Compromise. The word smells foul to me. It means I don’t get everything I want. It’s rank. It reeks of submission. It represents subservience to another idea.
Hold on, let me think about this.
I’ve been thinking about what I want to pack for my trip. I’ve been forced to think about what I need to pack for my trip. I know what I want to pack. It’s been really interesting to compromise with myself, to compare what I want to have and what I’m willing to live with. I’m old enough… no scratch that… I have enough experience to know that getting everything I want is not good for me. I need to know what I can live with, so, you know, so I can live better.
I could pack a spare rear tire. It would only add 10.8 lbs to my load and it would eliminate the need to find a replacement tire while on the route, when I want it. But, that’s a 20% increase above the other load I plan on packing. I want to travel light. If I don’t take a spare tire, I have to find one when its time. If I do take a spare, I have to suffer the extra weight.
I could pack some shampoo to wash my hair. This one is easy…. I’ll cut my hair short and wash with the bar soap I’m already packing.
I could pack several sets of clean clothes. This one is easy too: I’ll pack one change and when they are both rancid, I’ll sit in a laundromat or by a river, in my shorts, while I wash both sets.
I’m packing tools. This is non negotiable. I will have everything possibly needed short of internal motor work. Even with tools though, there is compromise. One tool or one supply could have multiple uses. Silicone gasket sealer has myriad uses, as does bailing wire. Don’t get me started on JB Weld.
I’ve got a nice tank top bag my brother gave me. It fits on my bike and it holds stuff. But, it also gets in my way when I stand on the pegs. I stand on my pegs every time the terrain is rough or the speed limit is under 40 mph. That tank bag is out. I have some really nice tank side bags I’ll use. They were given to me by a really cool person I met through Reddit.
What will I definitely need? Water. I will carry 4 liters and replenish at every opportunity. What will I likely need? I’ll probably pack it. What will I maybe need? It may stay back. What do I want for creature comfort? Its weight and volume will be the deciding factor.
50 lbs. That’s it. I won’t pack more. If my selected gear weighs more, I have choices to make. End of discussion. Maybe I’ll compromise and live with 60.
Maybe compromise doesn’t mean I don’t get everything I want. Maybe it means that I do get exactly what I want, but I have to think about what I actually want.