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Getting Started with Traveling Ultralight

Posted at — Mar 18, 2018

I’m on a trip at the moment, and a friend who generously let me sleep on his couch looked at my small travel backpack and commented on how little I travel with: “That’s impressive,” he said.

I was a little surprised, because though I’ve gotten that comment before, it’s become normal for me to travel with just a small bag (10 lbs. or less, usually), and I have friends who travel with even less. But then I remembered that I’m far from normal in this way.

I gave him a tip for getting started, and I recommend it for all of you, who want to travel light — or ultralight, as I call it, because for many people traveling light is taking a carry-on roller luggage. For me, having those roller bags is lugging too much, because you can run up stairs with it with ease, or carry it all over a city without worrying about stowing away your luggage somewhere first. It’s so much easier to travel ultralight.

Here’s the tip I gave him to get started: start by getting a small backpack (less than 20 liters) and then just travel with what fits in that.

That’s how to start. But you’ll probably want some guidance on what to put into the bag, and how to travel with so little. Here’s some guidance to get started:

That’s enough for a monthlong trip, which I’ve done multiple times with this kind of setup. For a shorter trip of a few days, I might bring even less.

I really love traveling this way, and am more than willing to sacrifice bringing extra things for the luxury of traveling lightweight.

By the way, you don’t need much more than this kind of setup even in everyday life.

For more info on this, check out my Ultralight ebook, and my friend Tynan has a great book called Forever Nomad.

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