My Extended Escape Packing Essentials

I have packed enough to know that, as with most of life, hindsight is a wonderful teacher. The hollowing sensation of opening your pack a few thousand miles from home and realizing that you forgot underwear is an experience that is not quickly forgotten. Fortunately there are few places in this world where you cannot recover from forgotten underwear, but finding an ultralight day bag in Pisa might be tough or at best, expensive. This is an evolving listof my essential, “Don’t screw this up and forget these,” list for adventure packing.

  1. Zip-Lock Bags
    1. Map bags can get expensive and these, with a little extra care, can work just as well.
    2. The bags work well for emergency electronics storage.
    3. If you will be going from hot to cold or cold to hot you can put electronics and photo equipment in the bags to keep the internals from fogging. The bags help devices reach the external temperature slowly with no risk of damage.  Be sure to get as much air out of the bag as possible.
  2.  Wool Socks
    1. I know they’re expensive, but even a lower budget pair of wool socks is better than cotton socks. Some even fight bacteria that causes odor.
    2. Add wool underwear to this list also.
  3.  Ultralight Day Bag
    1. A big shout out to The Snarky Nomad for his review on these packs back in April.
    2. Decide on your needs for the bag, the varieties are nearly endless, and try a few out at places like REI.
    3. Under 10 ounces is ideal and the bags that pack into themselves instead of a sleeve are the best. I loose small bags and sleeves easily and bags that pack into themselves alleviate this issue.
  4. Moleskine Squared Notebook
    1. Although the company has gone off the crazy cliff with all of their offerings the original is still the best I have found.
    2. And for fucks sake just get one. If you insist on getting two get one large and one small. They are great for scheming and organizing.
    3. The squared notebooks make graphing and calendar creation really easy and if you are as unorganized as I am these little grids will come in handy.
  5. Bits-and-Pieces Bag
    1. This is the black hold that keeps all of your essential and small items so that you will not have to search through every single pocket in your pack.
    2. You can find the list of items in the Bits-and-Pieces Bag here.
  6. Great Instant Coffee
    1. This is biased toward people that love coffee and hate shitty coffee.
    2. I have been a lot of places in the world and most of them have shitty coffee or shitty apparatus for preparing coffee.
    3. Starbucks, the caffeine devil, makes great single serve packets, but there are plenty of companies that make great single serve for your fix that will not break the bank.
  7. Travel Docs, Maps, Guide Book
    1. Keeping your travel docs safe and easily accessible is important, but a lot of people do not learn this until they are tearing apart their bag at the first border crossing.
    2. Printing and preparing maps is a time saver and helps to cut down on the amount of time that you spend in hostels trying to pick routes. The zip lock bags make great map holders.
    3. Keeping your guide books in a reliable and easily accessible location makes for easy reference and keeps you from looking too much life a tourist. Remember to check your reference in quiet or secluded areas so to minimize which of the lurking thieves see you being lost.

This list is constantly up for debate and always willing to change. I love hearing about what is in other people’s bags while they are on an adventure.  Please feel free to leave a message if this list evokes any kind of emotion or critical thinking.


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