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What’s in my Backpack in 2019?

In 2015 I wrote:

People often ask me if I will ship my stuff overseas. Simple answer: no I will not ship my stuff. I will be living as a nomad: backpack and shoulder bag only.

I’ve decided to buy an Osprey Sojourn Wheeled backpack
It will provide me with all the flexibility of carrying it on my back or wheeling it through airport lounges, just as I please.

For my cabin luggage, I will use a red leather diaper bag from Mic Mac, it gives me enough room for my laptop and gear and you know what? It does not look like a diaper bag at all.

I will travel light, no more than 60 liters of clothing, and maybe even less.

My gear in 2015:

  • Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850 Digital Camera Kit
  • MacBook Air extended with Nifty and micro SD card of 128GB
  • External 128GB SSD for backups
  • International power plug
  • Shoulder bag from Protest named Frola
  • My iPhone, it’s my portable office

all my stuff

In 2019 a lot has changed in my backpack!

I still use the Osprey, that was the best choice ever, it never failed me, even dragging it through the mud and over beaches. It followed me everywhere. It looks a bit beaten up after 4 years on the road, but it is solid as ever.

For the rest, my gear has shifted and changed, due to replacement or lessons learned.

  • The Olympus camera didn’t last long, one salty dive and it got broken, it was a rubbish camera and not as tough as the name made me believe. I replaced it with a Nikon D5500 which I sold because the lenses and the camera are simply too much to carry when you travel. And now I have a GoPro hero 5 black, my second one already, for the first one wasn’t as waterproof as GoPro promised so they replaced it  I did buy an underwater case, just to be sure this one lasts longer
  • The MacBook Air is still my laptop, I replaced it for the same model in 2018 and I am still happy to use it, including the Nifty.
  • the backup disk has been replaced with a larger one. I needed a better (Read: larger and longer period) back up than the old one could provide me. More Giga did the trick. I also bought a second one for storage, I collected a lot of photos and video footage
  • I dumped the bulky international power plug, whenever I need one in another country I hop in a supermarket or appliance store and buy a local one. It is cheaper and takes up less space
  • The shoulder bag is replaced, I love buying new cheap bags in souvenir shops and replace them whenever they get broken or dirty beyond repair
  • The iPhone was replaced by an Oppo F1s and now a Huawei Nova 2i, and back to iPhone again halfway through 2019. Because the camera of the Huawei somehow became terribly dysfunctional after the latest software update

And for the rest I carry around a tiny teddy bear, I still have some of the colored spoons I brought from home and I have a string of tiny Christmas led lights on a wire, that I use to instantly make a home, where ever I am.

Added to the tech list:

  • a power bank, for in The Philippines’s brownouts are my life, but now in Mexico, I haven’t had any. Maybe it is nice for travel but I seldom use it.
  • the GoPro grips, mounts, and clips (Gosh those Go Pro developers created a need for extra’s!)
  • an extension cord, you know, power outlets are little and never in the right spot, so I have an extension cord that fits most of my chargers and gives me a little length

For clothes, that is a tender point, for I found out living the life of a minimalist that I do like nice clothes. But still, I kept it down to a bare minimum:

  • 3 shorts
  • 1 legging
  • 2 cotton shorts for sleeping and 2 tank tops
  • 2 cotton sleeveless Indian print tops
  • 1 vest
  • 1 body warmer, now that came with a winter coat I needed for Europe, and now I am stuck with a winter coat. lucky it has a lining that can be used as a body warmer and maybe the coat can be my raincoat, but man, it takes up a lot of space so most likely I will sell it or make some rural Mexican very happy with a Columbia winter coat.
  • 1 pair of Teva sandals
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of sneakers (Crocs)
  • 2 bikinis
  • 1 sarong/towel
  • underwear and bra’s

All it to mix and match, more or less the same color scheme, variety is in the patterns.

It is still a lot, but I manage and once I have a base camp, I can make my office backpack into a day-pack and take fewer things. Like I did in the Philippines when I took motorbike trips through the country.

motorcycle registration, Philippines, license plates, temporary, OR/CR, paperwork, renewal, plates, license plate


I replace the bulky office bag I started out with, it got molded due to the high humidity. So now I have a winter-sports backpack, that will not get moldy, and it carries my technical stuff and 1-day clothes when I travel.

So, secret revealed, that is in my bag pack.

I forgot to mention that I have some markers and paper, stickers, and washi tape tucked away in a side pocket of the Osprey and I do have my toiletries and first aid/medkit as well.

You learn a lot when traveling, about gear and usability of things, but also about your own needs to feel comfortable. And some stuff you can simply do without and is easy to get rid of, other stuff is harder and you are willing to sacrifice a little and carry it around.


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