Everyone loves to travel and almost everyone wishes they could travel more. When you do hit the road, especially if you’re aiming to be light on your feet and ready for adventure, you might want to consider flashpacking.
- If you travel a lot you know what a pain it can be to haul a bunch of gear around. You’ve most likely heard about flashpacking.
- If you plan to travel a lot, you’ve most likely been thinking along the traditional lines of backpacking – hauling a huge backpack (sometimes mountaineering-style) loaded down with tons of clothes and all your gear. You may not have heard about flashpacking. This post is for you!
Traditional backpacking is bulky, heavy and outdated. Hauling all that stuff around can get in the way of your plans.
- Sometimes, you don’t end up using half of the stuff you packed.
- Sometimes, you get in a jam because you want to go somewhere but you have to worry about where to put all your stuff.
- Other times, the thing you need is in a hard to reach corner of your pack and it takes you 15 minutes to find it. Ugh.
Why not simplify? Pretend you’re playing Zelda. You have a limited number of slots in your Adventure Pouch. Choose wisely.
What Is Flashpacking?
Flashpacking is an optimized, compact way to travel. Think of it as minimalism applied to travel.
Light. Fast. Agile.
So, rather than carrying everything and the kitchen sink, you maximize for mobility.
Aim for quick drying, versatile clothing, ditch the cotton clothing and bulky jeans for merino wool clothing and fast-drying modern fabrics. You’ll end up carrying less stuff, in a smaller pack, often with room for the electronic goodies of a modern digital nomad – laptop, DSLR, iPod, etc.
The idea is to streamline your gear down to the bare essentials. If you’re flying to Thailand to scuba dive, do you really think you’ll need a suit on the off chance you go to a fancy dinner? Don’t pack stuff that you might need. Pack for what you know you want to do and roll with the punches on spontaneous adventures.
Same goes for toiletries. Ditch the Costco Value Size 99oz shampoo, bring the essentials – razor, toothbrush, deodorant, etc – and buy the rest when you get there. In many places, like here in Korea and other parts of the world stuff like that is cheap and easily available.
Here are some well known travelers who pack light.
Matt Kepnes from Nomadic Matt has a great post on Essential Items for a Flashpacker.
Dan Andrews from Tropical MBA and the Lifestyle Business Podcast.
Sean Ogle from Location 180 packs for Thailand.
Give it a try, you will probably enjoy yourself more without the burden of worrying about all your stuff.
See ya on the road!