Badger: Simplifying Your Packing List

Badger: Simplifying Your Packing List

Need some minimalist packing advice? Maybe some of the well thought out, über-informative  suggestions from forum member — and volunteer moderator — Badger could come in handy when find yourself preparing for your next trip.

Looking to simplify his life by reducing the amount of stuff he owned and trying to find the right bag, declutter listed the belongings he thought necessary to keep, but was open to advice on ways to reduce the load. Badger answered the call, dispensing a number of detailed bits of guidance. Here are some highlights:

  • “You probably already know this, but you’ll want to wear the heaviest and bulkiest items whenever possible to create space in your bag. If you do this, you can eliminate the hiking boots, one pair of boxers and socks, and 1-2 shirts from your packing list, since you’ll be wearing them.”
  • “If you need the thick wool socks for some reason, I’d highly recommend replacing the other four pairs of socks with just two pairs of Smartwool Outdoor Ph.D. low-cut socks. They actually stretch over your ankles and can be worn more than once before needing a wash. I’m wearing a pair right this minute.”
  • “You have a polo and a dress shirt, which seem to me like ‘going out in public’ options for your upper half. Since both of the items in your pic appear to be cotton, these might not be the best choice for long-term travel (they’re heavy, take forever to dry, and they will get rumpled fast). You could replace these items with just one lightweight long-sleeved shirt with a collar. Patagonia and Rohan make shirts from technical fabrics that don’t scream ‘safari tourist.'”

Head to the Forums for more sage advice and to view the rest of the thread.


Toblerhaus: Packing for 2 Weeks in Spain

Toblerhaus: Packing for 2 Weeks in Spain

Forum member Toblerhaus has a two week trip to Spain coming up and plans to pack everything into two bags: the Aeronaut and Synapse 25. Here’s what she packed in each…

Inside the Aeronaut:

Medium cafe bag (to be carried as a purse once we arrive), tennis shoes, waterproof boots, blue slim packing cube for underwear and socks, medium raspberry packing cube for clothing, umbrella, red dot bag with dry toiletries, brown zip bag with misc emergency items, olive 311 bag with wet toiletries”

Toblerhaus: Packing for 2 Weeks in Spain

Inside the Synapse 25:

“Hydroflask, 2 stuff sacks, side effect, organizer cube, iPad in Portenzo case, Kindle, Ziploc bag, clear organizer pouch with Eurorail passes and passports, camera bag for dSLR and 10-22 lens, 35 mm lens and neoprene pouch to hold it.”

Toblerhaus: Packing for 2 Weeks in Spain

Read the entire post in the TOM BIHN Forums. See also: the Aeronaut and Synapse 25.

Chris and Daniel’s Bags from the Two Weeks in Japan Videos

Back in late August, we posted a couple fantastic videos courtesy of Chris from SHEP Films (the folks who worked with us on our Smart Alec, Tri-Star, and Everyday Carry videos) in which he and his traveling companion, Daniel, detail what they packed for a two week family trip to Japan. Although Chris and Daniel mention the bags and accessories they use by name, we figured it would be handy to have everything compiled into one list along with at which point in the packing video these things can be found. See the packing video below, along with the list of everything used.

What Chris used…

0:04Aeronaut, Steel Dyneema/Wasabi

0:40RFID Blocking Passport Pouch, Wasabi; Clear Organizer Wallet (for business cards)

0:44 — Small Padded Organizer Pouch;  Size 2 Travel Stuff Sacks, Ultraviolet and Wasabi (both for miscellaneous stuff like ear buds, a multi-tool, batteries, and memory cards)

0:56Co-Pilot, Steel Dyneema/Solar

1:02Travel Tray, Wasabi

1:053D Clear Organizer Cube, Steel

1:083D Mesh Organizer Cube, Black

1:10Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Wasabi

1:15 — Aeronaut End Pocket Packing Cube, All Fabric

1:19Cache, size 6Z

1:20 — Large Packing Cube for the Aeronaut

1:24Kindle Fire/Keyboard Pouch (for tablet)

and what Daniel used…

2:09 — Large Packing Cube for the Aeronaut

2:16Aeronaut, Black/Steel

2:183D Clear Organizer Cube, Wasabi Dyneema

2:31Synapse 19, Black/Iberian

2:3216-inch Key Strap; Kindle Fire/Keyboard Pouch, Padded

If you want to see all of this stuff in action along with some great shots of the bags, Japanese scenery, and delicious food, check out the second video below.

Side Effect as In-Flight Organizer

“Just got back from my first trip with my new Side Effect. During this trip I determined that 1 Side Effect + 2 S-Biners == great way to keep little fiddly things (earbuds, iPod, gum, pens, notebook, tissues, snacks, makeup bag, etc.) handy during a flight.” — Ms. Ferret

Side Effect as In-Flight Organizer

Check out the entire thread on the TOM BIHN Forums. See also: the Side Effect.

In stock: Shop Bag, Co-Pilot, Synapse 19, Clear Quarter Packing Cube, more…

Thanks to everyone’s hard work, the following bags are back in stock and ready to ship:

Co-Pilot, all colors

Synapse 19, all colors

Shop Bag, all colors, sizes Small and Large

Clear Quarter Packing Cube, all colors

RFID Blocking Passport Pouch, all colors

TOM BIHN Shop BagsLeft: Shop Bag, Small, in Steel and Right: Shop Bag, Large, Wasabi

Decisions, Decisions: Picking the Right Bag

Paralyzed by indecision, TOM BIHN Forum member erg approached his fellow posters with the following request: “Help me decide on the right bag configuration for business travel with a laptop.”

The primary obstacle was first figuring out which travel bag was going to fit all of erg’s stuff. Would the mid-sized Tri-Star be large enough (his preferred bag) or would he have to get the larger Aeronaut?

Eventually, erg posted his packing list, somewhat unsure as to the possibility of squeezing all that stuff into the Tri-Star:

5 knit short sleeved shirts
5 undershirts
5 underwear
5 pairs of socks
1 pair of jeans
athletic shoes
laptop + charger
misc. small electronics
2 or 3 granola bars

Owning a Tri-Star himself,  forum member Mike kindly tested the packing list for erg, and even posted photos of the results so that everybody could see the results for themselves.

Decisions, decisions: Picking the Right Bag  Everything from erg’s packing list, laid out

Decisions, decisions: Picking the Right BagPacked into the Tri-Star

Decisions, decisions: Picking the Right BagZipped up!

Read the full thread in the TOM BIHN Forums (and possibly add your 2¢). See also: the Tri-Star.

Miking: Using Magnets to Attach Patches to a Bag

Looking to add a patch to your bag, but don’t want the permanence that comes with stitching one on? Check out an awesome thread from forum member Miking that shows you how to add a patch using magnets. No sewing skills necessary!

Miking: Using Magnets to Attach Patches to a Bag

In stock: 13″ Ristretto, Brain Bag, Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, more…

Thanks to our amazing crews, the following bags are back in stock and ship within one business day:

Ristretto for 13″ MacBook Pro or Air, all colors

Brain Bag, all colors

Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, all colors

Empire Builder, Black/Black/Steel and Black/Steel/Steel (Black/Black/Wasabi ships by the end of this week)

Side Effect, Aubergine/Wasabi and Black/Iberian (other colors are scheduled to ship early next month)

Camera I-O

Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

moriond’s Expert Travel Accessories Advice

vaterp asked: “My question though is I am a little intimidated by all the accessories and packaging options that exist on this site alone. I’m looking for some best practices/use cases for all of this.”

And moriond responded:

“I suggest that you take a look at the Tri-Star Video page on the Blog, with a list of accessories that are shown in the video. The same video was posted in the forums, and there’s a link to the discussion thread.

In general, I’d suggest that you get the Tri-Star with the Absolute Strap (which you can/will use with other bags), and that at the very minimum you get the medium Tri-Star packing cube among the packing cubes. (I actually recommend the full set of small, medium, and large packing cubes, with a possible alternative of using the convertible packing cube backpack for the Tri-Star/Western Flyer in place of the large packing cube; plus using a 3D Clear organizer cube.)

The packing cubes make organization and packing really efficient, and are sized to the travel bags. The medium size cube for the Tri-Star is sized to the (larger) front zippered pocket. It also works well for a number of other bags, in case you want to convert your Synapse 19 or Synapse 25 for general 1 bag travel with clothes. The 3D Clear Organizer Cubes can be used as your 3-1-1 toiletry bag, but when they first came out, I found I was primarily using theses for laptop power bricks and cables. Now you can get the same size bags with mesh sides instead of clear, or in Dyneema as light weight, general carrying alternatives. They easily transfer to other bags– for example, into pockets in the now sold -out Imago messenger bags, into the side pockets of the Co-Pilot (possibly secured with key straps), into the bottom front zippered pocket of the Synapse 19 (and other places), etc. These are just very multi-purpose and handy, and transfer easily among the various bags.

If you want to use a pack-it folder or sleeve, the 18″ Eagle Creek pack-its will fit nicely into the back pocket (though they’re a bit too large for the Western Flyer). You can also forego the large packing cube if you’re only packing items like slacks that can easily be held in with the straps (as in the video) plus using a pack-it sleeve, although I personally prefer to use the large packing cube.

For a really large number of cables and electronics, you can use the Clear Quarter Packing Cube. That’s large enough to take two laptop sized hard drives side by side in each of the two clear compartments, without even accounting for the extra depth for cables, etc, but that kind of cube volume fits better in an Aeronaut or backpack with a large volume chamber. And an accessory like the Snake Charmer for cables and electronics also works best I settings like the Brain Bag or Smart Alec, or in the bottom front pocket of the Synapse 25. In most other instances I’d find it easier to use the 3D Clear Organizer cubes or their variants in mesh and/or Dyneema instead, especially for easy transfers to other bags.

Use padded pouches if you want the extra protection — for example, for a portable USB DVD or CD drive. One or two small organizer pouches are also generally useful here. A lot of the other accessories are most useful when used with briefcase style bags (e.g. Freudian Slips let you organize papers and other accessories so you can easily transfer them from (for example) a horizontal messenger bag like the ID bag in the case of a Horizontal Freudian Slip, to your Tri-Star. In large backpacks like the Brain Bag or Smart Alec, the Vertical Freudian Slip (which does not fit the Tri-Star) can be even handier at getting to selected papers/folders.

Then, too, some accessories can double up functions. The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag is a general packing cube (about the size of the Aeronaut end pockets), that can also be used at your destination to hold light jackets, guide books, etc. It also fits conveniently into the bottom of the Swift (tote bag), or into the (now-sold out) Imago. In a Tri-Star I’d use this as an additional packing cube in the middle compartment.

I don’t make much use of the Travel Tray, but this is good for quickly organizing loose items from your pockets or other pouches.”

Read the full thread here (with many more great responses and advice from other forum members.)

In stock: Travel Stuff Sacks, Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack, more….

Busy. That’s what we’ve been. Back in stock and ready to ship within one business day are the…

Travel Stuff Sacks, all sizes and colors (including Solar)

Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack, all colors

Smart Alec, most colors (Black/Black/Steel and Black/Navy/Iberian remain on backorder and are expected to ship by the end of August)

Aeronaut Packing Cubes, all sizes

Snake Charmer, all colors

Vertical Brain Cell, Size 6Z

Tri-Star, all colors

Synapse 19 and Travel Stuff SackSynapse 19 + Travel Stuff Sack, Size 2, in Steel w/our water filter.