For next week’s No Luggage challenge, I can’t pack anything that won’t fit in my pockets. So what makes the cut?
Van Heusen Performa suit jacket and pants, fast-drying T-shirt, fast-drying underwear, fast-drying socks, shoes
When I first had this idea, I figured I’d just wear go with the same combination of T-shirt, jeans and jacket (plus underclothes and footwear) which I used for Hand Luggage Only. The main difference is I needed to be sure that the shirt, undies and socks would dry overnight after hand washing. I had three outfits during HLO, so if something wasn’t dry the next day, I could throw it in the suitcase and continue drying it that night. Can’t do that this time around.
To ensure my gear would be continuously wearable, I ended up hitting camping supply stores for clothes designed to dry quickly when roaming through wet glades or rivers or whatever it is that people do when they voluntarily decide to stay in tents. (No, I’m not a camping fan.) I picked these up a few weeks ago, so I could do test runs and make sure they all did what they said on the label. Everything went fine, but I’m still in sticker shock over the prices of this stuff. When you’re used to buying your socks at Kmart, paying $35 for two pairs seems fairly extreme.
The Van Heusen suit was a pretty late addition to the plan — so late in fact that it only got delivered yesterday. The key selling point for the Performa range is that it is crush-resistant, so wearing it for a week will be a pretty good test of that. And wearing a suit (albeit with a dark T-shirt rather than a collared shirt) means that I’ll look professional — arguably more professional than I usually look.
BlackBerry Torch, charger, headphones, case
All pretty self-explanatory. The Torch is utterly essential, since it's where I'll get all my work done. The SIM in it is from Optus, though I'll probably make use of Wi-Fi when I'm in airports and other locations.
The headphones enable music (and longer phone calls). The case offers protection, and doesn't really change the bulk of the device in my pocket.
Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shave stick
Hotels will supply me with soap and shampoo (which will also double for clothes washing), so what I need to pack is the stuff they don't offer. The toothbrush is from an airline amenities bag, so it's not as long as a regular model.
The razor and shave stick are somewhat indulgences. I could not shave for a week, but I can't stand the feeling. Initially, I figured I'd just take the razor and use soap, but I know from experience, the shave stick is more effective, and it doesn't noticeably change the bulk in that pocket.
Passport, pencil, wallet, keys
I don't have a driver's licence, so a passport is my most effective ID. Some hotels and airlines get fussy about this stuff, and it's hard for me to break the habit of always having a passport with me. (Plus it gives me practice if I decide to try an international version of this.)
Wallet is self-explanatory, though I've stripped it of any non-essential cards. The pencil is for taking notes when I can't use the BlackBerry during take-off and landing, and to sate my Sudoku addiction with any newspapers lying around the place. The keys are so I can get back into my house at the end of the week!
Fitting it all in
I did a test run last night to see how it all fitted together, and this seems like the optimum arrangement to begin with:
Jacket inside left-side pocket has the BlackBerry, headphones and passport (in a plastic wallet for protection).
Jacket inside right-side pocket has the wallet and keys (on a ring with no tag).
Pants left-side pocket has the "washbag" gear, stored in two plastic sandwich bags. I'd originally wanted them all in one bag (less stuff to empty out at airports), but the two-bag approach works better for actually fitting in my pocket.
Pants right-side pocket has the adaptor. I normally keep my wallet in this pocket, but the bulk of the adaptor is less obvious down here than in the jacket.
So my bags aren't packed and I'm ready to go. Roll on Monday!
For the No Luggage experiment, Angus Kidman is doing his normal job while travelling Australia for a week with not much more than a BlackBerry. There will be frequent showers.