My goal was minimalism. Keep the pack light. Some great websites to start:
- It really comes down to how it fits/feels. Try to find a store to help with fitting. You can do all this research on bells and whistles to find the “best” pack, then put it on, and it hurts your shoulders.
- Narrow down by size you want to carry and how you want to access your stuff (top or side). Rest is personal preference (e.g. how many pockets, if straps can hide, etc.)
I knew I wanted a smaller size for ultralight travel (30-40L) and side loading for easy access. It wasn’t hard to narrow down options. Round 1 were 30L.
Bought/Returned: REI Traverse 30L from REI $76
Bought/Returned: Osprey Porter 30L from Backcountry $110
Bought/Returned: REI Trail 40L Pack from REI $92.59
Bought/Returned: North Face Stormbreak 35L from REI $99
Kept: Osprey Farpoint 40L from Surfdome $100
Bought/Returned: Gregory Border 35L from ebags $128
- Merino wool is amazeballs. Stays cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather. Supposedly doesn’t stink and dries quickly.
- Search for discounts – whether online or thru email subscriptions. I don’t think I paid full price for anything (eBay, Backcountry, The Clymb, Amazon, REI). FYI I didn’t find any of the same brands at US discount stores like TJMaxx or Nordstrom Rack.
- Toss up between going with light or dark colored clothes. Dark hides staining and is a good neutral but gets hot and attracts mosquitos.
- Keep track of return policies
Wasn’t going to bring puff due to space but scared I may need. Read that rain jackets are a must. I’m also bringing an umbrella so seems like overkill.
Dresses in summer are nice. Debated maxi but didn’t due to space. Figured I can get sarong or buy something if I need it.
Bought: Nau Camber black cotton dress from Backcountry $31
Don’t usually wear skirts. Figured I’ll keep cooler and look somewhat classy. And, hey, who doesn’t love skorts?
Bought: REI black skort from eBay $18
Bought: Icebreaker Villa black merino wool skirt from Rodale’s $57
Wondering if I have enough tops (seriously(. Wanted at least 2 l/s for mosquitoes. Lululemon will double as sleep top.
Bought: Lole Mariann grey polyester l/s shirt from Backcountry $36
Bought: Icebreaker 150 grey merino wool s/s T-shirt from eBay $29
Bought: Smartwool grey/white striped merino wool tank from eBay $13
Bought: Segments grey l/s shirt from eBay $15
Bought: Icebreaker 200 black merino wool s/s T-shirt from eBay $20
I decided not to bring jeans because of dry time and weight. Think i may miss them. Would like to try technical travel jeans eventually.
Bought: Craghoppers Kiwi Pro graphite Trousers from Craghoppers $65
Freaked out about not having enough so added Nau merino wool pants at last minute. About boxers are also merino wool and will double as sleeping shorts.
Bought: Nau grey merino wool long shorts from eBay $15
Bought: Lole Trail Capri grey nylon shorts from eBay $36
Went with reversible bathing suit. Everyone raves about ExOfficio underwear and SmartWool socks.
Bought: Icebreaker grey merino wool Sprite Racerback Bra from Icebreaker $30
Bought: Gap favorite wireless nude bra from Gap $36
Had: Champion weblack sports bra
Bought: Boody Ecowear nude bamboo briefs from Amazon $12
Bought: ExOfficio black/white/nude nylon briefs from Orvis $18/ea
Bought: Icebreaker Sprite garnet merino wool hot pants from Icebreaker $18
Bought: SmartWool blue merino wool socks from eBay $8
Bought: Wrightsock 553 black merino wool socks from eBay $7
Bought: Point6® Extra-Light Micro-Crew Active Socks from Eddie Bauer $17
Bought: Icebreaker Sprite grey merino wool leggings from Icebreaker $45
Don’t think I’ll do a lot of hiking so went with urban style.
Bought: Lems black Primal 2 Shade shoes from Lems $95
Bought: Abeo Bryce Metatarsal black sandals from The Walking Company $140
Forgot to include my sunglasses. Decided on no jewelry; will buy as souvenirs.
Bought: Straw hat from TJMaxx $15
Bought: Lululemon Vinyasa black scarf from eBay $42
- I’m using my unlocked iPhone 4S with Skype and Google Voice to talk for free with Wifi. If it fails then Mobal.com looks interesting.
- Store data on a USB drive and carry with you
- Travel specific apps I’ve downloaded so far:
- WhatsApp, Skype, GV phone, Hangouts, Viber
- Wi-Fi Finder
- Hostelworld, Hotel Tonight, Airbnb
- Jetlag Rooster
- TripAdvisor, Rick Steves
- Moovit, Busbud
- Google Translate, Duolingo, iStone, SpanishDict
- Trail Wallet, Convert, Fancy Tips
Knew I would try to blog on road so hence laptop; look into VPNs and locks. Not great photographer so ditched DSLR. Opted for hard drive but considered cloud options.
Bought: Speck See Thru Satin Case for MacBook from eBay $16
Bought: Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon $120
Bought: Omoton Case for Kindle from eBay $17
Had: iPhone 4S (already had from the lovely AM) with LifeProof Case from eBay $26
Bought: Sony RX100 accessories (grip, LCD protector, extra battery) $36
Had: (3) SD Memory Cards
Had: iPod Classic with case and headphones
Bought: (2) Nite Ize 6” Ties from eBay $4, (4) Nite Ize 3” Ties from Amazon $3
Charging cords for ^
- Minimize liquids. There are: solids for shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream; toothpaste powder, DYI toothpaste dots and perfume.
- Mix foundation with sunscreen for an all-in-one
This seems to be the bulk of my stuff. While you can get things abroad, I’ve read it’s hard to get some things like aspirin.
- Prescription glasses
- Years worth of monthly disposable contacts/contact solution/contact case
- Microderma Face mitt
- Chagrin Valley Olive Oil & Shea soap from Chagrin Valley $8
- SolBar SPF 38 (tinted with my foundation) from SkinDirect $12
- Bobbi Brown eyeshadow, Mascara, SPF lip balm, mirror
- Pond’s face wipes
- (2) Oral-B toothbrushes
- (2) Sanitizing toothbrush covers from Container Store $2
- (2) Floss
- Eco-Dent toothpowder from Amazon $8
- (100) Handmade toothpaste dots
- Night guard
- Travel Shampoo/Conditioner
- Aveda Damage Remedy sample
- BigSexy Hair Power from eBay $7
- (15) Goodie hair ties
- Lululemon hairband
- Hard Lotion hair butter from Hard Lotion $4
- Pacifica solid perfume
- Chagrin Valley Shaving Soap from Chagrin Valley $5
- Chagrin Valley Don’t Bug Me lotion from Chagrin Valley $7
- Microderm Body mitt from Microderm
- Razor and blades
- Hair trimmer
- Sawyer Stay Put SPF 30 from Amazon $13
- Sawyer Insect Repellant from REI $10
- Insect repellant band
- Nail clippers
- Cuticle stick
- PackTowel XL from eBay $21
- (40) Tampons
- (2) Rolls toilet paper
- Go Girl from eBay $9
- Kleenex travel pack
- Wet ones
- Cottonelle wipes
Feel like I have to keep a medicine cabinet with me.
- (28) Levaquin (infections)
- (12) Zithromax (bacteria infections)
- (42) Zofran (nausea)
- (60) Malarone (malaria)
- (80) Ibuprofen
- (20) 2,000 IU Vit D
- (35) antihistamine (allergies)
- (8) antiemetic (motion)
- (65) Electrolyte tablets
- (20) Cold/Flu daytime
- (10) Katadyn Micropur Water Purifier $6
- (70) Lomotil (diarrhea)
- Alchohol wipes
- Bandaids/Blister pads
I don’t normally use this stuff but heard hostels can be noisy.
Bought: Cocoon Mummy Liner Silk from eBay $48
Bought: Bedtime Bliss Sleep Mash from Amazon $13
Bought: Platypus PlusBottle 1L from Amazon $13
Bought: Sea to Summit Waterproof Pack Cover from eBay $10
Bought: Lewis N Clark Travel umbrella from WalMart for $13
Batteries for SteriPen, hair trimmer, flashlight
Bought: RFID Passport ID /Credit Card Sleeves from eBay $6 // Considered: Aluminum foil
Bought: Tuff N’ Tiny USB drive from eBay $18
Had: Fake wallet
Bought: Sewing kit from WalMart for $1
Bought: Nite carribbeaners from WalMart for $1
Bought: Petzi Am’D Screw-Lock Carabiner from eBay $16
Bought: 5” Rubber Sink Stopper from eBay $4
Bought: Eagle Creek Nude Silk Undercover Bra Stash from eBay $12
Bought: (4) Diaper pins from eBay $1
Had: Sesame Lock // Considered: Squire
Bought: 6’ steel cable from WalMart $4 // Considered: retractable lock
Bought: Kolumbo luggage lock from Amazon $14
Bought: (200) Cable zip ties from eBay $5
Bought: Small nail clippers for zip ties from WalMart $1
Gift: Luggage tag (xo JY, SA, JH, AM, CF, SC)
Gift: Letters from friends to be read on the road
Bought: (20) Peter Pauper Press Thank You cards from Amazon $9
Gift: Journal (xo TO) and four-leaf clovers (xo KJP)
Bought: (2) Uni-ball Signo DX Gel Ink Pen from Amazon $6
Bought: Point It: Traveller’s Language Dictionary from Amazon $5
Bought: Lululemon Manifesto Zip Wallet from eBay $3
Copies of passport, passport photos, Drivers License, Rx, Vaccination card, International Drivers License
Decided not to do packing cubes or compression sacs because I need the flexibility to roll and pack in 40L.
Bought: Travelon Cross-Body Bag from Amazon $28
Bought: Elaxor Compact Zippered Travel Document Wallet from Amazon $13
Gifts: Passport holder (xo JO and SC, CF, JH, AM, SA, JY)
Bought: HikePro Packable Backpack from Amazon $19
Bought: Tapp C. Runners Pack Runners Belt from Amazon $7.77
Bought: Jack Wolfskin Mini Washchsalon toiletry bag from eBay $18
Bought: Sea to Summitt Ultra Sil 2L Dry Sack from eBay $10
Bought: Baggu 3D Bag Small from eBay $8
Had: Misc makeup/toiletry bags
Bought: (4) Vaultz Mesh Bags from Amazon $6
Sea to Summit Waterproof Pack Cover from eBay $10
For a document list, click here ->travel
I’ll be updating this list too as time goes on so check back.