Since I love travel gear and everything related to the packing process, I decided to share the packing techniques, packing lists and travel gear ideas I have learned from others. Monthly, I will summarize 10 of the best travel gear related posts in the Travel Gear Recap series. I will also tweet all of the posts on Twitter with the hashtag #travelgear. If you have written a travel gear related post and would like to have yours considered for the Recap Series, please leave a link and short summary in the comments below.
Here are the top 10 posts for Travel Gear Recap #1 in no particular order:
I love Backpack with Brock’s Friday Five video series in general, but in this video blog, Brock outlines the 5 best things in his pack. I especially like his idea of bringing along a mini-tripod for cameras/video cameras. We have a cheap one now with straight legs, but like the idea of the Gorillapod* with flexible legs that can attach to anything. We have also considered bringing along a SteriPEN*, but we are still evaluating how useful it will be for where we plan to travel. Since we plan to stay in hostels frequently, we really like the idea of the Collapsable Bowl* and silverware. Thanks for the great ideas Brock!
Jason and Sharon remind us there really is science behind the packing process and how you pack is just as important as what you pack. They make sure everything goes into a bag before going into their packs which is not only a great way to save space, but is also a great way to keep your pack organized. They have had some success with the Eagle Creek Pack-It Stuffer Set* and ITW Space Compressible Bags*, which we will definitely be looking into before we leave.
I originally fell in love with Simon and Erin’s blog because of their design, but their content is what keeps me there. In this post, they have a video, photos and a detailed list of what they are taking on their Never Ending Voyage. This presentation style allows you to get a realistic idea of how much you can take and stay under the carryon weight requirements. After reading this post, I was compelled to do more research into featherlite/micro products such as the Montane Featherlite Jacket* And, this is also where I discovered Merino wool and have since been researching its’ properties and various products made with it.
Karol Gajda outlines his full packing list with photos which is also great for those of us who are visually oriented and he also included a detailed list. I have considered purchasing Vibram FiveFingers Shoes*, but am still concerned about the repeated reports of a persistent odor. However, we are definitely bringing the MSR Ultralite Packtowl* since we will inevitably need a towel for hostels and beaches. Karol also brought our attention to the idea of bringing shaving oils instead of shaving cream which will help save even more space in our packs.
Kirsty and Poi are 1 month away from leaving on their rtw and are in the typical stages of deciding what will “make the cut” and travel with them. They too are bringing an iPod touch* and laptop, but are still deciding on how many guidebooks, if any, to bring. We will likely be leaving the guidebooks at home since our iPod touch* and MacBook Pro* will serve most of our needs while on the road, but guidebooks are definitely a requirement during the planning stages. Poi is still trying to persuade Kirsty to leave the hair straightener behind which reminds me that I still need to persuade Linda to leave the blowdryer and hair straightener at home. Will someone please help me talk some sense into her? (lol)
One thing we have learned over the past 3 years of traveling is the benefit of having only carryon luggage. However, since they continually modify the carryon requirements and each airline has different limits, we are continually re-evaluating how we pack, what we pack and what we pack it in. Over at As We Travel, we learned about a solid shampoo bar which can be used for hair, body, face and laundry. We are considering purchasing the LUSH Seanik* solid shampoo bar. Now, that’s my kind of travel tip!
Kate is gearing up to hit the road again and just made two of the most important purchases for her trip: travel sandals and a 40L pack. I am still in the early stages of deciding which shoes to bring along, but have already settled on bringing a maximum of 2 or 3 pairs. I had originally decided against bringing travel sandals, but her post reminded me of how versatile travel sandals really can be. So, now I am forced to narrow down my shoe selection once again. Here are the remaining candidates: sneakers, sandals, Vibram FiveFingers Shoes* and flip flops. Any suggestions on which of these are best suited for rtw travel would be greatly appreciated.
Nomadic Matt reminds us of the importance of choosing the right backpack for our body size/build and also what features to look for when selecting your pack. As mentioned before, we currently have the Osprey Atmos 50* backpack, but are looking for something to securely hold all of the electronics we will be carrying on this trip. Furthermore, as Matt reminds us, top loading packs and ones without multiple compartments are annoying, so we are back in the market trying to find a more suitable pack. Thanks for the tips Matt!
Charyn also uses the SteriPEN* now that she is volunteering for 12 projects in 12 countries over the next 12 months. I am sure the SteriPenn will literally be a lifesaver on a trip like that. One thing that her post reminded me of was the fact I still do not have a headset for using Skype. Thanks for the gentle reminder Charyn. You can check Charyn out on the Travel Dudes link above or on her blog, The Global Citizen Project. If any of you have found a good quality, folding headset for Skype that works for both the Mac and PC, please let me know in the comments below.
10) The Aussie Nomad – Travel Packing List Part 1, Travel Packing List Part 2 – Clothing
Chris walks us through a bit of the decision process for his packing list and reminds us to pack what we are comfortable with and not to rely solely on the ideas of other travelers. For example, many travelers in the travel blog world will recommend that you bring convertible pants. Chris reminds us that while this may work for some, it is not a mandatory requirement or even the best idea in some situations. I might still bring a pair for convenience, but my decision will not be influenced by others. Chris plans to consolidate his final list at some point and make it available in a pdf format for download.
Bonus #11) Perpetual Travel – Marc’s RTW Packing List
Marc Brosius over at Perpetual Travel brings us the massive list of all lists. His list seems to cover nearly everything you could ever think of, which is a great tool for those of us in the planning stages of an rtw trip. He outlines the documents you will need, the tools that always come in handy, and travel essentials such as first aid kits. Although you should keep in mind the type of trip your are taking and your destinations because if you brought everything on his list, you would probably not survive with only carryon luggage. For example, I am still trying to decide if we will really need a sleep sheet in Europe or a universal sink plug for hostels. On the other hand, he includes safety pins in his list which have already proven themselves invaluable to us.
What did you bring on your rtw adventure that we did not cover here? What do you regret bringing? What item will you never leave home without again?