This is the first installment of travel blogging from Chris Owens as he heads out for a month buying coffee and meeting producers.
“So what did I pack for 4 weeks and 5 Central American countries? I like the saying “take half as many clothes as you think you need and twice as much money”, but still think I brought too much. Here’s the list:
Yellow vaccination card
2 pair pants, 1 black and 1 grey - outlier OB
Here is what outlier has to say about the pants:
Ultralight Summer Trousers (Gray)
The ones that barely exist. Ultralight Doubleweave is soft, supple and tough. It breathes incredibly well, with a soft lux handfeel and elegant drape. Yet when it comes to durability it’ll outclass fabrics more than three times its weight.
The Ultralight fabric is a yarn-dyed doublewoven intimate blend of various nylons. The micro-nylon fibers create a soft loose inner weave that helps pull moisture from the skin, while slightly thicker nylon is tightly woven on the outside to give it a degree of water resistance and excellent abrasion resistance. The “self-cleaning” nanosphere treatment adds in some wine, beer and iced coffee resistance. A four-way stretch means you’ll move with a breezy freedom all across a beautiful summer.
The Outlier OG Pant (Black)
The Schoeller Dryskin fabric is essentially the same as the Ultralight just, well, a little heavier. Oh, and if you completely saturate either of these pants, they will dry in minutes (generally around 15-20).
1 waterproof shell - Patagonia
1 dark blazer - Nau “travel” blazer
1 dark navy grenadine tie - Drakes of London (If you are going to only have one tie this is it)
The blazer and tie are nice to have. In airports and on airplanes I feel like people treat you better when you dress well. They also come in handy if you need to dress up for an event on your trip. You never know!
2 long-sleeve Ministry of Supply Apollo dress shirts, 1 white & 1 Pink.
Too much technology in these shirts to put here but check them out at www.ministryofsupply.com. They have a new pant out too. I may have to put those to the test next time.
1 pair swim shorts - Apolis (double as shorts)
1 swim trunks - Parke & Ronen (very small. They DO NOT double as shorts)
3 merino wool t-shirts (2 black, 1Natural) - smartwool
If you are wounding “why merino wool?” well, wool stays cleaner, seems to refuse to smell even after constant daily wear, keeps you warm even when wet, is effective at wicking sweat and has a bit of natural stretch.
3 pair merino wool long socks, all dark colors - Smartwool
2 pair merino wool short socks, 1 white and 1 black - Smartwool
Same benefits as the t-shirts
1 pair Chelsea boots with a slight commando sole - Allen edmunds
Easy to slip on and off at the airport, can dress them up or down, and has a bit of traction.
1 Merino wool Buff (super versatile)
3 pairs underwear - Calvin Klein Prostretch Reflex low-rise trunk
1 sleep mask
1 pair headphones - custom JH Audio IEMs
1 iPad - ipad 3
1 pair sunglasses - Warby Parker
1 Phone - iPhone 5
1 modified Aeropress (with paper filters. I prefer them)
1 Hario brew scale
1 Porlex hand grinder
1 Keep Cup
Some Handsome Coffee, of course
1 SterPEN Journey LCD
1 Wahl Lithium Ion beard trimmer (powerful motor and rapid charging)
1 Kikkerland UL03-A Universal Travel Adapter (I love this thing!)
In room laundry kit (a flat disk sink stopper and a braided surgical tubing clothesline)
aLOKSAK bags to pack things in
What do I pack all these, things in? A Tom Bihn 19L Synapse backpack.
I purposely selected a smaller backpack to help force myself to re-evaluate what to bring. The size of the backpack is a very real and logical Limit. You are the one who has to carry it around.
I’ll be doing a lot of packing and unpacking this trip so I’ll try and put a little video together to show you guys how I pack is all into such a small backpack.”
“I didn’t know it at the time, but this event was a stake in the ground for us. Here, we made a big change. We jettisoned almost all our physical possessions, and from that moment forward, became hyper-selective about what we allowed in our home. If we just went through the pain-staking process of saying goodbye to our things, why haphazardly welcome more stuff in, stuff that will ultimately only add to clutter?”
Sean Bonner spoke about technomads/neo-minimalism at TEDxVienna - this is that talk
The Internet is creating markets that enable us to own much less. The winner of the ebook sweepstakes will be the bookseller who becomes a bookrenter. I don’t want to own hundreds of books on a Kindle at $10 a pop. I want to Netflix them — pay for access to every book ever published. I’d rather be a renter in Borges’ library than the owner of my own.
As a travel writer who’s always on the go, being able to plug in and write wherever I am is essential. And in this era, I’m not the only one who finds mobile internet access an important tool.
Anonymous asked: i read your blog post on boing boing - i'd hate to imagine that you haven't learned of this site yet, but www.couchsurfing.org is a great asset to this lifestyle you've taken on
while i fit into the "single dude" category right now, I'm pretty certain i'll keep going if I were to start a family - the simple fact of living this minimal nomad's life for the past few years, I now hesitate strongly when buying something non-consumable
Yes of course couchsurfing is an excellent resource, though it’s not perfect for everyone, it’s exactly perfect for what some people need!