I am *slowly* getting better at packing light. I managed to keep my backpack under 6.5 kilos during my one-month backpacking trip in Southeast Asia, but of course, that doesn’t count my heavy messenger bag and extra bag with my Bangkok dollie shopping.
So how did I manage to pack relatively light? By not bringing so much stuff. Here are the contents of my bags:
Inside Viktor, my Victorinox Sorbonne backpack:
My Columbia gear: Titanium convertible pants, Titanium omni-dry shirt, Titanium soft-shell jacket. Aside from that, I have two more shirts, one tank top, two shorts, swimsuit, socks and underwear. I also have a sarong and a Sea to Summit micro-fiber towel. I limited myself to only two footwear in this trip: my Nike Free 7.0 runners (the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had) and a pair of Crocs Athena thongs.
My toiletries are contained in a zip-lock bag, as are the various battery chargers (laptop, camera, two phones). I also have a separate kit for non-liquid toiletries (soaps, toothbrush, razor, etc.), which shares a space with a bunch of over the counter medicine and bunch of plasters.
As you can see in the photo, I have an Envirosax bag (I actually have two) and a photocopy of my passport and all my tickets and reservation confirmations.
Inside my Life is Good messenger bag:
The essentials: passport, credit cards, Team Manila wallet, Smiggle skull notebook, a couple of ballpoint pens, USB drive and card security thingy, two mobile phones (what the hell was I thinking?), an umbrella, a folding fan, and of course, my Pinky Street dolls.
I am using a Nikon D40 DSLR camera with a Nikon AF-S DX 18-135 mm lens. It comes with a lens hood, but stupid lens hood took a dive into the Chao Praya river in Bangkok while I wasn’t looking. Suicidal bastard. The camera is attached to a Pacsafe Carrysafe 100 camera strap, which is a lot more comfortable on the neck than the Nikon camera strap.
Since I planned on blogging daily, I decided to bring my laptop along. It’s an Acer Aspire One, a 10-inch netbook with 8.9″ display and weighs about 2.4 lbs. It has a 6-cell battery, that lasts for up to four hours. It’s considerably lighter than a full-sized laptop (unless you have one of those ultra thin ones), but if you also have a DSLR in your bag, it can get pretty heavy. When traveling from city to city, I keep my laptop in my messenger bag, but when I wandering around the city, I leave it in my room.
There are a bunch of other smaller things inside my bag that I didn’t bother taking out for the photo. Those are the things that weren’t really essential, which added to the weight of the bags. I think about a lot of what-ifs when packing, and ended up bringing things I don’t get to use. The common advice to avoid overpacking is to take out everything inside your bag and only bring half the things you stuffed inside your bag. Another is that if you don’t regularly use something when you’re at home, chances are, you won’t be using it when you travel, so better leave it at home.