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Travelling Light

What is the best way to ensure that you don't become a beast of burden.
16 years ago, June 23rd 2004 No: 1 Msg: #227  
B Posts: 5,195
To anyone that knows me personally or met me in the course of my travels this will bring a smile or two for sure.

I was notorious for having the heaviest backpack around: and with good reason - it weighed near on 30kg, with an additional 10kg in my day pack. I have to admit it - I was stupid - it didn't stop me having an amazing time but doing it again I would never consider taking so much stuff.

I'm the one on the far right - with an enormous backpack. My day pack was at my feet.

What was in My Pack (from hell)

• Laptop
• Camera
• Two person tent
• 2 cases of CDs
• Spare laptop hard-drive
• CD player
• Packsafe wire net
• Cassette player + Teach Yourself Spanish
• Two large paperbacks
• Water purification pump
• Assorted cables for laptop
• Clothes
• Leatherman
• Duct-tape
• Mini Travelling Guitar
• 3 lonelyplanet guide books.
• Head torch
• First aid kit
• Mini-speakers
• Battery recharger and spares.
• Juggling kit - 6 balls.

Ok, so I'm kind of stuck with the Laptop - at least for extended periods, I have to keep this and a number of other sites going, but the rest!

• Laptop - essential for me
• Camera - essential
• Two person tent - Make up your mind, is this a travelling holiday or camping holiday. Look at where you're going and decide in advance. In NZ and Aus, tents great but in Central America - I didn't use it once.
• 2 cases of CDs - get an mp3 playing CD player and cut this down to one or two.
• Spare laptop hard-drive - Ok - useful, and small - now converted into PHD - portable hard-drive.
• CD player - wouldn't have wanted to travel without it.
• Packsafe wire net - Only really used this because of the laptop - if you don't have one - forget it.
• Cassette player + Teach Yourself Spanish - taught my self spanish with the aid of a spanish school 😉 - no longer needed.
• Two large paperbacks - at some points I had three. It is useful to take two books, one to read, and one that you've read for exchanging on the road.
• Water purification pump - I'd keep this.
• Assorted cables for laptop - will be cutting this lot right down.
• Clothes - take lots of underwear, but keep everything else to essentials, light weight trousers etc.
• Leatherman - nice to have a knife - make sure it goes in the hold luggage though or say goodbye to it at airport security.
• Duct-tape - really useful, but I didn't need a whole damn roll! - Just a few meters would have been fine.
• Mini Travelling Guitar - sorry but only if I go on an extended trip will I carry it again, for this summer - 2 months - it will be staying in Pecs (new home).
• 3 lonelyplanet guide books. - keep it to one, and swap/buy on the road.

• Head torch - nice to have a torch.
• First aid kit - essential - but again could be cut down.
• Mini-speakers - not this time 😊
• Battery recharger and spares - essential
• Juggling kit - cutting this down again.

So what do you think? I'm definetly not the type to tear pages out of books to save weight, or drill holes in objects to shave off the grams (ounces). Where are you on this?
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16 years ago, June 27th 2004 No: 2 Msg: #243  
B Posts: 455
Definitely never bother with the pacsafe!!
Unless of course you are interested in buying one.... mine'll be on ebay this summer.
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16 years ago, June 28th 2004 No: 3 Msg: #245  
B Posts: 553
hey... where are the rest of your travels Matt? Reply to this

16 years ago, July 2nd 2004 No: 4 Msg: #256  
B Posts: 455
I'm too depressed at home to try and relive them.... Reply to this

16 years ago, July 6th 2004 No: 5 Msg: #259  
B Posts: 553
hahah... I'm sorry, don't mean to laugh at your depression. 10 days away was enough to make me long for traveling more and more. Sadly, life isn't dealing me the proper hand to allow that at the moment. Consider yourself lucky, and live through your stories and those of others. Don't let the flame die. Reply to this

16 years ago, July 20th 2004 No: 6 Msg: #273  
B Posts: 5,195
So back to travelling light - new tip 😉

Avoid travelling with a girlfriend - you feel obliged to have all the heaviest elements of the shared equipment - like the tent, and so become the beast again 😉

Seriously - it is better to travel in pairs - 1 shampoo, 1 guidebook - etc - between two.

Another tip - tents are heavy, and in Bulgaria, not really necessary. Oh well one day I will truely travel light. Reply to this

16 years ago, October 7th 2004 No: 7 Msg: #503  
P Posts: 1
If it was me - the CDs would go. Listen to the sounds around you instead of music. My husband calls me a noise junky and he's right about that. Amazing the stuff you hear when there's not something playing all the time.

Given the above - I'd lose the mini-speakers as well.

I'd go with one medium paperback that has small print. Give it away when done and buy one locally or trade the one you have for something else. Or, take also a spanish dictionary and learn vocabulary words. 😊

Check out this website for an ultra-violet personal water purifying pen: www.hydro-photon.com. It might be lighter than what you're using. (Saw this on a PBS show called 'Made in Maine'. I'm not from this company)

Juggling kit? Can't you find something nearby to your current location to juggle with - apples, walnuts, rocks? Just wondering. I don't juggle.

Other tips: saw half the end off your toothbrush and skip the holder. Take a half used bar of soap instead of a brand new one.

How about a harmonica or something instead of guitar.

Reply to this

16 years ago, October 11th 2004 No: 8 Msg: #512  
B Posts: 5,195
> Listen to the sounds around you instead of music.

Totally agree! But when on those longhaul flights, and overnight bus journeys and the only sounds are those of the happy snorer in the seat next to you 😊 I think I prefer music.

> How about a harmonica or something instead of guitar.

😉 - thats one instrument I can't get to sound like anything but a strangled cat!

Next trip will be light - I promise 😊 Actually going from the near 40kg to anything normal will feel like heaven.

That purifying pen looks really cool - I think with batteries included it would be about the same weight - but more compact. Reply to this

16 years ago, October 11th 2004 No: 9 Msg: #521  
B Posts: 553
and on the 8th day, god created the iPod... Reply to this

16 years ago, November 6th 2004 No: 10 Msg: #639  
Aaaaahh, memories, your not the only one to take that much weight...

Me and my girl friend took 30kg each when we went to NZ, plus 8kg in each day pack we had!! .. 6 months into it we hadn't used half the stuff, so dumped most of it, i think i remember weighing myself with it on one day, about 3 weeks after we had dumped some stuff, it weighed 19kgs .. came back to the UK 4 months later ... it weighed 35kg!!;o) Reply to this

16 years ago, December 30th 2004 No: 11 Msg: #933  
We returned from a 3 month trip around the world- we packed all our stuff in 2 carry on back packs. here is what we brought and my comments about the need for them:

2 pairs of zip-out pants
1 long sleeve t-shirt
1 short sleeve t-shirt
1 long sleeve quick dry button down
1 tank top
1 polar fleece (bought a coat in Nepal before we went to new zealand)
Hiking shoes
3 pairs of socks
Underwear (4 pairs of mesh ones-best purchase ever)
Swim suit
Rain gear

1st Aid Kit:
insect repellant-30% Deet/ Permathin clothing treatment
pain reliever
Malaria medication (this is much cheaper abroad)
Allergy medication
anti-itch cream
antibacterial cream (Neosporin plus)
water purifier
lip balm

digital camera
Lap-top w/ CD burner
CDs to burn photos
Camcorder tapes
photo card
USB flash memory card
Universal Adapter

Sleeping gear/Misc:
Sleeping bags
Inflatable pillow (great for long plane, train or bus rides-takes up little room)
Collapsible water bottles (we brought platypus's)
Books (bring 1 and trade or buy)

Drivers Licenses
Vaccination records
Insurance card
Flight itinerary
Diver Certification cards

we were very well prepared and did not need much! i could have done without some of the clothes, they were much more fun to buy.
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16 years ago, December 31st 2004 No: 12 Msg: #936  
B Posts: 5,195
You'll have excuse my ignorance - what is "mesh underwear"? - Why is it good for travel? - does it come with a lock like the packsafe? - really bizzare images flitting through my head. Reply to this

16 years ago, December 31st 2004 No: 13 Msg: #939  
Yeah- I suppose I should of explained that item better. They are the ultimate in "quick dry". They are literally underware made of very sheer mesh that can be washed and dried in 5 minutes. I dont imagine they make them in "boxer" form- Reply to this

11 years ago, March 17th 2009 No: 14 Msg: #66212  
Just read msg 1. Ali, it had to be you who showed my boyfriend how to pack. :D 😉 Everytime we go some place, I insist that he gets everything he needs into a medium sized backpack. Even the medium sized backpack is 4 times as much packing space as I need but every time he is presented with the challange of getting all his travel stuff into it he ends up standing in a sea of T-shirts, shoes..... looking at the backpack in bewilderment and pestering me with questions about which order and exactly where every item will go in the backpack. :D

He is really getting into the idea of backpacking these days(he loves how little it costs to have a holiday like that) as opposed to ''comfortable'' travelling, but the packing technique needs to be worked on if I am to put up with him as a travel companion.

He does carry it all himself, but then it is such an ordeal to get into a train etc in some places because the bags have to be put someplace. It is much less complicated with the bag I take because I can prop it on my knees if there is a shortage of space to put it. 😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, March 19th 2009 No: 15 Msg: #66467  
B Posts: 5,195
A blast from the past - this topic is perennial 😊

I'm travelling a lot lighter now - CD's are gone, MP3 player is the size of a pack of chewing gum - I travel for shorter periods so don't take the guitar or juggling kit - technology has shrunk my laptop and I never carry a tent.

BUT - I discovered scuba diving - and often have a 15kg extra bag of diving equipment at the side!

Mel - you're going to have to pack with him - every object - make him justify - decide if it can be bought easily if needed, work out if you have something in your pack that equally does the job - shrink the laptops to netbooks 😊 - it's getting easier. Reply to this

11 years ago, March 19th 2009 No: 16 Msg: #66483  

Mel - you're going to have to pack with him - every object - make him justify -

I was quite ruthless with the packing for our Christmas trip to India. I introduced him to the concept of handwashing so we dont need to wait until we have enough clothes to take to a laundry place. He agreed to this when I described some of the experieces that some travellers have had with laundry services in India. :D

The only real convenience about having a huge backpack in India is that you can turn quickly to look at something while ''accidently'' whacking the touts who are on your tail with it. :D

A blast from the past - this topic is perennial 😊

Yeah, somebody makes another thread about it periodially.
Travelling light Reply to this

11 years ago, March 19th 2009 No: 17 Msg: #66485  

- shrink the laptops to netbooks 😊

I dont think he has thought yet about how nice it would be to have CDs, MP3 players, laptops.... while we are travelling. I am trying to hide the fact from him that people travel with this stuff, or else we might have to get it all for the next trip. :D We already have a new digital camera, that he wanted for the India trip because it is unrealistic to trust ones memory to store all those memories isnt it. :D Reply to this

11 years ago, April 5th 2009 No: 18 Msg: #68323  
My girlfriend and I are going around the world for at least 2yrs. I'm really into the travelling light and it took me a lot of time to figure it out, but long story short, here are some hints;

- I bought a digital camera, one that is also waterproof up to 10mth. (that save's the waterproof case for a digital camera and a couple of bucks) Try looking for a camera that runs on normal batterys instead of a pack, that ofcourse, safes the adapters and some cables.

- lot of cool travel gadgets like mini-speakers and also you Ipod or if you bring a cellphone can be connected to a USB-travell adapter, that saves the essential adapter plus cables. Or even a flashlight can be connected to a usb-travell adapter.

- for the hardcore bloggers on the road, Asus EEE pc is really small, like half the size of a A4-paper. And only weights more or less 1kg. Also can be connected to usb-travell adapter.

on my first trip for 3months to Costa rica back in 2006 I packed my backpack way over top. So mutch I could surive a nuclear war, easy. Also I looked like Indiana Jones all the way. Stupid look-a-like army zip-off pants and mountain shoes while being in a city.

now I bring 7 boxershorts and socks.
2 jeans, 5 t-shirts, 1 longsleeve, 3 shorts. Normal shoes, flipflops and yes.. Teva's.
The rest I'll buy on the spot.
Shaving oil, instead of foam. And a block of soap.
light travell towel

and as bear gryll's alway's say that you must bring a flint, witch is very cool though.

the travell adapter

the netherlands.

Reply to this

11 years ago, April 9th 2009 No: 19 Msg: #68875  
What do you need CD's for when we now have MP3's and tiny Ipod shuffles etc? Reply to this

11 years ago, April 9th 2009 No: 20 Msg: #68876  
Ohhhh, just noticed Ali's original post was from 2004. Wow, how quickly technology has advanced! Reply to this

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