One Backpack for a Year of Traveling

Well, almost everything. Just. One. Bag. Okay, backpack if we’re going to be technical. There are a few things I forgot to throw into the photo like my Chelsea boots, skateboard, and card holder but this is pretty well everything. My struggle has been deciding on whether or not to take my skateboard with me. I definitely plan on skateboarding during my year of travel so one of my ideas is to throw the trucks/wheels in my backpack then buy a deck somewhere along the way. The thing is, outside of the U.S., prices for skateboarding goods can often range from expensive to absurd – and that’s assuming you can even find them.

I’ll be starting in Vienna and traveling to Japan almost entirely by land. That’s a lot of “no skate” land/weather I’ll be passing through. Considering this I’ve thought about scrapping carrying any skateboarding gear on the first leg of my trip and buying a complete once I get to China or Southeast Asia. My main concerns are the extra weight/bulk associated with carrying it. I mean, if you take a skateboard you’ve got to take some skate shoes too. The question I’m still asking myself is if carrying it from day one outweighs the price of just buying it back in Asia somewhere. Let me know what you think!

So, now that I’ve finished detailing my internal struggle to you here’s my detailed packing list from top left to right by row:

  • Tortuga 35 L Outbreaker – Check out my bag review for more info. TL;DR Heavy/Bulky but solid and loving the organization of it.
  • Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook – Perfect ultrabook for me offering a good cross between power/lightweight at 2.6 lbs (
  • Old Ipod – When this thing breaks down, I think I’m overdue for a phone upgrade with more storage so I can combine the two.
  • Rite in the Rain Notepad ( 2 pens, 1 highlighter) – Haven’t tested the water proof claims yet but it’s a solid notebook. However, not all pens work with it. (
  • Kindle – Pretty awesome being able to carry hundreds of books and it weigh only a few ounces. (
  • Xero Barefoot Sandals – So good. My wife influenced me on getting these and their so comfortable. (
  • Packing Cube for pants ( 2 pairs of Jeans (wearing one pair), 1 pair heattech thermals,1 pair black pants, 1 pair Brixton All Terrain Shorts)
  • Packing Cube for Shirts ( 3 button down shirts, 2 black t-shirts with pockets, 1 heattech thermal) – Overall note on both packing cubes is that these helped free up an entire 1/3 of space in my backpack. Mind blown.
  • Sony RX100 Mark V w/ memory cards/batteries – Perfect travel camera. Depending on how you shoot photos, I think a modern smart phone would suffice for most people. (
  • Skinny Plug Travel Adapter – Super glad I got this. It’s by far the most compact travel adapter I’ve ever used. (
  • Logitech MX 2 Anywhere ( so worth it traveling with a nice mouse) – A good mouse is a must for me and worth the tiny bit of extra weight. Setting shortcuts makes it where I only need to touch my computer to type. (
  • 5 pairs Socks – 4 pairs are Nylon and 1 pair is wool (
  • Travel towel – Doubt I’ll need this too often but always a nice thing to have just in case.
  • Packable Rain Jacket ( OR Helium Hybrid) – First rain jacket I’ve ever had. It’s amazing but I do find myself using it in sequence with an umbrella. (
  • Packable Synthetic down ( Rab Xenon X) – This thing is warm and lightweight. I was instantly asking myself how I wore heavy coats for all these years. (
  • Pouch for Cords – Really just for an extra bit of organization.
  • Zolt charger for laptop & USB plugs – This thing has had some suspect reviews but I haven’t had any problems so far. Getting rid of a laptop brick for something compact that has usb ports on it has been life changing. (
  • Lightweight Rav4 powerbank (holds about 3 phone charges) – I don’t find myself using this too much in everyday life but when you’re following a map in a foreign country and your phone is about to die it’s a life saver. (
  • Nexus 5X on Project Fi ( Not featured in photo) – (works in 185 countries, free texts & data rate remains same, calls vary. Here’s my referral code for $20 off if interested https://t . co/gR7epoMuQ6 ) – Game changer. No reception problems and having your phone work almost everywhere with no extra fees (aside from phone calls) is mint.
  • Sea to Summit Toiletry bag – Lightweight, has a hanger, and is super organized. Best toiletry bag for me by far. (
  • Shoelace – Just a great lightweight thing to have in your bag that can be used for tons of things.
  • Travel Chopsticks – This was an impulse buy but I cook a lot on the road and love eating with chopsticks. Top notch. (
  • Laundry Pouch – Really only for underwear and socks. I’m not sure how much I’ll actually use it, to be honest.
  • Pouch full of thumb drives – One is 256gb which is nice to use in sequence with Dropbox, Amazon drive, and whatever other online storage you may be using. (
  • Passport – Self explanatory.
  • Samsonite flat, compact 4 oz travel umbrella – You could probably just buy a cheap umbrella almost anywhere whenever you need one. Still, I found this thing neat and it weighs very little. (
  • Wet bag – Came with my shorts. After visiting Thailand during Songkran I’m carrying this thing around for the well being of my phone.
  • 2 pairs cotton boxers, 3 pairs airism – Cotton ones for cold weather and airism for hot weather.
  • Wool Beanie , Neck Gaiter, and Gloves ( beanie & gaiter are from Minus33) – I’m loving the beaner more than the gaiter but that’s really just based off a preference for fit. The beanie is sold quality, lightweight, and warm. Beanie (, Gaiter  (
  • Klean Kanteen 27oz Stainless Steel Water bottle ( doesn’t fit into backpack side pockets – I like this water bottle and it’s lightweight when empty but if you’re an ultralight packer you may prefer a roll up silicon bottle. I myself prefer stainless steel. (
  • Packable shoulder bag – Good for when you’ve got your main bag on and need to carry a few extra things outside of it for easy access.
  • Packable Hikpro Backpack – Because you need something aside from your main bag for walking around the city when you’ve finally made it to your Airbnb. (
  • Vaultskin Bifold Vertical Wallet ( keep some backup stuff here when out and about) – I like vertical bifold wallets but am carrying a card holder 99% of the time. I’ll use this in countries where cash is king though. Unfortunately the bi-fold version isn’t available in the States – because it only fits Euros/GBP – but here’s a link to their Amazon store to check out what’s available (
  • Card Holder ( not featured in photo) – I use this since it’s super lightweight and can fit in my t-shirt front pocket. Why was I sitting with one cheek on a wallet until now?  (
  • Lock – Don’t think I really need this. I may replace it with a mesh lock.