By Stephen Bugno
Packing light is a refined art—I’ve been trying to perfect it for years. I’m almost there. The good news is the longer my trip , the less stuff I bring. On short trips I tend to over pack. I think I’ve done a good job this time for Southeast Asia.
It takes a lot of discipline and sometimes another person, like an editor cutting unnecessary words out of a lengthy story, to pack light. I first learned about truly packing light from Rick Steves. Although he’s a Euro-only travel guru—minimalistic packing is a travel skill that crosses continental boundaries. Reading his Europe Through the Back Door, as a seventeen year old, introduced me to these concepts.
For a three-month trip to Southeast Asia, this what am I packing:
• 1 lightweight jacket
• 1 lightweight long sleeve shirt
• 3 short sleeve shirts
• 1 pair lightweight long pants
• 1 pair light zip-off pants
• 2 pairs socks
• 4 pair underwear
• Sleep wear (long sleeve silk shirt, shorts)
• Trail running shoes
• Choco Sandals
• One netbook computer
• 1- 250 GB external Hard drive
• Camera Canon Power Shot SD1400IS with extra battery and 24 GB of memory
• I-POD Touch
• 4 blank DVDs
• sleeping bag
• Money belt
• Yellow book of immunization history
• $100 US cash
• 2 credit cards, 2 ATM cards
• Doctor Bronner’s soap
• Grandfather’s rosary from WWII
I tend to over do it on the guidebooks, but because I’m writing from the road, it’s useful to have the added information. I always take the most up-to-date guidebooks that are available.
• Into the Heart of Borneo (not a guidebook)
Where are my jeans?
This is the never ending debate for long-term travelers. I usually take jeans, but for this trip I’ll be in the tropics the whole time and don’t plan to be in the higher elevations for any extended period. So I’m only bringing light weight non-cotton pants. (Most of my shirts are non-cotton too.)
If I weren’t blogging from the road, I might consider leaving the netbook at home, but it’s so small and compact, that really it’s not bad to carry.