Patrick Rhone (of Minimal Mac fame) sent me this video when I started the blog. Here it is again: Three Days. One Backpack.

He shows how light you can go. Thanks Patrick for link!

(Tumblr might be acting funny, if the video doesn’t play just click on the word Vimeo to go to the original video)

Traveling with the iPad is liberating. The TSA does not require the iPad be removed from my bag and that makes going through security that much easier. In addition, shedding five pounds of travel weight is wonderful as well. Just those two factors help to make up for some of the shortcomings.

Leave the laptop out. I’ve been traveling for pleasure or business with my iPad and it’s in fact liberating, easier, lighter and overall cool.

Travel lighter by leaving your CD’s at home

My daily job often includes performing computer forensics and vulnerability assessments on different systems. These two specific fields require a lot of tools and on-cd operating systems (such Helix and Backtrack).

I found myself carrying a CD case with 25 CD’s containing all those tools and little programs. My backpack also contained a laptop or my iPad, the power cord for it, an iPhone and several stacks of paper with random information needed to perform my tasks.

In thinking how to reduce weight I did the following:

  • Bought a couple 16GB Pico USB thumb drives
  • Scanned the information of those papers into files
  • Copy all the files and utilities from the CDs and DVDs into one of the USB thumb drives
  • Made the other thumb drive bootable and installed there the toolkits and OS’s that I needed.

That’s it. Light, fast and ready to hack!

“The best part about traveling is the forced minimalism. My life at home, as it has evolved, is quite complex and full of stuff. On the road I’m reduced to what I carry in a small backpack and hand bag — clutter becomes a physical burden. I really enjoy this simplicity as it helps me focus. One of my favorite things to watch as a friend or colleague travels more is how their bag gets smaller and smaller with each trip.”
Simplify, then add lightness, or: pack half of what you think you’ll need and then remove half of it.

Simplify, then add lightness, or: pack half of what you think you’ll need and then remove half of it.

How does one think like an ultralight or lightweight backpacker? I was asked this in a recent interview. After a moments thought, I realized that there are some basic questions that seem to automatically come to mind when I am either planning a backpacking trip or looking at gear. Here are six of the most common ones.

Clothing that makes me simplify (and be lighter)

An old post from Minimal but it is also relevant here.

Im a geek. I’m a computer security consultant and system developer. I’m also a climber: rock, ice and big picks.
I believe in Alpine Style. Alpine style allows me to climb light and fast relying less on the equipment and more on my ability to read terrain and deal with it. I also believe that the same principles can be applied to daily life things, such traveling light, making your house minimal and generally simplifying everything you do to the point that you are efficient in doing it, enjoy the experience more by not being weighed down by stuff, you don’t waste money on unnecessary things and energy on things you can do in a better way.

I’m always trying to be lighter and more efficient. In doing this I noticed a trend on the clothing I own: through the years they gradually became lighter, simpler and can adapt to any occasion. I own less clothing.

Because my clothing is very simple, I also noticed that I go lighter wherever I go.

Take the Houdini Jacket made by Patagonia for example:

This jacket is super light, you can fold the entire jacket into its own chest pocket and its size gets reduced to the size of a tennis ball. The jacket has ONLY one pocket: the pocket you use to stow the jacket.

I wear this jacket a lot because I can carry it everywhere, it provides wind, snow and light rain resistance and it’s very breathable. The black also look good so I can go to dinner in a nice restaurant. But because it doesn’t have pockets it forced me to think about the things I want to carry with me. So now I am down to my wallet (a slim wallet on my front pants pocket), the house and car keys (on a minimal, super light keyring), a pocket knife and my cellphone.

What’s the point of all this? Well, in simplifying my clothing I also ended up simplifying what I carry. To me that’s a nice accomplishment.

“A fast and lightweight-style of climbing in the high mountains when climbers carry only the bare essentials of gear, food, water, and bivouac equipment. By climbing light, they are able to climb fast to the summit and then descend. This style is in contrast to Expedition Style when climbers establish a series of camps up the flank of a mountain.”
— Alpine Style Climbing
“Be light
It’s nice to walk around without things weighing you down. You feel light and free. It’s less of a burden.
There’s something peaceful about walking around without these distractions. You can focus on the wonderful world around you. You can talk to a friend or family member without interruptions. You can create without distractions.
Walk lightly, and be light in your heart.”

And to finish the day about light pockets, here’s Leo Babauta’s tips