Paul’s Pack

Over the past week, we moved everything out of our place that isn’t staying for our renters.  It’s amazing how much Jacque was able to shoehorn into our condo:  she’s a master of organization, and every nook and cranny was useful storage.  For the past year and a half that we’ve lived together, this 1100 square foot space supported our lives for everything we wanted to do.

For the next eight months or so, a 50-liter backpack will have to do the same job.

Our backpacks will hold clothes to survive anything from 110 degrees in the jungles of Cambodia to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro to the streets of Tokyo and the tools to wash them overnight.  They will have electronics to stay connected to friends and family, basic necessities for comfort in dirty hostels, and entertainment for 18-hour chicken bus rides in Chile.  There will be workout gear to keep from getting squishy and a small pharmacy to prevent or cure various maladies.  Everything will have to pack up in a matter of minutes, but still be organized enough to find that one tiny item.  Once packed, the packs will be light enough that we won’t want to throw them in the Ganges after a long walk.  The pack itself will need to be comfortable, because I don’t really want calluses on my shoulder.  Oh, and they have to be carry-on size so they don’t get lost on the Delhi-Cape Town connection.

Jacque will make her own packing post, but below are all the things that will be coming with me.  I tried to keep it short, but if you have specific questions about an item, let me know!  There was quite a bit of research that went into almost everything.  Without much further ado, here’s what will be in my pack:

Laid out neatly, it takes up one double bed. It will never be laid out this neatly again.




Osprey Atmos 50 Backpack.  Had it for years.  Such a great pack.

Nalgene Water Bottle with Sleeve.  My Nalgene is like a safety blanket – I feel naked without one.  Doubles as a foam roller.

REI Flash 22 Daypack.  For spreading out my stuff when TSA hassles me about how big my carry-on is.





ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs (4).  If the boys ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.  Wear 2-3 times and wash.

Imperial Motion Board Shorts.  Comfortable.  Fit well.  Can be worn commando, which is good for laundry day.

Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants (2).  Manage to look less nerdy than most convertible pants.





Salomon TechAmphibian 3 Shoes.  They’re basically Tevas, but better.  They’re not geeky.  Guys, seriously!  Stop making fun of me!

Rainbow Sandals.  Top layer is made of hemp for hippie street cred.

Various SmartWool and Teko Socks (4).  As Lieutenant Dan said: “I want you boys to remember to change your socks wherever we stop. The Mekong will eat a grunt’s feet right off his legs.”


ShirtsLululemon Tank Top.  I removed the tag.  You can’t prove I ever walked into that store.

Under Armour Heat Gear T-Shirt.  For, you know, heat.  Like in Siem Reap.

Royal Robbins Plateau Short Sleeve Shirt.  Blue plaid.  Stylishly hides sweat stains.

GoLite Paparoa Short Sleeve Shirt.  Button snaps for Superman-like undressing.

Columbia Silver Ridge Long Sleeve Shirt.  Plaid fabric feels like the whisper of a goddess.

JacketsParadox Merino Wool Base Layer.  Every good Coloradoan must have one of these.

Mountain Hard Wear Shell.  Raining?  Snowing?  70 mph winds on top of Mt Rainier?  Cool.  It’s been there.

GoLite Down Jacket.  All joking aside, best jacket ever.

ExOfficio Sandfly Jacket.  It may have taken a nose dive from the ugly tree, but it keeps mosquitos off.


Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 and GorillaPod.  It has an auto-selfie feature!

GoPro Hero 2 with headstrap.  For doing really dumb stuff.

Casio Pathfinder Solar Watch.  Has a world time feature, so if I call you in the middle of the night, it’s because I wanted to wake you up.

Petzl Tikka XP Headlamp.  Hasn’t failed me yet.



ElectronicsAsus T100 Laptop/Tablet Thingy.  It does computer-y things.

iPhone 5S.  PSA: Don’t crack your screen on these.  Apple won’t replace the screen, but they will trade you a new one for your broken one and $300.

Earbuds and Headphone Splitter.  Sharing is caring.

Various Chargers (orange bag).  Prevents fancy electronics from becoming paper weights.

Travel Surge Protector.  Also prevents fancy electronics from becoming paper weights.

Travel Adaptor.  Also prevents fancy electronics from becoming paper weights.


ALokSak Bags.  Also prevents fancy electronics from becoming paper weights.  (These electronics are really needy, I guess.)

Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes.  Like a drill sergeant, they keep things orderly.  I suspect they are made out of helium.


First aid-emergency

First-Aid Kit.  Seems like a good idea until all of our prescriptions get confiscated by Chinese customs.

550 Cord Bracelet.  For MacGuyverin’ sh*t.

PacSafe 55L ExoMesh.  I wish this was deployed automatically somehow like Ironman’s suit.

Eagle Creek RFID-blocking Travel Wallet.  Double deterrent: hooks to my belt AND goes down my pants.

Cheapo Decoy Wallet.  Oh, you thought you stole something valuable?  Nope, just an expired Starbucks card and $3.47 in bhat.  The good stuff is down my pants.  Have a nice day!


Smith Polarized Sunglasses.  Let’s see how fast I can lose them.

Chums.  To hold on to those glasses a little longer.

Buff.  Like Ahnold.

GoLite Umbrella.  For scuba diving.




Food-sunEat-n-tool.  Bringing the wonders of the Spork around the world.

Food.  Monkeys can get mean without a bribe.  And by monkeys, I mean me.

Cards.  I’m not sure I actually know any card games.



Speed Rope.  For playing double-dutch with the kids.

Lacrosse Ball.  Kelly Starrett would be proud.

Therabands.  Can be used to tie up bank employees in a heist.


PaperJournal and Pen.  Hangman.  Tic-tac-toe.

Dive Log.  “Dove with sharks.  Only lost part of a toe.  Great success!”

Books.  Jacque says I only get one, but I snuck two in there.  Shhhh ;)

Reading Light.  Doubles as a bookmark.

China Map.  We are gonna get so lost everywhere.

Hostel stuff

Mosquito Tent and Hat.  I’m told mosquitos transmit disease.

CoolMax Travel Sheet.  Bed-buggy hostel sheets?  No problem, just slip into this bad boy!

PackTowl.  Not that drying yourself off in 98% humidity will do much.

Sink Stopper and Clothesline.  For when we start noticing our own smell.



Toiletries, including Rogaine, in clear 3-1-1 bag.  Jacque threatened to leave me at the altar if I lose my hair before the wedding.

Sea to Summit Toiletries Bag.  Handy for the midnight trek to the hostel shared bathroom.

Philips Multigroom Trimmer.  Cambodia works hard to keep the jungle from encroaching on the temples at Angkor Wat.  This is no different.



What did I miss?  Anything I need to ditch?  Leave me a comment below!

(By the way, y’all…we’re three days from departure!)


4 thoughts on “Paul’s Pack

  1. Just spent a few minutes clicking around. The site looks good and the trip looks like it will be even better! I’ve had the same pack for about 6 years. Safe travels, my friend. Looking forward to the updates!


  2. T minus 0; happy travels to you! Your blog makes me want to pack a bag and follow you guys around…but I won’t. :) tons of love.


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