Trip packing: my essential to gadget ratio.

Leaving for our New Zealand camper-van adventure on Friday. Looking at the long-range weather forecast we can anticipate cooler temperatures than we had expected and a high probability of rain along our route.

Never mind. Adventure is an experience best served wild and misty. Though we have had to slightly rethink our respective wardrobes.

When it comes to packing for an extended travel trip, I have this ongoing fantasy of packing light enough to fit all my stuff in a single carry on bag. This challenge is a constant work in progress that, of course, is never going to actually happen.

Here is my item list of essentials and gadgets to pack for the 10 day trip (includes stuff I will be wearing on plane)..


Sleeveless down jacket1
Rain Jacket1
Thermal underwear (top & pants)1
Cap & beanie2
Toiletries bag1

Not too bad so far. Items are fastidiously folded (here are some neat folding tips) and stowed in individual compression bags. The whole list fits easily into a small suitcase.

It would be a not too big a stretch to ruthlessly trim this list down some more and actually get it all into a carry on bag. But then this happened….


Wireless keyboard
Nanopresso (coffee press)
Aluminium water bottle.
Spare camera battery and charger
Wireless headphones
Charging cables + plugs etc.
Notepad and pen

This conglomerate of expensive technology (except for the batteries, and my coffee press) will all be carried in my backpack. Leading to the ridiculous situation of my ultra-light suitcase disappearing off into the convoluted mystery of the airport luggage conveyor belts, whilst I am left to lug my lumpy overloaded backpack around the airport like Atlas.

You may note that I could pretty much replace everything on the ‘gadgets’ list (except perhaps for binoculars and the water bottle) with my iPhone and be back in the game of minimalist vagabond coolness.
Like I said, this is never going to actually happen.

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