To live out of a backpack…

I would like to think I’m a minimalist, that I don’t really need much. People who know how I pack probably laugh at that thought.

As I was laying out my gear this morning, to be stuffed into one 110-liter trekking bag and small day/camera pack, I took this picture. Then I decided to label it all, so show just how much stuff I’m going to be carrying.

Note: this includes almost zero clothes and toiletries.

Not quite all of my stuff

Not quite all of my stuff

  1. Books. Travel guides to India, Kenya, Madagascar, Thailand, plus some entertainment reading and my Hindi textbooks.
  2. One pair of pants. I’m trying to limit myself to one pair of brown chinos and several pairs of shorts.
  3. Hand sanitizer.
  4. REI shell jacket. Water/wind proof, good for 40 degrees up to 85.
  5. Schlafly beer beanie. Soft material for packing fragile goods; nice for cold nights in highlands.
  6. REI Bug Hut Pro. Minimalist bug shelter.
  7. Reporter’s notebooks.
  8. REI mini multitool.
  9. Travel box of Q-Tips.
  10. Camera bag with HD video/still camera, point-n-shoot Canon, audio recorder, mics, laptop, storage cards, passport, hard drive, medicine, anything else I can’t let out of my grasp.
  11. Sewing kits.
  12. Prescription for more malaria medicine.
  13. Blank media.
  14. USB thumb drives.
  15. Keys with knife, whistle and compass.
  16. Tanzania guidebook.
  17. Wine bottle opener with a large straight blade.
  18. Cardioid microphone.
  19. Flask from Steamboat Springs (thanks Matt).
  20. Tabletop tripod.
  21. Permanone insect repellent for clothes, sheets and tents.
  22. USB cable.
  23. Playing cards.
  24. Waterproof Timex.
  25. Bag of AA and AAA batteries.
  26. Waterproof hanging LED lantern.
  27. Small notepad.
  28. Pile of pens and two cigars (thanks Colleen).
  29. Awesome personal note from a good friend.
  30. Camera manual.
  31. Secret passport, money wallet.
  32. Burned mix CDs for making friends.
  33. Spare headphones.
  34. iPod Shuffle
  35. Old Bay seasoning.
  36. Journal.
  37. First aid kit.
  38. Wallet.
  39. Glad ForceFlex trash bags.
  40. Spare glasses.
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3 Responses to “To live out of a backpack…”

  1. Sara Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Let me know if you need more Old Bay shipped. You can buy that stuff by the truckload out here.

  2. Belen Becerra, thomson reuters foundation Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Wow! How exciting! I’m jealous. I’m impressed at your organisation skills…wanted to say that if you need to contacts in the countries you are visiting you can get on ReutersLink, Alumni section. (we have all our ex participants’ emails listed by country) If you have difficulties logging in let me know! I can also give you a few names of journalists I know in those countries. that may be better. let me know.
    Good luck!!

  3. JC Says:
    September 3rd, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Biffity biffity.

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