Welcome to my possessions for three weeks of travel. Everything fit into my daypack, which was just barely at the limit of carry-on luggage. Coming home to a full closet was an indulgent luxury, and a realization that much of what I own isn’t necessary – and I’m a minimalist.

Keep in mind, this all fit in this pack.

I carried or wore:

  • daypack (top loading Mountainsmith, so a broken zipper wouldn’t matter)
  • wallets (1 for US, 1 for UK)
  • passport (duh)
  • maps (various picked up along the way for free at tourist kiosks)
  • notepad (especially with a storage pouch in the back)
  • pens (3, used one until a rainy day, and then I switched)
  • camera (Nikon Coolpix point and shoot)
  • hiking boots (worn every day)
  • sandals (worn every afternoon and evening)
  • socks (3 pair, got ankle rash for a few days, should do more laundry)
  • underwear (3, and sure enough one pair died)
  • t-shirts (2, alternated as a solo layer or under a shirt or jacket)
  • shirts (2, 1 for walking, 1 for evening flights, and backup)
  • turtle neck (only used for after walking and as backup)
  • zip cargo pants (2 pair, never worn as shorts because of weather and decorum)
  • belts (2, used one, neither needed notches, waist size changed in three weeks)
  • handkerchiefs (5, oops, I overpacked)
  • rain pants (used frequently, full length side zips were handy)
  • rain hat (Seattle Sombrero, worn every day except one)
  • rain jacket (lightweight, reflective, bicycle style)
  • fleece jacket (Will, thanks for the Christmas present)
  • fleece hat (lightweight, only used in cold rooms for sleeping)
  • fleece hat w/brim (used once, could’ve been used more often)
  • gloves (2 pair, used one pair once or twice, pockets sufficed)
  • headlamp (only used as a nightlight)
  • sunglasses (used rarely, but necessary)
  • reading glasses (2 pair in cases, lost 1 pair)
  • watch (2, 1 wrist, 1 hiker’s w/ compass)
  • compass (used more than I expected, especially on foggy days)
  • SD cards (3, used less than one 2 Gig card)
  • carabiner (handy for hanging compass)
  • office clips (utility for bag closures, clothes pins, paper corral)
  • water bottle (collapsible, which was easier to fit into small sinks)
  • sleeping shell (thin nylon for lightweight blanket indoors and emergency bag for bivouac)
  • spare storage bags (zip locks and drawstring, supplemented with shopping bags)
  • AA batteries (for camera, flashlight,)
  • handi-wipes (you never know when there won’t be soap)
  • towel (carried for me, but used to dry clothes)
  • car key (used to drive home after a friend dropped off my car in a convenient spot)

Never used (but would carry anyway)

  • checkbook (emergency backup)
  • pencils (2)
  • whistle (emergency)
  • string (good for so many things)
  • space blanket (best guard against hypothermia)
  • foam pad (a little comfort if the world was too hard)
  • USB key (mobile home computer backup)
  • first aid kit (devoid of anything TSA might not like)
  • flashlight (mini backup)

And, yes, that all fit in one medium backpack. Despite that long list I would find room for a few other items.

I should have carried:

  • AAA batteries (for weak TV remotes if nothing else)
  • pedometer (no guessin about mileage and bragging rights)
  • more business cards (an easy way to pass along contact information)
  • big waterproof bag (eventually I found a dry cleaning bag for the worst rainy days)
  • detailed city maps (tourist maps may not be good for navigating unless it is to a tourism site)
  • smart phone (even if I had to rent one, it would have saved a lot of guessing)

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