Winter, go home. Pack it up and head to the Southern hemisphere. They’re waiting for you. What? You won’t go? Fine. I’ll go, then. See ya!

I’m serious. I’m leaving this snowy, cold so-called Spring. Tomorrow. For Portugal. For a month.

I hope we can still be friends. Will it help if I tell you my husband and I will be walking over two hundred miles during this trip? I do realize not everyone has our penchant for traipsing across the planet–over mountains, through rivers, across plains, in rain and hail and lightning storms–and calling it fun.

We’ll be staying in inns and B&Bs, not tent-camping, but we are carrying our clothes and our lunch. Would you like to see how I pack for a month?

That pile is all my clothes except my hiking boots. Yup, that’s it. It weighs seven pounds.

Everything goes in the purple backpack which goes inside the duffel for the flight. While I’m hiking, the duffel goes inside the backpack. It only weighs 9 ounces. I weigh everything and you would too if you had to carry it two hundred miles.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

These are my hiking clothes: two short-sleeved and one long-sleeved shirts, all merino wool; two pants, one skirt; three pairs of socks; poles; cap.

It will rain and we’ll have to walk in it so this is my rain suit. Very light! And the merino wool hoodie will keep me warm and is dressy enough to not scream WEIRD TRAIL PERSON.

You didn’t think I’d go on vacation without a little black dress, did you? I also have capri leggings to wear with them if it’s cool. I can also wear the leggings with the black cami if I’m lounging. I have been known to lounge on occasion. The scarf brightens up all the black and those stripy shoes are comfortable, light (that again), and stylish.

There’s more to life than clothes! The tan bag is what I carry to stash my passport, my phone, and my kindle when I’m not lugging the backpack around. I’m also taking binoculars, sunglasses, toiletries (duh), and a foldable bag for grocery shopping or laundry or whatever.

Do you use packing cubes? They aren’t really cubes but they do help organize my pack. All my socks and unmentionables fit in the little one and the big one holds most of the rest, leaving plenty of room for lunch—and a bottle of wine.

That’s it! I’m packed and ready to go. Why don’t you follow our trip via my social media and see my gear in action?

Until next time. May your snow melt and your flowers bloom.

About Sonja

Sonja Yoerg grew up in Stowe, Vermont where she financed her college education by waitressing at the Trapp Family Lodge. She earned a Ph.D. in biological psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and wrote a nonfiction book about animal intelligence, Clever as a Fox. Sonja is the author of four novels: House Broken, Middle of Somewhere, All the Best People, and the upcoming True Places. When she’s not traipsing around the world with her husband, Sonja can be found in her garden overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.