Our original gear list has changed. We've added a few gems and have also dumped some poor performing or no longer useful stuff.
Stuff that hit the trash can.
#1 on the loser list, a spot earned for being total failures, are those Solomon XCR Pro 3D shoes. They served me well for a while, but then when it got really wet they soaked through and left me totally uncomfortable. This happened while at Yakushima. Worst of all, they have NO E-MAIL so I can't even tell them what a failure their product is.
#2 on the loser list is are the Seal Skinz gloves. They leaked very early on and continued to make my hands miserable. When I need gloves next (next year probably), I'll go for some liners and a waterproof shell for them.
#3 (in my book, not Todd's) are patagonia or any non wool shirts. They smell bad really quickly and aren't as comfortable as the wool shirts. I now have three Icebreaker Bodyfit 150 shirts, and that's it.
#4 My smartwool zip long sleeve shirt had to go. It was too tight and made me look like I was emo or something. I left it at Elliot's place in Japan in case someone there wanted a shirt.
#5 My Treo 700p phone. Sprint screwed me over this month by taking away all of my discounts (thanks... I've been using 0 minutes.), so I'm porting my number over and will just use my Nokia from now on. Goodbye monthly fee.
Stuff that's getting shipped back home (thanks, parents!)
When I get my new shoes (below), I'll get rid of my Rainbow Sandals. I love them, but they take up a bunch of space and my new shoes can be used in their stead. Don't get me wrong - these are the best sandals I can imagine... I just don't need them anymore.
Headphone amp and its 8 AAA batteries. I love this thing but it turns out that our laptops and MP3 players put out enough juice that it's not a necessity.
All socks. I love my Smartwool socks more than life itself, but they won't work with my new shoes.
Terramar wool leggings. I don't think we'll be anywhere cold enough to need these. Plus I've said it before and I'll say it again - the crotch area leaves enough room below to store a bag of groceries. It's weird.
My awesome R. Kelly style sunglasses. They're great, but not necessary.
The New and Exciting:
Vibram Five Finger shoes. These things are so cool it's ridiculous. They are very light and thin (which is a lot better for your legs and joints), and look like ninja shoes. Todd has the classics, which he got in San Francisco, and I'm getting on the gravy train late by having a pair of KSOs sent to Bangkok.
Luxury Lite Cot. This thing is fantastic too - it's the smallest portable cot, and is super comfortable. Great for staying at people's houses who don't have couches, sleeping in the airport with an overnight layover, camping, or sleeping in the park in Pamplona after running with the bulls.
It could be argued that we don't actually need to be bringing our beds around with us everywhere we go, but... it's just so cool and there's nothing worse than sleeping somewhere uncomfortable... like a cave floor for example.
Sea to Summit Silk Liner. If you're going to bring your bed around, why not have luxurious silk sheets to go with it? The liner is smaller than a coke can when packed up and weighs a fraction of a pound. It unfolds to be like a super thin silk sleeping bag. It only gives you about 10 degrees of warmth, but it's very comfortable, fits the Luxury Lite perfectly, and has a convenient stuff pocket at the top to make a pillow. As a bonus, I can use this if we stay at a hostel some time.
KettleStack Kettlebell. For taking our crossfit workout on the road there's nothing better (or even comparable) than the kettlestack. We carry the lightweight handles around and buy cheap weights wherever we go, or use the gym's. Check out my gadling review of them.
AlokSaks. After the fiasco in Panama that left Todd's video camera half-inoperable, we've wised up to water protection. These bags take up no space, keep water out, and can also be used as pillows if inflated. They're also very good for packing with and "shrink wrapping" our stuff by forcing all the air out. We each got enough so that we could sink our backpacks underwater and our clothes and electronics would be dry. I reviewed these for Gadling as well.
Tiny portable hard drives (link goes to something similar.. ours is a no name from Akihabara). We bought new hard drives to store all of our pictures and video, and put our old ones in these enclosures. They use the same cable we already carry for our phones and mp3 players, and require no extra power source.
Fenix L1D flashlights. Todd lost his Arc Light and decided to go with a Fenix flashlight. They're bigger than the Arc Lights, but are also a ton brighter, last longer, and have cool accessories like red filters and light diffusers. I had to order one too. They haven't come in yet, but we should get them in Bangkok.
Have you heard of Injinji? http://www.injinji.com/tetratsok/p_micro.htm
They will work with your five fingers. I love smartwool socks, and these are my other favorite. super comfy and made of coolmax.
curious to know if you managed to get all of the new gear plus your existing gear (minus what you dumped) into a 28lt pack
if so, you should make a video of how you guys pack your packs - short of the TARDIS that would be some miracle of engineering.
I actually just went out and bought a pair of classics and KSO. So far I ran around and played soccer in the classics. In the KSO I went to a restaurant, went dancing at a night club, and walked home from the club when my ride "got lucky"... being a wing has it's pros and cons ;)
Anyway, I like the KSO much better. The strap versus the pull thingy is nice, I like that it covers the top of my foot... more ninja like than the classic.
great update. one thing i would have to suggest is using resistance bands. They are perfect and im quite surprised that you arent using them. one of the stronger resistance bands can provide up to 50kg of force. That is more then enough to get a good workout. and the best thing is, resistance bands don't weigh anything (well not much anyway) and the chances of injuring yourself are lowered.
Yes please. I may be no podiatrist, but what does someone (much like me) do when there are no arches on the feet? My feet overpronate, which if left ignored, can cause much knee and back pain. The FFs rely on naturally 'good' feet with little-to no support (which I imagine is important for carrying heavy loads and preventing twisting or damaging of the ankle). I am skeptical Todd.
Hoku, I can't imagine anything pulling these off my feet. If anything, they're a little snugger than I'd like, so I wouldn't say a more secure fit is a reason to get the KSOs. I'd still want mine over any of the other styles.
If any of you are interested in Fenix flashlights, we ordered from fenix-store.com. Great prices, and they're so confident in Fenix that they'll replace yours if you break it.. no need to worry about warranty service (which is lifetime anyway).
Tim, I got rid of my shoes as well. The Five Fingers'll be fine for hiking or anything else. The North Face shoes weren't very grippy and the sole started to separate in one place after very little use, though they were very waterproof.
The coolest thing about the FFs is they change the way you walk for the better. I'll post about that.
Our most popular Life Nomadic article last year was our complete packing list. Since then we've learned a lot, made a lot of changes, and managed to pack a lot more into the same tiny amount of space.
There are a few areas where slight improvement could be made, which you'll hear me talk about in the video, but overall this collection of stuff represents everything a traveler needs to travel through just about anywhere on the planet, live comfortably, and keep connected.
I've consolidated most of the stuff I pack into an Amazon store, which you can access here: Life Nomadic Store. If you use that link, or the Amazon links below, I get a commission. Other good places to buy this sort of gear are ebay and outdoor shops like REI and MEC, although neither store carries most of the gear.
James Dines had a quote that said never try to cheap out on food, shoes, or financial advice. I completely agree with him on the topic of shoes. We spend most of our waking life in our shoes and they have a tremendous impact on the well being of our existence. I remember working for my Aunt for a summer, and I had terrible shoes, but didn’t really know it. I knew they were old and beat up, but I didn’t know how much pain they were causing my feet. I figured my feet hurt because I wasn’t use to working standing up. Every night I would get home and my feet would be screaming with pain, but I just figured that was normal. It wasn’t until that same Aunt convinced me to step up my shoe purchase to a $160 shoe that I truly got to see the difference that higher quality shoes make. My feet no longer hurt when I walked, and I actually started to enjoy it. As time went on, I ended up stepping my taste up another level to Alden dress shoes. I think shoes are a simple solution for creating personal well being.
A major benefit I realized when I switched over from sub $200 shoes to my expensive leather dress shoes, is that my feet no longer smelled. This was a major deal for me, because my feet could gag a maggot before. They smelled like burnt popcorn and the second I took my feet out of my shoes, the odor would hit. Which sucked cause my feet were super hot in my shoes and it felt nice to let them cool off. With my Alden’s I have yet to have that problem. I have one pair of shoes that I have owned for a year and a half, and have wore damn near everyday for the last 5 months, and absolutely no smell. There are two factors in creating an environment where your shoes don’t stink. The first part is getting new shoes, with a preference for leather lining like Alden, Allen Edmond’s or any other fine shoe maker. This limits the space that bacteria can grow inside of your shoe and makes them faster to dry out, which is also really important. The next factor is adding in new socks, and with a strong preference to Merino wool. Merino wool will keep your feet cooler, help to dissipate the moisture, and naturally repel odors. It is hard to go wrong with this combination. Recently I worked a week straight with the same socks and shoes each day, and it wasn’t until the end of the week where I found any hint of odor. The odor was only in the socks, so I gave them a wash, and they are as good as new.
The next major benefit that comes to mind with my nice dress shoes is the comfort factor. With goodyear welted shoes, your feet are sitting on a bed of cork. As you walk, your feet naturally impress into the sole, making a custom molded shoe. The benefit of this can’t be overstated. After just 2 or 3 weeks the shoes are designed to fit like a glove to your feet, and your feet only. I had a friend tell me that it took over a year for his cheap dress shoes to get comfortable, and it is now getting close to time where they need to be replaced. Whereas with my shoes, I went through a few weeks of pain, have custom molded shoes I love, which will last me for 20+ years if I treat them right.
Goodyear Welted shoes are designed so that the sole of the shoe can be replaced, so that the livelihood of the shoe is extended to 20 years if the shoes are taken care of. On one of the Alden forum’s, a man named McArthur has a pair of loafers from 1974 that he still wears, and they look better today due to the patina than the day he bought them.