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What to take when traveling light
Keep in mind, I traveled solo continuously for a year across India and southeast Asia. I needed to take my pack on
a motorbike, fit it next to me on the bus, overhead on the plane, or strapped on my back while hiking up a
mountain. I only wanted to carry the most essential things.
Traveling in colder climates will neccesitate a bigger pack, a jacket and warmer clothes. The items below are well
suited for a spritely male traveling the sub-tropics.
Things I had (and was still using) when I returned a year later:
1 nicely worn travel pack, 45 Litres.
5 to 8 pairs of underwear and socks too in colder climates
2 pairs of shorts (one doubling as a swimsuit)
1 pair of thin pants
cheap flip flop sandals - these are a big mistake
5 cotton shirts, very thin, picked up along the way.
3 sarongs, bought along the way - useful for laying on the beach, tying up things, and more
few strips of thin cotton, used to tie up rolled clothing
giant box of tooth floss.
money belt, essential
swiss army knife, well used
bottle of iodine, well used
moleskin for blisters, well used
laundry line, well used
4 or 5 small Chinese locks with keys, very useful
candles, very useful in the developing world
paper address book, essential
digital thermometer, only used once.
tiny med kit containing cotton bandages, tape, folding scissors, band-aids
medication including a strong antibiotic, ibuprofen, sinus meds, boro cream antiseptic
local variety of bug spray
mini flashlight, has saved my life
4 oz bottle of shampoo with very durable lid
soap wrapped in a Ziploc freezer bag
lots of shitty Ziplock brand bags that were broken.
zippered cloth bags are more durable
very thin cotton towel, which looked like a rag
lots of unused diahrea pills - just drink tonnes of water!
pictures from along the way
no toilet paper (nice to meet you!)
digital camera and rechargeable batteries/charger
electric shaver and cord
lots of tiny shit in a plastic bag: thread & needles, business cards, lip gloss, Canadian flags
a pac-safe metal mesh bag, used exclusively for the computer.
laptop computer in separate courier bag
courier bag, with: power adapter, extension cord (very useful), small surge protector & two A/C plug adapters.
too many unused condoms!!!
Somehow, when I came back my bag was much less "stuffed" than when I left. I attribute it to a keen sense of "I travel fast" and the thin clothes found in the tropics. Like everyone, I took much more than the above, and didn't use much of it. I mailed back all the stuff I wanted to keep but was unimportant, and gave the rest away.
My only advice: focus on your clothes. The warmer the climate, the thinner the clothes and the more skin that ends up being shown. This is true for males and females. Travel light but look good.
More travel stuff...