Pruning for my travel

I watched the man as he set about pruning his rose bush. It was a severe cut and nearly ninety percent of the plant was removed. He said that next summer he would have a few beautiful roses, instead of dozens of regular ones.

Recent events have had me rethinking about how to approach what I do. The blog, for instance, has begun to get out of hand. There's too much here—some categories may go altogether. Then, all that stuff I carry about. Various past posts have been fermenting in my mind and perhaps it is time for some serious pruning.

Backpacks, laptops, bridge camera, bags and stuff is gone.

I find it hard to let go of things and somehow have ended up with a collection of computers, cameras, backpacks and other items. You can only really wear one backpack at a time.

There are all kinds of blog posts out there about what to carry and what to leave behind. Less is better, I'm not too bad at that—it's what I've left behind and not using.

I want to travel lighter
Even as my fingers dance lightly over the keyboard, my stomach is churning at the thought of dumping so much (I will keep my Lenovo laptop). The big PC will stay, but there's so much that is rarely used and just has to go—decisions, decisions.

The hardest bit was getting rid of my Leica/Lumix bridge camera. For my main camera I now use a DMC FX-10 (I have two, one is a spare). This one is the camera I used in Spain to cover the 2015 San Fermin etc.
Traveling around and writing about it will change. In recent tests, some of my posts were done on a tablet. Photo's can be prepared by using portable software on a flash drive at an Internet Café or hostel's computer. I can cut back on the weight I carry by not using a laptop. I even posted one entry from my smartphone (images processed at home), text and image insertion was from my Samsung Galaxy i9100. Since I plan to only post around one per month, then doing text work on a tablet is okay.

What I'll keep
My last trip I had around 18-19 lbs on my back (my doctor says I'm only supposed to carry 10). By implementing my cutbacks, I have a lot less.
Other than a bottle of water, this is it. From the top left:
  1. First Aid Kit
  2. Toiletry bag
  3. Empty food bag
  4. Travel writing kit bag
    Camera, tablet, chargers and cables etc.
  5. Clothes at the bottom
    One change, wear one, wash one.

My Jeep backpack, with all that in weighs 8.25 lbs. With water bottle and some sundry items, my total is around 9.5 lbs. I will add two more compression straps to the Jeep, at the lower part. That'll bring my depth to around 18cm.
Alternatives (about same weight ratio)
A Belkin bag (top left) or a Tom Bihn Western Flyer. The Western Flyer is the one I really want, but by the time I pay full price and shipping ($500) from Tom Bihn, I get fined up to 5 times the amount on top of that—for being American and daring to order anything from the USA (already been hit on that once and won't do it again).

Dec 11, 2015—Bought a Samsonite Spark which has tons of room inside and quite a bit of spare outside, so shouldn't have any trouble on budget airlines.

But I couldn't imagine traveling so light....
Try it some time. Most people carry more than they really need.
  • This way I am under size and weight for budget airlines.
  • I can carry my pack onto buses and trains easily.
  • Plus, I have two extra sections of the Jeep that are not used when on major trips between places.
  • Carrying an extra day pack is no longer a problem, this Jeep is one.—and tough to boot.
  • If I need bits of extra clothing, I can buy them where I stay. Like flip-flops—I can pick up a pair for 2-3 Euro in one of those cheapie shops or a flea market.

A trip out with this was a lot easier and I got wet. Had to Granger the whole Jeep so it's more waterproof. I got the Samsonite one because there are times I would not need a backpack and may even use it for my travel bag instead of the Jeep (undecided at the moment).

PS: I still haven't had the heart to lose the bridge camera.
Nov 20, 2015

latest comment at top
Seems like I found here what I was looking for! These bags must be great for travels!! Smile
Carrie Rubin
Thanks for the travel bag ideas. I might have to look into these for my husband.

I try to travel light, but as you mention, the laptop can be a problem. But it's rare I don't take it with me. So much of my work is on it. I can do most things on my iPad, but I prefer the bigger screen. But for family vacations, I try to leave it behind. I shouldn't be on it then anyway!

Thanks for visiting my site. Much appreciated.
Hi Pete, see you're both enjoying stuff. I cut my laptop cable down to about 8 inches to fit in the little bag I have on my first trip and haven't regretted it.
Hey Ted, packing light is the way to go. My wife and I live out of two carry on size packs. It’s so handy to just have one bag that you can keep with you at all times. Especially if you are traveling on a budget.
When I first went backpacking in the 90’s my pack was full of clothes and books. Now the heaviest things I have are electronics and cables. It can be hard deciding what to leave at home. Personally, I couldn’t be without my laptop and a smartphone. If I have these two things I can get by without much else.
Also, not sure how extreme you want to go but before I left I took all my power cords and adaptors and cut the cables down to 12 inches long and then re-attached the ends. I think I saved about half a pound in cable weight… lol.
Always a good idea to start light. Packs tend to gobble items and grow as the months go by. Smile

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