I fell in love with the idea of travelling with only a backpack and the clothes on my back. This minimal lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it’s wonderfully refreshing to collect memories instead of material items. For those who like the sound of that, I present to you: My minimal digital nomad packing list.
- Osprey Farpoint 40: I spent a lot of time trying to find the right backpack for me. I wanted something which I could take on a plane as cabin luggage, something which could fit everything I needed, and something which wouldn’t cost $300 — and the Osprey Farpoint 40 ticks all those boxes. For $130 you get a quality carry-on backpack that will satisfy most airlines. It’s comfortable, compact, and definitely won’t break the bank.
- Osprey Ultralight Raincover: Let’s face it, you’re probably going to get wet. I’d highly recommend getting a raincover for this reason. It’s small enough to not take up too much room and it provides essential protection against, well, rain.
- eBags Slim Packing Cubes: Picking the right packing cubes is important. If you pick the wrong shapes and sizes (been there, done that) you’ll end up wasting space and money. For the Osprey Farpoint 40 I love these slim packing cubes. Check out this video by MarcusBird to see why.
- Kopack Anti-Theft Backpack: This is my daypack. I particularly wanted to make life harder for opportunist thieves, and this bag certainly does that. The zips faces your back while wearing it and it’s impossible for anyone to unzip it. Of course you should still practice common sense — It won’t protect you against bag snatchers and leaving your bag unattended.
- Imikoko Collapsible Water Bottle: I wanted a water bottle which wouldn’t take up much room and, most importantly, wouldn’t leak. After lots of searching I finally went ahead and bought a Imikoko Collapsible Water Bottle. It rolls up to a small size and I’ve never had a problem with it leaking. Perfect.
- All In One Universal USB Travel Power Adapter: There are so many options when it comes to travel adapters and it can be difficult to know which to buy. I went with the All In One Universal USB Travel Power Adapter and I have zero regrets. It’s compatible with over 200 countries and has 3 USB charger ports. It also comes with a nice little zipped case.
- MacBook Pro 13 (Mid 2012): I bought this specially for travelling. I previously had a bulky Lenovo Thinkpad which, while powerful, was simply too heavy for my liking. I imagine I’ll eventually switch to a Macbook Air (which is even lighter), but until then I’m happy to travel with my MBP. It syncs nicely with my iPhone too.
- Apple iPhone SE 32GB: While certainly not the latest model, the iPhone SE is still a powerful iPhone and it receives regular software updates from Apple. It’s the earliest model to support Apple Pay, and it includes a more powerful CPU than the iPhone 5S (the speed improvement is noticeable). As I mentioned, notes and calendar events sync nicely with between my phone and my Macbook Pro which is a very welcome feature. Will I upgrade in the future? Probably, but only if I’m forced to.
- Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones: These have been the gold standard for noise cancelling headphones for many years. I bought these two weeks before I left the UK, and I love them. With the flick of a switch you can block out external noise, with or without listening to anything. What I really love about these headphones is you can completely detach the cable, which is perfect for long, noisy flights. They come with a nice portable case, too.
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70: I bought this camera a few years ago and it’s a solid choice. While it’s not a super fancy, super expensive DSLR, it great option for anyone who just wants to take some nice travel photos. Some people insist an iPhone is enough but it just doesn’t compare.
I wanted to keep the amount of clothes I travel with to a minimum too, and I spent a great deal of time searching for the right clothes to take me around the world. Eventually I came up with this list based on a simple rule: Bring enough clothes to last me a week.
- 1x Skechers GoRun Ride 7: Everyone has their own preference when it comes to shoes. The most important thing when choosing shoes for travelling is comfort. The last thing you want is to be walking around a city with blisters on your feet. These sneakers fit all my needs, although I probably wouldn’t do any serious hiking with them.
- 1x Tomar Men’s Merino Travel Shirt: I wanted a smart shirt with long sleeves for when I need to look at little bit more professional or when the temperature dips. This shirt is 100% Merino wool (fast drying, odour resistant, and very comfortable) and while it’s the most expensive shirt I’ve ever owned, it’s the only one I’ll need to own for a while.
- 3x Divide Men’s Merino Crew Neck Top: These too are 100% Merino wool. It’s a fantastic material which requires you to wash it less often and naturally regulates your body temperature. Incredibly comfortable and definitely worth the money. Note: I don’t think these are available any longer.
- 3x Icebreaker Merino Wool Socks: I have assorted pairs of socks, again all Merino. There are many styles and fits to choose from, so I’d suggest taking a look at the Icebreaker website and seeing what you like the look of.
- 3x Merino Wool Boxer Shorts: You may be sensing a pattern! These too are 100% Merino wool. Icebreaker are well known for their Merino underwear too, but Dilling was cheaper and they’re just as good.
- 1x NosiLife Pro Convertible Trousers/Shorts: One thing I knew for sure before I started travelling is that I wanted to have a pair of shorts. I stumbled across these and knew they were perfect for me. Zip-off legs, zipped pockets, and protection from the sun/insects.
- 1x Kiwi Pro Trousers: Again from Craghoppers, these trousers are designed for the outdoors. They’re very similar to the NosiLife Pro Convertible Trousers and they come with 4 zipped pockets and sun protection.
- 1x Speedo Men’s Watershorts: A simple pair of swimming shorts. I plan to do a lot of swimming on my travels so it makes sense to bring some swim wear with me.
Other miscellaneous items I travel with include:
- Passport (it’s quite handy)
- Physical copies of documents
- Passport photos (for visa applications)
- Remington beard trimmer
- A pen
- Various cables
- Cheap pair of Samsung earbuds (a far superior sound compared to Apple’s EarPods)
- A couple of locks
- Nail clippers/toothbrush/etc.
- Fit-Flip Microfiber Towel
- Water proof bags for documents
And that’s about it! I expect when I visit Thailand I’ll pickup a pair of flip flops and maybe a t-shirt for working out, but I don’t intend to buy much more than that. You can buy most things on your travels, so don’t worry about bringing too little.