Packing Light

I am a master at packing light. Part of this is likely because I don’t have any qualms wearing the same clothes on repeat as long as they smell good and feel clean.

Last year, my boo and I went to Japan for two weeks and each just brought a backpack. And not an intense, backpacking pack either — mine was very much a day bag and his was a bit bigger.

For two weeks we only had those backpacks. They carried all of our clothes, toiletries, shoes, tech, etc. It was amazing. We could take the train to a new city and instantly walk around. Or we could take the train to a new city and lock our backpacks in a locker, and be free to walk around. We went to four cities, rode many trains and subways, and took a three-day hike.

These are the clothes I packed:

  • three pairs of merino-based underwear (moving forward, I would bring closer to 4-5 pairs. They take up virtually no room and it’s nice to have some flexibility).
  • two pairs of merino-based bras.
  • a pair of black hiking pants with zip-up pockets. I wore these almost every day.
  • two pairs of black, hiking shorts. One were super comfortable and could also be work to sleep. The other were more rugged and a bit longer, so good for a day of city activities.
  • two pairs of socks.
  • two pairs of shoes — a pair of tevas and a pair of low-key hiking sneaks. Both were very light.
  • a light merino sweater.
  • a pair of leggings that I could wear as pants or as pajamas.
  • two merino-based tanktops.
  • a very light, packable, rain coat.

I also brought:

  • an e-reader (which has since broken, so on more recent trips, I have just brought a thin book instead)
  • earbud headphones
  • my cellphone
  • my wallet
  • a pocket wifi and charger (necessary only in Japan, I would think)
  • a small red notebook
  • cards
  • a pen
  • sunglassess

And, I was able to benefit from a nalgene and small toiletry bag (just the essentials) that were in my partner’s slightly larger bag.

It sounds insane but not having any options — I basically wore what was cleanest every day — helped us focus on the experience and not on the stuff.

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