Carry On

As a mental exercise to start working out what exactly I’m going to do with my three years of travel perks I’m creating a list, here, now, live.

<The studio audience roars.>

So here it is, an ambitious mental exercise. Reducing my worldly possessions to airline carry on limits.

Originally I was going to go with what I could realistically carry, which would be a giganto 80L expedition pack plus a smaller daypack and maybe a third small bag. But compressing and simplifying down to something even more basic not to mention more comfortable seems both more practical and more daring. I mean in this culture stuff is everything. What happens when we barely have any stuff?

So here’s the breakdown, and I’m getting really specific because… well its an interesting subject – what do I really need?


  • Wallet: bank card, driver’s license, health card, SIN card, credit card, phone card, business cards, cash.
  • Keychain: carabiner, keys, bottle opener, *Swiss Army knife (knife, scissors, file, flat head screwdriver, LED light & pen), LED light, USB key
  • Lighter
  • Change
  • Notepad
  • Pen
  • Cellphone
  • Mints
  • Condoms
  • MP3 player/recorder & headphones



  • Knife, fork & spoon
  • Granola bars
  • Notebook
  • Post-It notes
  • Pen, pencil & marker
  • Camera
  • Batteries
  • Band-aids
  • Tape
  • Canteen
  • Flashight
  • Cell phone charger
  • Mini tripod
  • Passport pouch: Saint Christopher, passport, tickets, important documents & emergency $50USD in a sealed envelope.


  • Notebook/sketchbook
  • Laptop (sometimes), charger & cables
  • Extra clothing layer
  • Gloves
  • Assortment of pens, pencils, markers, chalk, etc.
  • Towel (ahem, got totally distracted by Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy links for about 15 minutes)
  • A good book
  • Canteen
  • Rope
  • Glowsticks
  • Headlamp
  • Lunch?

Backpack (this backpack will have an extendible handle and wheels and a lock):

  • 1 man tent
  • 1 light sleeping bag
  • Clear waterproof toiletries bag: toothpaste (under 100ml), toothbrush, razor, extra razor blades, floss, nail clippers, soap, ColdFX, pain killers, anti-histamines, band-aids, antiseptic swabs, flask, *Swiss Army knife & condoms.
  • 2 pairs of pants (one formalish, one cargo pants)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • Swimsuit
  • One short sleeved shirt, one long sleeved shirt, one button up shirt
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • Jacket
  • External HDD
  • Copies of all important documents

That seems decently exhaustive, though I’m sure there are more odds and ends that will fall into the various pockets, folds and compartments. An interesting exercise, particularly with respect to thinking about the kinds of situations I may face. The Burning Man and urban exploration aspects along with the photography/film/video stuff.

Wow. That’s kind of liberating. I look around my apartment now and it doesn’t seem so bad, the thought that soon I’ll have to get rid of a lot of this stuff. ’cause frankly I don’t need much of any of it. I genuinely could live with just this stuff for a year or more. Sure there’d be other stuff, but it would be short term stuff, things that I only keep with me so long as I’m in a particular location. Lots of useful stuff can be easily dumpstered or thrift shopped at little or no expense to cover those needs.

I’m feeled pretty great right about now.


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