5-Minute, Procrastinator’s Guide to Packing for a Road Trip

Well, no time like the present to attempt to pack everything you’ll need into a backpack to travel through eight states and back over the next ten days. As evident by your DUI and that beached whale you “harpooned” last month, your judgment when you’re this drunk doesn’t have the best track record, but with all those, well, questionable choices it suggests that you’re certainly due for some sound decision making, right?

You don’t own real furniture, so of course you don’t own any real suitcases. Your choice is between a garbage bag, an empty thirty-rack box, and creating a novelty-sized hobo bindle out of your bed sheet. Don’t waste time. Don’t make a pros and cons list for each option. Don’t journal out your feelings about each one and what you suspect each selection says about your personality. Take whichever you want, and relish in the fact that luggage damages won’t cost you anything.

Now, in all likelihood, you’re probably going to fall asleep in the not-too-distant future so time is a factor. Do your best to keep these four criteria in mind and try not to be distracted by The Big Lebowski playing on HBO, the siren song of Internet porn, or that shiny ball of foil on your kitchen floor. Keep these four categories of items to bring in mind and when your laundry basket/knotted-shower-curtain bindle/whatever you’re using as a suitcase is full, boom, you’re done. If done right, the whole process should take you less than five minutes.

1. Items to Escape From the Chuckleheads You’re Taking the Trip With: You’re staring down the barrel of an extensive trip in a confined space with people. At the beginning it might not bother you that your buddy snaps his gum, tries to turn every conversation back to rant about organized religion, or that he actually paid to see and enjoyed the movie Jack and Jill, but by hour three of the drive you’re ready to punch him in the throat. It doesn’t matter if your vice is booze, sleeping pills, or just James Patterson novels, you’re going to need something that’s going to allow you to get away, get away from those human sacks of farts that you call friends at some point.

2. Items for Whatever Level of Personal Hygiene You Desire: Everyone’s thresholds are different when it comes to cleanliness. Some may want their patent-pending, portable bidet and monogrammed nostril trimmers because they’re a fancy boy who wants all of their holes to look an feel pretty while others may only require a few of those packets of moist towelettes from a barbecue restaurant. Items may be rendered with greater or lesser importance based on your itinerary as well. If you’re heading to the beach sunscreen can be pretty important, but, if you’re embarking on a whiskey tour of Northern Kentucky sunscreen is probably less important than puke resistant outfits.

3. Versatile Items Able to be Utilized Across Situations: Space is always in issue so think of ways to uses items outside of their non-traditional sense. Socks can be used for warmth, they can be filled with pennies or rocks and used as weapons, and they can be retired as rags to mop up love juice. Likewise, knives or small swords can be used to pick steak bits out of your teeth, whittle sticks into smaller sticks, or effectively create blood oaths. Dig out that pair of zip-off khakis you’ve haven’t worn since seventh grade or pack a normal pair of pants and make them into Tobias Fünke-esque cutoffs. Remember, when in doubt you can’t go wrong with socks, swords, and, the most versatile item, money.

4. Items For a Contingency Plan: Everyone has a way to hustle supplies in a bind. Some people play pool, others play poker, and a lucky few have that perfect package of flawless handjibber technique, no shame, and a right hand with a roided-out-Lance-Armstrong level of endurance. Be prepared, if all of your wallets and credit cards are stolen the Nevada classics of prostitution and gambling may be your only options for getting home.

Five minutes later and you’re finished packing with over two hours to spare. You feel like a productive member of society and a real person for all of ten minutes. That is, until you call over that self-hating manatee from last month with the rationale that, well, you might as well get acclimated to thick, sweaty sex with burly women, after all, you’re about to be passing through a lot of truck stops.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan. Look for more of his writing, his BroBible.com archive (which is under construction), and his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.