Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Gears of Tour

As requested, a list of how badly I overpacked things I packed for a two-year trip.

  • Osprey Farpoint 55 convertable bag. This unzips into two bags - one small backpack (under seat "personal item") and one, well, larger backpack (overhead bin carry-on or "flight's full" gate-checked item). I keep the small bag filled with essentials, important stuff, and one change of clothes and keep it on me at all times.

  • One khaki "military" cap
  • Three quick-dry (REI co-op sahara heathered) tees
  • One quick-dry (REI again) long sleeve
  • Two regular tees (one "Phillies" and one "Wacky Rally")
  • One short-sleeve casual button up
  • One long-sleeve casual button up
  • Two white undershirts
  • One adjustable cloth belt
  • Two pairs of jean shorts
  • One pair of cargo shorts
  • One pair swimtrunks
  • Two pairs basketball shorts (one orange, one black)
  • Six pairs of quick-dry underwear (exofficio)
  • Five pairs of quick-dry socks (smartwool)
  • One pair Keen Montfort shoes
  • One pair flip flops
Non-clothing cloth:
  • Two quick-dry towels
  • One silk pillowcase
  • One hankerchief
  • One "US Census 2010" totebag
  • Extra pair of shoelaces
  • One pair cheap sunglasses
  • One self winding watch
  • One Nerd Nite Philly button
  • One Ben Franklin in Beaverskin Hat button
  • (acquired) One Canadian Flag pin
  • One Google Pixel 2 XL (with Google Fi service)
  • One iclever folding bluetooth keyboard
  • One no-frills Amazon Kindle (loaded with ~250 books from Project Gutenberg)
  • One crappy AC-USB converter
  • One USB-USB-mini (micro?) cord
  • One USB-USB-C cord
  • Three USB-mini (micro?) to USB-C converters
  • One international power adapter
  • One international power converter
  • One USB stick
  • OneMini-SD card
  • One USB-C to 3/16 headphone jack converter
  • Three cheap 8x10" notebooks for everyday stuff (that I suck at using)
  • One  5x7" waterproof notebook
  • One regular (3x5"?) moleskine notebook
  • One mini (1x.5"?) moleskine notebook
  • A dozen or so scrap pages for letters
  • A dozen or so Philly postcards for host gifts
  • (acquired) a dozen or so postcards for sending (or future hosts)
  • A half-dozen letter envelopes
  • Two 10x12" big envelopes (to send filled notebooks)
  • Lots of US Postage (to use in Seattle / Alaska / LA)
  • Map of Germany (to explain my 2014 trip)
  • Map of Eastern Canada / US (it appeared in my bag)
  • Write-up of my 2016 trip
  • One-page RPG rulesheet / charactersheet
  • Spacepen
  • Four misc pens
  • One Foldable travel toothbrush
  • Three mini tubes of toothpaste
  • Two rolls of floss
  • Two tubes of chapstick
  • One regular-size underarm deoderant stick
  • One small tube of excema cream
  • (acquired) two bars of soap (totally didn't forget to pack this...)
  • (acquired) one sample bottle of bodywash (which came with...)
  • (acquired) 400 pack of q-tips (smallest size they had!)
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • One comb
  • Three bic disposable razors
  • A couple sheets of chewable Pepto tablets
  • (acquired) Small bottle of aspirin
  • Several packs of earplugs
  • One plan-b packet in case I make a friend and there's a slip-up
  • Game box (chess, checkers, backgammon, special APS cards)
  • Half-dozen safety pins
  • One travel sewing kit
  • A couple alligator? paper clips
  • A few yards of 550 cord
  • One mini-M&M container (perfect for odds & ends - might have to find anotherd)
  • A few rubber bands
  • One flimsy carabiner
  • One hundred Philadelphia-themed paper presents for hosts (and bribes?)
  • One trusty money clip
  • A million napkins
  • Passport & passport card
  • (acquired) packet of emergency ramen
  • About $500 USD, split between my person and the various bags
  • Maybe $150 in Euros and Pounds from my last trip to the EU
  • Capital One Credit and Debit cards (no international fees!)
  • Chase Credit Card (just in case CapOne freezes my account due to fraud or whatever)


  1. Not bad. Good choice on the pack. You didn't list it, but maybe it wasn't worth the mention - I love carrying large zip lock bags to keep all my stuff organized. I love that you forgot soap. I once left for a trip and forgot pants. Like, entirely, other than what was on my body when setting out.

    Just an FYI, you can usually have things shipped to you at post offices. So if there's something you realize you need but can't find, order online and have it sent ahead. Just maybe touch base with the post office to see if they have any specific instructions.

    Also recommended: money/passport belt or necklace, duct tape, pad locks, safe bag (I use pacsafe). Also, if you haven't already, photo copy your passport and keep a scanned copy both in your email and on one of your usbs. I also keep a password protected word document with my credit card #s and emergency international phone numbers on it. Then I actually usually wear that us on a necklace most of the time.

    1. No pants! That's pretty great!

      I do have some ziplock bags, a combo padlock, and document info on the USB (though, good call on scanned into email).

  2. When you scan it into email, also send a copy to your emergency contact. Apparently if you get killed out kidnapped while abroad that is helpful. :D