When I was a wee lad on my first big trip back in 97, I travelled to Bali with all the usual backpacker trappings...After a week I became restless and wanted to branch out a bit...I left my big backpack, and most of my cash with the hostel I was staying, and set off for Lombok with just a day pack...
I'd planned to stay two weeks in Indonesia. But those were revolutionary times and the pound just seemed to go a long way...I just continued to island hop around the archipelago fuelled by the spirit of adventure.
Three and a half months later I returned and was glad to see the hostel still had my stuff and more importantly my cash (stuffed in some socks) - lubricating my first few months in Australia, which had ultimately been the aim of my trip.
After all that, Australia could never live up to the whimsical Indonesian adventure, which has stayed in my blood to this day.
I can't remember what I had in that day pack, but it couldn't have amounted to much.
Incidentally, on the trip I met a Swedish lad on a ferry who would rip out the pages of his books, as he read them, in order to cut down on weight!!
Most of my bulk nowadays is taken up by books (the pages intact!). I went through a rather addictive faze for a few years where I used to travel with upwards of fifteen books which I used to chop and change en route.
Besides the fact that you can fit your entire CD collection on an iPod that weighs less than a toilet roll, I honestly think the advent of technology has paradoxically made us feel we need to pack a lot more stuff than we used to...
Isn't part of travelling letting go off all that stuff, if for only the duration of our adventures?
My old professor at Liverpool University, Rogan Taylor travelled around India in the sixties for three years with two horses and a dog!!!