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Thread: All Inclusive List of Tips for Ultralight Packing

  1. #1
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    All Inclusive List of Tips for Ultralight Packing

    We have threads and posts scattered on this message board, but I thought it would be cool to have one thread where we list our best tricks and tips for packing light. I try and eliminate the 3-1-1 bag giving me one less thing to have to hassle with at security.

    Here's mine:

    1. Tooth powder (I make my own but it can be purchased for cheap) - Stored in a very small ziploc style bag from any craft store

    2. Shaving soap - which I cut with a razor blade and jammed into an old chapstick tube
    - or - Shaving Oil stored in a travel size visine bottle

    3. Disposable razor (lighter and smaller than my home razor)

    4. Shoes and/or flip flops stored in blue hospital shoe covers

    5. Storing single serving of everyday medicine (advil, dramamine, upset stomach, etc....) wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a small ziploc bag

    6. Antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, sunscreen in single use packets or into drinking straw with melted ends

    7. Substitute lotion bar (cut to the est. amount needed) versus lotion in a bottle

    8. Rubbing deodorant / antiperspirant / lotion / sunscreen into cosmetic cotton rounds and storing in a ziploc bag

    9. Taking a gallon size ziploc bag to was socks, underwear, workout clothes after each use

    10. Sanitizer is put in a travel size Visine bottle

    11. Put damp (from 90% rubbing alcohol) paper towels in a ziploc for wiping down airplane trays, and the hotel room fixtures

  2. #2
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I do many similar things....for tropical travel...with particular emphasis on NOT using too many disable products as remote environments have challenges dealing with non-compostable waste.....only the starred items go into a 3-1-1 bag.

    1. Bonner's bar soap for hair, body, shaving, and laundry (and fragrance free so as to not attract mosquitos in the tropics).

    2. Purell wipes in 36 per container (usually only available on line) as opposed to single foiled packages. Places we visit have fragile environments and can't deal with the disposal challenges of so much packaging. We pack out our empty, larger collapsible containers.

    3. Toothpowder. It tastes like hell but it works.

    4. Ben's Deet wipes, plus a very small plastic bottle of spray DEET.*

    5. Sample sized solid deodorant.

    6. Neutrogena makes solid stick sun block.

    7. My regular Gillette plastic razor for women; it maybe weighs a fraction of an ounce more than
    disposable and gives better shave.

    8. A .25 oz. bottle of Pacific blade oil* to guard against degradation of razor blades in high humidity environments.

    9. A small tub of body butter* (only used in high altitude locations where my skin dries rapidly to a sorry flakey state. (Haven't yet come up with a solid alternative).

    10. Small spray neosporin.*

    So, to recap...in my 3-1-1 bag go: small DEET spray, blade oil, body butter (only when at high altitudes).

    I do take some other items for personal and clothing care, but the above represents the product areas which are usually liquid and/or disposable.

    Pack it in, pack it out.



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  3. #3
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    I carry a few Purex 3 in 1 sheets cut in half for laundry. They weigh next to nothing and are good for sink washing. Bar laundry soap in a works too. Neither need to go in my 311 bag.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  4. #4
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    My packing light practices are a raincoat and a down jacket that folds into their own pocket. They are very light-weight and compressable but able to handle a wide range of temperatures and weather. My other one is SoftStar black leather shoes that work for business casual, running and any other workout. I wear these so I do not need to pack any shoes.

    Sue
    Synapse 19, Travel Tray, PCSB, all in Dyneema, Side Effect and pouchmania

  5. #5
    Registered User aryabird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    I do many similar things....for tropical travel...with particular emphasis on NOT using too many disable products as remote environments have challenges dealing with non-compostable waste.....only the starred items go into a 3-1-1 bag.

    1. Bonner's bar soap for hair, body, shaving, and laundry (and fragrance free so as to not attract mosquitos in the tropics).

    2. Purell wipes in 36 per container (usually only available on line) as opposed to single foiled packages. Places we visit have fragile environments and can't deal with the disposal challenges of so much packaging. We pack out our empty, larger collapsible containers.

    3. Toothpowder. It tastes like hell but it works.

    4. Ben's Deet wipes, plus a very small plastic bottle of spray DEET.*

    5. Sample sized solid deodorant.

    6. Neutrogena makes solid stick sun block.

    7. My regular Gillette plastic razor for women; it maybe weighs a fraction of an ounce more than
    disposable and gives better shave.

    8. A .25 oz. bottle of Pacific blade oil* to guard against degradation of razor blades in high humidity environments.

    9. A small tub of body butter* (only used in high altitude locations where my skin dries rapidly to a sorry flakey state. (Haven't yet come up with a solid alternative).

    10. Small spray neosporin.*

    So, to recap...in my 3-1-1 bag go: small DEET spray, blade oil, body butter (only when at high altitudes).

    I do take some other items for personal and clothing care, but the above represents the product areas which are usually liquid and/or disposable.

    Pack it in, pack it out.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    An eco-friendly and effective alternative to DEET is catnip oil. We used it were I grew up, just north the Everglades.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075659.htm
    Indigo/Solar Tri-Star, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Black/Steel, 13" Ristretto, Black/Wasabi iPad Ristretto, Forest/UV Smart Alec

  6. #6
    JLE
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    Good thread!

    I will probably never be a true ultra-light packer although I do travel with carry on luggage only, whenever I travel without my children.

    But I'll add my two cents because I aim to achieve carry on but never feel underdressed in city destinations. My "light" packing looks like it breaks all the one bagging "rules" but it works for me and fits in an IATA sized carry on plus a handbag as my personal item. And the total weight of my luggage rarely exceeds 10kg.

    The biggest weight and space savers have been these for me:

    1. I always choose long and/or flat things - they pack more efficiently than fatter things, rounder things etc.

    2. iPad mini instead of larger tablet or laptop (for leisure travel). I think this device has delivered the single biggest return in terms of weight and space saved! I find these apps are really useful on the road - Dropbox, kindle, PDF reader (iAnnotate), word processing (Office), Zinio. Flipboard, Whitenoise Pro, TripIt, and of course the usual mail, newsstand, movies and internet browsers. I am almost paperless as a result (other than printouts of e-tickets and reservation confirmations etc, which go in a medium dyneema OP). I sometimes take my Logitech integrated keyboard and cover if I expect to do more typing than usual on the iPad. I also throw in a 64gb USB flash drive that also works with Apple devices.

    3. Travel sized hair straightening irons - weigh very little, take up far less packing space than a travel hair dryer and can rectify styling deficiencies produced by using sub-standard hotel hair dryers.

    4. Flat evening purse. Takes up no space in luggage and can't get squashed/damaged (because it's flat). Pack a silk scarf and some costume jewellery inside it and your evening/dressy outfit options are multiplied with no extra space taken.

    5. Fine weave cashmere scarf. Indispensable, folds up very small and has a multitude of uses from the first moment you board that chilly aircraft.

    5. Ear buds instead of head phones. I love the Bose QC20i set that my sons gave me for my birthday - really good active noise cancelling.

    6. Small pack of antibacterial wet wipes. Doesn't need to go into the 3-1-1 bag.

    7. Multiple pairs of shoes are possible if you choose them with care (easier for women than men, perhaps). I usually go with ballet flats for the plane - comfortable and easy to slip on and off at security if required. Strappy sandals for dressy occasions - can take up surprisingly little room! Barefoot shoes for working out, walking etc. Flip flops because they always come in handy and pack completely flat. (Yes, I always pack this number of shoes into an IATA sized carry on!)

    8. TB large and small WF packing cubes - underwear, bathing suit, workout gear go in the small and my colour-coordinated clothes go in the large one. Good compression. A large cube can hold about 8-10 days worth of outfit combinations IME. Obviously I plan to wash during each trip.

    9. 3D dyneema cube for non-liquid toiletries. Mini dyneema OP for meds. 3D dyneema mesh cube for tech accessories, cables etc.

    10. Convertible bra - can be worn strapless, with crossover back, or regular strap placement.

    11. I know it's a cliche but I swear by my black jersey dress! So versatile. I always bring it.

    12. Heavier outer layers are worn not packed in general.
    Last edited by JLE; 11-23-2013 at 01:49 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLE View Post
    Good thread!

    I also throw in a 64gb USB flash drive that also works with Apple devices.
    I've resisted buying an ipad mini because i thought you couldn't connect a USB flash drive. Do you upload to the ipad, download, or read from the USB flash drive? And what type of media? Photos, audio, video, etc...
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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  8. #8
    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I've resisted buying an ipad mini because i thought you couldn't connect a USB flash drive. Do you upload to the ipad, download, or read from the USB flash drive? And what type of media? Photos, audio, video, etc...
    I'm hesitant to push my solution too hard because it doesn't always work reliably, but since you asked.... I have something called an iFlashdrive. It has a USB2.0 and a 30 pin plug on the other end so you can use it with an iDevice (I have a lightning adaptor as well). It has an app that launches when you plug it into an iDevice and the app syncs with Dropbox, which is handy. It works perfectly with my laptop using the USB, but it is a bit clunky on the mobile devices and doesn't handle large data transfers particularly well. It's ok for photos.

    It is pricey for what it is, given the performance limitations, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it! I find the cloud does everything I want in terms of date backup and transfer these days anyway. I really only carry it as belt'n'braces backup. HTH.

  9. #9
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    soft star shoes

    I know there was some discussion of this a while back.
    Can anyone tell me:

    1. how do these fit in comparison to say, Birkenstocks? or Mephistos? or other European brands? It looks very flat to me, so was not sure of the arch support.

    2. Sue: you have said you can also run in them! can you tell me what model you have?
    they look amazing and I want to try them.

    Thanks much
    Shiva

    Quote Originally Posted by Canonsue View Post
    My packing light practices are a raincoat and a down jacket that folds into their own pocket. They are very light-weight and compressable but able to handle a wide range of temperatures and weather. My other one is SoftStar black leather shoes that work for business casual, running and any other workout. I wear these so I do not need to pack any shoes.

    Sue

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    I know there was some discussion of this a while back.
    Can anyone tell me:

    1. how do these fit in comparison to say, Birkenstocks? or Mephistos? or other European brands? It looks very flat to me, so was not sure of the arch support.

    2. Sue: you have said you can also run in them! can you tell me what model you have?
    they look amazing and I want to try them.

    Thanks much
    Shiva
    I have several pairs of the Dash RunAmoc. No arch support at all as that is the philosophy of minimal shoes that enable you to be as close as you can to being barefoot. It is best to take your time transitioning into minimal shoes.

    Sue
    Synapse 19, Travel Tray, PCSB, all in Dyneema, Side Effect and pouchmania

  11. #11
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    Sue - I'm considering the Dash myself, do you have thoughts on the style of the shoes? I'd love to have a shoe versatile enough to be used for running (or, more likely in my case, very extensive walking), but also work for a night out (I'm already a menswear-style flat kind of girl - don't even own a pair of heels). I've seen reviews with men using them as work/dress shoes, but not much from women. Do they look out of place with a dress, for instance?

  12. #12
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    Thanks Sue for the quick reply; and Yes: like Claire I would like to know if they would do double duty. I am quite casual--work at a univ!

  13. #13
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    I considered minimalist shoes as main walking shoes but they are unsuitable for walking in cities with cobblestones or uneven pavement, especially if it is raining.

    Brands with structure, protective build and most importantly non-slip soles are more appropriate, Clarks and Ecco were originally European made but are now, made in China.

    Arches Shoes are still made in France,they have boutiques in the New York area and one in Boston. Here is the link to their Fall line. fall shoes

    I have owned all of those brands, I am hard to fit and like comfortable and stylish flats.

    The Arches are expensive but the ones I bought still look new, even if I bought them three decades ago and wore them everyday until my feet outgrew them.

    However, one pair of minimalist shoes is handy and more versatile than flip flops to walk on hotel rooms floors, wear on long flights or road trips.
    Very useful as backup or dress up shoes in case one gets caught in a downpour on a street which has turned into a giant puddle or a careless driver decide to land in a pot hole.
    Last edited by backpack; 11-29-2013 at 12:14 PM.

  14. #14
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    Here are my Ultra light packing tips:
    1. Icebreaker Merino T-Shirts / Underwear – Easy to wash in the sink, dry quickly, and never smell.
    2. One pair of shorts, one pair of pants, flip-flops, and black NB Minimus for nights and workouts.
    3. Ipad Mini – no need to remove for security.
    4. Tooth powder, shave oil, Merkur travel safety razor with blades in the pouch, Primal Pit Paste deodorant in a small Gotubb, tiny Squeezie
    tubes for shave balm and sunscreen -eliminating the need for a 3-1-1 bag.
    5. Folding Ray-ban Wayfarers.
    6. MontBell U.L. Down Vest for cold weather.

    I pack all my clothes in an Eagle Creek Specter Compression bag.
    Everything easily goes into my Synapse 25 and nothing needs to be removed at security.

    Traveling in this way is amazingly relaxing and stress free.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppreston View Post
    Here are my Ultra light packing tips:

    4. Tooth powder, shave oil, Merkur travel safety razor with blades in the pouch, Primal Pit Paste deodorant in a small Gotubb, tiny Squeezie
    tubes for shave balm and sunscreen -eliminating the need for a 3-1-1 bag.
    5. Folding Ray-ban Wayfarers.
    6. MontBell U.L. Down Vest for cold weather.

    I pack all my clothes in an Eagle Creek Specter Compression bag.
    Everything easily goes into my Synapse 25 and nothing needs to be removed at security.

    Traveling in this way is amazingly relaxing and stress free.
    This is great. Love the ideas.

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