6(or 9) Months Travel in a Carry On (Him) — Update

Post-trip review of my packing list


Countries Visited — 13 (Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, USA, UK)

Total Time Spent — 9 Months

No. of Flights — 10

Total Estimate Per Person — £12,194

Total Spend Per Person — £15,748 (fucking 23% over 😢)

Total Spend on Gear Below — £1,440 (not including my laptop or phone — seems a lot but I use most of the below on a weekly basis — and always when travelling)

Books Read — 6 (and I didn’t read Motorcycle Diaries…again)

Books Written — 1 (little plug there, released my new book The Minimum Effective Lifestyle: A Lazy Man’s guide to a great life.

Favourite Place? — Fuck off and stop asking me

Would I do it again? — Does the Pope shit in the woods?


What follows is a review of my packing list, I’ll follow up with my girlfriends shortly. It’s a copy paste from my previous post with an added update of how they performed.

Clothes

The threads
  1. 2 x Outlier Pants — Expensive, but taken over the course of a whole year its very little — and that’s how long I’ve been wearing and loving mine. They are great as business casual, nightclub, biking, and even lounging wear. They are super quick to dry and odour resistant too, so it means you can wear them for many multiple days without looking or feeling like a tramp. Verdict: Keep
  2. 2 x Outlier Shorts — Expensive also, but these puppies do multiple duties. They are dressy looking shorts, but they can be used for swimming as well (and perform very admirably too), plus they dry super fast and are odour resistant. Win win here for me. Verdict: Keep
  3. 3 x Outlier Merino Wool T-shirts — Go well with everything, quick drying, odour reducing, simple to wash, work well in cool and hot climates, whats not to like? Cheaper alternatives I’m sure are available though and in future I’ll look out for these.Verdict: Maybe (I love these T-shirts but for extreme heat they are a bit too heavy. Otherwise they are amazing)
  4. 1 Merino Wool Jumper — This pairs nicely with the majority of my clothes, handy for cool nights too. Verdict: Maybe (I liked it for cool nights, and it dressed up well)
  5. Wool and prince shirt — For when I want to dress up a little, again its merino wool, looks good, fast drying etc. It goes well with the shorts as well. Itchy at first until I washed it but now it’s great. Verdict: Keep (Great for nights out or dressier restaurants)
  6. 1 set of Merino Thermal Layer — Top and bottoms, to combat cold mountain nights mostly. Verdict: Keep (Don’t take up much space but lifesaver for the higher altitude locations)
  7. Uniqlo Ultralight Down Jacket — Extremely light weight and very warm too, for the cold mountain nights and early mornings. Verdict: Keep (So small and easy to bring, must have)
  8. 4 SmartWool Socks — I have a mixture of ankle socks and higher (hiking socks), these are fantastic, sooooo comfy, cool, odour resistant (can wear a pair for days) and quick drying. Verdict: Keep
  9. 4 Ex Officio Underwear — Sweet Jesus, I bought into the hype and I’m so glad I did, it’s like a moisturised angels hand gently cupping your meet and two. Plus again they are quick drying and odour resistant…fantastic. Verdict: Keep
  10. Dune boots — People always go for walking shoes here. But I walk a lot as is. And I wear Dune a lot and find them very comfortable for this. So these fit the bill for walking, plus they are great for restaurants and going out at night (there is no such thing as a good looking walking boot). My opinion here is to keep it simple and to what you’re comfortable in. Verdict: Keep (Not so much Dune but whatever you’re comfrotable with. I did 5 days trekking in these bad boys. Grip needs to be decent though and good socks is what it is all about. The socks saved me when it was wet weather).
  11. All birds runners — Wool runners! My girlfriend pissed herself when she found out I bought wool runners. Up real close they look like your granddad’s slippers. But any normal distant and they look like minimal runners. Plus they are as comfy as granddad’s slippers. Grip isn’t amazing (I nearly died trying to cross a ski slope in them) but otherwise they’re fantastic. I use them for the gym and walking around the city and mountains in normal weather. They pack down pretty flat too. Verdict: Get Rid (maybe not runners in general but these one’s just performed so poorly in the end).
  12. Wool Buff — At this stage if a product said wool I was buying it. This thing is probably not worth the money, it’s a hat/scarf/eyemask etc. all in one. You can also look like an arsehole and wear it as a pirate hat type thing. Probably more suited for women (with the different possible styles). Verdict: Maybe (No need for it really, I wore it once as a scarf to block dust when I went volcano boarding and once as a hat to keep me warm. It’s so small though you’re not going to notice having it)
  13. Flip flops — Hate, hate, flip flops, but need these for the hostel showers. Verdict: Keep (But for the love of god get better ones than mine)
  14. Gloves — Cold mountain nights again! Just a pair of liners, but they weigh nothing and come in handy. Verdict: Get rid (Turns out I have pockets)
  15. Belt — Can’t wear trousers without them in my opinion. Verdict: Maybe (came in handy when I lost a little weight)
  16. Packing cubes — These are great, I didn’t believe they’d help me save space until I tried them. Now I’m never going back to being without. Verdict: Keep (amazing little things)

Wash gear

Sorry for the crappy image
  1. Osprey wash bag — Jury is still out on this one, it’s pretty cool, has a little shave mirror, three compartments, a little hanger and rolls quite nicely. But when there is a bit of stuff in there the rolling just doubles the volume really. Otherwise its been great. I bought my girlfriend a similar one (not roll) from Muji. It’s neater I think, so I’ll let you know which fairs better. Verdict: Get Rid (It’s only alright and doesn’t save much on space, I’m sure there are cheaper and better)
  2. Razor & Blades — My girlfriend and I use the same blades so this is handy. Verdict: Keep
  3. Dr. Bronner Soap bar — Initially my hair was straw, then it was great, now it’s straw again. Still not sure if this is everything I want it to be. I wrap the bar in a Japanese salux cloth and pop it in a zip lock to keep the gunk to a minimum. Verdict: Get Rid (left my hair straw like and just was annoying to use)
  4. Aftershave — Just a small bottle of my usual poison, haven’t tried solid cologne yet…baby steps. Verdict: Keep
  5. King of Shaves gel — This comes in a tiny bottle, and can last ages. It works quite well. Verdict: Keep (love this)
  6. Ear buds — Don’t care, ear buds make me feel cleaner.
  7. Clippers — Not looking to become the witch from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
  8. Toothbrush — Colgate do a really nice fold up. Plus you feel a little like a thug with a switchblade when opening it up.
  9. Toothpaste — Haven’t made the move to powder just yet. So I take my mini paste and buy on the road as I go.
  10. Crystal Deodorant — I don’t sweat a lot, or at least it doesn’t smell that bad. I also had lots of trouble with other deodorants staining my clothes. Went with this and I think its great. It’s odourless so might not work for some but it lasts forever and works really well as an antiperspirant. Verdict: Keep (use it all the time)
  11. Wash cloth — Mostly used to wrap the soap bar in. Also considered an exfoliate, and handy for a wash on the go. Verdict: Get Rid
  12. Lip balm — To protect my auld kiss magnets
  13. Also have some surgical tape (not really needed), sweetners (which I like instead of sugar but it’s always a nightmare to get when away) and my retainer (not in the box of course).

Electronics

Probably the heaviest part of my bag (could get away with my phone and charger for shorter trips)
  1. Phone (Moto G — Not Shown) — In general I’m a Google fanboy. Battery lasts a whole day with constant use. I use it as my e-reader, I keep all my travel documentation on it, it’s my music player, and my camera (I know this is sacrilegious for some but a 12MP camera is good enough for me, combine it with the fact it fits easily in my pocket and it backs up automatically to Google Photos — any camera I’ve ever owned doesn’t hold a candle to it). Verdict: Keep (Perfect phone, and pictures and video were great)
  2. Chromebook (Acer) — I plan on writing my screenplay and novel while travelling (aka watching movies and TV shows). This is light, and suits my needs perfectly. It’s my personal laptop at home too and everything is backed up to the cloud so it’s the simplest thing I can think of. Verdict: Keep (Still using it now and still as quick as ever)
  3. Skross Universal Adapter — I’ve been using it a little while now, it’s really sturdy and has two USB ports. Think it’s a winner winner chicken dinner. Verdict: Maybe (Worked perfect all the way but since I got home the plug part doesn’t work although USB does)
  4. Anker Portable battery — As I use my phone for a lot of things I do need some extra power on longer trips between accommodations. Verdict: Keep (Super for those long 24hour type journeys)
  5. Extra USB sockets — Think this might be useless but I’m hoping that I’ll be the hero when it turn out there is only one socket in the hostel. Verdict: Get Rid
  6. Light — This is just my old bike light, handy for hostels or outdoors at night. Verdict: Keep (Actually came in handy a lot when trekking and in dark areas)
  7. HDMI cable — To hook up my chromebook whenever we have a nice AirBnB. Verdict: Keep
  8. Chromecast — Weighs nothing and I’ll probably never use it, might give it the heave-ho to be honest.Verdict: Maybe (used it a few times but could have left it)
  9. Cables — Plug for my laptop, USB for my phone, chromecast and light
  10. Samsung M3 Slimline Hard drive (not shown) — 2 TB of shit I’ll never watch. Love it though. And its really very small for what it’s packing. Verdict: Get Rid (Most areas had great WiFi anyway and everything is available to stream or temporarily download to phones or laptops)
  11. Earphones — I have two pairs, one as a backup really. One pair are bluetooth headphones, so they’re handy when I’m calling home. Verdict: Keep (and I had to use the backups as well)
  12. Earphone splitter (not shown) — To watch movies with my girlfriend. Verdict: Keep (Don’t want my girlfriend getting ahead in a series without me)
  13. Wowee Speaker — I’ve had this for years, and I keep it for sentimentality now more than anything. Plus it sometimes impresses people when you show them that it uses windows and other objects to amplify the sound. Verdict: Get Rid (I’ve got earphones and nobody gives a toss about the music I like)
The random helpful stuff

Misc

  1. Dry bag — My favourite multi-purpose item. I’ll use it as a dry bag, an air pillow when needed, a way to wash some clothes on the road if needed and most importantly as a mobile kettlebell. Just fill it with water and I have an automatic kettlebell (1L ~ 1KG). I’ve used it about 12 times so far and no issues with leaks or anything yet. Verdict: Keep (kept me in the same shape the whole trip!)
  2. Zip lock bags (not shown) — I organise tonnes of things into zip locks, they are useful for putting earbuds into, my flipflops are in them as well. Great when you want to separate smelly, dirty or wet clothes from the rest of your stuff. I’ll also use them as sandwich bags when going on long treks. Verdict: Keep
  3. Lock — Small lock for hostels etc. Verdict: Keep
  4. Spork — Handy when eating on the road. Verdict: Keep
  5. Towel — Quick dry one, had it for years. It’s the business. Verdict: Keep
  6. Platypus bottle 1L (Not Shown) — This rolls up small so it doesn’t take up space, I use it to keep track more easily of how much water I drink a day. Verdict: Keep
  7. Dryer sheets — Pop these in and around my bag to keep things smelling fresh and clean. Verdict: Keep (Better than I expected)
  8. Osprey Day pack — Need this to carry water and food when walking around the city or elsewhere for a day. Verdict: Maybe (I love the convenience of this but it’s not that comfortable when it gets too heavy)
  9. Sunglasses — I’ll never go back to non-polarised. It’s worth the extra 20 quid over the (usually 3–5 years for me) lifetime of your shades. Verdict: Keep
  10. Ear plugs — For noisy hostels, airplanes, buses etc. Verdict: Keep
  11. Wallet — Any old thin one will do.
  12. Measure tape — I use this on a weekly basis instead of weighing myself. It give me an idea if I’m letting myself go or if my brain is trying to make me feel like shit for no reason.

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