My Minimal, Digital Nomad Packing List

As my wife and I have recently signed a long term renting agreement and won’t be constantly travelling, as we have in recent years, this is probably a good time to reflect on – and write about – my packing list. 🙂

The items we carried varied of course. Stuff needed to be replaced or got left behind, simply because it broke or was not useful.

So the following is a distilled list of the best stuff that I had with me, and what I would essentially pack if I started travelling long term again.

Some information to preface this list:


Packing

  • Osprey Farpoint 40: I had to decide between this and the Minaal. While the latter looks much cooler, the Osprey is much cheaper (around 90 Euro, compared to the Minaal’s 300 – and that doesn’t even include shipping form the US). The Farpoint also has a usable hip belt (the Minaal doesn’t). It has one big main compartment that you can open fully like a suitcase, so it is very easy to pack. It has a second smaller compartment on the front that fits the laptop.
  • Eagle Creek packing cubes: I put underwear and socks in one, shirts in another and cables, chargers and other electronics in a third one.
  • Noaks bags: I love them, because they are useful in so many ways. I already wrote about them in another post. I had about five or six of them with me all the time. In Thailand I used the A4-sized one to get my camera to an island that could only be reached by swimming through a cave! So, yeah, they are completely water proof.

Clothing

  • T-shirts: I took five, two are made from Merino, the other three are of a regular cotton/polyester mix fabric and I got them from various WordCamps. (Gotta represent, right?)
  • 2 x Merino longsleeves
  • 2 x button down shirts
  • Underwear: Four pairs of boxer shorts and three pairs of Merino boxer briefs
  • Three pairs of socks, all Merino.
  • Board shorts / swimming trunks: Rip Curl Mirrage
  • Patagonia Stretch Terre Planing Cargo shorts: I love them, I live(d) in them. They can be used for swimming as well. They are really lightweight and have pockets with zips – which is something almost all other swimming trunks or shorts are missing! (Unfortunately I could not find them on Patagonia’s online store any longer. That’s a shame, I should have bought more of them, while they were still available.)
  • Lululemon ABC Pant: Best pants ever. Super lightweight, super comfortable, suitable for all occasions. (Replaced my Levi’s 501.)
  • Patagonia Hoody Good quality hoody with a nice, big hood.
  • Patagonia Houdini: It’s a very lightweight wind (not so much rain) jacket. Amazingly small packing size.
  • The Merrell Vapor Gloves are the best shoes I ever owned. I have an older model, but they still look pretty much the same. They are super lightweight and extremely comfortable to wear. (Caution though: These are barefoot shoes. I switched to only wearing barefoot shoes a little over two years ago and it takes some time getting used to.)
  • Vivobarefoot Bannisters: They were crazy expensive, but I really like their style. And after a couple of weeks of breaking them in, they are really comfortable. (They don’t make this model any longer, but I generally like Vivobarefoot shoes a lot.)
  • Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarer
  • Wrist Watch: Swatch Sistem51 wristwatch in red/black, which is waterproof and doesn’t need a battery.
  • Custom made wedding ring.

Tech

  • MacBook Pro, 13″ with power adapter
  • External 2 TB hard drive as a backup.
  • USB Stick
  • Bose QC25 noise canceling headphones: Amazing headphones when you need it to be quiet. They work like magic on an airplane. The come with an airplane adapter that can be used in those stupid split headphone jacks.
  • iPhone 6s with cabel and charger
  • Apple EarPods: They came with the iPhone. I use them for phone and Skype calls.
  • Fujifilm X100S: My “lonely island” camera. There’s a newer model, the “T” but I am still very happy with the „S“. With three batteries and charger. (Pro tip: leave the cable at home, use your MacBook’s adapter.)
  • Several Mini-SD memory cards, 32 and 16 GB
  • Anker external battery: To charge the iPhone on the go.
  • Swizz electricity adapter for different types of sockets around the world.

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush
  • Interdental brushes
  • Floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Contact lenses and cleaning fluid
  • Small silicone bottles to fill in shampoo and soap. They are small enough to take through air port security / on-board.
  • Remington beard trimmer
  • Small med kit with painkillers and band-aids

Miscellaneous

  • Several packs of Sugru
  • Duct tape: Not a whole roll, but I wrapped some of it around a piece of cardboard.
  • Head lamp: Useful, not only during power outages.
  • Bellroy Card Sleeve Wallet for ID, drivers license and credit cards. I keep coins in a small Noaks bag.
  • Passport
  • Vaccination card
  • Marker

And that’s it. Pretty straight forward I would say and all I ever really need.

Everything comes in at around 9-10 kg, which theoretically makes it a little too heavy for a carry-on, but aside from crazy New Zealand Air, this has never been an issue.