Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Post! What I Brought: A Packing List by Jeff

Another awesome guest post from my brother! He put all the tips from last week's post into a great comprehensive sample list of what to pack.  He has inspired me to do a similar list for a tropical trip upon my return! Most of these items can be worked for both sexes. For example, the wicking t-shirts, underwear, and light-weight hiking apparel are definitely available for the ladies as well. I recommend checking out Under Armour, REI, and Athleta for good options.

Pack less, experience more! (Great Wall, China)
With increasing baggage fees for air travel, more and more people are looking to pack more efficiently. I recently took a 10 week trip to East Asia (India, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, and Japan) and it taught me a lot about what to pack and how to pack it.

What I Did:

The best tip I can give for traveling light is to make sure you research the climate and seasonal weather conditions for the place you are traveling to. For my trip I had to pack for a wide range of weather and climate conditions from Malaysia’s hot tropics to Harbin’s frozen tundra. This forced me to pack clothes that could be layered easily. I couldn’t realistically drag a heavy, down parka across India, Vietnam and Malaysia just so I could use it in China and Japan.

You also have to take into account that laundry facilities are most likely scarce and you will be wearing your clothes multiple days and washing them in the sink. In this respect, synthetic clothing is your friend. They are generally lighter, dry faster and are more wrinkle resistant than their natural counterparts.

One of the things I looked for when I was doing research on packing light was packing lists people had actually used on similar trips. It gives you a basic idea of what you'll need and you can alter it to fit your needs. Here is my list with some commentary!
*I've owned some of the items on this list for a long time so I linked the closest equivalent I could find online.
**Jen's note - you can also buy woolite in tiny packs, but they have to go in your 3-1-1 bag if you carry on. 

What I Would Do Differently:

When I do another trip like this one I will definitely go all synthetic fibers in my clothing. I would ditch the cotton shirts and khakis and go with wicking t-shirts and another pair of the polyester travel pants.

Why you should always bring a backup camera!
The main thing I missed on this trip was a way to back-up my photos. A netbook would have been nice but I didn't want to add the extra weight and my bag was soft-sided so I would have been nervous about breaking it! An external hard drive with an SD card reader seems like a good alternative for backing up photos but I've never talked to anybody who's actually used one. I would also suggest bringing extra SD cards because I ran out of space. This caused me to buy a couple extra cards in China which turned out to be bad and I lost a week's worth of pictures!

I brought along a ton of cash but I should have brought even more. It's a risk but since my bank (Wells Fargo) charges five dollars every time you use an international ATM, I ended up spending roughly one hundred dollars in ATM fees over course of the trip.

Final Tip:

Remember when making a packing list that you'll be wearing one complete outfit all the time. So you won't be packing everything into your bag at one time***. For some reason this is hard to remember when you are planning and test-packing.

Happy Travels!

***Jen's note - wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane, like jeans. Also, don't bring jeans if you can help it :)

1 comment:

  1. Great list for travel freaks, canon sd 1300 is my 1st priority item for snapping!


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