I'm flying with a friend to Orlando, Florida tomorrow for the start of a six month trip round America with the aim of visiting all fifty states. Might even be nine months, making it less of a rush; seems it'll depend on how friendly the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is!
I'm really into minimalism, so rather than take a massive suitcase, I'm going with just a 19L backpack, the Tom Bihn Synapse. No messing about with checking-in, collecting or losing hold luggage too.
In preparing to do this, I've read through several other packing lists which were really helpful so thought it'd be fun to share my list too.
A lot of this has been inspired by Tynan's blog over the years, his Life Nomadic book and his own packing list at the end of last year. The main differences are I'm taking less tech and gadgets, but more clothes - not all of which are Merino!
- 3 merino tops - two t-shirts plus a polo for when I want to look bit smarter! (Icebreaker Tech, SmartWool Microweight V-Neck, Icebreaker Tech)
- Merino hoodie for when it's cooler - all about the layers! (Gap)
- Jeans and shorts. Nothing special here other than take up a lot of space :-/
- 3 merino underwear (Carbon Icebreaker Anatomica)
- 2 pairs of merino socks (SmartWool Liner Crew Hiking Socks)
- 3 pairs short white trainer socks
- Converse trainers and spare laces, sandals
- Lightweight water and windproof jacket (Marmot Men's Mica Jacket - Cobalt Blue)
- Union Jack board shorts - should be fun on the beach :-)
- Travel towel (Expedition Towel 150)
- Passport, driving licence and travel insurance card
- Macbook Air 11" laptop, sleeve, charger with US adapter, Apple screen cleaner and HDMI adapter
- Sony RX100 digital camera, 0.3m micro USB cable and USB3 SD card reader
- iPhone 4S, mains to USB plug, micro USB adapter, Apple earbuds
- Tiny torch, washing line, safety pin to swap phone SIMs, biro, mini first-aid kit (not in photo)
- Sleep mask and earplugs as I like sleep and they add no weight (40 Blinks and Hearos)
- Toiletries bag which I've test packed with; though may buy new once land
- iPhone 4S, Slim Slimmy wallet, sunglasses
As well organised as the Synapse is, I can't fit all that in there. As it'll be cool when I leave, I'll wear jeans and hoodie, but have test packed with those plus me wearing shorts and t-shirt so know it all fits in when the weather is good.
- Bottom pocket: jacket for quick access without removing entire contents of bag. Hoodie or bottle of water.
- Side 1: camera, SD reader, mac-HDMI, plus spare laces and washing line stuffed under everything else
- Side 2: toiletries, pen, saftey pin
- Front 1: USB cable, power block and US plug, earbuds, torch
- Front 2: sleep mask and earplugs, laptop charger, sunglasses, first-aid kit, little space for snacks etc.
- Main inner: laptop and documents
- Main: towel and sandals out the way at the bottom, swimshorts, shorts, underwear, t-shirts, socks
- Upgrade sunglasses to folding. Mine are scratched and these would both take less space and I'd be more likely to carry them with me. Left for now as cheaper once landed.
- Better footwear, I like my Converse but perhaps not great for wearing all day, everyday.
- Fewer / smaller / more Merino socks instead of small trainer socks.
- Organiser pouches. Not essential, but be easier to see what's going on than plastic bags used currently.
- Torch (but kinda cool!)
- SD reader (can read via USB when camera connected, but slower)
- HDMI adapter (though always seem to end up using whenever take it with me)
- Mains to USB power adapter as can charge via laptop or even a smaller 5w adapter, but 12w charges quicker and not much more bulk
- Laptop sleeve. It's fairly well protected anyway as in middle of bag, but while light it's bulky
Just under 5kg (or 11lbs)