Here’s what I’ve been traveling with:
- MacBook in padded sleeve and power cable
- Amazon Kindle and cable
- Notebook, ballpoint pen
- iPhone 3GS and cable
- Compact digital camera (not pictured) and charger
- USB mouse
- Noise-isolating earbud headphones
- Deck of playing cards
- Leatherman mutli-tool
- 3-liter hydration pack with drinking tube
- Microfiber towel (highly absorbent, takes up little space)
- 4 shirts2
- 1 pair of pants (not pictured)
- Sneakers (not pictured)
- Super-warm, super-compressible jacket
- 3 pairs of socks
- Hand-washable, quick-drying underwear (not pictured)
- Some crushed Indian root that cures upset stomach. Not yet used, but highly prized!
- Thin wallet
- Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, lotion in little bottles, toothbrush, lip balm)
This all fits in my backpack:
Trash bin and left shoe shown for size context.
There’s room left to fit food I might buy for a long train trip or to munch on while walking around a city. The hydration pack feels like the heaviest item, but it gets lighter as I drink more water from it.
The computer and other hard items are inside the main storage area. I keep my clothes in the outer pocket. I used to roll the shirts and towel, but I was surprised to find that folding them flat takes up less room. I still roll the socks, though.
The jacket, which is super-compressible actually fits into its own inside pocket:
However, I just stuff it into my backpack when packing. It’s quite dense when stuffed into its inside pocket, and I worry that it will press against the electronics. Stuffing it in loosely instead lets it act as additional padding for the hardware inside the pack.
If I’m still traveling in the Spring, I’ll probably take my larger backpack instead and bring along a sleeping bag and tent (and some other relevant outdoor supplies) so that I can camp a bit.