What I pack


Note: I wrote/filmed this one in Venice in May, a two week trip in Europe (mostly in Slovenia).

Ok, so sorry for the shaky-cam style video, also, the Canon S95 unfortunately doesn't re-focus in video mode so some of the stuff is a bit out of focus. The trip I'm on is a two week trip but would work well for a trip of any length if you're jumping between places. I pack differently if I'm going to be staying in a single place for a month or longer. It doesn't matter if you wear the same thing everyday if you're always in a new place (as long as it doesn't stink! :) ).

A couple things I forgot to mention in the video:

  • I have a little pack of pills (which you can see right next to the liquids. This includes Gravol (motion sickness tablets), Advil (headaches, swelling, flu, hangovers), and melatonin (sleeping on the plane, overcoming jetlag).
  • My Canon S95
  • Flip flops (could also have purchased them when I arrived if need be.
  • Portable hard drive (right next to my cellphone in the video). Unfortunately one of the downsides of the Macbook Air is the very small storage space, so I have a 500GB 2.5" drive that I pack with as well for movies, music and photo backup.

The unnecessary things I've packed include:

  • My SLR
  • Travel towel
  • Shaving gel
  • I could also potentially replace the soap, shampoo, and laundry soap with a single multipurpose soap if I wanted.
  • Water bottle - Don't need it, but it's very lightweight and I find I drink a lot more water when I have one.
  • The USB extender - just makes it occasionally more convenient to charge my phone.
  • The Fitbit

I bought the toothpaste after I arrived and I'll also buy a disposable razor here.

The necessities:

  • Passport
  • Travel vaccination card
  • Notebook and pen
  • Wallet
  • Mini roll of duct tape

Liquids and bathroom stuff:

  • Liquids:
    • Deoderant
    • Toothpaste
    • Shampoo
    • Soap
    • Shaving gel
    • Concentrated washing detergent
  • Toothbrush
  • Chapstick
  • Kleanex
  • "Medicine" - Gravol, Advil, Melatonin
  • Water bottle


  • 3 t-shirts
  • 3 socks
  • 3 underwear
  • 1 shorts
  • 1 jeans
  • Sneakers
  • Sunglasses
  • Toque
  • Vest/Sweatshirt

Electronics (this is something I'm VERY heavy on, but since I work while I travel, also important):

  • Macbook Air 13" + charger + sleeve
  • 500GB 2.5" travel hard drive
  • Canon Rebel XT (50mm lens, 10-22mm lens, battery charger)
  • Canon S95 + battery charger
  • Smart phone (Nexus One)
  • Sennheiser headphones with mic
  • Mini-USB cable (3")
  • USB cable extender
  • USB drive
  • Fitbit + charger
  • USB -> AC adapter
  • US -> European power adapter
  • Kindle

It's quite a long list, and would be very easy to make smaller if you didn't need the laptop and other tech gear. But when it comes down to it clothes are the thing that take up by far the most space in luggage and if you can reduce the clothes you can pretty much pack as light as you want. You could probably easily do it with just a small handbag if you wanted. Or as Rolf Potts does it, just a single jacket with lots of pockets!

One of my favorite travel items in the list is the Sennhieser headset. It's very lightweight, lets me make (skype) phone calls easier, and since they're noise blocking they second as earplugs on noisy airplanes.

A lot of people prefer zipoff pants to jeans and shorts. They're more compact, dry faster hand have great 2-in-1 functionality. I personally think "zippies" look kind of ugly as either shorts or pants so I personally avoid them. The only travel clothes I have are my Ex-officio boxer briefs, which I find really comfortable and quick drying. The rest of my clothes are just lightweight cotton t-shirts and the jeans. I prefer bringing just regular day-to-day clothes, I'm comfortable wearing that at home so why should I dress like I'm on a safari when I go traveling?

The total weight of my packed bag is just over 7kg (15.5 lbs) which is quite a comfortable weight for me to walk around with, and will fit in almost any airline carry-on restriction limit (there are a couple like malaysia or alitalia that have a limit of 5kg, but I've never heard of anyone getting busted for a small sized backpack).

Peanut Gallery

Just a couple of


Just a couple of questions:
1. Where can you get a water bottle like that?
2. What would you wear if you WERE going on Safari?

1. I think MEC sells bottles

Scott Hadfield

1. I think MEC sells bottles like it in a various sizes.
2. I guess something like you'd wear if you were going to the park :).

A note about Scott's "quick

A note about Scott's "quick drying underwear" comment: the relevance in this is for when he washes them, as one does with undies! :P

Lynn: I would wear the same clothes I wear day to day on Safari! It really makes sod-all difference and you don't need khaki or camouflage no matter what all the travel shops try to convince you.


Great video! I've been meaning to do something similar as well. I only took a backpack to Oahu, and it's pretty loaded. I probably could have gotten rid of a few things, but I got most of the main items in. I wasn't able to bring a pair of sandals, which means I'll have to try and buy a pair here.

Anything you've changed with how you pack over the years?

I use to pack like a

Scott Hadfield

I use to pack like a boyscout... "always be prepared", which is great for the outdoors where you don't have plenty of stores. But now if it's something that I'm not 95% sure that I'll need, I try to leave it out. You can always buy the stuff you need that you didn't bring /after/ you arrive. Plus it makes for a nice introduction to a place when you need to buy a few toiletries :).

Excellent! I'd say you could

Excellent! I'd say you could even ditch the USB wall adaptor, and just plug the USB devices into the laptop to charge them. I also wrap my duct tape around a pen, so it's a bit easier to use if (and when) necessary.

I consider the DSLR to be necessary gear when travelling: my point-an'-shoot is fine for taking shots at bars, but can't do landscapes or "adventure shots" justice.

I agree about the "safari pants", and consider them a Don't. It's all about jeans.