Updated Light Packing List (Or I’m No Longer An Ultra Light Traveler!)

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Let’s get it out of the way right now: with a guitar in tow I am officially a waste-my-time-waiting-for-checked-baggage traveler. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. I built a freakin guitar and I get to play it anytime, anywhere, everywhere! :)

Now to the updates.

If you haven’t read my complete list of gear, it’s all here: Travel Light, Travel Anywhere: The Ultimate Light Packing List

Most of that stuff has treated me well, but some of it is falling apart.

The Stuff That Needs Replacing

T-Shirts

My Icebreaker BodyFit 150 shirt is developing tiny holes all over! I look like I got in a fight with a cat.

Oh, speaking of cats, I saved a baby kitty from drowning in a pool within my first hour in Chiang Mai! Besides saving my own cat after the hurricanes in Florida 5 years ago, this is one of the highlights of my life. If I could handle it emotionally I would volunteer at animal rescue places instead of just sending money, but I get too emotionally attached to the critters.

Baaaaack to the story at hand: I hand wash all of my clothes so there is absolutely no reason this Icebreaker shirt should be falling apart after 7 months. Or maybe that’s just the lifespan. I don’t know, but I’m definitely going to try a different (vegan) travel shirt when I officially retire this one.

The IceBreaker BodyFit 200 does not have holes in it, but it is far too thick and I have worn it maybe 5 times in India and Thailand.

My 3rd, and last, shirt: the Patagonia Capilene 1 is getting oddly discolored. It looks bad.

So Icebreaker and Patagonia shirts are a no-go for me from here on out. Suggestions?

Socks

The Patagonia Lightweight Endurance Quarter Socks are on their last legs. The heels are almost completely worn out. I actually picked up a pair of completely synthetic socks at REI just before I left for India. I haven’t worn them much as they’re just there to replace the first pair of Patagonia socks that gets the heave-ho.

The Smartwool Adrenaline Light Mini Crew socks aren’t faring much better. One sock has a tiny hole on the heel that I’m sure will grow with time. But on the whole, the Smartwool socks feel more sturdy than the Patagonia.

I stopped wearing my Vibram Five Fingers, which cuts down on sock usage, after I hurt my knee running 4-5 weeks ago in India. But now my knee is better so I’ll be wearing them more. The only way to get the stink out is a machine wash and they start to stink really quickly. Still not sure what to do about that.

Pants

My lone pair of pants are holding up well as far as the material is concerned, but they’re stained and even 2 machine washes didn’t get the stains out. This is why I wish travel clothes companies would come out with darker colors. I never wanted these khaki colored pants to begin with, but dark travel pants are near impossible to find. Especially when you’re 6′ 5″ and need a long inseam.

I’ve actually strongly considered creating my own line of travel pants in only dark colors and with strictly zippered pockets. I’m not passionate enough about it to actually follow through so I’m throwing the idea out there for you. :)

On To The New Stuff!

Amazon Kindle 2

Amazon Kindle 2 – Holy wow I love this thing! What I don’t love is that the books aren’t DRM free, which means if I get a different eBook reader in the future I can’t transfer the books. Lame. I love Amazon’s MP3 store for the lack of DRM, why did they mess up the Amazon Kindle eBook store? Dummyness. (new word?)

The Kindle is great because the screen has no back light and my eyes don’t get tired no matter how long I read. It really is just like reading a paperback, only without the page flipping. I’ve read it in the bright sun with no problems and actually ran into another guy reading a Kindle on the beach in Goa, India.

Biggest selling point for me (the reason I bought it actually): You can download eBooks from something like 65 countries directly to the Kindle from the wireless Kindle store (it’s $2 extra to get the wireless delivery internationally, free if you transfer via USB). In addition, there is a basic Web browser and Wikipedia search function. I used this when I was having trouble with Internet in India to check e-mail. No additional charge for that!

iPod Touch 32GB

iPod Touch 32 GB – I told myself I wouldn’t replace my old iPod Mini until it broke. Well, that thing is a workhorse and I’m convinced it will never break. I gave it to my Dad. Even put Lady Gaga on it for him, hoping one day he’ll click play and his mind will be blown. :) (He’s reading this, btw.)

So why did I get the iPod Touch?

1) I love music and with 32GB of storage I can fit almost my entire music collection on it.

2) I love reading and the free Stanza eBook reader app lets me read public domain eBooks when I’m waiting in line, on public transport, or just hanging out without my Kindle. There’s also a Kindle app if I want to read my Kindle books! It’s not great reading eBooks on this tiny thing, but for 1-30 minutes it’s perfect.

3) The Skype App allows me to use it as a phone as long as I have  a WiFi connection.

4) The Wifi capability allows me to respond to e-mail and moderate blog comments if I so desire.

5) I wanted to get into iPhone/iPod Touch App development and that’s a little difficult without owning the device. My first app (iHeadlines: Instant Blog Headline Generator) is out by the way! I’ve had some good feedback about it so far and an article about iPhone App Development is coming soon. iHeadlines is only $3 right now so if you have a blog you should go get it ASAP. I am considering raising the price because at $3 it’s not going to even make development costs back. :)

6) Battery life. The battery life of the iPod Mini is 4-5 hours. I can listen to music on my iPod Touch for a good 20 hours before recharging.

7) Note taking. When a note doesn’t constitute using my pen/notepad I put it on the iPod.

Clif Bar!

Clif Bar

Clif Bars instead of Organic Raw Food Bars – While the raw food bars taste better and have better ingredients they are also very melty. Clif Bars, almost all of which are vegan, don’t melt. They come from the future. Since sometimes finding veg options is difficult or time-consuming in a new place, I need some rations to hold me over. These do a mighty fine job.

Also, the book that Gary Erickson wrote a few years ago is a Freedom Fighters must read: Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar & Co.

Lenovo X200

Lenovo X200 (no link because I don’t really recommend it) – A very small, very light, fully-functioning laptop. This is not a netbook. I researched computers forever before finally deciding on this one. I was very close to getting a Macbook Air, but Apple is stupid and only put one USB port on that thing. Since I use my computer to recharge batteries, my Flip camera, and my iPod, I need more than one USB port. Sorry Apple, you’re not perfect. Yes, I understand I could use a USB hub. But if I’m going to spend $2k+ on a computer it better have what I want. The X200 was barely over $1k.

That said, the Lenovo X200 isn’t perfect either. I can’t get the Bluetooth to work (I want to see if there are any cool things I can do with the iPod Touch’s Bluetooth) and the Trackpoint mouse causes intense cramps in my right hand/forearm. There is no trackpad, which is what all other laptops use for the mouse.

I will sell this computer when I get back to the States and find something else. Maybe Apple will smarten up and put at least one additional USB port on the Air and I’ll become an Apple fanboy who believes Apple does no wrong (even though there’s a Genius Bar at every Apple store to handle all the problems with Macs haha). ;) (Sorry dudes and dudettes, just busting your Apple chops. I still love you.)

PacSafe MetroSafe 300

Pacsafe MetroSafe 300 – Similar to my old MetroSafe 200, except bigger (for the new laptop), and with better security features. I like it a lot, but it’s not perfect. It’s heavy by itself (due to the metal!). Add the laptop and cameras and my shoulder/back starts hurting pretty quickly. The strap is the problem. It’s too thin and digs in. I think that’s the problem with most messenger bags though.

Flip Ultra HD

Flip UltraHD Camcorder – I upgraded from my old Flip Ultra to the newer HD model and I’m glad I did. The video quality is great and it takes 2 hours of video instead of 1 hour. I’m a big fan of these little workhorses, especially considering they’re so cheap. (Get it used and it’s even cheaper!)

And that’s it. Not too much change, but enough to warrant an update.

Videos!

(If you’re reading via e-mail click here to view videos.)

Pacsafe 55 Demonstration:

Pacsafe MetroSafe 300 Demonstration:

Coming soon!

Coming soon (err, eventually): ultra light packing for women. I have enlisted 3 awesome women (readers of this site) to hook me up with their light packing lists. Editing packing lists is a pain though so I’ve been putting it off for months.

Have your own light packing list? Link to it below!

Question about the items on my list? Ask below.

Want to buy an item from my list for your own adventures? Click the links above and Amazon gives me 4-7% per sale. (4% for electronics.) Usually that amounts to this site generating $40-$50/month in commissions from Amazon, which isn’t much, but you will never hear me complain about “free” money. :)

{ 83 comments }

Tom

I once saved a dog from drowning in the Thames River in London, Ontario. The dog ran away without as much as a lick on the face and all the people watching thought I was an idiot!

Karol

Aww damn dude! Great that you saved a dog though. :)

Moon Hussain

Looks like you got a bunch of cool stuff, Karol. I have that the same Flip there and took it on my last California road trip. I think the quality is pretty neat (quality of the video, that is). I have to get a handle on not shaking it much though!

I made a stupid little boo-boo with it, but thankfully I fixed it. It was connect to my pc through the USB connection; when I was turning, my knee went right into it! When I tried to play videos, all I saw was green, red lines and snow!

Thanksfully everything was fine after I deleted videos off of it and starting over again.

I have no idea why I typed all this. I wish it would connect through a usb wire, I suppose.

Karol

hehe, you can get a USB extension cord if you really need to, but I know what you mean. I feel like I’ve gotten close to breaking mine while it was plugged in a few times!

Robin

Thanks Karol!

Karol

You’re welcome Robin! :)

Glenn

Sweet, I had no idea those products even existed.
Do you have any vids demonstrating actaually packing your gear into the bags?
I’m always interested in other’s techniques and items.

I can’t remember saving any animals recently. However, I did save a friend from
drowning a dog in too much ketchup and mustard last week. Mwah mwah mwaaaah.

Karol

No, no vids. Maybe when I pack up to leave Thailand I’ll make a video. Thanks for the idea!

Tammy Strobel

Nice post Karol! I’m heading out on a mini trip this weekend and am hoping to take only 1 bag. :)

I have an iTouch too and LOVE it! I mainly use it for reading books and listening to music. It’s the best thing ever. :)

Karol

Thanks Tammy! 1 bag is definitely the way to go. :) Enjoy your trip!

poch

You make me admire even your choice of tools. Bravo!

Karol

:) Thank you poch!

trent

Hi, Karol –

When you replace that computer, consider a lenovo with a touch pad, it makes a massive difference. I actually used an old IBM thinkpad T30 for the longest time, with a few upgrades it can run windows XP in a snap. It is the 1995 honda civic of laptops. Also if you tend to break things, the thinkpads will take a beating.

With newer lenovo computers, avoid a really good graphics card because they tend to get really hot (i guess this is true for all high powered laptops). Well, unless you need a great one, then just read reviews before buying, a lot of computers across the spectrum aren’t engineered properly to avoid overheating in the quest for bigger and better.

Karol

Thanks for the info Trent. The x200 didn’t offer a trackpad option…not that I saw anyway. and the other Lenovo laptops were no good because they were too big/heavy. I don’t think I’ll go with Lenovo again.

Josh Kohlbach

I used an Asus M5 12″ laptop for the longest time during University.

It was infinitely portable and dead handy due to the longer battery life. Try Asus next time Karol.. I’ll never buy a different brand again (unless like you said, the air comes with more USBs!)

Karol

Thanks Josh! I actually used an ASUS netbook while in Australia/NZ but it’s too difficult to work on those things. I’ll look at all my options when the time comes.

Mariah

Hi Karol! Thanks for this…I travel quite a bit and I’m always looking for easier ways to do it. Looking forward to that packing list for women!

Karol

You’re welcome Mariah! Thanks for commenting!

Erin S.

Smart wool rocks. I live in Colorado and though I do work in an office with extreme fluctuating temperatures, I wear smart wool to work and when I walk the dogs at night. Shout will remove a lot of stains. Spray on, work into the weave of the fabric (I use an old tooth brush, don’t rub too hard) let it sit in the fabric for about twenty minutes, and a machine washing with mild detergent should remove even construction worker grime.

I will say you are expecting a lot from the fabric in your clothing. It is woven and wear causes fatigue to the thread fibers. If you have worn something for seven months, say every other day, I would say it has held up well. Chain mail might last longer, but not fabric.

You have some wonderful travel packing tips and a most excellent blog. I love stopping by every week to catch up on your adventures. Continue to enjoy the music!

Karol

Hi Erin,

Thank you.

Yeah, I guess 7 months is a long time. Oh well, I’d rather not wear abused animals on my feet, so I’m sticking with synthetic travel socks.

As far as getting the stains out: thanks for the tips. When I get to Poland I will see what kind of stain remover people in my family have. I don’t want to buy a bottle here when it’ll only be used one time.

Thanks again!
Karol

Vanessa

Hi Karol,

Have you tried the Icebreaker socks? I love them. Plus, no animals were abused to make them – Icebreaker have strict ethics that all their wool-suppliers must comply with (no mulesing, allowing the sheep to display normal patterns of behaviour, etc). Check out the Animal Welfare page on their website (http://www.icebreaker.com/site/baacode/animal-welfare.html?language=en).

Or is that still not strict enough for you?

Karol

Hi Vanessa,

Yes, I’m familiar with Icebreaker’s supposed practices, but even the factory farming beef industry can make themselves look good. So unless I see it with my own eyes I’d rather stay away.

The problem stems from the fact that yes, the wool suppliers may sign a contract saying they’ll adhere to the animal welfare rules, but who actually enforces or checks on them?

Cheers,
Karol

Richard Gay

Karol,

1. Where did you build the guitar?
2. Who (if anyone) mentored you through building it?
3. Did you make the guitar video with your Flip HD?

Karol

Hey Richard!

1) Goa, India
2) http://www.jungleguitars.com
3) Yes, but I didn’t save it in HD after editing so the quality of that video is not indicative of what the Flip can do.

Cheers!
Karol

Richard Gay

Where did you stay while working on it? I’d be tempted to stay in my Hennessy hammock between two trees.

Karol

hehe, I stayed at a guest house near the workshop

Bia Kunze

Is there a way to dump the messenger bag for good? I hate them too. My main travel pack is a cart, so I can use a backpack to small and tech stuff. No hurt
or pain.
Or: Maybe a double strapped messenger bag, if such thing exists?

Karol

Hi Bia,

I don’t need the messenger bag. I can fit all of my stuff in my backpack. But the messenger bag is good to have when exploring a city. (I like to have my cameras, a notebook, some kind of food ration, and a bottle of water with me.) And I also, obviously, use it when I need to take my laptop to an office/cafe to work (in case my residence at the time doesn’t have internet). So it’s definitely possible to dump the bag.

Double strapped messenger bag: the MetroSafe 300 actually has 2 straps that pop out of the back to use it as a backpack. I’ve never tried this though. Maybe I will next time it’s giving me pain.

Thanks Bia!
Karol

Bia Kunze

Tomorrow I’ll be into a 4-day quick trip with just a backpack. But I also carry a second-nylon-ultra-lightweight mini backpack, for city exploring. Just a few gadgets, a bottle of water, watter and a mini Moleskine. When folded, it’s smaller than my toiletry bag. :)

Karol

Awesome Bia! Yes, I also carry a Kiva keychain backpack, but it’s very weak. I basically use it as my dirty clothes bag. :)

Viktoria

If you want a bag, type messenger, that is very comfortable to wear, I recommend the Tarras Bag by Barbour.
http://www.saddler.co.uk/shop.html?cr=3283&pr=2882&pdesc=barbour_medium_sized_tartan_tarras_bag
It´s only 200 grams heavier than my Slingsafe 200, roomier and much, much more comforable to wear. Not to mention more stylish! It comes in leather, too. (And heavier, of course.)
These bags are designed for the english hunting gentleman, and clearly he wants nothing but the utmost comfort and functionality.

Karol

Thanks Viktoria. Although I don’t buy dead animals so that’s a no go for me. Leather or leather trim isn’t something I’m into. I will find something else eventually. For now, I actually like the Metrosafe 300. :)

David Sweeney

re: holes in your icebreaker 150. It’s challenging for manufacturers to make 100% wool garments that light weight without developing holes over time. Maybe try Patagonia’s Merino 1 t-shirt. They use an all-recycled polyester core that I think will help with durability and dry time.

Is the Capilene 1 shirt a light color? I’ve found that over time my lighter color shirts do get a little dingy. Especially oily/greasy type stains reacting with the polyester. Could be sunscreen or other lotions getting absorbed into the fabric and causing a ruckus. Could also be some people’s unique body chemistry / ph balance reacting to the types of dyes in the shirts. Maybe even soap/detergent that isn’t rinsed out completely which may attract other types of dirt/stains.

For the socks maybe try out Darn Tough socks. They have a higher number of terry loops per square inch so they feel more dense and in my experience more durable. I also find the durability of teko socks to be pretty good and they are a very environmentally responsible company.

For pants, try Mountain Hardwear. They do all their travel pants in long lengths. They also have some dark colors. Check out the Mesa Pant.

Karol

Thanks for your suggestions David!

I actually bought the MH Mesa pants last year, but the fit was really bad so I sent them back.

Yes, the Capilene 1 is orange. And yeah, I figure it’s sunscreen and other oils that are working their way into the fabric. It’s a pretty good shirt otherwise, but I feel like a slob wearing it. :)

I’ve never heard of Darn Tough socks. Thank you, I will definitely look into them as well as teko socks!

sheryl

Thank you for informative videos, punctuated by screaming peacocks. Well done Sir!

Karol

I’m not sure they were peacocks (I never saw peacocks anywhere in India), but they were definitely loud birds. All day. Every day. :)

Erin

That´s so cool that so built your own guitar. Totally understand that it´s worth checking luggage in for! We are a nomadic couple travelling with a 30 litre and 40 litre backpack and also a Martin Backpacker travel guitar. We were allowed to take all 3 bags on as hand luggage on a recent flight on GOL from Rio – Buenos Aires – we´ll have to see if we can get away with it on other airlines.

You can see our packing list at Never Ending Voyage. The only addition since then has been an Eee Pc netbook as we were struggling to get much done with just one Macbook Pro between us.

Brother Howe

Nice to know not everyone has to use an Apple! Very corporate, just like my standard issue here at work…

Nastia

Dark pants attract insects, especially tsetse flies, and are hot, so however dirty, lightly colored pants are still better for backpackers and nature travelers.

Good luck with finding better gear!

Karol

I’ve never met a tsetse fly I didn’t like. Wait, I’ve never met a tsetse fly. ;)

Jaron

Smartwool PhD socks improve on the technology of the Adrenaline line. More wool so less friction from the nylon, or something like that, but still, they’re wool, so you may not even be interested. Also, I have a Marmot long sleeve synthetic shirt. Weighs about 6 ounces. Got it at a Marshall’s. Polartec, Powerdry are the tag lines on the shirt; I think it’s an old style, but they still have similar types.

Karol

Thanks Jaron. I have a light Marmot jacket that I like. I’ll try to find some of their other stuff when I’m in Poland. :)

Amanda Hamers

I can’t wait to read the women’s version!

Karol

Yes, I know, I’m being super slow with that. :(

Amanda Hamers

Maybe just add lipstick and tampons to the list.

Lipstick can be used as blush.
Tampons can be used as earplugs in a pinch?

Women’s version. Done. ;)

Karol

WHOA! haha

David

Karol–I don’t quite get the “vegan” thing when it comes to wool and leather. I understand that some folks have ethical problems with killing animals for meat; I get it that a vegan diet can be more healthy, and that meat animals consume far too many resources.
However, I don’t see the objection to wool products that generally come from sheep. To them, it’s getting a seasonal haircut that makes them far more comfortable in warm weather. I also don’t understand why when cows are being slaughtered in the millions that not using the hides that result should somehow be unethical. To me, it’s far more ethical not to waste the hides produced as a byproduct of the slaughter instead of the synthetics that further drain our petroleum supplies. It would be quite different, I believe, if the animal were being slaughtered for its skin–but with cow leather, at least, that is not the case.
Perhaps you could enlighten me?

Karol

1) You’re comparing your pet sheep to a factory farm sheep.

2) Supporting the leather industry is directly supporting the beef and dairy industries. The animal is being slaughtered for its skin as much as anything else.

3) As far as your environmental assumption: is the hide of a cow ready to wear? No. It must go to a tannery which considerably pollutes the air and the rest of the environment. Chemicals used to turn a cow hide into wearable leather: lime, sodium sulfate solution, emulsifiers, non-solvent degreasing agents, salt, formic acid, sulfuric acid, chromium sulfate salts, lead, zinc, formaldehyde, fats, alcohol, sodium bicarbonate, dyes, resin binders, waxes, coal tar derivatives and cyanide-based finishes.

Kyle Jones

Since your last post I have considered many times to write my packing list, but even in 9 months it has still changed several times. I do agree with the iPod touch. I have an iPhone 3G unlocked and jail broken. It is one of my best travel companions. A phone, a guide, a book (don’t need a kindle when I have my iPhone), a currency conversion calculator, a distraction(games), a wifi detector, a Skype phone (really good quality), a work out recorder(100 puch-ups anyone?) and so much more… I think the only thing I don’t use it for is music, and that is only because of iTunes.

Karol

Thanks Kyle. You can still write about your travel list in its current state and update as you go. :)

Hudson

Greetings Karl,
Have you considered hemp clothing? Two companies, which I have bought from are Natural High and The Hempest.

Their sites are – http://naturalhighlifestyle.com and http://store.hempest.com/catalog/

Most of my wardrobe is from Natural High (shirts, that is). Their basic T is light.

I’ve had 2 of their Conscious T and long sleeve shirts for over 3 years and they look and feel brand new. The clothing is not cheap, but not ridiculous either.

Hope this this helps.

Hudson

Karol

Thanks Hudson! Not sure why I didn’t think of hemp before. How are they as far as quick dry capabilities?

Hudson

Karl,
They dry quick! Even in the New York winter, after washing in the bathroom sink (& I use Dr. Bronner’s as well) and hanging in the evening, they’ll be ready to wear in the morning. Hanging them from a windowsill with the sun coming in or outside & they’ll dry in 2-3 hours.
They’re “non-animal” clothing as well.

Karol

Thanks so much Hudson. (Sorry its taken so long to respond.) I’m definitely going to look into hemp clothing when I get back to the States!

Jack

You mentioned you almost went with a Macbook Air. I nearly did as well but I settled on a Macbook Pro. It’s a little heavier but does have another USB port and honestly this generation of Macbook is by far the best notebook I’ve ever owned (I’ve owned Dells, Toshiba, IBM, and I still have a Lenovo x200 like yours).

Maybe next time you can scrap the Air idea and go with a Pro …I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’m definitely not an Apple fanboy normally but these are really nice computers.

Karol

Thanks Jack! After some problems with my Lenovo, I’m definitely considering going that route. And with my new travel style of moving to each place for a nice length of time the extra weight is almost irrelevant. :)

Jack

A couple of points I forgot to mention:

1. The Airport (built-in wifi) is just awesome, I’ll often pick up *other* hotels that I’m not even staying in. :)

2. Bluetooth Just Works. Without any troubles at all – I use a cheap $20 USD bluetooth headset, Skype, and a either my Mifi or free wifi for calls.

3. The battery life is excellent and I love the magnetic connector for the power charger. That has saved me me a couple times from pulling my computer off a desk. Not to mention the way you can swap receptacle adapters in so easily.

4. Macs recover and go into “sleep” mode in about 2 seconds. It’s awesome for when you have to take your computer out and demonstrate that it works (as I have to do at DFW).

Karol

Thanks for the additional info Jack. You’re making a strong case for the Macbook. :)

Katy

A list for women would be great! I’ve sort of worked out my own plan, as I’ll be going into a European winter at the end of the year and most of these great lists don’t account for very cold weather (I’m from Melbourne, Australia, so it doesn’t get that cold even in winter).

I think the vibrams are great though – I have a pair of sprints which I love, and I find that even just rinsing them in the sink with some soap helps the smell.

Also, that’s awesome you saved the kitten. I’m a die-hard cat lover (I have three, two of whom were strays where I lived, the other unwanted), and it’s only because my boyfriend is looking after them while I’m gone that I can travel.

Karol

I know. I apologize for taking so long to release the women’s list. I dislike editing and there’s a lot of editing to do on it since they were all submitted to me in varying formats.

Kitties rock! :)

Vanessa

Hey Karol,

If you need me to resubmit my packing list so you have less editing to do, I’d be happy to. It’s changed since I sent it to you, anyway.

Also, did you notice that Macbook Airs now have TWO USB ports? ;)

Karol

Ahh yes, that would be great! And yes, I’m strongly considering the MBA. It’s either that or a Pro.

David

Another notebook computer possibility–I have an ASUS Ul30, a 13.3″ laptop that weighs 3.7 pounds, has a 500 GB hard disk and 4 GB RAM; it is claimed to have “up to 12 hours battery life”–and even with WIFI and watching videos, I get over eight hours on mine. I run Linux on it quite happily. Mine ran a bit under $600, so it is more affordable than the Macbooks as well. (It also has three USB ports, by the way) Another alternative might be to build a “Hackintosh” using OSX on a netbook–I’ve seen a few articles on that in the past, but I haven’t tried it myself. I did use an Eee 10″ “seashell” model for a few weeks this Summer and found it surprisingly useful. At less than $300, too, it was very inexpensive. It had two USB ports and a 250 GB hard disk. I brought it back for my stepson, and he seems to be enjoying it as something to carry to his university classes along with his books.

For ebook readers, I’m impressed with the Cybook Opus, which at less than 6 ounces is the lightest on the market, last I saw–it also can deal with many more formats than the Kindle can. Couple it with the free Calibre ebook application and you can transform formats to something you can deal with on your reader quite easily, as well as use ebooks from many different sources. (I believe Calibre even handles the Kindle ebook format, so it can expand your sources quite a bit).

Karol

Kindle rules because it’s easy + free 3G internet worldwide = nothing beats it right now.

I’m pretty sure I’m getting a new Macbook Air. Still hesitating between that and the Pro.

Dave

I was looking at both the Macbook Air and the ‘Pro side-by-side in the Apple dealers, and ended up going with the Pro ~ besides extra sockets, you also get bigger screen (I went 15″ – a definite improvement over 13″..), better video, more storage (the HD can be up to three times the flash drives..) and a better and more flexible upgrade path (for anyone who’s interested in going down that path in the future..).

When extra features and capacity are factored in, I reckon my MB Pro gives about 50% better value for money, as well.

Only real downside is that extra weight to carry around..

benny

A note on shoes. “Sole Survivor” by Petr Hlavacek

Karol

Thanks Benny. Can’t seem to find that book anywhere.

Paz

Hi-

Another plug for the womens packing list…however I did laugh out loud at just adding tampons and lipstick. I have to admit, I might need some other things but i would love to hear what some expert travelers have to say.

Quick question??? How do you like your kindle? We recently purchased a Nikon SLR and have two laptops that we are taking not to mention 2 kids…ahh! So I wasn’t sure if i could justify another piece of equipment, but i do love books. Everyone has said that it is so expensive to find and buy english books abroad. We do have to bring books for the kids too…so since we have to bring those what is a few more books for mom. However I don’t know if i will have the extra room in my suitcase for books. My clothes are a bit bigger than my kids. :) Wondering what your thoughts on the kindle were especially since they just dropped in price!!!

Thanks for the post! p.s. I know we still have a lot of stuff to get rid of.

Paz

Karol

I love the Kindle. For a light traveler who reads a lot it’s almost a must. If you don’t read a lot then it’s not particularly necessary.

David

Paz–if you don’t mind reading books on your laptop, you might look at the free Calibre ebook app. It manages your ebook collection, handles changing the format from one type to another, and acts as a reader on your computer as well. It will also work to support most of the ereaders out there, so if you later were to buy one of those it could be a snap to synchronize it with your collection on the computer. see http://calibre-ebook.com/

I use Calibre with my Cybook Opus–which, by the way, is the lightest ebook reader out there. I find the 5″ size very handy as well, since it is so easily portable.

Paz

David-

Thank you sooooo much!! I am totally going to look into this. I love that I can then add all of my ebooks to an ereader down the road. I think my kids would also like reading books on the laptop. They love watching YouTube already. It is a little scary how our 3 yr old is able to navigate her way around the computer already. Thanks again for this information!!
Paz

Kyle Jones

Speaking of kindles, laptops, reading, and a few other things… I have a new thing I am drooling over: An EInk replacement screen for my netbook ( http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKPQ01 ).
Ahh the dreams of reading and working on the beach are getting closer and closer.
Kyle

Karol

Nice! Let me know how it works if you make that happen.

Hudson

Good evening one and all;
Has anyone seen the site for Scottevest
http://www.Scottevest.com
I came across this via Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding.  The items – jackets, pants and shirts – have numerous pockets for various items, including a Kindle or iPad. 
You can search for Rolf and see his 6 week trek to numerous places the world over with no luggage.
I have their Windbreaker now.  It is a good tool; glasses, phone, charger, earphones, even a spare Icebreaker T shirt, ExOfficio underwear and socks can be put in the pockets and you can’t tell, that they are there!

Karol

Yes, Rolf Potts rules. Haven’t tested out any ScottEVest products though.

David

Yes. I have a Scott eVest, which I wear when I travel by plane if I need to take more “stuff” than will fit in my carry-on bag…such as when I went for six weeks this Summer. Unfortunately, I must also carry a CPAP machine, so I suffer a weight and space penalty both–I simply am far more “high maintenance” than I was when I was younger.

The eVest works as advertised in that it can hold far more than you might expect without looking as over-stuffed as it actually is.

However, the quality is somewhat iffy. I already have a bit of damage despite treating it quite carefully. A few more ounces devoted to more robust construction would be well in order, considering the price.

Mine is some years old, though–they may well have improved since it was made. I think mine was an early model of the original design.

I suggest should you get one that you order it early enough to inspect it and return it if it does not meet your expectations regarding quality of construction.

Karol

Thanks for the info David. I’m not planning on getting an Scottevest gear at this point. Everything I have does the job. :)

jenny smythe

Thanks for the informative post Karol! I love reading about traveling light.

Karol

:) You’re welcome. I’ll be updating my packing list again in January I believe. No major changes, but a few new tools.

hg

Great site!

What do you use to launder you wool shirts? Most regular detergents will damage wool and silk fibres. You need to use a wool wash.

Or maybe that one got moths?

I’ve had a couple of icebreaker t-shirts for 4 years and used them quite a lot, although more like every week than every day. They are still just fine, even after someone threw them in the dryer!

HG

Karol

I use Dr Bronner’s and hand wash all my clothes. :)

hg

Dr Bronner’s should be safe for wool (as far as I can figure, I’ve never seen it). Then I’m out of suggestions (other than the moths or similar).

BTW, despite being wool, the icebreaker stuff handles regular machine wash on cold/cool perfectly well, as well as all other clothes does – just thought other might like to know that :-) But obviously handwashing is gentler still.

HG

asd

The mechanical fist-squashing of clothing washing method shown in your washing video will break down the wool sooner than just shaking it around in a water-filled bag like a washing machine would do. I’m guessing the wool companies would blame that mechanical process on the wool products breaking down so quickly.

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