If it fits in my bag and the overall carry weight is manageable then it works for me.
In my previous minimalist adventure post I wrote about how I’d decided to ditch my Osprey 40 liter backpack in search of something less roomy. Here I reveal the bag I eventually picked and the radical changes my travel gear setup in general went through in preparation for my next trip.
The pic above was taken at my friend’s studio in Hong Kong a few days ago. This is what I left London with a few months back and is everything I own. Compared to when I documented my stuff last year in Vietnam, I don’t think I actually have less things now, but what I have was more purposefully chosen to be lighter, more durable and multi-functional. Unlike some minimalists, I’m not into counting my things and getting down to a specific number which I find overly obsessive. I want to have fewer things to make traveling easier and because I enjoy simplicity in my life. If it fits in my bag and the overall carry weight is manageable then it works for me.
Here’s the breakdown:
Main carry bag
- Osprey Daylite Plus 20 Liter Backpack
- Rohan Equator Long Sleeve Shirt
- Rohan Aura Short Sleeve Shirt
- Rohan Fusion Long Pants
- Icebreaker Tech-Lite Merino Wool T-Shirt
- Patagonia Light and Variable Shorts
- 1 x Rohan Merino Wool Boxer Shorts
- 1 x EDZ Merino Wool Boxer Shorts
- 2 x Smartwool PHD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini Socks
- Uniqlo Ultalight Down Jacket
- Xero Shoes Z-Trail Sandals
- Xero Shoes Ipari Hana Shoes
- Osprey Stuff Sack 18 Liter Day Pack
- Osprey X-Small Backpack Raincover
- Eagle Creek Spectre Compression Cube Set
- Eagle Creek Security Trouser Belt
- Life Venture Silk Sleeping Bag Liner
- Bag of toiletries
- First aid kit
- Sunglasses and case
- Phillips hair trimmer
- Folding hanger
- Sleeping mask and earplugs
- Sun hat
- Asus C201 Chromebook
- iPad Mini 4
- Xiaomi 4X Smartphone (not in the photo)
- Sony Bluetooth Headphones
- Logitech bluetooth keyboard
- Apple charger with Europe and Asia adapters
Except for my devices and a few accessories, it’s pretty much a complete overhaul since last year’s post. The most thinking by far went into choosing the backpack to replace my Osprey Farpoint 40. I looked at tons of bags online and would have grabbed a Synapse 19 by Tom Bihn if they were available in the UK. In terms of quality, functionality and price, the Osprey Daylite Plus came up second best. My only gripe was the lack of an internal zipped security pocket, but this seemed common with most light-weight hiking packs. In the end I created my own by sewing my old travel neck pouch to the inner lining.
The next biggest challenge was shoes. After struggling with inadequate footwear during most of last year, I was determined to find the ultimate travel shoes. I wrote a post about the different shoes I looked at and how I made my decision.
For the first time merino wool has made it into my clothing lineup. I’d read lots of travelers swearing by its amazing anti-odor and temperature regulating properties. All the merino wool gear has been great the past few months, I can wear them for days without them smelling. The only let-down was a Departure 2 long sleeve shirt by Icebreaker that I had to return because it itched uncomfortably.
One of my favorite new additions to my gear has been Eagle Creek’s Spectre Compression Cube Set. I’ve long been a fan of travel cubes to organize my stuff and fell in love with how amazingly light these are. I use the smallest cube for my chargers, adapters and cables, the middle one for my clothes (they all fit inside!) and the biggest cube as a container for the other two and other loose items. The material and zips seem quite tough but I take care when zipping them up.
Room for improvement?
If I wanted to get more seriously minimalist I could. Carrying both a Chromebook and iPad is a bit of a luxury and I could get by with one or the other, but they both serve different purposes. I use the iPad mainly for sketching and reading, while the Chromebook is my go-to writing machine – I’m much more productive on it than the iPad. The bluetooth headphones arent totally necessary either but I guess I’m holding onto these luxuries because although I’m fully committed to the minimalistic path, I still value comfort over suffering.
Maybe part of me worries about totally detaching from the material world, that giving up these last comforts might mean losing my humanity. I no longer fantasize dropping my backpack over a bridge which means I must have reached a certain peace about where I am on my minimalist journey. But who knows, things always change.
Thanks for reading. Did this post resonate with you in any way? I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments below!