By Dan Proudfoot. Dan is one of Sea to Summit’s traveling company reps; he travels at least 150 days a year and has been spotted spraying himself in the face with a water gun to stay alert while driving.
As Sea to Summit’s “road warrior,” I find myself checking into hotel rooms and sleeping on couches more often than opening my own fridge for a cold one at the end of the day. The Travelling Light™ gear I carry allows me to unpack quickly each night, find exactly what I’m looking for, and escape from a hotel room in mere minutes the next morning.
I usually travel for a minimum of one week, but I’ve also traveled for as long as 6 to 8 weeks. I’ve tried to condense clothing into outfits I don’t get sick of, and with the added benefit of being in a different city each day, usually, nobody catches on if I wear the same clothes for a week (trade secret). I always carry Trek & Travel Liquid Laundry Wash to make sure I never cross the scent of a Chicago Red Hot with a Philly Cheesesteak.
First, some basics; the Travelling Light line of products from Sea to Summit encompasses a wide range of packing solutions for any kind of travel. Eighty percent of the line weighs less than 3 ounces (85 grams) and all of the products have an insane level of finish – even the zippers are well thought out to avoid snags and pull smoothly. The Ultra-Sil® fabric used in most of is waterproof by construction (although most of the line isn’t seam sealed), so the occasional spill inside your bag stays contained. I wouldn’t have ever thought that adding items to my pack would actually help me save space and I’m not just saying that because I’ve drunk the Sea to Summit Kool-Aid.
- Travelling Light TPU Zip Top Pouch – This versatile clear pouch will keep you from wasting Ziploc® bags. Use it for getting your gels and liquids through airline security with the 6 leak-proof bottles that are included. And, if you’ve ever had that hotel shampoo bottle (the one without the leak-proof cap) explode in your carry-on, you’ll be happy to have these.
- Travelling Light Hanging Toiletry Bag – This bag has a handy hook to keep your essentials suspended in campsite showers, hotel rooms, and the gross bathroom of your old college roommate. It also includes a mirror that is TSA compliant and is constructed using mostly Ultra-Sil to stop leaks from reaching the clothes you’ve packed.
- Travelling Light Shirt Folder – No matter which size you need this will keep 4 or 5 button-ups looking wrinkle-free and slick even when packed underneath everything else. A folding board helps you get it right every time.
- Travelling Light Garment Mesh Bags – I use a small and a medium. These are pretty basic, but I keep one for t-shirts and one for pants and shorts. The rectangular shape stacks like Lego blocks, and practically turns your luggage into dresser drawers.
- Travelling Light Packing Cell - All of my unmentionables fit into one small cell; it stacks perfectly with all the other cubes and has a mesh top to help those twice-worn socks get some air.
- Ultra-Sil® Stuff Sacks – I keep three stuff sacks with me, an XXL size for laundry (the waterproof Ultra-Sil® helps keep the stink in) and two small sizes for jackets.
- Ultra-Sil® Dry Daypack – This is a brand new item to our line—a fully seam-taped, roll-top, waterproof 20-liter daypack. When it’s stuffed in its sack it’s barely larger than your cell phone and carries enough gear for a day of climbing, boating, or a day hike. Essential.
Everything I carry fits in a Patagonia Black Hole Duffle 65L and a Timbuk2 Messenger bag. It’s hard to find anything as versatile as the duffle unless you require wheels; it fits just about everything and is small enough you won’t mind carrying it up to your room every night, props ‘Gonia. Not only are these bags durable enough to take a beating, but they are also perfect carry-on luggage for domestic flights.
Even if you don’t live out of a duffle for 150 nights, I hope these tips help you travel light and fast.