Even before the woes of exceeding the 15-kg limit on airplanes kicked in, I was mindful of how I packed my bags.

Packing for trips is always a task. I assess what needs to be packed (am I carrying something I may not need?), how it should be packed (folded, rolled or crumpled?), and where it finds a place in my suitcase so that the item next to it doesn’t get disheveled.

This becomes even more involved when packing a backpack for a trek, where the bag might be all I have and my shoulders are all the bag has. If I pack too much or too haphazardly, real pain could follow.

When I was packing for a two-week visit to Himachal Pradesh in September, I realised I had been two years since I’d taken a proper trip. Still, when I started making a list of what to pack, the familiar routine came back to me immediately

Check the weather forecast. Read up on what I could encounter and ask people who’d travelled to the area before for recommendations. Make a trip to Decathlon to buy some necessary (and some unnecessary) stuff.

It was exciting but, as always, a little unnerving.

Still, when I finally slung on my backpack, I felt reassured. The bag was not heavy and sat easily on my shoulders. I was in my comfort zone, ready to do something I really enjoy.

Read all the articles in the Comfort zone series here.