Friday, October 9, 2009

The Art and Science of Travelling Light

"There's no question: overpacking tops the list of biggest travel mistakes.", it says on OneBag's (The Art and Science of Travelling Light) home page. And while most of us backpackers agree to this, there are still some who falls under the "I'd rather have it and not need it than wish I had not left it at home" category. Talk to them about traveling light, and they will bombard you with gazillions of justifications for bringing ten undies or a hairdryer.

I was inspired to write this because a few days ago, I bought a purple 65L Conquer Outdoor backpack (P2,190) from Campsite Johnyee at Park Square 1, Makati. Since I started backpacking, it's been the main shop where I check out and buy mountaineering/camping equipment. Their location is easily accessible for me, plus it's just a few stores down Coleman's.

Actually, I already have a 75L Conquer backpack. It's been a witness to my travels for two years now and it has proven its worth. I bought a new one so I can pass it on to my backpacking partner-slash-fiance (it's too big for me anyway). When we traveled around South East Asia for six weeks, he only carried a small pack which used to be his work bag. He is the epitome of hippie-ness yes, but I usually get annoyed when we run out of space for let's say, a small souvenir I bought. If not for our upcoming China trip and the need for space for bulky warmers, he wouldn't let me buy the bag.

Each backpacker has his or her own frivolous travel item. I, for example, have become attached to my small portable electric stove.

It's about 300 grams heavy, and airport officials always question it whenever it passes through x-ray machines. I find it very useful because not only do we use it to boil water for our instant noodles, it also can also act as a room heater.

I agree with Time Ferriss on his BIT method. Buy It There. Whenever we pack, we're faced with the dilemma of weighing things to bring. We might have considered bringing an umbrella 'just in case it rains', a nice pair of shoes 'just in case a formal occasion comes up', or loads of books 'just in case I get bored on that 24-hour train'. It might be better to just apportion a small amount to buy these just-in-case stuff while travelling. What if that just-in-case doesn't happen?

Okay, so none of your backpacking buddies can stop you from bringing your travel essentials but always keep in mind that the budget airline you booked has that power. And you wouldn't want to be in that situation where in you're left with only two options: pay for the excess baggage or chuck out some of your belongings. If you're overseas, it won't be your usual Filipino airport send-off, where you can leave the excess baggage to a relative who's in Windows of the World waiting for you to check-in... So let go.

Now that I've already said a mouthful, here's OneBag (The Art and Science of Travelling Light) to give you everything (and I mean every thing) you need to know about traveling light.

For travel bags and equipment, check out these sites:
Conquer Outdoor Equipment
Directory of Philippines' Outdoor Shops


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Dane Policarpio said...
October 27, 2011 at 2:15 AM

It's actually cute that your husband got the pink one. hehe.

julai said...
April 14, 2012 at 5:54 AM

I need to apply this "travel light" rule on my next travel.:)Thanks for the tips Miss Gay.

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