This is the stuff that I’ve been living and traveling with for the past 9 months. I’m constantly trying to get rid of stuff, so this list is always evolving.
Where possible, I’ve linked to the exact product’s page on Amazon. If there’s a newer/better version of the thing I have, I’ve linked to that instead.
Luggage and stuff
- eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible – This thing has too many words in its name, but it’s a great bag. It’s my main bag. It’s a carry on, and all my stuff fits in it. When all is said and done and packed, the bag weighs about 35 pounds. That’s pretty heavy (it’s mostly from of all the electronics and stuff I have to carry), and it’s not super comfortable to wear when it’s that heavy, but it’s usually not an issue. A camping/hiking backpack would be more comfortable to wear, but wouldn’t fit all of my stuff as easily.
- Patagonia Lightweight Travel Courier – This is the bag that I take with me when I go out every day. It’s awesome. It packs down into its own pocket when it’s not being used.
- Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack – Another piece of packable luggage. This thing is tiny when it’s packed. I use it only when I go hiking; otherwise, it stays packed in my main bag.
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube (2x) – These fit perfectly side-by-side in my bag. All of the non-clothing items fit in these two packing cubes.
- Lightweight mesh bags (3x) – To sort and store various things inside the larger packing cubes
- Ziplock bags
- Eagle Creek Pack-It-Sac – Not sure which size I have. I put my Kindles in it when it’s time to travel.
- Eagle Creek Compression Sacks (Medium; 3x) – These things are awesome. They’re like vacuum bags for your clothes, but you just roll them up to get all the air out of them. I actively use two of them; the third is for if/when one of the other ones gets a hole in it.
Because of my work, I carry more electronic and computery stuff that the average person would need. All of my electronics work at 110 or 220 voltage, so I don’t need any sort of transformer.
- Mid-2011 13″ MacBook Air – Best computer I’ve ever had
- Hard Candy laptop case – Fantastic case
- Ethernet cable
- Thunderbolt-to-ethernet dongle
- Logitech M305 Wireless Mouse
- AA USB rechargeable batteries (4x) – For the wireless mouse
- Cheap Casio watch
- World phone with world SIM card and charge cable
- iPhone 4 – Possibly the single most useful thing I travel with
- iPhone cables (2x) – These are both longer and more durable than the standard, crappy cable that comes with the iPhone. They come in a three pack and I gave one away. I might leave the second one the next time I switch apartments.
- Wall-to-USB adapter – Used to charge my phone and my Kindles
- Panasonic headphones (2x) – The best cheap headphones I’ve had. I have two because again, I don’t want to be without headphones if one set dies.
- Panasonic point-and-shoot camera with 16GB SD card and extra battery – This thing takes great pictures. I do wish it did 1080p video, though.
- Battery charger for the camera battery
- Tiltpod – Super cool little tripod base for my camera. It’s always attached to the camera’s wrist lanyard, and is smaller and lighter than I thought it would be.
- USA to Europe plug adapters (4x)
- Other plug adapters (2x)
- Universal power plug adapters (2x)
- Kindle Fire (1st gen) – Not a fan. I still have it because I test my Kindle books on it. I’d rather have an iPad Mini. I have this case on it.
- Kindle (4th gen) – Love it. I use it to read and also to test my Kindle books. I have a little bubble mailer envelope sleeve thing to protect it when traveling.
- Short micro USB cable — For charging and manually loading new stuff onto the Kindles
- Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone – What I record my podcast with
- Microphone stand
- Microphone clip
- Small headlamp
- Waterproof camera pouch thing
- 1-to-3 outlet wall adapter – I have something like this, but I think something like this looks better.
- Extension cord – I think it’s 10′ or 12′ long
- 2 t-shirts
- 4 button-up t-shirts
- Long-sleeve button-up shirt
- Gray jeans
- Black pants – Will probably get rid of these the next time I move
- Khaki pants
- Dark gray shorts
- Khaki shorts (that also double as swim shorts)
- Underwear (7x)
- Synthetic long-sleeve shirt (dark blue)
- Synthetic half-zip pullover sweater thing
- Patagonia Torrentshell jacket – It packs up into its own pocket, which is really nice
- Lightweight fleece beanie
- Leather money belt – It’s something like this.
- Sanuk Mason – My regular shoes
- Merrell Trail Glove – My hiking/adventure shoes
- Reef shoes – Not sure exactly which ones they are, but they’re something like this. I have both these and the Sanuks because I’m still trying to decide which I like better. Both are super compact when they’re not being used. I think I like the Sanuks better, and I’ll probably get rid of these the next time I move.
- White socks (2x)
- Gray socks
- Philips Norelco PT730 Powertouch Electric Razor – Bought it because it’s dual-voltage
- Travel towel – Packs up much, much smaller than a regular towel
- Rubber sink stopper – I hate doing laundry myself and almost never do, but when I’m in the middle of nowhere and need to do laundry in the sink, I pull out this thing
- Hair brush
- Small bottle of contact solution
- Contact holder/storage thing
- Small tube of sunscreen
- Small tube of insect repellant
- Lip balm
- Nail clippers
- Small travel mirror
- Ibuprofen and Mucinex
- Sleep mask – This thing is amazing. Not only does it make a huge difference on airplanes and trains, but I now use it every night when I sleep.
- Glasses in a hard case
- Sunglasses in a hard case
- Travel umbrella – I can’t find the exact model I have, but it’s by Totes and is about 6″ long when stored.
- Gripmaster (red) – So I can try to get some of my old climbing strength back. I don’t use it very often, though, so I might leave it behind the next time I move.
- Two small locks for my bag
- Pacsafe portable safe w/lock – If I feel like the apartment or hotel I’m in isn’t super secure, I’ll stick my laptop in here when I leave.
- Small box of business card/name card things
- Eagle Creek Undercover Hidden Pocket – Has extra credit card and passport copy in it
- Wire coat hanger
I don’t have earplugs. When people around me are being loud, I put my headphones in and listen to white noise of some sort (usually rain) from a nature sounds app.
How I pack everything
I put all of the clothes into the two Eagle Creek compression sacks and take all of the air out of them. I put all of my accessories and little things into the smaller mesh bags and then put the smaller mesh bags into the two Eagle Creek packing cubes. The two bags full of my clothes take up half of my bag and the two Eagle Creek packing cubes (on top of each other) take up the other half of the bag. I put my laptop in the case, put the case inside the portable safe, and put it all into my bag’s laptop compartment. I stick a couple odd things like shoes and the sunglasses case in the open areas between the other things in the main compartment of my bag. I don’t put anything into any of the outside pockets of my bag. Everything is either in the main compartment or the laptop compartment.
The resulting bag is still carry-on sized and fits into overhead bins.
Here are the various elements: