Blame it on being a Pisces. Blame it on FOSB (fear of something better). Blame it on simply being thorough in my research. I feel like getting the right gear to travel light took ages!!
I’ve never really had to live out of a bag 1 week at a time. In my past travels, I’d just bring a big enough bag to have a clean set of clothes for each day of my trip with a small laundry sack for soiled garments. This time, I’ve had to decide on some gear.
The good news: I can’t possibly buy much since I only have 40L (based on pro nomad recommendations for portability and stowability) to accommodate all of the belongings that I bring. The bad news: I don’t have much in the way of “light travel gear”, so everything I want to bring, I’m having to buy… and small, light travel gear doesn’t come cheap.
My first decision was whether or not to spring for a new pack. Most sites recommend a 40-55L pack (I had my eye on the Osprey Farpoint 55). After much deliberation, as convenient as this pack would probably be based on the glowing reviews, I decided to be budget conscious and pass on this purchase. Instead, I chose to use the Osprey Meridian 22 that I already own. It’s 40L with a 15L day pack. The main difference is that it’s a hybrid, so it can be wheeled or carried as a pack. The downside that I’m expecting is that it will not be comfortable as a pack, and I lose some space due to the pack suspension system.
Next I set out to get all the gear I need to live on the road for 7 weeks. Very long story short, here’s what I ended up with:
- SmartWool socks–dry fast, keep cool, and antimicrobal (3 varieties and lengths)
- Dry pack
- First Aid kit (which I will be modifying)
- Portable clothes line
- ALOKSAK bags (for dirty laundry–I read you can wash in these too)
- TSA locks
- Ultrathon Inset repellant
- Leukotape (for blisters mostly)
- SIM card kit (so I can try to buy local SIMs)
- Bar soap and J.R. Liggett’s bar shampoo
- Travel laundry wash tabs
- Monster USB wall charger
- Shoe bag
- Microfiber travel towel
- And probably most importantly, Eagle Creek packing cubes (I hear these are amazing).
I did all of the research, pining over whether I needed this or that. Even once I decided I needed something (yes, I do need a shoe bag to keep dirty shoes off my clean clothes, thank you), there were more options than I could quickly process. Procuring my gear took about a week. I shopped bricks and mortar and online… online prevailed for my accessory gear.