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Our round-the-world trip is here! In preparation, Brooke and I spent a significant amount of time working on our packing lists. To avoid checking bags and risking lost luggage, we packed very light. We will each be carrying only one bag for the full 30-day, 12-city trip. In this post, I will be discussing what’s on my list and why I selected these items. Hopefully, this helps you move toward onebagging for your future trips.
This backpack has been widely praised as one of the best-designed bags in the past few years. It is constructed from a waterproof material and taped zipper seams. This may save our gear if we encounter the “rainy season” in Thailand. Padded backing and waist straps make the Outbreaker very comfortable to carry, even when it’s filled to the top. It offers lots of organization pockets, pouches, and compartments for easy access to everything inside.
These three packing cubes were designed to work perfectly with the Outbreaker backpack. The large cube holds and compresses all of my clothing, while the two smaller cubes handle the electronics and camera gear.
Clothing is the biggest consideration for any packing list. With this in mind, I’ve focused on “technical apparel” made from materials that are durable, quick drying, and odor controlling. Additionally, this will be a mostly-tropical trip, so lightweight garments are ideal. Notice that I selected the colors of the clothing such that every top will work with every bottom.
- Western Rise StrongCore Merino Pocket Tee – 89% merino wool thread, spun around 11% nylon core for durability and odor resistance. At 170gsm, this is a midweight t-shirt for all climates.
- Woolly Clothing Ultralight Tee – 100% merino wool. At 150gsm, this is an extremely lightweight shirt for the tropical heat. The Glacier Blue also adds a pop of color to the wardrobe. Amazon
- Woolly Clothing Men’s Tank Top – 100% merino wool. Sun’s out, gun’s out. This is a great shirt for the beach and any workout. Amazon
- Western Rise AirLight Shop Shirt – 73% poly, 27% nylon with DWR coating for water resistance. At only 110gsm, this is easily the lightest shirt I’m carrying. Adds a touch of class for those nice evenings out.
- Woolly Clothing Long Sleeve Henley – 100% merino wool. One long sleeve shirt for those long haul flights. Keep warm and sleep well. Amazon
- Myles Everyday Shorts – Four-way stretch and water repellency make these shorts perfect for swimming, working out, or just chillin’ comfortably.
- Western Rise AT Slim Rivet Pants – Lightweight nylon canvas pants with 3% elastine for stretch and durability. Treated with DWR for stain and water repellency. Casual enough to hike or walk around town, dressy enough to wear to a nice dinner.
- Western Rise AT Limitless Shorts – Shorts made from the same material as the pants. Perfect for swimming or wearing for a day around town. DWR treatment for a quick dry time.
- Rohan Designs Elite Jacket– It will be the rainy season during our time in a few locations. Gotta be prepared with this packable ultralight rain jacket.
- Woolly Clothing Boxers/Briefs – Three pairs of 100% merino wool underwear. Ultralight at 150gsm and completely odor resistant. The boxers are loose-fit and very comfortable with shorts. The briefs work better for pants. Quick dry for easy washing as we go. Amazon
- Allbirds Runners – These shoes are extremely comfortable and can be worn without socks. I add padded, odor-eater insoles to decrease the risk of stanky feet. The only drawback is the shoes absorb water in rainy conditions.
- Astral Filipe Flops – Flip flops with a removable strap convert to a hiking sandal. I’ll carry these in my day pack and switch to them during rainy times. Also, beachwear, of course.
Washing our clothes on the go helps us pack lighter and stay fresh. The process is very quick and easy, and I’ll cover it in a future post.
- Stretchy Woven Clothesline – Hooks on either end and a stretchy cord allow this clothesline to hang almost anywhere. The braid allows us to hang clothes without the need for clips.
- Dr. Bronner’s Soap – This stuff has tons of uses! We use it for laundry because it is gentle on wool. It can also be used as shampoo, body wash, dish soap, hand soap, and even toothpaste in a pinch!
- Sink Stopper – We usually do our laundry in the sink. Not all sinks have a working stopper, and this one is universal.
- Tortuga Wet/Dry Bag – Our on-the-go laundry bag. It also can keep our electronics dry on a rainy day or a day on the water.
We plan to take a lot of great pictures and video during this trip. With that in mind, we decided to grab some high-end gear. The following three cameras should cover us for air, land, and sea!
This little wonder needs little introduction. The Mavic Pro drone can fly around and shoot incredibly stable 4k video. It folds up slightly larger than a coffee cup, and it packs away very easily. Its battery lasts almost half an hour, and the remote controller range reaches up to a few miles! This drone will be perfect for sweeping shots of the beautiful islands we visit.
We picked up this camera after I dunked our GoPro Hero 4 Silver in the Kawarau River while bungy jumping in New Zealand. The Hero 5 Session is positively tiny! It can record 4k video and offers active image stabilization… which is a very welcome improvement over prior models. This will be our water camera to record manta ray dives in Hawaii and scuba in the Maldives. The telescoping selfie stick mounts the camera and helps to capture wide-angle shots of us.
This camera has been to Europe and Down Under with us. For the size and price, it’s hard to find a better point & shoot camera than the Canon G16! The gorilla pod tripod helps us set up the perfect angles.
Apple’s lightest and most portable computer. This tiny, 11″ MacBook Air has served me well for years. It allows me to edit pictures and video and keep this website going while on the move.
I’m probably due for an upgrade, but I’ll wait for the iPhone 8 to arrive. We use the iPhone as our navigation system, entertainment unit, translator, itinerary keeper, and communication device. Don’t leave home without it!
I love to read during long flights or while lounging on the beach. The Kindle Paperwhite offers an extra-long battery life, and I can read in direct sunlight, like a normal book.
Two 128GB low-profile USB drives to duplicate pictures and video from the cameras and drone. This helps us prevent a catastrophic loss of data. We keep one in my bag and one in Brooke’s. We also have a couple 64GB micro SD cards for the various cameras. Make sure to pick a card fast enough to handle the highest definition video you plan to shoot.
I finally added this to my list. The Anker Powercore 10000 mAh portable battery can recharge my iPhone a few times, or add a power boost to the GoPro, Kindle, or Mavic in a pinch! No more getting lost because our phones are dead.
This power cord is incredible! It can charge 4 devices at once, and it retracts for added packability. Charging ports include two lightning, one mini USB, and one USB 3.0. At night, I can plug up my iPhone, Brooke’s phone, the GoPro, and the external battery!
Plug converters are a must for any international trip. This power brick can convert plugs all over the world to our US-based plug-in. We are also carrying an extra small converter that will fit in most of the areas we visit on this trip.
This plugs into the power converter and offers three standard outlets and two USB plugs. It’s extremely useful around airports, and you can make friends by creating extra outlets.
Chargers for the MacBook, Mavic, and Canon.
This little bag from eBags is great. It packs down small but holds everything I need. It also includes a hook to hang the bag and save counter space. I’ll be bringing the following things in my kit.
- Folding toothbrush (replaced the one in the picture)
- Travel toothpaste
- Gillette Fusion razor with one blade
- Shaving gel & aftershave in eye drop bottles (a little goes a long way)
- Eye drops
- Nail clippers
Odds & Ends
We use this little pack for our daily adventures. It folds down super small and expands to hold anything we need for a day on the go. It’s even rain resistant and has side pockets for water bottles.
Polarized, classic wayfarer shades are a staple for any tropical vacation. However, these particular glasses are made from titanium, and the lenses are allegedly scratch proof and indestructible. I’ve been wearing them for nearly 8 months, including trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Cuba. I never use a case to protect them, and so far, no scratches at all on the lenses! As an added bonus, you can open a beer bottle with them… which I’ve actually done a handful of times.
This uniquely designed travel pillow makes long-haul economy flights bearable. It inflates, wraps around my body, and secures to the armrest. This allows me to lean into the pillow, unlike the around-the-neck types. It rolls up small and tucks into a side pocket on my pack.
One of my favorite little gadgets! We will be renting cars in Hawaii and Koh Samui. This simple little mount allows me to use my phone as a navigation system in the car.
This little retractable audio cord lets me hook my phone into the car’s speakers if blue tooth isn’t available. It’s also handy for wiring into any available speaker system to supply the tunes.
Tiny, two-USB charger for the car. Keep the phone navigation system charged and boost any other device that needs it.
Nothing to see here. Just a cheap pair of ugly, purple headphones. I’ll eventually buy a pair of in-ear, noise canceling buds. These work for now.
This splitter is wonderful when Brooke and I want to watch a movie together on the plane. We can each plug our headphones into an outlet and individually control our volume. I get to listen as loud as I want, without busting her eardrums!
Everything on this list packs up and fits easily into my 35-liter backpack. Carrying only the backpack allows us to whiz through airports, without having to wait for checked bags. To learn more about any of the items I’ve listed, feel free to follow the links provided or ask questions in the comments below. If you’re interested in discovering more packing tips for onebag travel, join the discussion on Reddit at /r/onebagging. I hope you find this list helpful!
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