For a long time now I’ve been meaning to explain how I manage to limit my luggage to just hand bags without leaving anything essential behind. This morning I’m going to Armenia, and I’ve just packed my bags, so this is a good time to deliver on that old promise and take exhaustive pictures of my traveling gear.
I used to travel with huge backpacks stuffed with everything necessary, and a lot of what was unnecessary, for living. Photo equipment took up a separate backpack. Check out documentary proof here, and here. Those days feel like a bad dream now.
Eventually I realized that I bring along all sorts of bulky and useless things, which is particularly inconvenient with a backpack – to take out something buried in the middle, you have to excavate at least half of the stuff. Suitcases are much easier in this regard: snap it open and choose what you need without disturbing the rest. I don’t carry luggage on my person anyway – it always either lies at the hotel or a shuttle/car/sleigh carries it, and so on. And even on wilderness trips there’s a porter or a sherpa shouldering the stuff. At any rate, the suitcase is my bag of choice – or, very occasionally, on Arctic expeditions where you really need to take a lot of equipment and clothes, a large knapsack. But that’s a whole other story. For 99% of the traveling I do, including photo trips, I can’t imagine anything more convenient than a suitcase small enough to pass as hand luggage.
With experience I’ve learned to fit everything necessary for a month’s worth of travel in hand luggage – without omitting anything really needful or breaking air travel rules.
You shouldn’t think I bring only bare necessities either. Most people would say that I bring plenty of excessive stuff: a projector, running clothes and shoes, hard drives, ironed shirts, a hair trimmer, a heart rate monitor, an anorak and more. How does it all fit? Very simply. Here is the inventory of the stuff, and below you can see the same on the pictures.
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