Zen Habits : My Most Minimal Travel Setup Yet
Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness. Copyright free content from http://zenhabits.net/open-source-blogging-feel-free-to-steal-my-content
I just got back from a trip to Beijing and Shanghai, and really loved how light I traveled for 8 days.
It was the least amount of stuff I’ve taken on a trip of any length, and traveling has never been less tiring.
When you have very little on your back, it’s less draining. It’s faster and funner.
I thought I’d share my latest travel setup, in hopes that it’ll inspire a few of you to try the joys of traveling lightly.
This setup is unique to me, so I don’t recommend that you copy it … but that said, I’m sharing it so you can possibly get a few ideas and see how light travel is possible.
- The backpack. I traveled the entire time with just a tiny backpack, no luggage or roller bag. The one I used is the Goruck 15L Shadowruck, which is just 15-liters in volume and only 0.27 lbs. (!). It’s super light. It’s tough. Not much room in it. Perfect.
- No laptop. The most significant change I made to my setup this trip is to travel without my 11-inch Macbook Air. This tiny laptop is only 2.38 lbs., but traveling without a laptop is a huge change in weight. I was only going for 8 days, so I did my writing before I left. This wouldn’t work for many people. If I had to write for a longer trip, I could find an Internet cafe in most cities and write there.
- The iPhone. While I resisted getting an iPhone for 6 years, in June Eva bought me the iPhone 5 for Father’s Day. So I’m now a part of the smartphone masses. And I embraced it on this trip, carrying only the iPhone, no laptop or camera. I did my reading, Tweeting, email and other work on here. And of course used it to document my trip with sweet photos. Also included: the charging cord.
- Clothes: I favor workout clothes, because they are breathable, washable, comfortable and dry fast. So I wore the Ascent Pant, which looks a little dressy and is light and breathable. And a Precision T. And ExOfficio boxer briefs. I packed: another Precision T, two more boxer briefs, some workout socks, workout shorts, and a long-sleeve workout T-shirt. Just in case, I also packed a thin, lightweight Nike rain jacket (I didn’t need it this trip). Just in case it was cold, I also packed a beanie.
- Toiletries. Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, nailclippers.
- Food. Just in case, I packed a handful of fruit & nut bars, and some raw almonds.
- Other. I also had a couple of notebooks and pens, for writing, my passport, earbuds, a travel towel, a sleep mask, ear plugs, and a universal travel adapter.
Total weight: under 8 lbs.
Questions and Answers
Q: Why travel without a laptop?
A: I liked traveling without all the weight. And I tend to use the laptop too much when I travel, so I thought the restriction of not having a laptop would be good for me. If I needed to write, I might have found a foldable keyboard for the iPhone, or used an Internet cafe.
Q: How do you travel with so few clothes?
A: I simply wash them in the shower, wring them out good, and hang them to dry in my hotel room. I didn’t need to wash the pants, though they’re easily washable (as opposed to jeans). If you wash underwear, a shirt and socks on most nights, you only need one or two changes.
Q: Why workout clothes and not cotton?
A: I love cotton. It’s just heavier, and it gets smellier, than the workout clothes I pack. And it takes longer to dry. And wrinkles more. So the clothes I brought solve all those problems, and they’re very comfortable.
Panel: How To Deal With And Create Change
On another note, I invite you to join me, Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete, and Jesse Jacobs of Samovar Tea Lounge, for a great panel discussion we’re holding at Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco next week (Oct. 29) from 8-10 p.m.
If you’re interested, get tickets here: