularly when you top pack.