“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I originally posted this page in 2012. Since then, it has attracted a ton of views, spawned the No Bags Travel movement, and got me the World’s Best Travel Hacker badge from FlightNetwork.com. In short, it struck a nerve. Therefore, I keep it updated. Here’s what I got for 2022.
“Where’s your luggage?”
“It’s all I got.”
This is always how it begins. This is what security officers in Ben Gurion airport ask when they see me – sometimes with a tiny bag, sometimes completely bagless – going abroad. And it is then when I need to disarm and convince them I am neither a lunatic nor a terrorist.
So I send them to this page ;)
What’s this page, you’re asking?
It is your travel guide to serendipity, freedom, and joy of life.
For the past decade I’ve traveled the world almost full-time. What I’ve constantly noticed was how much of an impact your belongings have on the joy of your trip. It made me realize that minimalism is truly a privilege of the rich. The gurus weren’t lying!
Here you will see how I gradually minimized my gear, sculpturing it to a point where it offers maximum peace of mind and comfort.
After a ton of field tests in ~70 countries, I can proudly say I have refined my gear to a point where I don’t even need a backpack anymore.
I call this… No Bag Travel. You may also call it No Luggage Travel, or No Baggage Travel. It is the art of traveling so light you can technically pack all your travel gear inside the pockets of your pants.
The only times I carry a bag is when I go on extended periods and need my laptop for work. In either case, I am always as mobile as a bird.
“It is futile to do with more things that which can be done with fewer.” – William of Occam
You know that classic backpacker look. The colorful bracelets all over the arms. The disgusting, sweaty, worn-out T-shirt. The gigantic Lonely Planet guide. And the huge NASA rocket harnessed on the back.
What the heck do backpackers (rocketpackers?) fill it with? To me, that is absolute insanity. Back in my days in the Israeli Defense Forces, I had the fetid privilege of spending months in the harsh desert. The funny thing? Neither me nor my comrades ever carried so much luggage.
The joke becomes even more ridiculous when backpackers see how better equipped I am, compared to them. They’re unable to fathom the idea. How can this guy carry that little and look cleaner than me?
The secret, as secrets always are, is both elegant and simple:
You can wear one set of clothes at any time, so why not maximize the efficiency of this one set and ditch the rest? Why not pick something that never stinks, barely needs laundry, and always looks great?
Less is more.
This is what this minimalist travel gear guide is all about.
Benefits of Traveling Light
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” – Henry Thoreau
- Less frustration and wasted time. You won’t have to wait at the airport for your luggage, or worse, get frustrated if the airlines loses it. Also, going on and off airports will be blazing fast.
- Cheaper flight fares. Most low-cost airlines charge additional money for anything bigger than a handbag. With my philosophy, you’ll always be complying with onboard luggage policies. In other words, you’ll save money. (Related: How to Find Cheap Flight Tickets)
- Flexibility and comfort. You won’t have to waste energy carrying luggage, or finding a place to store it. You’ll have less back pain. You’ll do less laundry. Traveling light is pure beauty. It allows you to jump on opportunities and adventures as they come. Serendipity will find you. This, my friends, is what real freedom looks like.
- Better infusion with the local culture. There is a degree of disrespect when you walk around Cambodia holding a big, shiny DSLR. Being more modest in appearance will make you more inviting, and attract more interactions with the locals.
- Less risk. You’ll be traveling with little, so you won’t look like the average tourist. You’ll look more like an expat. Vendors will be less likely to rip you off, and malicious people will be less likely to rob you. (Related: Best Way to Take Money Abroad)
- You don’t need more. Cyril Parkinson was known for his disrespect to the lack of human efficiency at managing resources. He suggests that work expands so as to fill the time available to its completion. If you have eight ours to finish a task, it’ll tend to take you eight hours. Likewise, your luggage expands so as to fill the space available. No matter the size of your bag, you’ll always find a way to fill it up.
- Simplicity. Before going on my first long minimalist trip, I had given my entire wardrobe to charity. I won’t lie, giving everything away did itch. But it was a great lesson, a reminder of the enormous amount of trash the human race accumulates. Shortly after, I learned a good lesson: An unnecessary item you owned quickly loses its meaning when gone. You forget it existed. Leaving all those physical burdens behind means you’ll be more focused on your trips, on life itself.
Minimalist Travel Gear Packing List
“We make progress by eliminating things, by removing the superfluous.” – Steve Jobs
My philosophy isn’t stinking like a barefoot hippy. It is to be efficient. You want to choose your gear wisely and skillfully. We’re going to carry just a few items, so it’s crucial to make the right choices and ensure we’re as lean and mean as possible. Therefore, our fabric of choice is this:
The nastiest mistake I see on the travel trail is the use of synthetic “travel gear”, or cotton. The former may dry quickly and wick sweat away, but it stinks like a mofo. The latter not only stinks, but also becomes sweaty, takes ages to dry, and doesn’t keep you warm enough when it’s chilly.
And so, our savior is wool. But why wool?
- Doesn’t stink. Wool is naturally anti-microbial and odor resistant, and quickly evaporates sweat into the air. You’ll rarely have to wash it. You can go weeks with a single set of wool clothing. If it does begin to smell, it’ll often be because of food stains rather than sweat.
- Regulates body temperature. Wool is naturally both breathable and insulating. It evaporates sweat and keeps you dry in summer, and excels at keeping you warm when it’s cold.
- Dries super fast. Imagine a tropical monsoon showering you out of nowhere. With cotton, you’ll have to change your clothes as soon as you can. With wool, you’ll be dry again before you know it. Wool can also absorb a lot more water before you “feel wet”.
- Doesn’t wrinkle. Wool is naturally resistant to wrinkles because of the structure of its fibers, so you’ll never look like a homeless person. And no more time wasted ironing if you’re a business traveler!
You can use any type of wool – Cashmere, Mohair, etc. I like Merino wool, which comes from New Zealander sheep, because it’s soft, elegant, widely available commercially, and never itches like those sweaters Grandma used to knit for you when you were a child.
So, without further ado…
Best Travel Gear: Minimalist Packing List
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates
I’m assuming you’re gearing for a short trip, so I’ll give you suggestions for different climates. If you’re traveling full-time, you’ll need to mix & match depending on the range of climates you’ll encounter.
Shirt (Base Top Layer)
The base layer helps regulate your body temperature and wick sweat away, keeping your body dry. Cotton isn’t good. It retains moisture and will get you cold even if you have five layers of fleece above it.
So, which base wool top should you get?
Depends on your destination:
Hot and sunny? Get a thin layer (120-150gsm), something like the Woolly Ultralight Crew / Woolly Tank for men, or the Smartwool Merino 150 Lace Tank for women. If it’s really hot, choose a tank top. Wool is warm.
Springlike? Get a 165-200gsm base layer, something like the Minus33 Ticonderoga 170 / Woolly Henley for men or the Minus33 Moriah 170 / Meriwool 180 / Icebreaker 175 for women.
For triple the price, you can get a gorgeous 130-200gsm Wool & Prince button-down. I own one and love it, though you can’t machine-wash it.
Cold and wintery? Get a 230-300gsm base layer, something like the Minus33 Chocorua 230 / Minus33 Isolation 230 / Meriwool 250 for men, or the Minus33 Ossipee 230 / Meriwool 250 / Kari Traa for women.
Freezing and arctic? Go hardcore and get a 400gsm base layer, like the Minus33 Yukon for men or the Meriwool 400g for women.
Feel an itch to browse some more? Then go check Amazon. The only rule of thumb to remember: 100% wool. Try to choose the best weight (gsm) for your destination, but don’t obsess over it too much. I was in Canada in freezing January, and a 170gsm base layer did the job. And remember:
You only need a single shirt.
Wool doesn’t stink, so it’s the only shirt you’ll need. After you buy your shirt, wear it for a couple days. Do some workouts, sweat in it. Then do the same with cotton. Now sniff both. Smell the difference?
Mid Top Layer (For Cold Weathers)
The mid layer helps insulate your body and trap heat. Obviously you don’t need it when you travel to warm places, where a single shirt, the base layer, is all you need. But in cold weather it’s necessary. Our best materials for a mid-layer are wool, fleece and goose down:
Wool: breathable, doesn’t stink, dries quickly, insulates even when wet. Warmth per weight isn’t exceptional. Can be pricey.
Fleece: breathable, dries quickly, very inexpensive, but lacks water resistance and can also smell quite quickly.
Goose down: the king of warmth per weight. Exceptionally packable. Best for extremely cold and dry conditions. Not nearly as breathable as wool and fleece. If you’re going to get your heart rate up and be super active, it can get very hot, very fast. Also, very expensive, and can smell.
So, what to choose? Again, this depends on the weather:
Not freezing? Get something like the Aran Crafts Irish Wool Sweaters / Cashmeren Turtleneck / Woolly 250gsm Zip-up / 1/4 zip / Henley 190gsm if you’re a man. Short on cash? Go with a Goodthreads’ sweater. For women, go for a beautiful Aran Crafts Irish Wool masterpiece / West End Knitwear Cable Sweater / Carraig Donn Long Irish Sweater. You can also get a 100 / 200 (also for women) / 300 / 420 Polartec fleece. However, I prefer wool, since fleece can smell. When you go No Bag, it’s crucial.
Freezing? When things get icy, you’ll want goose down. The higher its Fill Power (FP), the warmer it is per gram of down. For the best warmth per weight, the Montbell Plasma 1000 (Men / Women) is unbeatable. It offers 1.6oz (45g) of top-notch 1000FP down, and weighs a ridiculous 135g (4.8oz). For very cold climates, you’ll want more fill though, something like the Plasma 1000 Alpine at least. Montbell has a nice line:
Do note: down is VERY good at trapping body heat. You’ll be toasty, especially when wearing a wool base layer. So, if you don’t go to the Arctic, don’t go with a crazy jacket. For up to -5f (-20c), almost any down jacket will suffice (real down, not synthetic ‘puff jackets’).
Personally, I’m using an Eddie Bauer Hooded Cirruslite I picked on a $25 Amazon sale. Amazing fit, coated with a water repellent, and very durable so far. Kept me very toasty on my last trip to the Pyrenees mountains. You can often find (new) Eddie Bauer items on eBay for good prices.
Another option is the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer (Men / Women). Wind proof and water-repellent, and warmer than the Eddie Bauer, though also pricier. Pick only if the weather is really cold.
Oh, and if you’re going somewhere crazy frozen – think Greenland, Siberia or Antarctica in the winter – consider a full down suit.
Outer Top Layer (Storm Shell)
An outer shell protects you from the rain, snow and wind. Personally, I won’t bother taking one if it just light rain or wind. But if it’s anything heavy, a shell can be a godsend. If that’s your case, get yourself a light, breathable, and fully waterproof (not just ‘resistant’) shell.
The lightest one is the Arc’teryx Norvan SL (Men / Women) – waterproof and windproof at only 4.2oz! (120g). The Outdoor Research Helium II (Men / Women, 6.4oz / 180g) is a much cheaper option. If you find a fully waterproof shell that costs less (and isn’t too heavy), go for it.
I used to travel with brushed-nylon convertible travel pants. They were comfortable, but started smelling quickly. So I ditched them.
I replaced them with the since-discontinued Wool & Prince wool shorts. That solved the, well, aroma issue, but they were far too thick for hot climates, where I was visiting most of the time. So I began wearing…
Just my swimming shorts!
This proved to be a genius move for a number of reasons. First, because I was immersing them in water the whole day — I was scuba diving and ocean bathing a lot — they never smelled. Second, I liked their super light feeling. And third… I could wear them without underwear.
So, which pants/shorts should you get?
If you’re going somewhere warm, any swim shorts with pockets will work, like the Kanu Surf Barracuda. For women it’s trickier. You can’t just walk in bikini all day. But you can wear some light wool yoga pants / trousers (with pockets, if you No Bag it). Try SmittenMerino.
If you’re traveling to cooler climates, or if you just want to look nicer, try Makers & Riders wool trousers (for women too). I’ve been wearing them for a couple years; very durable and good looking. They use 45% wool at 190gsm. If you need something warmer, get the Wool & Prince ones, which are 60% wool, 240gsm. Similar price for more wool!
Note: Neither the Makers & Riders nor the Wool & Prince trousers are pure wool. Still, no smell. Wore them for years now; no problem.
If you don’t want to spend any money, just pick your favorite pair of jeans. I find myself traveling with jeans more and more often. Not always comfy, but they don’t smell nearly as bad as brushed-nylon “travel pants”.
Now, if you’re going somewhere cold, put a nice wool base layer underneath the pants. Pick the gsm according to climate and how cold-sensitive you are: Men (170 / 200 / 250) – Women (170 / 230 / 250 / 400). For women, here’s a nice wool pullover sweater/dress combo to put on top of the wool base layer leggings, if you don’t want any pants.
P.S. Whatever pants you choose, I recommend sewing an internal pocket. This will secure your passport, money and credit card.
Back when I started traveling, I was wearing the famous ExOfficio Give N’ Go because of the hype. However, they took noticeably longer to dry than my wool gear. This is why I now wear wool exclusively as my undies.
Currently I am using two nice pairs of Woolly, but will replace them soon, as they start to wear out- I’ve had them for two years. All in all, just get the cheapest 100% wool boxer briefs or panties you can find.
How many pairs should you pack? When I No-Bag, I’ll wear one, and wash it as I’m showering every night. It’ll dry before I wake up. When I do carry a bag, I’ll take two pairs and alternate.
P.S. For those prone to chaffing, I recommend boxers over briefs.
P.S. #2 For ladies looking for 100% merino wool bras, they exist!
Going somewhere cold? Buy a pair of touch-screen friendly gloves, so you don’t have to take it off whenever you use your phone. Good options:
Novawo Unisex Magic Wool & Cashmere Blend
Elma Nappa Leather Gloves (100% Cashmere lining)
Warmen Nappa Leather Gloves (30% Wool / 70% Cashmere lining)
Eddie Bauer Men’s Boundary Pass Down Gloves
Eddie Bauer Women’s Sun Valley Down Gloves
Personally, I have the Elma and wear them for most weathers. They look amazing, they’re inexpensive, and they’re made of real leather and wool. If I went somewhere frozen, I’d take down gloves though.
If you want to cover your head, look for a 100% wool beanie. Whatever that you personally liked, and is 100% wool, get it.
By the way, for more versatility, get a wool buff! You can use it as a beanie, a neck scarf, a balaclava, even ring it around your head to warm your ears. I even used one in Central America to protect my face from mosquitoes in the jungle at night. It’s a versatile garment.
For the past decade, I’ve been wearing barefoot style shoes exclusively.
I love it.
Normal shoes have numerous problems. Mainly, they don’t allow enough space for the toes to spread, and their sole isn’t flat. This makes you strike the ground with your heels, hurting your back and feet.
Check this out:
Of of all the pairs I tried, these are my favorites:
- For sport-sandals, the Xero Shoes Z-Trail.
- For lightweight active shoes, the Xero Shoes Speed Force are superb.
- For cooler weathers, the VivoBarefoot Gobi II.
- For cold weathers, the Lems Shoes Leather Boulder Boots.
- For a fancy look, check out the stunning Carets barefoot shoes.
(My pair of Lems Boulder Boots to the left, and Carets to the right)
Once you get used to barefoot shoes, you’ll never go back. The proper part of your feet will land first when you walk or run, providing natural shock absorption without added stress on the back. Your toes will have room to spread, giving you a stronger grip. Your tendons and ligaments will strengthen, and your posture will improve.
P.S: If I travel to a beach destination, I’ll just take my flip flops.
P.S #2 Don’t forget to get some 100% wool socks. I use those 100% Alpaca wool socks and love them. I tested them by No Bagging a single pair to Czech Republic. Never washed them, and they refused to smell.
P.S #3 If you travel to warm destinations, have open shoes (sandals, etc). Humidity, warmth and darkness is a killer combo for bacteria.
P.S #4 If you have small children, have them wear barefoot footwear from day one. That will ensure their feet develop well, wide and strong!
Update: I am now finding myself wearing Xero Shoes almost exclusively. Check out my nice collection:
The Aptos are the nicest day to day, slip on – slip off pair of shoes. The speedforce are my favorite running or gym shoes in the summer, the 360, in the winter. The Alpine are incredible for Skii trips or other colder climates. The Aqua sport are really comfy for running at the beach or other messy terrains (their material is non-absorbant), plus I love its “lacing” mechanism, much more comfortable than traditional laces, and much firmer than the Aptos. All of the pairs above are nice.
I still wear the Carets for anything “official” or fancy, but for most other purposes, the Xero Shoes are my go-to. The Boulder boots’s sole have disconnected from the leather fairly shortly after I started using them, but the Xero Shoes (every single one of my pairs) have all held on. I still use the Boulder, but I suspect soon I’ll have to get rid of them. My full collection nowadays (5 XeroShoes, 1 BoulderBoots, 1 Carets):
When I travel, I pick whatever pair makes most sense for that particular trip. For example, I went to ski in Italy two months ago – the XeroShoes Alpine was absolutely priceless. Kept my feet toasty and happy.
When Apple started using their dual-lens technology (bought from Israeli startup Lynx Imaging), my life as a photography enthusiast changed.
In the past I used to carry a DSLR. But DSLRs are massive and heavy. Also, I never felt comfortable walking with a DSLR into a poor village, where people can barely afford a good meal. It felt like arrogance.
Luckily, smartphones have gone a long way. Check out those unedited photos I took in Canada with my iPhone 7 Plus a couple years ago:
Who would have thought we’d ever be able to get a nice bokeh (blurred background) with a smartphone? It does it by using a setup of two lenses and combining the input computationally. Having two lenses of different focal lengths also means you can zoom in and retain quality:
These days, I’m using a Pixel 6, which is much newer and takes even better photos. And the wide lens is a killer for landscapes.
When you have a smartphone that can take this kind of photos, you have an exceptionally powerful device in your hands. This, and merino wool, are what truly allow us to go No Bag without sacrificing anything.
The smartphone really is amazing:
No need to carry a laptop – book flights, read news, respond to mails, all from that tiny device. No need to carry a notebook for notes. No need to take scuba dive / workout / vaccination logs. It’s also your clock, music player, eBook reader, and GPS. Download maps. Monitor your business. Stay in touch with family and friends. And now it has an amazing camera. All in slim waterproof chassis that easily slides in your pocket.
However, you must be careful. The easiest way to corrupt your travels is to constantly check your emails, browse social media, and get a false sense of home. Don’t let it destroy the sense of adventure you’ve been craving so much. So, use Airplane Mode generously.
Sometimes, I’ll travel with my old, compact Olympus XZ-1 and leave the smartphone at the hotel. It just feels more natural when you ask locals to take photos of themselves. With the Olympus, it feels like you’re a photographer making art. With the smartphone, they think you’re a pervert who wants to share their photos over WhatsApp. In cold weathers, where your fingers are stiff, it’s especially nicer operating a camera made of physical buttons, rather than the touch-screen of a phone.
By the way, I recommend Airalo if you need constant internet access for your GPS. It gives you eSIMS for almost any country, at great prices.
No Bag doesn’t mean you need to smell. Don’t neglect your hygiene.
Did you know that sweat itself doesn’t stink? It’s only when it comes in contact with the bacteria in your armpits that it does. Neutralize that bacteria and you neutralize the odor.
But, don’t use normal, anti-perspiration deodorants.
First, your body needs to perspire. Second, normal deodorants contain toxic substances that you don’t want absorbed in your body. Third, they leave icky stains on your expensive wool shirts. The solution?
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).
I use it all the time, even at home. When I travel, I carry it in a tiny 3g cosmetic container. You don’t need much; a small amount will last forever. I apply the soda after my morning shower. It’s potent – put much less than you think you need. If I use too much, you get armpit rash.
Years ago, I used a Thai crystal stone (potassium alum, not the synthetic ammonium alum). It works, but it’s much bulkier. Not suitable at all for No Bag Travel. Both the stone and baking soda prevent bacterial growth, allowing you to perspire without smelling.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
I carry a Tom’s of Maine travel size toothpaste. Tom’s doesn’t contain any nasty substance like peroxide. Combine with a travel toothbrush like this or this and you’re set. If you’re taking a bag, no sense in compromising, you have the space for a normal toothbrush.
I tend not to carry soap, because hotels always have them. When, however, I go off the grid, I’ll grab a travel size bottle of Dr. Bronner. You can use it to both clean yourself and your clothes, if needed. It’s a very concentrated all-natural soap, a little bit will last forever. If you want a good way to carry it, use a GoToob. Up to 3.5oz is airplane-friendly.
A Minimalist Towel
Get a PackTowl. When my sister joined the Israeli Defense Forces, I gave her one of those. She was shocked when she used it after a shower, hung it dry on a clothesline under the sun, and found it 100% dry exactly 8 minutes later. If I stay out in the wild, I’ll take a Packtowl Ultralite.
A Minimalist Wallet
For the past couple of years, I have been using a KOOLSTOF money clip. It takes little space, it’s super lightweight, it holds your bills and cards tight and always springs back to its original shape, it passes through airport security without upsetting the metal detector, and it looks awesome. By the way, there are cheaper carbon fiber money clips on Amazon.
But, there’s one main drawback that made me give up on the money clip. The inserting and taking out the cards scrape the cards. My RFID chip has completely stopped working on the credit card, and some text was scraped off on one of my other cards. So I resorted to a more traditional minimalist wallet. I tested a good bunch, and ended up with these:
Vaultskin KENSINGTON (Amazon)
I love this one. It’s intended for single passport use (as shown on the fourth photo), but I found out you can use it for dual-passport as well by simply placing them on the outside sleeves, where boarding passes are supposed to go. The leather is very high quality to the eye, touch, and nose. It has four pockets for cards, although two of the pockets can fit two each. When I go No-Bag, I’ll use this passport exclusively.
Vaultskin MANHATTAN (Amazon)
This one is the Kensington’s little brother (as you can see from the last photo). They pair each other really well. I use this one daily back at home, where I don’t need to carry my passports, or when I travel with a bag, in which case I’ll have the smaller Manhattan in my pocket, and leave the Kensington with the passports at the hotel. The wallet is just as well made as the Kensington. It has four internal slots for cards, though the two inner ones are difficult to reach. It also has one external card pocket for frequent use, which is very comfy to store your room key in.
Andar Monarch (andar.com) or Scout (andar.com)
If you want a wallet with an even smaller footprint, the Andar wallets are great. My friend, who also travels with me from time to time, uses the Scout (the one with the middle pocket for bills) and absolutely loves it. If you live in a cashless country, like Iceland, the Monarch will be even cleaner, though I have mixed feelings about its pull string mechanism. Anyway, both are high quality leather, handcrafted by a legit brand from Arizona. This is not one of your Chinese brands on Amazon.
Andar Atlas (andar.com)
If you have just a single passport and want something slim for it, the Andar Atlas is really nice. Its only problem was that the passport wouldn’t slide all the way down (as you can see from the photo). To solve this, I just detached that pulling-string mechanism, cause it was blocking the passport from going deeper. It’s great now, and the passport is easy to pull even without the string. It’s the slimmest passport wallet you’ll find that can also hold a couple cards, boarding passes, and cash. I like it.
Habitoux Passport Wallet (Amazon) + Hissimo Bitfold Wallet (Amazon)
If you’re short on cash but still want a passport wallet and/or a regular minimalist wallet, those two are nice. No, not as nice as the Vaultskins or Andars (notice the glue on the bottom of the Hissimo), but nice. They’ll cost you about half of what the more premium combos will cost you.
By the way, if you pick a cheaper wallet, its RFID function may be a bluff. You can check this by trying to wireless-pay with your card while its inside the wallet. If the payment goes through, the wallet doesn’t protect anything. In such a case, you can use Vaultskin’s VAULTCARD. Simply put it inside the wallet, and it will protect any RFID chip around it:
Imagine you’re lost in a jungle trek (happened to me in Costa Rica), or stranded in the ocean (boat, scuba diving or paddle boarding troubles, etc), or being chased by a pack of wild dogs, or, if you’re a woman, being followed by someone when you’re alone. In such cases, a whistle could save your life. Shouting is demanding, and often not loud enough. The solution is a rescue whistle. Just read these Amazon reviews:
“Never thought I’d need to use it, but sure enough, I got stuck in a tree well while skiing. Scary as hell. I have it attached to my zipper pull on my Patagonia shell jacket which made it easily accessible. That’s a big deal when you’re hanging upside down in a tree well, using one hand to hold onto a branch for dear life. I blew this thing like my life depended on it. Sure enough, after about 5 minutes, another skier heard it echoing through the woods and found me. Fortunately I wasn’t immersed in powder. I could breathe and extract myself after I calmed down. Could have been much, much worse.”
“This whistle is extremely loud. I got it to scare off bears while hiking. Even though all my trail buddies laugh at my “rape whistle”, I’ll take all the jokes if it works as intended just once in my life!”
“When I bought this whistle, I imagined it would be nothing more than one of the many trinkets I own for emergency situations, but never use. I brought this whistle with me on a family vacation the Philippines. Everyone poked fun at the whistle because I tend to be over prepared. But no one could foresee that this little whistle would be the one thing that actually saved our lives! My family and I were on the island of Palawan and rented a private boat tour for the day. We were supposed to tour a few different islands in the area and be brought back to shore. About midway through our tour, in the middle of the ocean our boat was cut into by the massive waves (what our “captains” neglected to mention was that a Gale warning was in effect and boats were supposed to be out of the water hours prior) and in a matter of seconds our boat completely submerged. We grabbed everything we could and with our life jackets strapped on were floating in the middle of the ocean- no swimmable land in sight. I went into survival mode and the first thing I did was blow with fierceness into this whistle, weary that anyone would hear it but feeing as though it was our only hope. Our boat had no method of communication, no walkies or dispatch. It also ran on a gasoline engine- we were drenched in gasoline as the 3-4ft waves thrashed around us. After about 5 minutes of using this whistle a boat appeared in the distance. What we would find out later was that they were on their way to shore (also due to the intensity of the waves) and that they could not see us because of the height of the waves, but the only thing they could hear was the blowing of our whistle and the very tip of our boat before it sank completely. This whistle saved our lives, and no one was laughing at it afterwards! I’ve had many family members and friends who have asked me for the link to purchase. I definitely recommend having this whistle with you if you’re out on the water, it’s truly a lifesaver.”
“It once saved my life in a scuba diving accident. While floundering in the ocean, I blew SOS and was heard all the way to shore; several miles away. I was rescued as a result.”
OK, so whistle should you get? Look for a couple features:
- High decibel count (100+) so it can be heard from a mile away.
- Pea-less design to eliminate the risk of jamming/freezing (no moving parts). Also blows when wet, and eliminates rattle when walking.
- Doesn’t take a lot of breath. Fell and broke a rib? You won’t be able to give a hard blow. You want to turn heads with minimal lung effort.
- Ultralight, portable and comfortable to carry; flat if possible!
- Bright design so you can easily find it.
- Plastic. Won’t stick to your mouth when cold.
Good options that checks all the above:
- S.O.L. Slim Rescue Howler
- Fox 40 Sonik Blast CMG
- Markwort Storm
- ACME Tornado Slimline 636
- Shoreline Marine Flat Safety Whistle
Hopefully you’ll never have to use this whistle. If you do, you’ll be forever thankful you had it. These whistles are cheap, powerful, and barely weigh anything or take any space. There really is no excuse not to have one.
P.S. Every woman should have one in her purse, even back at home when not traveling. Bad guys are everywhere, and they hate attention drawn.
P.S.#2 These whistles scream like a banshee. They’ll leave your ears ringing. Use only in emergencies! Anyone around will hate you.
P.S #3 The universal distress signal is three consecutive blasts. Wait 20-30 seconds before you repeat the blast pattern. By the way, one blast means “Where are you?”, two blasts “Come to me”, and three is “Help”.
When you No Bag, just use your phone. Hopefully you bought one with a large screen, so that it can sustain long reading sessions. If you do carry a bag (for work purposes, carrying a laptop, etc), just throw in an Amazon Kindle or your favorite eBook reader. Compared to a phone, reading on an e-ink screen is much nicer, especially if you read outside in the sun.
Minimalist Travel Gear
“I also have in mind that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
As you see, everything fits inside your pockets. No need for a bag or vest.
You now have at your disposal the most minimalist packing list you’ll ever find. Go out, use it, and enjoy life to its true potential. I wish you loads of sexy adventure, and the safest of travels. Rock on!
Regev, I love your article. I found it very useful. I hope you don’t mind, but I was just improving my “About” page when I discovered your site, and the Saint-Exupery quote was just perfect for what I’ve written a few moments ago, so I “borrowed” it.
I am funny with packing: I fill a couple of bags with heaps of stuff, then I start taking away. I usually end up with a small bag, regardless for how long I travel.
Of course, it’s completely fine.
Yeah, at some point you just realize that ‘heaps of stuff’ are not only unnecessary, but are a serious burden. Thanks for your words.
Lissie from Vacation Packing
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you are the only person I know who travels lighter than I do! And most people think I’m insane travelling with under 7kg carry on! Maybe I just need to try harder – but I’m not giving up bras at the age, just saying
Haha, try merino wool bras !
No affiliation, I just love advanced performance gear.
Oh my goodness, I absolutly loved this article!! honestly, I read it twice! and I loved your hummus reference lmao but honestly I have no idea how you do it. On my way back to the U.S. I was thinking of you and how you managed to do that cause I know I was regretting all the pointless crap I ended up carrying.
I never thought it would be possible to pack like that, but it’s people like you that prove me wrong. I somehow always over pack and carry things that I regret later. So I must say your article was very helpful! Props to you!
Glad it’s been helpful. It’s all about the Hummus, baby!
Kick-ass article Reg! O_O Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I’m a chronic over-packer. I used to fill up one of those massive family-size suitcases, plus have one of those carry-on bags AND handbag filled to bursting point.
I’ve improved somewhat lately, mainly because I’ve realised I only ever use a fraction of what I pack. I’ve cut down to one of those mini-suitcases, plus a handbag, when I travel (thanks to my Kindle, I’ve also been able to eliminate the pile of books I usually bring with me). With your encouragement, I think I can take that further! :D
Reading your list, I still feel my mind racing at extra things I would need to pack. Medication, glasses, hairbrush (no way am I going army-style!), sunscreen, makeup…. Hmm, I MIGHT be able to skip bringing a dress and high-heels if I wasn’t going to go anywhere fancy. Gawd, I’m such a girl.
Speaking of which, any of your girl friends have recommendations for a decent sports bra/ crop top? I almost never wear a bra anymore (underwires are the devil, even if they do give uber cleavage), but I’ve yet to find a crop that doesn’t make my rib cage stink like sin after a day of heat. For some reason, sports underwear is almost always synthetic, and we all know what happens with synthetic materials. And I hardly even sweat.
I have another question for you too. What do you wear when you’re washing your clothes? You might get away with waltzing about in nothing but your spare briefs, but I’m thinking a girl doing the same might turn some heads! :P
Great article dude, keep it up!
All that girly stuff of yours can actually be easily put into cargo-pants. If you don’t mind looking dorky of course.
As for the bra, try merino wool undergarments. Or you can just go-all-natural as you said, some of us men got a thing for that!
I usually wash my clothes when I’m taking a shower (Killing two birds with one stone!) at night, and they’re always ready wen I wake up.
“Or you can just go-all-natural as you said, some of us men got a thing for that!”
Men go for that until the lady hits 50 and her nipples are brushing her belly-button! :P I try to at least wear a crop top when I go out- helps to defy gravity for a little longer! I’ll check out Icebreaker. :D
“I usually wash my clothes when I’m taking a shower at night”
Dude, why didn’t I think of that???
Lissie from Vacation Packing
A sarong Belinda – most useful item of clothing/towel/top sheet EVERY invented
Great idea Lissie!
Very cool post. I have a history of over-packing, and with our kids starting to get interested in traveling, I definitely want to minimize my gear.
About the Invisible Shoes: I have been wearing them a lot over the past year. They are incredible, and, aside from barefoot, are my favorite running/walking footwear.
To make them a bit more structured and secure, I replaced the stock nylon strings with 1/2 nylon straps and plastic buckles. The modification cost about $10. There are lots of how-to videos on line to help with the process. I find the straps/buckles work better for me, especially when running and on technical terrain.
I am definitely going to check out the products you recommend.
safe travels and great advice for the huaraches
Marna Marie' Strauss
Regev, thanks for your positive influence in my life…….You rock man!
@Aaron – I’d love to chat to you and see a photo of how you modified your hauraches if you don’t mind? I bought a pair of Xeroshoes and in March and haven’t looked back..I love them they are just a little unsecure as I’d love to use them for running…
Would love to hear from you if you don’t mind!
Marna Marie’ Strauss
You know, travelling with three children, travelling light is sort of a contradiction in terms – or that’s what I’ve thought every time I’ve seen discussions about it with your or Liz. But – scanning through this post, I do think we can do better. For starters, just having the right clothes (eg things that dry quickly) can make a big difference.
We are trying to simplify, pare down, and declutter our home, both for its own sake, and because in 2014 we are looking at going o/s again, but this time hopefully for about 6 months. So we will need someone to house-sit. I am hoping we will be able to pare down a LOT in preparation for that, but I’m also hoping that the trip itself will give my kids a taste of really simple living. I’ll be coming back to this post before we start thinking about packing for that!
That’s awesome Kirsten
have a blast with your kids overseas and stay safe.
Thanks for all the info you shared here regev… didnt know about those things especially the cool looking flip flops and the quick dry and lightweight clothes…
This is the best article on minimalism I’ve ever read. You’re a badass, man!
I’m headed to India this weekend and had already decided to bring only one outfit. While trying on my gear, I found this article just looking for other travelers rolling like this. My gear is pretty similar:
-Airblaster’s Merino Wool ninja suit as my base layer
-White 686 Snowboard pants (tough, thigh vents, tons of sealed zip pockets) with the liner removed
-Matix MJ Waffle top layer, because it’s super comfy as pyjamas, doesn’t look hyper-tech, and is awesome
-Merino wool socks and saucony sneakers (for cold nights)
-Vibram 5fingers for hot desert wandering
-Binchotan charcoal toothbrush and charcoal exfoliating / deodorizing pumice stone from occultier.com
I’m an author and music producer as well, so I’m taking my Dakine backpack for laptop, a few books for long bus and train rides, and my taoist herbs and raw chocolate. I’ll be leaving the backpack in the hotel while I hit up the kumbh mela, then decamp back to rishikesh when I’ve gathered enough material to write about.
Really excited to travel ultra-minimalist, man! Thanks for the added inspiration and heads up about some majorly awesome gear.
Muchas gracias Dogson. Enjoy India!
I would like to thank you. I live in Scotland, but I sometimes travel to warmer places, and your tips are priceless. After reading your article almost a year ago, I completely switched to merino base layers and usage of Alum; not only when traveling, but also on daily basis. What brought me to your website, was the mention of huaraches, which I use personally for couple of years, and I share your enthusiasm towards them.
You had a very positive influence on my lifestyle. Thanks again.
You, my friend, has just made my week.
I really agree with the heart of what you’re writing, here — but smartphones and laptops and other mod-con technology is the exact direction you shouldn’t desire to go, as a minimalist and adventurer!
The most fun in adventuring around is not having a smart phone or a laptop with GPS and a translator and all this bullshit to make it feel comfortable and distracting like home! Yes, I understand that it’s CONVENIENT and REALLY COOL to be able to play Angry Birds on the long bus ride into Lhasa. It’s still ridiculous, though, and something real is lost in doing it.
…It’s so sad, when I go to a hostel, and find the common area full of dead eyes and blank faces staring into the glow from their laps!
I agree and that really depends on the situation.
If i’d go for a month-long trip to ‘calibrate’ in nature – I’d leave the laptop and smartphone behind. But if you’re living mobile 365 days a year, and especially if you NEED your laptop to support yourself financially – it wouldn’t be very smart to stop using them.
It’s about balance really. Used with the right dose, smartphones can be very useful and valuable. Too much of them does the opposite.
The Kindle is AMAZING though and id take it anywhere. 2 kilograms of 10 books or 150g of 1000? technology can be very useful and life-enriching as you see.
with all that being said,
i feel like there’s a steep learning curve to go through. when you’re just traveling for the very first times, you learn a lot, and fast. the lack of those technological devices in that case can be quite beneficial because it helps you make it tougher and expand your comfort zone farther. But the moment you hit that specific comfort-zone spot, and when the excitement and novelty of first travels is gone, I feel like the value those devices bring to your life is much much higher than the ‘personality-growth’ bonus points you get without them.
I started traveling with technology from day one to be honest, but that’s only because travel feels like a joke compared to the first year of the Israeli army back there in the desert.
Great article, exactly what i was looking for. I think i’m gonna buy a few stuff, especialy an icebreaker short sleeve… really wanna try to light my backpack !
cheers Louis, thanks
Love this! When I was in Istanbul last year I met a girl on a bus – we got chatting because we were both just starting out on trips through Eastern Europe. She had one of those colossal gap year backpack things – must have been 80l or so looked like it weighed as much as she did. I had an ancient nike school bag – maybe 20l and most of that was laptop. We were both planning on travelling for the same length of time – she couldn’t get her head around it! Nothing compares to the freedom of packing super-light.
Hey dude awesome! I was just wondering if you ever though about hemp as a clothing option? It really does work the same as merino ( warm when cold, cool when hot) not too mention you don’t have to wash it for 4-5 days also. You seem like the kind of guy is aware of the environment and though the benefits of merino are great. Hemp in general is truly superior.
Oh and also moccasins dude they are perfect for the colder harsher climates ( I’m a bit of a naturalist )
I enjoyed reading your article.
Question: is there a similar clothing list for the ladies?
I don’t particularly like dressing like a guy.
Just get the same stuff for girls. Add in a merino wool bra and you’re gold.
I still think most of the same stuff for girls makes us girls look like bricks, probably I’m picky about the cut. Here’s a dress I found, made of merino wool. https://www.backcountry.com/icebreaker-aria-sleeveless-dress-womens – unfortunately in my size, I bought the last one.
I wanted to find the same thing. All the clothing you list looks like really nice guy stuff, I’m having a hard time finding nice, in style women’s wear that doesn’t look like I’m about to climb a mountain. Obviously you don’t have to worry about that but maybe you know of some nice women’s brands?
Icebreaker does a range of clothing that does not look like you are going to climb a mountain! :-) They do have skirts and tights Other stores you could try are Kathmandu (often have a mix between merino and their Tencel material-whatever that is!), Maxshop (very nice feminine clothing- under their Merino knitwear tab), Glassons, The wool Company NZ, The Tin Shed NZ, Macpac have some options, and I am sure there are more stores selling merino… you just have to hunt around a bit.
Awesome tips and well explained. I have slowly been minimizing my life for the last four years, layer by layering realizing how much I do not need. Still I want to get rid of more. I feel physically lighter and my brain is less chaotic and flustered when I have little stuff to deal with.
So true how having to pick out an outfit every morning can waste precious time if there are too many choices.
Thank you for sharing!
Could you make a nice cheet-sheet out of it? you know, like a minimalist travel checklist PDF or something? would be awesome to have one
Best minimalist packing list Ive found! thanks a lot from Canada :) been looking around for travel light gear and yours looks like a good combo of minimum weight to maximum efficiency
I an finishing my army service next week, and booked a round trip Tel Aviv->New York for 3 months for $750 :)
This reminded me of your first flight abroad haha.
Anyways I wanted to ask where you currently are, and if you’re in the states by any chance maybe we could meet up for a beer.
I’m also gearing up now, re-reading your gear post.
Have there been any advancements/new stuff since you wrote it?
Thanks for being an inspiration for me to live an alternative lifestyle,
Gear list just updated.
thanks! there’s a couple of useful products i didn’t know yet
Really like you article here, it is rather inspiring at least. I am not by far that minimalist yet, but will definitely try some of your ideas.
Just one comment, if you travel without any bag at all, how do you deal with basic misc items? like:
– charging cables (for camera and/or smartphone)
– ID documentation (e.g. passport)
I always have a charging cable and a passport in my pocket. It’s all small stuff.
I’m a bit late to the party…just read the article while looking for needed travel inspiration. Lately I graduated from a childs’ size suitcase to the grown up kind and wanted to get back to a freer traveling me, I would like to use the ‘chick’ excuse, to allow me a second pair of shoes (whatever works).
I generally travel to warm places so a sarong or a bed linen works as versatile/multifunctional chick outfits and leaves room for the shoes! Dr. Bronners = check, I have a length of stretchy neutral fiber than works to wrap or headband my tresses and quadruples as a bracelet or necklace. A mini kit of water color paint, a pad, a swimsuit, skirt or pants (sarong can do this also) toothpaste, toothbrush, tweezers, deodorant and a few creamy items pretty much tops off my list. Cell phone is 50/50 nice for photos but nice to leave it behind.
Now, the crystal thingy works?! Really, really? That is my big question and thanks for your blog.
The crystal thing does work, but I now use baking soda more often. It’s very effective, and it’s easier to fit in your pockets if you’re traveling bag-less. I suppose it doesn’t matter much if you’re with a backpack, so by all means go for the crystal if you can get your hands on one. You’ll love it.
Is it really possible for a woman to travel light? I’m not vain or anything, but I still end up bringing a lot of stuff no matter how hard I try to keep my bag light.
I can’t speak for the hygiene items. But as for clothing, just get merino wool. You can even get merino wool bras.
Great info I bought the super flip flops you recommended andd gave you credit to the manufacturer when I made the order Thanks for good logical travel suggestions
Awesome, thanks. You’ll enjoy them.
I’m Sergiu and I’m from Romania. I’ve read your article about your Xperia ZR and I was happy to see that you’ve actually been to Romania.
I’d like to travel Romania using the same phillosophy you are: carrying around the bare minimum and I was wondering if you have any tips for beginner travellers like me.
I plan on sticking to Romania for now, just so I can learn the “ropes” of travelling, before adventuring in Europe or further.
I hope to hear back from you soon,
Forget the tips, just climb over your back fence and start exploring. You’ll figure it out. You know what, I’ll give you two tips: 1. Wear merino wool. 2. Use common sense.
Awesome minimalist gear Regev! I’m definitely going to adopt some of the tips here. Thanks. I myself travel with a pretty minimalist travel wardrobe, but I never imagined it can be done with no bags at all.
Thanks, John. Yeah and this minimalist travel approach doesn’t even feel that extreme once you get used to it.
I love to read books since i was 7 year old and i switch to e-book and my friend gift me Kindle. Really according to me it is the best gadget i have ever come across in my life. Now Kindle is mine pligramge and E-book is my god.
I am also a kindle fan without doubt. My kindle is still kindle paperwhite, I like its weight and size. Well, mostly the weight!
Great stuff mate. Was impressed when I met you in Burma. Pure travelling dude! Keep me posted about the book! :)
Do you have a Wool&Prince type recommendation for women’s clothing? Love this post I just donated over 3/4 of my clothing. Didn’t get rid of everything because I need something to where while I work on finding the perfect pieces :). Now trying to do the same with other things in my house….
April, did you ever find anything good?
Hi April, Wool&Prince has women’s clothing now. Best, Mac
Incredible packing ideas in this article! My job is connected with a lot of traveling and I pack luggage often. The truth is that it is hard to decide what to take and what to leave at home. So, thank you for the tips again!
Anytime, Mira. Enjoy your travels.
I found your blog by accident and loved your minimalist travel gear tips. I would love to have your courage to drop everything and travel the world with nearly nothing. I did drop everything, but I stopped in a few cities to live and I carry luggage around, unfortunately. I wish you all the best and hope you get to see as much of the world as it’s possible. This is my dream.
Thank you Cinthia,
all the best, and keep on rockin’
Awesome article, really appreciate the tips! Just one question – do you think a merino wool cardigan would be too warm for Singapore/Koh Samui/Hanoi/Siem Reap in July?? I feel the cold so may need an extra layer at night but not sure if the humidity would make the wool uncomfortable? Thank you!
a CARDIGAN in South East Asia’s July? That’s a sweater, right? You don’t need any more than a single thin merino wool shirt, certainly not a sweater. Even at night, it’s so warm I always sleep shirtless. The kind of shirts I recommend are so thin you don’t feel their weight like old-school wool. And when it’s humid, they evaporate your sweat pretty quickly so that’s another big benefit.
Thanks for the wonderful site. Enjoyed, very much reading. Especially the About section.
All the best !
BTW, I am from Kuwait :)
Thanks buddy, all the best.
Found you through “secrets to cheap flights.” Very helpful, thanks! Love your site, by the way.
Great advice in this article. I try to travel light, but do end up with luggage, just not oodles of bags’ worth. Unfortunately, when you go to visit friends, one shirt ain’t gonna cut it. ;o)
Have a question for you though… what do you do if you’re allergic to wool? I can’t wear it. Period. So, what’s next best?
Love this radical approach to packing – I thought I was being badass when I wore the same black jeans, black sneakers and black leather jacket for one week in Paris. I had a small pull along suitcase and a backpack though, which was handy when bringing back pots of mustard, back when we could do things like that without checking a bag. However, sadly, I AM ALLERGIC TO WOOL :( – any suggestions for an alternative? Thanks!!
Hi I’m summer and I amazing
I’ve been minimizing my stuff for the past few months, and found this article a very entertaining and informative read. Thanks for posting it.
Any opinion on Vibram FiveFingers shoes? I’ve been using them for several years now and can’t imagine travel without them. I only take socks to wear to bed (often this eliminates the need for a blanket) because all of my shoes are barefoot shoes.
I recently went on a river cruise in France and only took about four changes of clothes, which everyone on the ship (mostly snooty retired people haha) found extremely shocking. When I came home I was super irritated with the too-large carry on suitcase I had taken so I bought a 20L backpack and find it more than sufficient. I even have 2-4L of extra space in case I find more books I want to bring home :P
I never tried the Five Fingers, but many people love them. I know smelling is a real problem with them, but I may be wrong. Maybe Vibram have fixed it by now.
Put some baking soda in them!
Very useful post! I agree with your choce of laptop 100%. I have a Macbook Pro with retina and love it! I can’t recommend it enough for traveling.
Leaving for Bolivia (for the first time) in a week. Only have two shirts and thought, ‘crap, I should have kept those t-shirts I donated earlier this month.’ Instead, I’m gonna wear the same dang outfit the whole week. Thanks for helping me regroup and remember why I’m going to South America in the first place :)
Anna from Cali
Awesome, Anna, but know that my approach is optimized for wool. If you’re gonna wear one set of cotton, it will be a nightmare, and you’re gonna stink. Enjoy your trip and stay safe.
Good stuff. Also a big fan of minimalist travel! My record is a five litre waterproof strap over. Still wanna do just a ”fanny pack”. Most legendary I saw was a guy doing a weekend trip with just a tooth brush. Good stuff :)
The book looks interesting. I searched for it on amazon but couldn’t find it – what happened? Staying away from the corporates? How the sales going? You would think if you get it to the right place it should be a killer book. Thinking of I hope the serve beer in hell and The game etc.
Anyway, thanks for the cool content man!
Lo meveim sandwich le mesada…
I was checking out your blog and was hoping I could talk to you about the clothes you wear while you’re traveling. It’s clear that you’re a travel pro, so I’m sure you have some definite go-to’s that you love! My company, Betabrand, has a passion for creating unique clothes that make life way more comfortable (and a bit more stylish!)
Lately, we’ve been discussing how to create the most fashionable, yet comfortable outfits for those who are always on the go. I reached out to you specifically because we’re looking for advice on what makes a great ‘wanderlust wardrobe.’
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Hopefully there will be some common themes we can pick up on and then we can put them into action and create more amazing travel clothing.
Short answer: WOOL JEANS.
Long answer: Create an amazing looking, stylish, 100% merino/cashmere wool button shirt (think Wool&Prince), and a 100% wool jeans that fits and looks great, and i’ll be your fan forever. Versace used to have one that looks nice, but they discontinued it. Add a pair of wool briefs and you have just created the best travel gear set ever made.
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly and I appreciate your input :) I love the idea of minimizing travel gear and have a functional and comfortable outfit to work the whole trip! I love your idea of creating wool jeans, definitely would be perfect for traveling.
For this project we are reaching out to travel gurus, such as yourself, to create a post about their perfect travel outfit. We really want to get the conversation going and want to dig into what people look for when it comes to comfortable travel clothing.
I am a young professional with a new job that requires frequent global travel. However, I am female which means wardrobe expectations vary dramatically by region. Do you have any recommendations of female travelers’ blogs you have come to know along the way or just from what you have experienced to advise an aspiring No Bags (or one tiny bag) traveler?
This article is pure gold. My husband and I are planning our first minimalist motorcycle trip down the coast of Oregon. While I’m not ready to give up all of my clothes and worldly goods, many of the tips on here will be great for cutting down on the superfelous items I tend to take with me “just in case.”
The wool clothing, super absorbant towel, and specific lack of a travel guidebook are my favorite 3 tips that I will definitely make use of.
Thank you for reminding me how needless the rest of the stuff is.
Hi! after 20 years i managed to travel with only 6 kilos last summer. I´ve reached some phase in life from 30 on that i realised i really didnt need to many things to live. Apllying this to travelling is now my challenge. Last year i bought my new 32 liter backpack (smallest i ever had) and i was so happy i could pack all my stuff in it for 15 days trip. Maybe its nothing yet but i am so inspired by your article and a lot of similar articles i´ve been reading! Thank so much! Yes, i am a girl and yes i believe girls can do it too!! :-)
Love this stuff. thanks for the travel hacks ~!
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your thoughtful, focused, detailed blog entries.
I stumbled on your site in my ongoing search for minimalist inspiration, and I wasn’t disappointed. Your posts are both informative and fun to read. I particularly appreciated your entries on low- or no-gear travel, something that I’ve been working on for a while now. (In my case, “simplifying” has become a central life goal.)
Your review of the Tom Bihn 19-liter backpack was really good. Lately, I’ve been on a quest for a quality bag in the 20-liter range. Anyway, good stuff, man. It’s great to read blogs from like-minded individuals who choose quality and functionality over quantity or popularity… and who really get behind the idea that “less is more.”
Thanks for writing — and if you have any new thoughts about your “favorite” travel backpack, please let me know.
This was great! First time here and will look at other articles. I have full plans to migrate fully onto Merino wool (aside from one of those zip short/long pants as I managed to get one at an opp shop) as I have two icebreaker hiking socks that I fawn over when ever I go hiking. I might be classified as a digital nomad in the future as it’s my ultimate aim to be a freelancing vagabonder (Wacom Cinteq as opposed to a laptop). My aim is to be self sufficient on the road. Only carry-on. I got a 40L Osprey Farpoint backpack for long term as it would meet my requirements in the future.
A part of me wishes to take this ‘barely anything’ or just a normal backpack route for the long term but another thinks it’s slightly troublesome to go that far with the way I’m likely to travel with my art streak, aspiring profession, and random camping/hiking streak. I’m thinking I can afford to if I’m staying in country for at least a year. I aim for ultralight gear at least.
Still, I plan to try the minimal method (again if I think about it. I never brought much to camps in army cadets) when I go to Brazil in June-July as it’s only 46 days, with two pairs of clothes as opposed to one (I will be seeing the same people day to day so two seems reasonable ) Definitely rethought the clothes, phone and camera here though. I’m debating whether to bring my small tough camera with me at all. I have a thief proof bag ( though not so thief proof at gunpoint), Pacsafe Metrosafe 200, that I’m thinking I can can fit everything necessary into and pack a packable light weight backpack to store everything not needed when I go out and about.
How did you manage to get your flash light stolen? … multiple times ? that makes very little sense to me right now :)
It was stolen from me once, in the Philippines, and since then I haven’t gotten one. Today I just use my smartphone, which seems to work just fine for lightweight travel.
How about bamboo for the people who are alergic to wool?
Bamboo never got inside my minimal travel wardrobe, so honestly I don’t know.
Great!!! Your blog is interesting and so informative.
GREAT article. I’m about to leave for a short trip to LA at the end of this week, and my total weight including the weight of my pack (the REI Flash 18 day pack, which will double as my hydration pack for the hikes I have planned) is under 3.7 kilos. Fun fact: I purchased several of the items you recommended after some of my own research, including the Thai Crystal deodorant stone, Marmot rain jacket and the Earth Runners minimalist sandals. Even though this trip is just for a long weekend, my packing would be the same for a month or six months or indefinitely, assuming warm-ish weather. I feel like I’ve never been better equipped for travel and am LOVING how super light and small my bag is. In addition to the essentials, I’ve even got a full-size beach towel, super comfy travel pillow, the novel I’m about to read next (The Time Machine by H.G. Wells), AND space to spare in my little bag. Merino wool clothing has me feeling like a boss, too. The icing on the cake is that my pack is so tiny that I don’t need to pay for carry on luggage for my super cheap flight with Spirit Airlines (they consider it a “personal item” which is included in the fare). Anyway, just wanted to drop a note and thank you for the truly invaluable information and flat-out enjoyable read. Safe & happy travels!
Great article! I was searching for ways for packing for a 13 day road trip with my husband and 4 year old—and your article came my way. I’m impressed and (once again) taking one more step towards a more minimalist lifestyle—and traveling light is it. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!
P.S. tried to find merino wool bras in my size…no luck! But the rest is so doable!
The phrase “stinks like a mofo” is now going to be stuck in my head for the rest of my life :)
So much of the clothes we think we need is about social conventions. My family and I all have “go bags” for travelling – a small bag each that we like to think we can just grab and head off – but you’ve got me rethinking the contents. I am curious what you wear to formal events if you’re basically living in shorts… thinking of possible examples…
1. Lifestyle doesn’t throw formal events at you much, 2. You hire formal wear, 3. You ignore convention and wear your one outfit, 4. “What do you mean ignore convention, this looks good already!” :) … or ? I don’t know.
When I’m abroad and invited to a formal place, I just wear what I have. I mean, when some random Vietnamese guy invites you to his wedding, which happens right there, last thing you’re gonna worry about is changing clothes.
Also, I’m not traveling all year anymore, and when I’m in my home base, I wear long jeans/pants for weddings, meetings, etc. But 99% of the time I’m wearing shorts.
When I saw the picture on facebook, I was sure the picture was from Romania!!!!
This list is incredible! I really cant get my head around going without a bag at all and I thought I was minimal. Doesn’t going without a bag leave you with bulging pockets and cargos?
I try to go light, ive got everything I need for a month down to 3kg/15L, but a kilo of that is just medical supplies for type 1 diabetes, something that really contradicts going minimal. Ive parred myself down as much as I’m willing to risk medically but find it prevents true minimalism, or is going ultralight what allows me to make up for the bulk of medical necessities? When does going light sacrifice safety?
No bulging pockets whatsoever. My credit card, money and passport are inside an internal pocket sewn inside my pants. My smartphone and its charger, each gets its own pants pocket.
I don’t think lightweight travel sacrifices safety at all. But if you have some medical items which you can’t get in your destination and which would be absolutely necessary in times of emergency, by all means find a way to carry them.
T. R. Post
As a missionary who lives out of a suitcase and frequently downsizes, I read your article with great interest. For years I have traveled to various places with three bags (one large suitcase, a gym bag, and a backpack that holds my MacBook Pro with its accessories). The ideas you shared have inspired me to think of ways to downsize even more. One complaint I have is the unnecessary swear words near the end. They ruined an otherwise great article. I like what one motivation speaker says, “If you can’t be interesting without profanity, then let’s face it: You’re not that interesting.”
Can you elaborate on how you carry, and use, baking soda as deodorant.
I make my own deodorant using baking soda, coconut oil (naturally antibacterial), beeswax and shea butter. You can buy small deodorant sticks on Amazon. It works way better than chemical based deodorant and for a few days. I use rosemary and lavender for fragrance.
I can’t speak for Reggie, but I carry my bicarb soda in a small plastic screwtop container (probably 25x50mm). To use I rub around 1/2 tsp under each arm immediately after toweling down following a shower. It works better than any deodorant I have ever used, doesn’t stink of perfume and protects me from the chemical load I’d rather not expose myself to. I wouldn’t put anything on my skin that I wouldn’t eat.
I carry my baking soda in a tiny bag that I put in my pocket. I use extremely small amounts, right after shower. I just shove my finger in the dusty powder and rub whatever sticks to the finger right in my underarm. I do this twice, once for every side. I agree with you, it works tremendously better than any deodorant I have ever tried. Plus the shirt doesn’t stain.
Agreed. Minimal travel is the way to go for sure. Towel is key! I have minimal travel towels for sure. I hiked Half Dome this summer and should have left the DSLR behind. It turned out to be a space hog and I needed up using my iPhone more and anything. Might want to consider a Bolstr bag? It is for essentials and when traveling its my grab-and-go and where I put keys, wallet, passport, phone, keys and sunglasses so I never lose them. When packing and unpacking, it is easy to put one of your EDC items down and lose it in a pile. I just keep it all in the bag when I return to my room and never have to worry about. If I use my phone, I put it back in the bag immediately…
Love this. I a traveling to Spain/France fro three weeks and would like to add to the conversation the Sport Coat by scottevest that I plan on wearing.
This is a great article. And thank you for sharing your list to us. I been traveling backpacking. Travel is fun but sometimes it can’t be that so much fun if you forgetting to put that specific thing to your travel bag. When I planned my travel, I always write things down now.
Amazing travel advice!!!
Thanks A Million Buddy!
I just traveled for two weeks and people trip when they realize how little you actually have. I saw your average traveler takes so much junk I get depressed looking at it. My biggest take-away was the wool shirt. I bought a Wool & Prince for $68 and wore it everyday, it was as fresh as day one at the end of the trip. Thanks again you really inspired me! My two take-aways were more underwear fewer socks and a giant battery pack for the Smart Phone.
Deise de Oliveira
I really liked your list! I’m not really a minimalist but I consider myself a lightpacker and I think it’s the best (and cheapest) way to travel.
Yeah, we really don’t need anything much other than a toothbrush and a nail clipper(absolute musts lol). It also helps when everything is anti-bacterial, anti-odor, quick dry and stuff. also make the backpack waterproof. Then go with the wind. Wherever you end up.
The wind never disappoints!
‘never own anything you are sad to lose’ has been on my mind a lot recently.
i gave away majority of my belongings a couple years ago, still have too much, but i’m working on it. the quote is a head twist – but when you actually give away the most precious things/jewellery/clothes etc you own, you feel such a freedom!
thank you reg for your brutally minimalist post – it has helped – a lot. (!!!)
as a zero waste-wannabe, i carry an insulated klean kanteen thermos (doubles as a water bottle), a produce bag & stainless steel lunch box with me almost all times in a canvas tote bag. but that’s it.
when i travel, i just add
a pair or undies,
light woolsilk long sleeve shirt & long johns = ninja suit
wool socks &
patagonia UL down jacket
to it and i’m ready to roll!
(for the ladies; make up take up sooooo much space, time, money & effort, ditch it and you’ll be so much happier! your face doesn’t beat your personality, so invest in adventures instead….. ;-) )
Thanks for the travel advice. For me traveling with only one pair of clothing, even something made out of merino wool is a miss for me. I usually bring 3 or 4 days of clothing. I usually spend a month overseas every year. I have aNikon D7200 that I bring as well as 2 lenses. Most of my coworkers at work and friends, will not be able to take a trip like the ones I have taken. Unfortunately most people will never leave their neighborhood. I like to show people the pictures I have taken. I have developed a reasonable travel kit, that I use and that works for me. I also bring a 100% silk travel liner.
Thanks for the article and safe travels
Thank you for this amazing article and it is really inspiring. I’m currently travelling for I don’t know how long since I quit my job and taking a lot of domestic flights (going under 7kg bag). My question was what do you do with phone and camera chargers, plugs for different countries and medication like malaria pills?
What if you go somewhere fancy ?
My phone is my camera, so I carry one charger only. It’s a tiny iPhone’s charger, so it fits my pockets easily. Plug I take a small adapter that will fit my destination, or a universal adapter like the Kikkerland if I’m going between many different areas. Medications I never take.
If I go somewhere fancy… it’s never on my plans really, but when it does happen, I just go. Always brings a smile to my face to enter an expensive restaurant with a black T shirt. With wool pants and button-down shirt, you can look great though, at least as a man.
I really enjoy this article and come back to it often across the years. It’s hard for me to be this minimal as a committed dad but the principles are my escape hatch and I have created my emergency go bag wuth synapse 19 that I could just grab and go. I’m just curious to know if you carry a trimmer or razor – how do you keep your hair/beard in shape. And when you’re at home and not travelling do you have any extra items?
Hey Mark, glad it’s helpful. I do not carry a trimmer. I just go to a barber shop every two weeks or so and shave my head/beard off completely. Currently I’m more settled than in the past, so I definitely have extra items. But when I go traveling (still a couple of times a year), I go completely No Bag these days. I find it rejuvenating.
Hey Regev! After using this article as my bible after finding it years ago, it’s awesome to see you’ve updated it. Looking forward to reading more from you.
Come back over the next days, I’m not done yet. And if you loved what’s here, you’re gonna love the book.
Oh I’m reading Destination Poon right now man on my kindle. It’s great so far. Unless there’s another book I’m not aware of?
You’re on the right one. There’s another book on the plans, but it’s going to take a while.
Any options if you are allergic to wool?
For all those reporting allergies to wool (Wendy, Laurel, Rachel), let me ask you this: Are you 100% sure it is wool you are allergic to?
Most of the time, the red rash and itching are just a reaction of your skin against the friction of thick wool fibers. Most people find that they don’t experience this when they move to soft, refined wool – like merino or polwrath. Before you ditch wool completely, try merino wool and see if the reactions persist. Look for a low micron count, which refers to the thickness of each fiber. The lower the count, the finer the fiber and less likely it is to irritate your skin. As far as I understand, most people feel itchy at around ~30 micron count, but merino wool base layers these days are only about 15-20! This is why most people who “can’t wear wool” suddenly find that they actually can when they try soft wool like merino. And even at high micron count, wool allergies are very rare. It is usually dust or wool processing chemicals residues. If you want to know for sure if you’re allergic to wool, try organic, low micron count merino wool and see if your body reacts. Chances are you’re not allergic.
I’ve tried all the top wool brands, Ice Breaker etc and couldn’t get the clothes off quick enough when trying on, and have tried getting ‘used to it’ as suggested by the sales person at Ice Breaker and so bought a garment but the irritation drove me insane. Fine as a top layer over something else but definitely not against this skin!
Hi Reg – Thank you for this great post. For the women, Ibex also sells merino wool undies, which have become my favorite. Initially I thought “wool underwear?!” but since I was loving all my other merino clothing I decided to give them a try. Love ’em. They are pricey but they occasionally go on sale, they last a long time and they are great, especially for travel. Ibex also has some merino bras but I prefer the ones Icebreaker has (just personal preference). Ibex also makes other merino clothing, some of which might be more “fashionable” for the women who were asking about clothes that don’t make them look like they are wearing men’s clothing. Nice men’s stuff at Ibex, too. Also, merino pants… my husband has some Kuhl Outback pants that are 50% merino, 50% nylon and loves them. He had a tailor add a discreet side-leg zipper pocket that fits phone/passport and they are great for travel. He actually got the pants a little long and the tailor took a bit off the length to make the edging for the pocket :) In any case, thanks for your post. We are always trying to travel a bit lighter and you have given us some new ideas! Thanks!
Thanks for the update Reg. I’ve completely changed from a lugging massive suitcases around to a minimalist traveller, all thanks to your blog. I threw away *all* my tech t-shirts, briefs and socks and only wear merino shirts. I even bought a merino dress shirt for business trips. I got myself a Synapse 19, that I test drove yesterday on a business trip to Cairo.
I was wondering, can you link me to the your tiny nylon bag (the size of a key)? I tried baking soda but haven’t quite got the hang of it, but I’ll get there.
The “tiny nylon bag” isn’t anything special. Anything can work. Improvise! I once used a hotel toothbrush’s nylon wrap for months.
Very inspiring article, glad I found it, thank you.
I’m currently traveling New Zealand and will certainly give a try to some of your ideas/advice. Especially when Merino wool is actually local product.
Heard from Kiwis that you can get them really cheap at local merino wool brands outlets over there.
This was an amazing read, thanks for putting this up. Wish I had seen this sooner so I could prepare some stuff for my upcoming trip. Will try at least to find those legendary 100% wool shirts!
I made the switch from 35 pounds of mostly usless weight to about 5 pounds of ONLY useful weight about five years ago. I’ll never go back! Just essential items pocketed and my medicines and spare “rotation” underwear and minimal added layers are hand carried in a 3 ounce nylon cinch bag. Additional toilet items, meds, hand laundry Soap and a few tech items weigh about five pounds. I suppose I could go bagless just by rolling my spare clothing and strapping it but in my case with six medicine bottles I just use the cinch bag. Still minimal and light weight!
I would like to add that I have discovered Wrangler “stretch” jeans! They don’t stretch but they are made with a light weight denim that dries fast after the “slosh slosh roll it in a towel and stomp” weekly washing. Super strong and reliable. ONE pair of pants worn period. And no I don’t care about how I look as much as I care about what I’m CARRYING!
Hint: Your spare socks stuffed in with a wallet or passport stops pickpockets! So does a Humangear nylon spork pocketed tines up and out! It’s entertaining too!
Very good advice here! Thanks for your “research” and suggestions!
Great thread. I travel 6-9 mos/year in Asia=hot. This year I switched to a big checked bag which I’m hating. BUT I decided I wanted to take 9 months of supplements and meds, which add huge weight and bulk. 1 pillx180 days x 10 supplements + antibiotics, + I also take resistance tubes so my fitness doesn’t go to shit.
You guys have inspired me to Merino a 2nd chance. So far I hate wool on my skin when it’s hot. I prefer Nike Dri-fit tank tops.I also love RailRiders Adventure Pants which have huge pockets are superlight. I roll them up and use plastic clothes pegs to keep em up.
I carry a custom Sil nylon poncho which is the best Asia rain gear, doubles as a blanket. I also carry a 4 oz Thermarest Zlite sleeping pad. Airport bed, yoga mat, pad mattress support.
And last, I carry 3M Pelator earmuffs=huge unminimalist aviation industry quality that makes sound disappear: snoring in a hostel? Gone!
I’ll see if I can wean myself into Merino starting today.
Next trip I’ll go all Reggie except for the above. I’d love to figure out the supplements.
This post was very insightful, I never knew about the benefits of wool. But wholly crap, you take minimalism to the last. Only 1 outfit?!? ONLY ONE OUTFIT?!? I’m trying to move to a more minimalist lifestyle and I see I have a long way to go. Thank you for all of this information, keep traveling.
Do wool shirts / pants offer sun / UV protection?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Thanks a lot for this Regev~~!! love it
Definitely saving this. I don’t travel, but a lot of the things here can apply to everyday normal life as much as they do international travel.
Thanks for this, I’ll definitely be using some of these tips to go under 5kg next time, it’s so doable. It is totally amazing what you can accomplish if you try. Having said that, you definitely have a disorder which comes across both in your masturbatory writing and your obsessive behaviour. And your weird desire to conquer poon of all races and religions lol. Good thing it sells though, therapy ain’t cheap.
hahahahahahahahahaha, we all got our faults don’t we
Thank you for giving a detailed guideline on traveling light. I found your recommendation on wool particularly useful. I’ll try out some of your tips and modify accordingly to my upcoming Euro trip next month.
You inspire me to start recording my own minimalist journey. I’ll revisit your blog in the near future to keep you posted. Thank you!
Awesome, good luck Lioness and keep us posted
Shalom, This is the most wonderful article about travel I have ever read, and it’s all in one. It’s a great lesson about travel and living simple. I also found your story very inspiring and the laughter of your grandma made me laugh, thank you for sharing, Regev
I will be traveling soon and thank you for the insights
Thanks, you mentioning my grandma made my day.
I heard wool is very fragile, What do you say? Is it true?
E.g. when bicycling, the wool gets ruined.
when I bought my wool-undergarments, so they recommended me buying a mix of polyester and wool, which I did. And it does smell. :-/
(I wish I read this article before buying it, but it was 2-3 years ago)
What about packing for long-term travel with work/studying? (more than 5 months)
and if I need to bring more stuff/clothes when traveling long-term (more than 6 months),
what sort of bag do you recommend?
suitcase? duffle bag? backpack?
Hey! I love the way you think! Big props for these great packing list.
I wonder what do you think about sunglasses….necessary item?
Never using it.
Love the article. It’s very enjoyable to read. Honestly, I also like to travel light. Not as light as you for the time being, but who knows, someday maybe? I always make sure that whatever I carry on my back should be less than half of my body weight. I am small in size, and not tall either. That enables me to have smaller clothes and use small bags all the time. The biggest backpack I’ve owned was a 30L backpack.
Now I am travelling with a 28L backpack by Osprey. I purposely bought that size. It forced me to pack the most important things for my travels. I can’t travel with anything smaller, not until I have more money in my pocket. Of course, if I have more money, I will travel with even less.
You’re right about the unnecessary need for carrying a laptop while travelling. I can leave mine behind if I don’t need it. But I make money from writing, so I pretty much need it even while I’m travelling.
Overall, I really love the article! Thanks.
Very nice article.
For now I’m a permanent nomad, don’t have a permanent home and have been on the road for more than 2 years and definitely more years to come…
I love minimalism, but don’t go that extreme, I make sure to stay under the carry-on limit.
About merino wool, I have a few merino products and really like it.
I think the only con about merino is, that it’s not so durable?
A tip for people who travel around and stick longer at some places and want some more clothes to wear. Try to find second hand shops for clothes. Many of them are charity shops, it’s very cheap and we are saving the planet by recycling.
When I leave the place I just bring the clothes back to the charity shop again.
And yes the crystal deodorant stick is amazing, I put some after my shower and never smell anymore. And the stick lasts for a very very long time(years).
Ah, how do we find these gems on the innernest? What an amazing web!
So, I am 50+, female, planning a solo walking for 2 weeks in Spain (not the Camino), with a 40 liter, 15 lb backpack. Four days before departure, I tripped on a broken sidewalk and painfully bruised my ribs. After a day of couch and ibuprophen, I removed two lbs of stuff from my pack. This included my swimsuit and sandals. So I traveled with only one pair of shoes and never did find a good swim spot. There is nothing I missed that I had removed, and a few things I took that I didn’t need after all, and a few things I hadn’t thought of that I wished I had. I also cut a few excess bits off my actual pack – straps and so on – to save a few ounces. My final day in Barcelona was really, really long, but even though by then my pack weighed 28 lbs (chocolate and fabric, mostly), I had gained enough strength that all day long, the weight didn’t bother me at all. This is my first trip like this, and I will do it better next time.
Remember- No benefits of wool will ever outweigh the abuse and torture the sheep go through in order to produce that wool. I am sure there are plenty alternatives to wool that will be adequate.
Great story so inspired! But maybe you should do a packing video on your youtube channel that will be so much helpfull! Plus we can see it in real life how you do it.
Good idea! My packing video will last exactly 10 seconds though. Put my clothes on, grab my phone, moneyz, passport, toothbrush, toothpaste, baking soda and hit the airport.
Hi, your travel gear page approach is very interesting and good! I was wondering though that you are not carrying a water bottle even though you travel in some very hot climates? Second thing is travel adapter, surely iphone charger is not compatible with all those countries you have visited?
I never carry a water bottle. I drink enough throughout the day, especially alongside my meals. If I need an adapter for my iPhone, I just buy a small one locally or ask the reception at the hotels.
Do you know a good website that talks about or tells you where to buy traveling clothing for young kids (like the clothes you mentioned here)?
I’d look on Amazon. The principles are the same as for adults, just look for children sizes.
I tried a zero bag challenge back in January for a long weekend trip to Pensacola, FL. I learned a lot, it gave me more perspective for future trips. I have been a one bag traveler for years (Tom Bihn synapse 25), but doing a no-bag was a leap for me. I enjoyed it and the added challenge that it was winter, albeit only in the 40’s, made me feel real good about it later. Since then, I no longer carry a purse or a work bag. My future one bag travel bag will be the Tom Bihn synapse 19 or their new pop tote. I’ll be trying a second run of a zero bag travel trip this summer also for a weekend in Pensacola, we will see how that works compared to the winter trip.
I just spent a one week summer vacation luggage free I packed all my stuff into my favorite purse! Think carryon or one bag travel is impossible for fashionistas? Well, there s no more excuses!
I think the post is awsome but I have one complaint. You are constantly promoting wool and how good of a fabric it is. I think it is really important that you know where the products come from and how they are produced before you promote them to other people. With wool we tend to forget that it comes from sheep and as with all industries that use animals we know that these are extremely cruel towards them and the wool industry is no different. I wanted to share this article where this topic is explained in detail so the next time you’re promoting wool or anything else you do a bit more research on it.
I hope I could spread some awareness.
I recently discovered this article and greatly appreciate the philosophy and recommendations. In the replies, I have noticed a number of requests for a non-wool option. Although I would recommend evaluating the merino wool option to determine if you are truly allergic or sensitive to this, you can also look into linen products that have similar anti-microbial properties but offer a plant based option. I prefer the merino wool products, but do use some linen pants and shirts as well in my travel items depending upon my trip.
Any chance of an update for the new decade?
Absolutely. It’s coming up ;)
Great! ??? We are all waiting for it! Thank you for inspiration!
Folks, guide just updated for 2020!
I would also just add earbuds, and ear plugs, they don’t take up much space, but are a life saver. I do no-bag travel with a small fanny pack. As a woman most of our clothes come without or with substandard pockets. If its winter and I’ll have a coat then I leave behind the fanny pack, winter coats have decent pockets. Even at a minimum though I also take an extra pair of underwear. Also, I have found that for the most part you can just travel in your regular clothes. No need to buy merino wool everything, (except socks-buy those) but merino items do make it easier. If you are one-bagging be careful, the backpack straps tend to fray and pull at merino wool around the shoulder areas. Thanks Regev, alway a pleasure to read your updates.
I revisit this blog every year or so. Fantastic, and very inspiring. I currently have a small sling bag (the Bellroy Sling) packed ready for a trip to SE Asia when travel is allowed again.
In my experience, the only additional things I need to take that aren’t covered here are sunscreen (expensive and often laced with whiteners in Asia) and strong insect repellent (mosquitos seem to find me particularly tasty). They are annoyingly bulky, but I personally can’t travel without them. I think it is the clothes where you really save the space though.
I’ll just be wearing a merino top, light trousers and sandals, with a pair of lined swim shorts rolled into my bag – alongside some basic toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, tiny flip comb and the aforementioned insect/sunblock). For electronics I am simply taking my AirPods, iPhone, a charger and a small battery pack/single cable.
I have a slim case for my passport that also carries a few extras – sim remover tool, other simcards, spare bank card, bottle opener and tiny torch.
I think that is basically everything. Oh, and of course a face mask in this new world!
Do you buy any souvenirs when you travel ?
I’ve tried so many really top wool clothing (Ice Breaker etc) but can’t get them off fast enough. The itch is unbearable, and I don’t have super sensitive skin. So it’s a bummer when all the minimalist packing bloggers say wool wool wool. Looks like it’s poly only for me ?Love to hear what any other ‘itchy types’ have found.?
I am searching where to purchase the secret zippered pockets shown on your website. I don’t have access to a sewing machine and the secret pockets by Andy the Hobo Traveler are no longer available at Amazon.com
Can you tell me where I can find one? Thank you.