Round the World with a Synapse 25
First, I need to give props where they are due. Tynan first put me on the path of minimalist travel with his book Life Nomadic and the Gear Posts on his blog. I originally learned about Tom Bihn from him and I have incorporated many of his suggestions into my travel gear.
Generally I try to take the minimum of clothes and wash things out in the sink as needed. I truly love the merino wool from Icebreaker.
This is what is going into my Synapse 25 for my upcoming trip around the world. As I mentioned in my review, the S25 is the perfect travel backpack. Everything goes in with a little room to spare. I have removed the waist / chest straps to simplify the pack and organized the strap ends with Velcro Strapeez.
3 Icebreaker T-shirts (black, stripe, bright) These are hands down the best T-shirts on the planet.
2 Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer
A small nod to fashion:
1 SS button front Shirt
1 LS button front Shirt
I don’t wear these daily so they don’t need to be washed often but I do like to have something to go out in at night that has a little style.
1 Pair of Shorts - ArcTeryx Rampart - lean profile with side pocket big enough for a Kindle or iPad Mini.
1 Pair Long pants - Patagonia Rockcraft - super lightweight
I may take a pair of pants by Bluffworks instead.
1 Pair Board Shorts – surfing, swimming, workouts
1 Icebreaker Sonic Short - for sleeping and hanging out in the room. They can also be used as workout shorts. I cut the inner liner out.
1 Pair New Balance Minimus - good at the gym or out at night.
1 Pair Havaianas flip flops – I live in these!
1 B-ball Cap
1 Shemaugh - tons of uses - bandana, sun cover, scarf, blanket, pillow, sling, weapon, carryall.
1 13" MacBook Air
I leave this behind on shorter trips. It’s also nice not having to hassle with taking a computer out in airport security.
1 Kindle Paperwhite – great for reading by the pool or at the beach. It also goes forever on a charge.
1 iPad Mini – I could really leave this behind when I take my MB Air but I love sitting in a coffee shop reading magazines on it (The New Yorker, Atlantic, Outside, Vanity Fair) and it’s pretty tiny. BTW, I don’t miss the bigger screen on my original iPad - the lighter weight and portability more than make up for it.
Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth Speaker – I need a soundtrack!
I also use it for movies, podcasts, and audiobooks. It is on constantly in the room. It charges with the same cord as the Kindle.
2 Phones (iPhone 4s, 5)
I haven’t found a way to consolidate. The 5 is so people in the US can reach me and the 4s is unlocked for local sim cards. I’m experimenting with Google Voice to see if I can simplify things.
Kikkerland UL03-A Universal Travel Adapter
Don’t even think about any other adapter. This one does it all and packs down super small.
“Odds and Ends” Pouch
Compact Power strip - Monster Outlets to Go
TB Small Pouch for passport and currency.
TB Wallet Pouch - extra CCs, etc.
These clip inside the bottom pocket of the S25.
I am going to do a separate post on this at some point.
Liquids Pouch - Sea to Summit
(Conditioner, Tooth Paste, Lotion, Shave Cream)
Liquids go in 1.5 oz GooToobs – these tubes are extremely well designed and are super functional.
Klean Canteen 16 oz SS Insulated Bottle – I love this bottle!
Moleskine Soft Sided Pocket Info Book – notes, workouts, sketches, etc. etc.
Folding Wayfarer Shades
When I am not wearing them, I keep these in the soft slot in the right side pocket so I don’t need to bring the case.
I add a wool cap, sweater, super-light down vest, and Golite rain jacket as required.
On this trip I am mainly headed through the Middle East, Africa, and SE Asia so I probably won’t need any cold weather gear. However, I am considering going to Korea and Japan at the end of the trip so maybe???….. We’ll see!
All my clothes go into an Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube. Everything stays neat and orderly and it weighs literally nothing.
Then the Cube goes into an REI Flash 18 pack. The Flash 18 a very thin 18L backpack that I use as a daypack/gym bag once I get somewhere. The Specter Cube goes into it and it goes in the big compartment of the Synapse. It takes very little room and also serves as a good organizer. I like this pack because it is very thin but still has a little structure. The TB Packing Cube Backpack looks to be a good alternative.
I don't normally bring my cat.