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Travel EDC

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Dinh Phu, Jan 25, 2012.

    Dinh Phu Loaded Pockets

    I just want to know what wold you guys and gals carry when you travel for more than 2 days : what type of luggage you carry, backpack or wheeled luggage, what items you carry for cleaning, do you carry food or buy as you go, do you have a grab-and-go kit or you pack according to the trip...
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

    I have a small travel kit that I add to as needed. The three things I can't go without are eye covers, silicon ear plugs, and travel pillow.

    sungame Loaded Pockets

    I have some pre packed units like first aid kit and toiletry bag, but other than that, I pack according to the trip. What I take and how i carry it depends on where I go and for how long (of course), but also on the mode of transportation i use. If a drive my own car, for instance, I can split my luggage into many smaller themed bags. That wouldn't work very well traveling by public transportation.

    I usually prefer packing in a backpack. Wheeled suitcases are great as long as you stay on tarmack, concrete or other flat surfaces, but are totally useless once the ground gets a little rougher. I remember my friends laughing at my battered old olive drab backpack before leaving for a trip to Venice. They didn't laugh when trying to wrestle their suitcases through cobbled streets and up and down numerous bridges and flights of stairs ...

    cacibi Empty Pockets

    +1 for these.

    I really like the Eagle Creek rollers and packing organizers for smaller trips. For trips longer than a week, I pack heavy and check a big bag. It's simply more comfortable to have a lot of stuff available, clothes options for different weather, etc. - than to try and be economic. I will qualify this by saying that if I am gone for that long, I am not usually moving around - but checking into the same hotel room for a couple of weeks. If I was moving around more - I would definitely want a smaller bag.

    I always do a thorough "scrub" of my backpack before leaving for any items that would throw alarms at TSA, or might be illegal abroad. Any multi-tools with knives, etc. - I put in the checked baggage - or don't take them if I am carrying on (obviously).

    On short trips, even overnights, I still pack for two more days than I am traveling for. Why not? I have the room and you never know when you might get stuck somewhere.

    I also try to pack some things in my carry on back-pack regardless, extra socks and a light rain shell, for example.

    Other things I have found handy:

    - small, liquid, multi-purpose soap (for hand wash)
    - travel meds - Adventure Medical Kits makes a great travel med kit. I have had food poisoning twice while traveling and now have added in rehydration solutions.
    - Printed and electronic itineraries
    - Photo copy and/or PDF of your passport (carried separately from the passport, of course)
    - Plastic compression bag (for dirty laundry storage at hotel and to keep separated when packed)
    - Extra cell phone batteries, or battery back-up chargers
    - At least 2 plug adapters, if traveling abroad
    - Bootable, external disk for computer restoration or trouble-shooting
    - Small, external hard drive - for backup and restoration of data

    and finally:

    Lara bars, Lara bars, Lara bars! 1) food is strange some places - and it's always good to have something - even if it's small - that you like to eat 2) again...you never know when you might get stuck somewhere and 3) see "food poisoning" above. If I get sick - likely I will not want what is on the room service menu, or be able to go out for food when I finally start eating again.

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

    Many of the things that Cacibi and Sungame mentioned I also pack. First off, though, I have two basic travel modes: vacation or work. For the work-related travel I further mentally sub-divide over whether I'll be traveling by automobile (my own or a rental) or will be taking a plane. Naturally, for work trips in an automobile I "bulk up" to include a full size first aid kit, extra music CDs, bottled water, a cigarette plug charger for my phone, and so on.

    For airline travel I tend to pack a rolling type suitcase plus a carry-on that has pull-out shoulder straps (I think it's called a Fox 3-in-1). In that bag goes the usual travel stuff plus catalogs, a book, and a Kindle to read; an empty water bottle (that I fill after going through security); a small packet of dental floss (ever get a piece of tough airline chicken stuck between your teeth and then pick at it for the next four hours?); a little container of aspirin; a small eyeglasses cleaning cloth; a ziplock baggie to put my coins, watch and other metal things into for when I go through security; a granola bar and a candy bar; earphones to listen to tunes; and an extra pair of reading glasses.

    My work checked baggage (remember now, I pack big for checked baggage) invariably includes some extra snack foods; a small number of paper towels; a small battery-operated noise machine (from Sharper Image) ... wonderful invention; a ziplock with a few paper clips, rubber bands, and binder clips; Starbucks Via travel coffee packets (I have been known to open one of these and drink it straight up ... bitter, but an effective wake up tool. However, with hot water these things make excellent 'emergency coffee'.); a couple of cheap coasters to put coffee cups and water glasses onto at hotels (I know, this is just the OCD in me speaking, but ...); and stuff like that.

    For vacation I usually add a pair of nylon swimming trunks (can be used as shorts, too) and a ballcap.

    cacibi Empty Pockets

    Couple things I forgot:

    - electronic thermometer with spare battery
    - Petzl headlamp with rechargeable Core battery. Love this thing - nice output, you can adjust the run time and output mode via the software, has white and red flashing strobes and a built-in diffuser. At full brightness (which I think is 95 lumens) you can get 4 hours of run time.
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

    I also pack a pair of crocs because I'm never barefoot in a strange hotel room. I even wear them in the shower. I also never put my bag on the floor or the bed. If the room has bedbugs, they can migrate from the fabric surfaces. Anything I wear in bed goes in a plastic trash sack and right in the washer when I get home and never comes into my condo. I've never had bedbugs, and have no intention to.

    brix Loaded Pockets

    I usually pack enough for up to 5 days in my TAD Fast Pack.

    • Meds/FAL
    • iPod/Phone/Unlocked
    • Spork/Colapsing Bowl
    • Platypus Water Bottle
    • Chargers/Belkin Mini Surge Protector
    • A couple Alosak bags
    • tupperware/lunchbox (more useful that you think)
    • woolite/stinkstop/clothesline
    • toiltries (tooth brush, shampoo, body wash)
    • clothes in stuff sack (doubles as a laundry bag) 3 shirts,2 pants (lightweight nylon), hats (depending on weather), socks
    • Sunglasses,Glasses
    • Emergency Battery to charge electronics
    • Flash drives with emergency docs
    • headlamp, torch, batteries, knife (if possible)

    I prefer pack over wheeled since its a lot easier to manage, which I learned the hard way on my honeymoon in Venice, Italy. (Land of a thousand bridges w/stairs). So when you travel make sure that you research your intinerary and avoid hassles hauling gear. My Philosophy is that you want to make sure you are comfortable in any situation you might be in when travelling away from home and make sure that if you needed to you can go longer if you needed to, without having to 'find' items on the way. If the trip is longer or with my wife and child of course things will be added in but for the most part when I need to travel these are my Essentials when travelling.

    Check out www.onebag.com. He has some great ideas.

    mightywombat Loaded Pockets

    I always perform a safety maintenance on my verhicle before a trip, which involves an oil change, check of belts and filters, and or air pressure and tires. Perhaps most importantly this also includes the spare. I make sure that I have everything I need in the car to make suitable emergency repairs as needed. Then, in addition to my EDC bag I also check and pack my Get Out bag, which should enable emergency wilderness survival for several days as necessary. I put my handgun in this bag, disassembled if necessary for lawful transport, for emergencies. Then I pack my bag for my trip. My wife thinks I'm crazy, and maybe I am, but if I ever need any of this equipment I wil be more than glad to have it.

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Good thread! Being new to thinking about EDC I've also never really thought about exactly what I can't do without on a trip. That said if I'm going somewhere overnigth I always have a t shirt, pair of socks, and seasonal jacket. Longer trips I obviously have more clothing as apropriate. Also I have a travel hygeine bag with all hte ussual deoderant, razor, toothbrush etc. I always have a seperate bag of snacks for roadtrips full of whatever artery clogging goodies catch my eye as I'm getting ready. Now that I have a daughter this also includes toys to keep her happy and the food has gotten a little healthier lol. I'm not sure if I will end up making a BOB style set up for traveling, but simply thinking about it ahead of time like this can eliminate a lot of headaches and stress when planning a trip.

    sungame Loaded Pockets

    @brix: Venice is indeed hell on wheels, if you excuse my pun. And if a wheeled briefcase doesn't cut it in such a relatively civilized and touristic location, it certainly won't be much use anywhere more rural either.

    Now for my travel essentials:

    - Toiletry bag
    - First aid kit
    - E-reader or book + magazine, comic book...
    - Phone + charger + ear buds
    - Decent flash light
    - Extra batteries
    - Full size multi tool or knife
    - Key chain light and tool
    - Wet wipes and tissues
    - Microfiber cloth for wiping glasses and camera lenses
    - At least one pen

    What clothes I pack depend on location and season. I never pack clothes for more than a week. If I leave for longer than that, I bring some detergent and wash my clothes in the bath tub or sink unless there's a laundromat nearby. If I travel more than a couple of hours by car or train, I bring a packed lunch, some fruit, a thermos of coffee and a bottle of water. Other than that, I hardly ever bring food, unless I'm going off the beaten path.
    • +2 Supporter

    aaronu Loaded Pockets

    I fly every week, carry on only. I can (and have) get by for two weeks on what I pack. Typically I stay in the CONUS but not always.

    My main luggage is a Red Oxx Air Boss. I use it with a Tom Bihn Absolute Strap since I'm lugging it through some pretty big airports and stuff. The strap it comes with (The Claw) is great, but not for long hauls with a heavy load.

    The Air Boss is a tri-zip design. I put an Eagle Creek 20" folder in one side and two packing cubes in the other. Folder gets business clothes and a few T-shirts. One cube holds socks and underwear plus a padded electronics case. The other carries a hanging toiletry bag and a half cube full of other stuff. Computer is in a hard protective cover. It goes in the center with the 3-1-1 bag. There is room for my cabin bag as well, with room to spare. If I carry a rain coat it gets stuffed into the bottom of the center for extra padding.

    Fully loaded, the Air Boss weighs in the low 20 pound range, up to 30 if I stuff it full and put the cabin bag in with the computer. YMMV. I am a big guy, with big clothes (XXLT), so average sized ppl can carry more stuff and probably still have less weight. A good rule of thumb is to carry no more than 10% of your body weight.

    PacSafe Metro 200. It is OK I guess -- it was a Christmas gift so I'm giving it a try. It has steel mesh woven into some of the panels and the shoulder strap has flat steel wire in it. The zippers can be locked down with snap hooks as a minor theft deterrent. The bag is just barely large enough to hold my e-reader, a paperback, work notebook, snacks and EDC stuff. The Metro 200 has a small key ring. I added an S-biner and a much larger split ring, and my EDC stuff snaps onto that using more S-biners. So far I haven't lost anything using this setup.

    Other Luggage choices would include the Red Oxx Sky Train, which is similar in size to the Air Boss but has backpack straps. I've heard the straps work really well but I haven't tried it myself. Also Tom Bihn makes some good choices -- Aeronaut, Tri-Star and Western Flyer. If you don't have to carry business clothes or don't care about a few wrinkles, Red Oxx makes some really good duffels -- their Safari Beanos line. They come in a range of sizes, several of which are carry-on sized. For a smaller carry-on bag from Red Oxx, they have the Gator bag (which I have and use for a BOB) and also their Metro briefcase... sort of a flattened out Gator. The Metro is designed to fit inside the Air Boss.

    The coolest trip ever was two weeks to Israel, half for business half for tourism. I did carry-on with the Air Boss and Gator. That Gator bag went everywhere with me, from Old Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.

    EDC is minimal since I do carry-on only. No gun, no knife. :-(
    1. Preon ReVO
    2. Small pill capsule with ibuprofen
    3. iPhone in Case-mate with ID and Amex
    4. Good pen (tough but not tactical -- those get confiscated)
    5. Wallet

    In my carryon bag (the Pacsafe) I have:
    1. Quark X Tactical AA^2
    2. Travel Medic first aid kit
    3. Larger pill capsule with a few more meds
    4. USB battery. Mine is small, but enough to charge my iPhone to 60% or add an hour or so of use to my Kindle Fire.
    5. Griffin Technologies travel charge cables. The set of 3 includes semi-rigid, 3" cables for iPhone, mini-USB and micro-USB. They go in a mini Tom Bihn zipper pouch with the USB batter charger.
    6. A second mini pouch holds headphones, a stereo patch cable (for rental cars with Aux in), glasses cloth and a Swiss-tech marine tool -- same as a regular one but with a different finish.
    7. Backup AC/USB adapter for phone charging.
    8. Bluetooth headset for conference calls and rescheduling flights while charging through an airport...

    Toiletries can be minimized without much hassle, and so can your 3-1-1 bag.
    1. Skip regular deodorant. Grab a crystal deo. IMO it works better anyway and weighs maybe an ounce.
    2. For shaving, I use Pacific Shaving Oil. Five drops of oil works better than anything else I've tried, and I've tried some expensive stuff. A half ounce bottle has lasted me for a year now and there's plenty left.
    3. Skip on toothpaste and use Eco-Dent tooth powder. A little goes a long ways.
    4. If you have to stay at a place that does not give you soap and shampoo, get a bar of J.R. Liggett's shampoo soap. It works phenomenally well. Expensive, but lasts a long time.
    5. Some hotels offer super-micro sewing kits -- smaller than a sugar packet for your coffee. I picked up a couple in my travels and keep one in my toiletry kit.
    6. I carry so little toiletry stuff that I could use a ziploc or a small pouch like the Eagle Creek Cosmo Pouch, but I like the hangine ones. Mine is an Eagle Creek that is not made any longer. The closest thing to it is another Eagle Creek called the Pack-It Slim Kit. Mine is nearly empty when packed since the consumables are in the 3-1-1 kit. Just the basic stuff plus a travel lint brush, shoeshine cloth and a few emergency supplies (Tide to Go packets, that sort of thing). Also I carry a Power-Lock suction cup hook. If I'm in a place where there is nowhere to hang my toiletry kit, I can just stick it onto the mirror.

    Full disclosure -- even though I only have one or two things for the 3-1-1 bag I put all the above stuff in there. TSA inspectors don't seem able to wrap their heads around the idea of solids in a bottle so it is easier to just put it in the 3-1-1.

    I have all that "in-room laundry" stuff but I ended up not carrying it, just enough for emergency stains. If I need to get clothes cleaned I'm happy to pay the hotel to do it.

    For power, I carry a TrippLite travel surge protector. It has an 18" grounded cord, three protected outlets and two USB charging ports. I carry a short USB extension with it, which allows me to charge up all my stuff at the same time if need be. In the past I've used Monster power outlets as well and they seem to work fine.

    Last but not least, I carry a mesh bag with my workout stuff. I carry two resistance bands -- one heavy and one light. The light one is to do PT when my shoulder acts up. The heavy one is for regular exercises. I carry them with a length of paracord and two Petzl carabiners so I can hook them up separately or together, in any hotel room I find myself in. I also carry a Gaiam yoga strap, which I use for hamstring stretches and stuff like that. Between this stuff and body weight exercises I don't need to go to a gym.

    Hope this was helpful for you.
    Fukurai and nick nitro like this.
    • Moderator

    temujin Uber Prepared

    Good info. Thank you. I have traveled only infrequently since September 11 and I'm glad to hear current information from experienced travelers.

    Makahbay Banned

    I'm tired of being forced to find a free outlet far away from my gate at airports, because all the close ones are full.

    So I might start carrying one of these, or a similar dual outlet adapter:
    [IMG]

    That way I can just say "Excuse me, mind if I plug both our computers into this adapter so I can sit here and work while waiting for my plane?
    Caribou likes this.

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    That seems like a really good idea that I never would have thought of. Let us know how it works out.

    nick nitro Loaded Pockets


    Awesome does not cover it.