So you'd like to...

travel light, with one bag.

A guide by Scott Knudsen (Air Ronge, Saskatchewan Canada)
(REAL NAME)   

Products sampled from this guide:
I've added some updates to this because of products failing. Because they failed for me does not necessarily mean they will fail for you. I will show you which one's I have had problems with and remove them when I can find a replacement.

So you'd like to travel light with one bag eh? Well, you can spend hours reading (recommended) the many interesting web-sites such as onebag.com or Randy Johnson's Travel Page, that explain how to do this, or you can save yourself a bunch of time and check out what I have found to work. Even though some of the products that I mention are for males only, females can also use this guide and just search out similar products from the same brands mentioned.

First your going to need a Packsack that will fit the FAA's guidelines as a carry-on, which are 22" X 14" X 9". These guidelines are not necessarily followed by all airlines, some allowing more, some allowing slightly less, such as 55cm X 35cm X 25cm. There is only one decent back-pack that is front loading and for men that is the Kelty Redwing 44 Internal Frame Pack (Kelty Redwing 2650 Backpack older model) or for woman the Kelty Women's Redwing 40 Internal Frame Pack (Kelty Women's Redwing 2500 Backpack older model). These packs dimensions are rated slightly over the allowable limit, but there is nothing stopping you from not having these packs stuffed to their maximum sizes, thereby keeping them down to the allowed dimensional limits. There are only a couple of other packs that are similar to the Kelty pack, but they do not have waist belts. I have owned and used my Kelty Redwing 2650 for the past 15 years in the bush prospecting and have also used it as a carry-on bag. Very durable and comfortable. Another option is to get a custom built pack from either Ostrom Outdoors or McHale Packs. These offer the ultimate in durability and fit, but can be quite pricey. To keep your Redwing Packsack and it`s contents dry you will need a small Sea to Summit Deluxe Pack Cover.

Next your going to need to find a way to compact everything down so it all fits in your Packsack. This can be done with a Sea to Summit eVAC Dry Sack. You will want one for your Shirts and Pants. One for your socks and shorts. And one for any additional clothing such as a fleece jacket, underwear, gloves and rain gear. You will also need one for your Laundry.

Now on to what to pack in those compression sacks. For the ultimate in comfort and usability the ExOfficio Men's Air Strip Lite Long Sleeve Shirt. This shirt comes in regular or tall sizes, with long or short sleeves. For pants I would recommend a pair of RailRiders X-Treme Adventure Pants, and also a pair of their Rampage Shorts for the beach. For men`s underwear the ExOfficio Men's GiveNGo Brief - 1241-0008 is worthwhile trying out. As for socks, everyone has different shaped feet so you should try before you buy. So to add things up, all one needs to carry in their Pack is 1 pair of pants, 2 Shirts, 3 underwear and 3 pairs of socks. Laundry can be done in the sink every few days, which we will discuss below.

For a warm durable Fleece the The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket - Men's is a good buy. For some breathable rain gear that can also be worn to keep the wind out and be compacted down to a very small size the Marmot Nano Rain Jacket - Men's and Alpha SL Pant - Men's by ARCTERYX are the smallest you can find.

For lightweight hiking boots there's the Hanwag's Banks GTX boots (came apart within one week of use, but replacement had no problems) and for lightweight packable shoes there's Merrell`s Men's Barefoot Trail Glove shoes. And for those filthy showers or for just puttering around the hostel with, you can buy a pair of Ida`s Ultra Soles.

How does one keep one's self and their laundry clean? I would just use your favorite shampoo, preferably something that is biodegradable and non-scented. To dry your clothes there's the <product no longer available> and Travelon Set of 2 Inflatable Hangers. Let's not forget to bring a Do it Rubber Sink Stopper being that they don't exist in lots of third world countries. Lunatec makes a nice synthetic washcloth, which is quick drying and odor resistant. And the Sea to Summit DryLite Towel can be used for drying yourself off, drying your cloths off or for soaking up rays at the beach.

For carrying on liquids such as shampoo and conditioner you will need a 3-1-1 compliant bag. A Carry-on Compliant Frequent Flyer Kit will come with everything you need. You can easily place your conditioner, shampoo, toothpaste, skin lotion, suntan lotion in the squeezable/collapsable plastic containers they supply (Ends failed on two of these bottles).

Chums makes a huge variety of eyewear retainers. You wouldn't want to loose those $200 Maui Jim`s now would you? And to keep your cap from blowing away there is also a large variety of good Cap-Hat retainers.

For carrying something to drink, use the Vapur 0.5 Litres Anti-Bottle, which can be rolled up into a tight bundle when not in use. To make sure it is safe to drink you can bring either a Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Microfilter or a SteriPEN Journey with FitsAll Filter and Nalgene 1-Liter BPA Free Bottle, depending on the type of water you may encounter. Or you can bring both. Some Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets are also a good idea to have along.

In case of emergencies a Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight 7oz First-Aid Kit is a must to have along. The company also sells larger or smaller kits, and many options to go along with them in case you need to add something different.

To see what your doing at night there's the LRI FMWC Photon Freedom LED Keychain Micro-Light with Covert Nose, White Beam. You have the option of buying this with different coloured lights and beam widths. For a much brighter yet compact light there's the LRI PPRO Proton Pro White/Red, 2-Colors-in-1 LED Flashlight, 1-Pack. And for convenience while walking there`s the Petzl E02 P e+LITE Emergency Headlamp. Don't forget spare batteries.

To figure out where you are the Garmin GPSMAP 60CS Water Resistant Hiking GPS is still rated as the most durable and accurate GPS. And being that it is discontinued you can buy it cheap. To let other people know where you are there's the ACR Sarlink View 406mz Plb 2885.

Don't forget to bring a camera to capture images of all those amazing sites. A Pentax Optio W90 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Black) is a very durable water-proof camera. After having read all the reviews on all the water-proof compact cameras, one finds that they are all poorly rated as being actually water-proof and do seem to end up leaking after a short while for most. You can carry a larger SLR camera with multiple lenses which will take amazing pictures, but if it's too large to lug around with you everywhere you go, you will end up missing great photo opportunities. You should have a camera at your side at all times. This one is small, durable and also takes videos. Of course if you have a great photo opportunity and don't have a nice DSLR camera with you, then you will probably be disappointed with your point and shoot images and videos. For better videos there a huge choice of camcorders out there, which can also work as a digital still camera, and a good DSLR can now shoot amazing video. Don't forget to bring a Joby GP1-A1EN Gorillapod Flexible Tripod (Grey) so your not always having to find someone to take a photo of yourself.

When going on a day-trip you will need something to carry your camera, camcorder, toilet paper and rain-jacket/pants. A Pacsafe Stashsafe 100 Anti-Theft Hip Pack in Brown should do the trick. It's size and the colour makes you not so obvious. That said, you are going to look like a tourist with one of these on.

To keep all your electronics charged you can use a Jasco 73611 GE Dual Watt Foreign Voltage Adaptor. Most electronics charger plug-ins usually say on them that they can be used with both 110/220 volts and 60/50 Hz, so you will probably not need a power converter, but you will need a plug-in converter. For those of you with lots of electronics that need charging you can use a Monster Outlets To Go MP OTG300 LTOP 300 for Laptops 3 Outlets, 2 USB - Bubble Package, but will still need a converter in a foreign country.

To seal up smaller things from being damaged from moisture you can use the ALOKSAK Water / Sand Proof Dry Bags. Some say that the Ziploc Double Zipper Heavy Duty Quart Freezer Bags (216 Bags) are even better yet.

After a hard day of sight-seeing and exploring and it's time for a snooze, you can crawl under a Sea to Summit Mosquito Pyramid Net Shelter (Single w/Insect Shield) and into your Sea to Summit 100% Premium Silk Liner. For colder climates, Sea to Summit also makes warmer sleeping bag liners that will work as a very light weight sleeping bag.

Happy Travels.

Products mentioned include:
1.  Kelty Redwing 44 Internal Frame Pack  by Kelty
Out of stock
4.4 out of 5 stars   (51)
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2.  Kelty Redwing 2650 Backpack  by Kelty
Out of stock
4.7 out of 5 stars   (23)
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3.  Kelty Women's Redwing 40 Internal Frame Pack  by Kelty
Click for pricing info
4.6 out of 5 stars   (52)
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4.  Kelty Women's Redwing 2500 Backpack  by Kelty
Out of stock
4.7 out of 5 stars   (7)
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5.  Sea to Summit Deluxe Pack Cover  by Sea to Summit
Out of stock
4.6 out of 5 stars   (10)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
6.  Sea to Summit eVAC Dry Sack  by Sea to Summit
$17.95 - $44.90
4.7 out of 5 stars   (29)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
7.  ExOfficio Men's Air Strip Lite Long Sleeve Shirt  by ExOfficio
$44.98 - $90.00
4.6 out of 5 stars   (78)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
8.  ExOfficio Men's GiveNGo Brief - 1241-0008  by ExOfficio
Click for pricing info
4.6 out of 5 stars   (467)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
9.  The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket - Men's  by The North Face
$125.00 - $1,369.99
4.5 out of 5 stars   (17)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
10.  Marmot Nano Rain Jacket - Men's  by Marmot
Out of stock
4.5 out of 5 stars   (4)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
11.  Alpha SL Pant - Men's by ARCTERYX  by Arc'teryx
Click for more info
5.0 out of 5 stars   (3)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
12.  Travelon Set of 2 Inflatable Hangers  by Travelon
$5.94 - $30.51
3.9 out of 5 stars   (54)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
13.  Do it Rubber Sink Stopper  by Do it Best
$3.93 Used & New from: $0.50
4.5 out of 5 stars   (115)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
14.  Sea to Summit DryLite Towel  by Sea to Summit
$12.55 - $43.23
4.6 out of 5 stars   (390)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
15.  Carry-on Compliant Frequent Flyer Kit  by Easy Traveler
$24.95
5.0 out of 5 stars   (3)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
16.  Vapur 0.5 Litres Anti-Bottle  by Vapur
$4.99 - $222.22
3.6 out of 5 stars   (187)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
17.  Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Microfilter  by Katadyn
$84.95 Used & New from: $79.95
4.2 out of 5 stars   (115)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
18.  SteriPEN Journey with FitsAll Filter and Nalgene 1-Liter BPA Free Bottle  by SteriPen
Out of stock
3.6 out of 5 stars   (27)
  Add to wishlist
19.  Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets  by Aqua Mira
$8.10
4.2 out of 5 stars   (6)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
20.  Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight 7oz First-Aid Kit  by Adventure Medical Kits
Out of stock
4.8 out of 5 stars   (9)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
21.  LRI FMWC Photon Freedom LED Keychain Micro-Light with Covert Nose, White Beam  by LRI
$10.36 Used & New from: $10.26
4.2 out of 5 stars   (64)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
22.  LRI PPRO Proton Pro White/Red, 2-Colors-in-1 LED Flashlight, 1-Pack  by LRI
$44.89 Used & New from: $44.72
4.4 out of 5 stars   (50)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
23.  Petzl E02 P e+LITE Emergency Headlamp  by Petzl
Out of stock
4.4 out of 5 stars   (26)
  Add to wishlist
24.  Garmin GPSMAP 60CS Water Resistant Hiking GPS  by Garmin
Used & New from: $174.75
4.2 out of 5 stars   (83)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
25.  ACR Sarlink View 406mz Plb 2885  by ACR Electronics
Used & New from: $542.95
4.0 out of 5 stars   (2)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
26.  Pentax Optio W90 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)  by Pentax
Out of stock
3.1 out of 5 stars   (122)
  Add to wishlist
27.  Joby GP1-A1EN Gorillapod Flexible Tripod (Grey)  by Joby
$18.00 Used & New from: $14.59
4.2 out of 5 stars   (1,305)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
28.  Pacsafe Stashsafe 100 Anti-Theft Hip Pack  by Pacsafe
Out of stock
4.9 out of 5 stars   (12)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
29.  Jasco 73611 GE Dual Watt Foreign Voltage Adaptor  by Jasco
Used & New from: $14.49
1.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
30.  Monster Outlets To Go MP OTG300 LTOP 300 for Laptops 3 Outlets, 2 USB - Bubble Package [CD-ROM]  by Monster
Used & New from: $67.89
4.4 out of 5 stars   (166)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
31.  ALOKSAK Water / Sand Proof Dry Bags  by LOKSAK
Click for pricing info
4.2 out of 5 stars   (242)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
32.  Ziploc Double Zipper Heavy Duty Quart Freezer Bags (216 Bags)  by Ziploc
$17.47 Used & New from: $7.25
4.4 out of 5 stars   (84)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
33.  Sea to Summit Mosquito Pyramid Net Shelter (Single w/Insect Shield)  by Sea to Summit
$42.95 Used & New from: $39.95
3.6 out of 5 stars   (5)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
34.  Sea to Summit 100% Premium Silk Liner  by Sea to Summit
Out of stock
3.9 out of 5 stars   (33)
  See buying options  Add to wishlist

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About this Guide

 

Author

Scott Knudsen (Air Ronge, Saskatchewan Canada)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Adventurer
Last updated: 1/26/13
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