This was one of the lightest trips I’ve packed for. The travel razor was new, something I bought to try out on this trip as I was tired of my full size razor, and this new one is not good. I easily think I could have gotten by with one pair of pants, but I wasn’t confident the Slim Dungarees would work in the office, and I didn’t want to fly in the Bluffworks as they are a little large for me and cause my shirt to come untucked when sitting for long periods of time.
That said, I could have done it in just the Slim Dungarees as my concerns were unfounded.
I packed too heavy for this trip, as I could have left behind my entire beach kit — I didn’t need it. Same with the electronics kit as I had chargers at the destination I used (I’m finding this more and more common, which is hard to deal with when you want to pack as light as possible, but charging is also crucial). Also the Rucking Tee is normally a workout shirt for me, but it was tremendous this weekend and has me looking to get something else from GORUCK in the PowerDry fabric they use from Polartec. It’s not very odor resistant, but it is very comfortable.
Since I was tent camping, I checked a large duffle with my camping gear. I decided to throw my dress shoes in there to wear more comfortable shoes on the flight. I also packed my hiking boots, base layer, sunscreen, and hat in there. Other than that, the GR1 easily held the rest of what I needed. If this was a business-only trip (or non-tent camping vacation), I could have packed everything in my GR1 (and would have just worn my hiking boots).
Overall I packed almost the perfect amount of clothes. I didn’t end up needing the second pair of Futureworks. The only washing I did during the whole trip was my polo, a pair of socks, and my underwear. The polo and socks took a while to try, but the ExOfficio underwear dried overnight after rolling in a towel. The magic of merino allowed me to get plenty of wear out of both my undershirt and button-up.
I still feel I can slim down some of the gear I take, especially with toiletries. As for the clothing, it was a near perfect load out — had I not been meeting with the same person the day I landed and the next day I would have only packed one shirt. The GORUCK Simple Windbreaker made for a great travel layer when I got back and it was frigid and snowy. I’d prefer to have traveled with different pants, but I didn’t want to go to a business meeting in Khaki pants so my Slim Dungarees were the best option I had (according to my wife). Looks like another pair of pants are in my future.
I overpacked somewhat for this trip as I realized that I would have late nights and might not feel like washing clothes when I got back to my hotel at night. I also didn’t need the UnderFit undershirt (the Icebreaker merino undershirt lasted the whole trip). I mainly rotated my two Wool & Prince shirts, but I was able to get two wears of my polo.
I’m still using a quart zipper bag for my toiletries because it just works (and makes it compliant when you have to separate liquids from your bag when you can’t use PreCheck).
I probably could have squeezed everything into my Osprey bag, however, then I might not have been able to fit it under the seat on my domestic flights. I also figured it would be nice to have a small bag to have at my seat with my entertainment and to use as a briefcase during my trip.
Just a few first impressions of the Standard Luggage Co. bag: 1) it’s very padded and structured so there is some wasted space, 2) the laptop slot is on the back panel as expected, but the main compartment zipper opens at the back panel, making access to its contents awkward, 3) the small front compartment has some nice organization, 4) the padded handles and above average shoulder strap make the bag pleasant to carry.
While this might seem like a lot of clothes for an overnight trip, I could travel with this same list for a two or three night trip as well. At three or four nights, I’d probably throw in another pair of underwear, and at five or more, another pair of socks and another undershirt and button-down. This all packed well in my small Mystery Ranch Urban Assault pack, even with my large (size 13) gym shoes.
The only thing I’d change about this packing list would be a better bag for my toiletries.
This loadout, while relatively few in items, took up the entire bag and then some. I wanted to travel with nothing larger because of how tight the connections were (and since one leg was a regional carrier, I knew space would be limited). Ultimately it worked, but I took too many extraneous things.
My normal toiletries kit is in a GR1 Field Pocket, so using the Echo reduced the size by about 50%. What’s interesting is that I still had things in the bag which I didn’t need. This clearly means I need to rethink my entire toiletries setup, and it’s likely I will use the Echo Field Pocket going forward.
I simply had way too many items in the Context Organizer and will have to completely re-think that kit. For the first time I was stopped by TSA for the brass flashlight I had — they simply wanted to see what it was and let me be on my way. Still, I might rethink that as it is heavy and if it will get me stopped, it’s not worth it. I should note that I’ve taken it on seven other trips without issue.
Lastly, packing a suit is a real pain. I used the Brooks Brothers method for folding it and used the large packing cube to better protect it. When I got there the jacket was nearly perfect and after a day of hanging had no issues. The pants needed some light touch up with an iron in the hotel, as they had some odd rumpled bits.
My final note, traveling with the Ascedant Hoodie was amazing. I knew I needed it for the colder weather I was headed to, and it performed well there. But I also wore it while in the plane and stayed incredibly comfortable while keeping the air blowing on me. I might consider bringing it on more trips — however it didn’t pack down very small when I wanted it in the bag. Perhaps a light weight, compressible down jacket is in order next.
Overall, I nailed the amount of clothes needed, but packed much too heavy on the electronics gear.