I strive for simplicity using items that enable a healthy, impactful life, while removing unnecessary friction and decisions. Additional thoughts in my packing light post. The following is a complete list of everything I own. Making this list was inspired by zenhabit’s one bag lifestyle and Tynan’s Gear posts. I have a list of items shared by our family. Please do not allow your possessions to become the basis of your self-worth, security or well being.
Change in 2023: improved sun protection, added items for walking the Camino, moved more items into storage as we travel seeking our next “home base”. My “working set” fits in a 23l daypack. The extra items which get swapped in as we change conditions / locations are stored in a 26l daypack. My long term storage is a 75l Ikea duffel which holds clothing I have archived for this season of life, and a 75l box holding backpacking and camping gear. Minor updates in June 2023. A variant of this in a retro posted on reddit.
Items in bold are exceptionally great. I happily use items marked with “*” but I would not automatically replace them. If I was a “true minimalist” I would get rid of them. The (year) is when the item became a standard part of my life, /year indicates when I re-purchased.
On My Person
Flexon Frames (1995/2020) with high index progressive lens (1995/2023). Eyeglasses are an incredible blessing. I used to break frames within a year until I tried Flexon frames in 1995. They last an average of 8 years with lens being changed each year due to prescription changes. I typically have one pair of frames with clear lens, and one pair that are prescription sunglasses. After several disappointments over the last 45 years, I decided to give photo chromatic lens one more try. Transitions XtrActive Polarized go from almost clear and unpolarized to 90% light blockage which is polarized. They actually work!! Now I don’t need to carry sunglasses.
N95/KT94 Masks (2021/2023) I like the BOTN KT94 and the classic 3M N95 but they are sometimes hard to acquire. For other good options see Masknerd reviews. KT94/N95/etc properly worn provide significant more protection than cloth or the basic surgical masks.
Victorinox Swiss Army Rambler (1999/2015) is the smallest, usable tool I have found with a blade, phillips head & flat screwdriver, scissors, bottle opener, and nail file. There are variants with a small pen or LED which replace toothpick/tweezer. I am on my 3rd Rambler after losing a couple to TSA. When flying and no companion that is checking a bag I swap my Rambler for a Swiss+Tech Utili-Key (2002/2023) which has made it through TSA checkpoints over 100 times without being confiscated, but isn’t as usable as a Rambler pocket knife. On third Utili-Key due to losing them. I have some notes about other knives.
Flowfold Minimalist Wallet (2012) a tiny wallet which holds my IDs, 1-2 credit cards, 1 debit card, a few bills, and a Chipolo Card Spot (2023) which is tied into Apple’s “Find My Item” network. I historically used a BarclayUS card that has no annual fees or foreign transition charges, but few other benefits and a wonky anti fraud system that often required me to approve purchases via SMS. This year we added a Chase Sapphire Reserve card because the benefits we receive are worth more than the annual fee given the travel we are doing in this season of life. Really appreciate that the point can be transferred to the frequent flying programs we use, and like the access to airport lounges.
Uniball Vision Elite .5mm Pen (2015/2023) Writing feel approaching Pilot V5 and doesn’t leak after plane flights!
Apple iPhone 12 Mini (2020) on T-Mobile (2022). The iPhone mini is the smallest full feature phone on the market. I wish the mini was a bit smaller because my thumb can’t reach the upper right corner. Can someone please make a phone the size of the original SE with a 4″ high resolution screen? How about it Apple or Unihertz? Ease of sharing (AirDrop, iMessage. iCloud) with family and friends keeps me in the Apple eco-system. I am tempted by Android’s superior speech recognition, notifications, and open platform. I switched from Verizon which has good coverage in the US but crazy pricing for international use to T-Mobile which has great pricing if you do international travel, but mediocre coverage in USA. While using T-Mobile internationally is convenient, I am tempted to use a local SIM which is typically cheaper when using more than 5gb of data/month, and is often faster because T-Mobile seems to partner with the second place carrier in many markets. Airalo and Gigsky make it easy to acquire an eSIM for wireless data while traveling internationally but I haven’t need this since switching to T-Mobile. I would consider switching to whatever carrier offered satellite coverage at a reasonable cost.
Apple AirPod Pros (2021/2023) are nicely integrated with the Apple eco-system and just work. Bluetooth connects reasonably quickly, is reliable, and switches between my phone and laptop mostly automatically. Noise reduction is “ok”, and the “ambient mode” provides adequate situational awareness. Downside is battery isn’t swappable when it wears out, though there is a company that claims to refurbish AirPods. I have written about other headphones. Upgraded from v1 to v2 when the original case fell out of my pocket while biking. v2 volume control is a nice addition and the case now can be found using Apple’s “Find My” app.
Garmin 955 Watch (2022) accurately tracks my activities and measures my fitness level. Has decent integration with smartphones and notifies me when I have left the paired phone behind. I find the data I get from Garmin to be higher quality than most other wrist worn sensors I have tried, being close to medical grade instruments when paired with a HRM and a power meter. Better battery life than iWatch and physical buttons which work with sweaty fingers. There are other good sport watches. A gift from Jackie to replace my Garmin 935 whose battery had degraded after 5 years of use.
MacBook 12″ from 2017 (2023) – picture is a 14″ MBP. I purchased the 12″ MacBook used with a replaced battery. It’s the last ultra portable Apple made. It can feel sluggish, but thanks to 16gb of memory the dual core cpu is generally adequate. I wanted a device which was less than 2lb, decent keyboard, and would let me complete the tasks I do daily with a minimum amount of friction. I have tried a number of options. Tablets with keyboards have too much friction when I switch between windows/apps while integrating information. The Chromebook I used for a year was ok, but none are lighter than a MacBook and are missing some Apps. Tiny PCs like the GPD Pocket 3 have keyboard and screens which are too small for me to be productive. There are some amazingly light x86 laptops such as the 1.4lb Fujitsu Lifebook UH-X and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano which would give me a much more performant laptop than a 2017 MacBook, but several of my apps aren’t available under Linux (Lightroom Classic & Bear), and I don’t like Windows due to the fragility / pain of patching and upgrading the OS. In the past I found maintaining a Hackintosh too fiddly. Maybe in the future running Linux with macOS in a VM is worth a try. For now Jackie and I are using a slow, 6 year old laptop, and are content. My 14″ MBP (2022) has been left running in a safe location and accessed remotely via Tailscale when I need more computational power and/or I can spin up AWS instances.
Zojirushi Double Walled Mug 16oz (2013/2017) can easily be used one handed, locks, pours at the perfect speed, the mouth is wide enough for ice cubes, and insulates better than every other mug I have tested. When air temp is ~80F and the mug is exposed to the sun, 6 small ice cubes in cool water have just finished melting in around 3 hours – water temp is 35F. In 68F conditions ice lasts most of the day. I have a Deep Cherry color mug which I picked up after misplacing my silver mug at work. The color make it easy to spot when searching for it. In many countries you you can fill mug with ice (no water) and get through airport security. Once through, add water and you can have icy cold water for your flight. While 16oz is how much water I often want, I prefer the physical size of my wife’s 12oz mug. Sometimes swapped for a couple of reused “disposal” bottles or one of the Platypus water bladders in our camping gear if I need to carry a lot of water.
6 Foot Tape Measure (2023) I often need to measure things. Replaced a retractable fabric tape measure that broke.
Newvanga Sleep Mask (2021) helps me get longer / better sleep because it stops external light from disturbing me. More durable that the Bucky I used to use.
Nicore NU20 headlamp (2016) Very light-weight (29grams), especially when the headband is replaced with shock cords. Adequate regulation on medium and low settings. When closed the power button to covered preventing accidentally turning it on. Use when I need hands free light: repairs, backpacking, running in the dark, and it has been used when I forgot to recharge my bike light. Lit our kitchen during a power outage by bouncing light off ceiling. Can be powered from a remote USB power bank making it useful in extreme cold. I was using a NU25 which I left in Costa Rica as a gift. The NU21 seems the closest product now made. There are many other good flashlights.
Panasonic LX100 II Camera (2023) Gives me control which I couldn’t find with photo apps on my phone and I don’t have to fight with my phone’s “unlock” to take a picture. Has a one generation back micro 4/3s sensor which works better in low light than 1″ sensors like the Sony RX100 or the even smaller sensors in phones. Reasonably compact weighting in at around 400grams. Viewfinder so it can be easily used in bright light. A decent quality small zoom lens. Analog controls which remind me of classic rangefinders. Used primarily for street and portrait photography, particularly in challenging light conditions often using a fill flash which cell phones still haven’t mastered. I found that the camera on modern cell phones are just as good for day time landscapes. Pictures of wildlife need a much longer lens, say 300-600mm 35mm equivalent. Notes about cameras / photography.
Etymotic HF3 (2013/2023). Great sound isolation, Apple friendly volume stop/start button, and mic. Provides me with around 40db of noise reduction which is better than any consumer grade active noise cancelling headphones I have tried. Also gives better audio quality on phone calls than BlueTooth earbuds. I have a lightning and airplane double jack adaptors. I thought the double jacks would be phased out, but this year I flew on several new 777 which still had these plugs?! Was cheaper to purchase than to re-shell my Westone 5ES IEM which no longer sealed well.
“Tech Kit” items are stored in a small litesmith zipza pouch (2023) which is the perfect size, mostly waterproof, light, and a different texture than anything else in my bag so easy to find by touch. Picture is a muji pouch I previously used
- Nitecore 10000 Gen2 (2023) power bank with USB-A&C out. Lightest and most compact 10k battery I have found. Enough power to very slowly charge my MacBook or mostly power the MacBook while charging my iPhone. Supports pass through charging so I can charge this battery while my MacBook is plugged into the charger. Replaced a RAVpower 10K which was a bit to chunky to carry comfortably in my pocket. Spreadsheet of many power bank options.
- Anker 523 (2023) Dual USB-C, 47w. Single port 45w, using both ports 27w top, 20w bottom. Can charge my MacBook at near maximum speed when it’s the only device plugged in. Over night can charge fully depleted iPhone, Nitecore 10k, and MacBookwith power flowing through the 10k. It’s fairly compact making it less likely to slip out of loose outlets. Replaced a Sharge 3-power USB charger (2020) which my wife is using. I recommend the Anker 735 for people who need 65w and/or 3 jacks.
- Cables: Apple 4ft USB-C to Lightning, Generic 4ft and 2 6″ USB-C cables
- Adaptor tips from USB-C to (A, micro, Lighting, Garmin), and USB-C to A converter.
Garmin HRM-Pro not shown (2021) get higher accuracy during interval training than built in optical sensor on smart watches and works when swimming. Can record data without the watch being connected, but I don’t generally use that feature. Also provides running power which has been somewhat useful. Supports ANT+ and Bluetooth.
o2Trainer – not shown (2022) Working on improving my breathing. Not used enough to have an opinion.
Small combination lock (2012) for use at the gym.
Bags & Travel Accessories
Gossamer Gear Vagabond – my review (2022) a 23L day pack which is light weight, comfortable to carry, works well for EDC, and is large enough to hold everything I am using. The 46x27x15cm (18/10.75/5.75inches) filled with my gear is small enough to squish into every “personal item” sizer I have encountered and under the seat in front of me on every jet I have flown in with the exception of the aisle seat of of the AirBus 350-900 used by French Bee (maybe other AB350s) which has a bar to secure the seats right in the middle of the space. Thankfully, there was plenty of overheat space. A Tom Bihn 1” padded waist strap allows a reasonable amount of weight transfer for me (works better than the GG fast belt). While access is not as easy as a clamshell style bag, I have no problem retrieving items by feel because my clothing and organizing sacks have different textures. Stands up on its bottom making access on the go pretty easy. Replaced a Tom Bihn Synik 30l because I needed less volume and wanted a pack which was more comfortable when carried for multiple hours. I am using the Trail model. The Jet looks even nicer but I don’t have a compelling reason to upgrade. I have a list of other traveling packs that could be a good alternative.
NiteIze RunOff Waterproof Pocket* (2023) is extremely useful when spending time on a beach when there was no one to watch my stuff while swimming. Large enough to hold my wallet, cellphone, keys, and passport, but not so larger than it interfered with swimming. I tucked it under my suit’s waistband on my back. When transiting International flights I would use it as a tiny sling across my chest to hold travel documents, my wallet, and phone. I have used it under clothing as a security wallet when in high crime areas. After around 200 zip/unzip cycles the it stopped sealing and was retired. A Loksac elements proof bag is smaller, cheaper, can operate phone but less durable and has no “strap” option.
PackTowel Ultralight Body Size (2009) Dries in less than 3 hours after I dry myself when hanging indoors, faster in sun, is compact, weights just 3oz. Large enough that I can wrap it around my waist like a small sarong. I found the face size sufficient for me to dry my body, but I am willing to carry a larger towel for the added versatility and ease of use. There are other travel towels.
Mogics Adapter MA1 (2023) is the smallest and lighter power adaptor I have found. For type E remember to unscrew and extended the type C prongs. I wonder about its durability but it’s been ok so far. My previous adaptor, a Micro International power adapter (2018) is being used by my wife.
Sea to Summit Clothing Line* (2022) Has beads to tighten around clothing which removes the need for clothing pins. I prefer braided rubber cloth line which was retired years ago. I retired it after doing the Camino. Just don’t need it.
Decathalon Packable 15L Courier Bag – not shown (2023) Used around town and sometimes to hold items I will use on the flight if I put my pack in the overhead compartment. Seems to be a very inexpensive clone of the long discontinued Patagonia Packable Courier Bag which I used for 10 years.
Coin Purse – not shown (2023) Used instead of my wallet in locations that still frequently use coins (TW, Japan, Costa Rica, EU, etc)
Tom Bihn Smart Alec – not shown (2022) durable top loading day pack. Stands up by itself and is easily accessible through the top zippered opening without spilling. Large enough to carry two folding chairs and food for a picnic. Functions as my “office” storage. In this season of life is holding my “extra” stuff. When at home or at destination we drove to placed wherever I am doing “work”. When we flight to a destination left in the trunk of our car holding whatever items I am not taking.
REI Micro Shower Bag (2017) is the perfect size for my toiletry kit and make it easy for me to find everything quickly. Inside pocket holds a few doses of nyquil and benadryl. Main area has: lip balm, toothpaste, a micro fiber cleaning / storage bag for my glasses, a small HumanGear GoTubb to store aleve, and the bathroom items listed below. Outside pocket holds first aid kit which includes band-aids, single use benzoin tincture, compeed blister pads, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream, superglue, a couple of safety pins. This bag is discontinued… the GOX Organizer looks to be similar.
Matador Flatpack Soap Case (2020) to carry a 100senses body bar (2019/2023) which takes care of all my cleaning needs without drying out my sensitive skin or making my hair feel like straw. One bar lasts around six months. There are better shaving creams and detergents to wash clothing, but it’s been good enough and simplifies life for me. The Flatpak lets the soap dry out better than a ziplock bag, but it’s far from magical. Downside is that it doesn’t work very well as a case while showering.
Gillette Power Mach-3 Razor (1999) and blades (1999/2021) Using as a manual handle since vibration stopped working. Use around 11 blades / year. Costco often sells large packs of the blades
PaRaDa Nail clipper (2014) are large and heavy but effective and the trimmings catcher is brilliant. Will likely replace someday with something lighter and more compact.
Retractable Bristle Hairbrush (1994) Compact and more effective than a comb for me.
Reach (rebranded Listerine Woven / Ultraclean) Floss (1996/2022) is the most effective dental floss I have used. Gentle to the gums while still getting plague and food wedged between teeth out. I believe it has been discontinued but still possible to find stock. My dentist has recommended coco floss as a good replacement though it’s more than twice as expensive.
Oral-B/Braun 6000 Electric toothbrush (2016) and USB powered charger. A recent meta analysis concluded that the rotational approach of Oral-B is likely superior to approach of Sonicare, but both are significantly more effective than manual brushing and the electric toothbrushes like my Violife which relies on a brushing motion.
Crystal Deodorant – not shown (2023) Simple Potassium Alum crystals. Years ago I ran an experiment and discovered if I showered regularly, no one could tell that I didn’t use deoderant. I suppose I have lower BO than some people. After >10 years I gave this deodorant a try after reading about them on /r/onebag. I notice that my shirts go a day or more longer before they pick up body odor. Carrying a 1.5 oz stick which seems like it will last for more than a year seems like a good trade-off. It’s best to apply right after a shower since it needs to be wet and works best on clean skin. It’s not an anti-perspirant and doesn’t cover up existing odor. Rather it produces it environment that is hostile to the odor creating bacteria.
I acquire sunscreen wherever I am. I try to select SPF >=50, considered very low risk for health, and reef safe when near the ocean. The sun screens in EU are way better than in the US because the FDA hasn’t approve some of the newer options. Such a shame since they are reportedly are safe, feel better on the skin, and often don’t leave you looking like a ghost. If the trip is short and I don’t have any sun screen from the EU left I will bring a Neutrogena Mineral stick. Around town where I don’t need to worry about form factor or TSA I will see what the top rated sun screen that is liked by both consumerlab and ewg.
I have notes about selecting clothing for an active life which goes in detail about how I select clothing for a wide range of activities and conditions. These are the clothing I take on almost all trips and use in my daily life at home. Some people achieve simplicity by having many pairs of the same clothing item which the rotate through. My approach is to have at most three, and run small loads of wash when they get dirty. I keep a log tracking each item’s longevity. Number of days was determined by asking others who would be honest with me if the clothing still looked good / had no odor after airing out overnight.
Western Rise Unlimited Button Down (2022) Blue Merino / Polyester blend button down shirt. My wife tells me it also looks like it was just ironed as it comes out of the my pack. Reported to be UPF 40. Fairly air permeable, resists odor, comfortable in a wide range of conditions. Dries quickly enough to hand wash at night and be ready to be worn the next morning. Can wear at least 4 days without any odor.
Icebreaker Anatomica Tee-shirt (2014/2021) merino wool with a bit of nylon for durability and a bit of lycra for a body hugging fit. This tee-shirt fits me perfectly, is super comfortable, doesn’t smell after many days of wear, dries fairly quickly, and my wife likes how the shirt looks on me. UPF between 15-30? I get around 500 days of wear before an Anatomica Tee looks tired, and 600 days before the first small holes appear which is 2-3x longer than the original Anatomica which was 100% merino. I think Icebreaker makes the best merino tees, but there are a number of other good options from Smartwool, Outlier, and Wool&Prince. While I love merino wool, there are advantages to synthetic technical-tees: synthetics work better when I am heavily sweating, dry more quickly and are more cost effective because they tend to be cheaper and longer lasting.
Arcteryx Cormac Hoodie (2023) A casual UPF 50 shirt. Slightly calendared which I find reasonably comfortable when I am hot and sweaty. When using a crystal deodorant resists odor for 3+ days of normal activities, 2 day of vigorous activity. Provides full sun protection. Resists stains pretty well so spills generally clean with a quick rinse, but after 130 days of continuous use (mostly hand washing) there were stains which won’t come out even after being machine washed a few times on heavy duty. Thankfully light stains on the white heather aren’t as noticeable as pure white shirts. I found this shirt dries in less than 3 hours after being squeezed, rolled in a towel and hung in a cool indoor room with modest ventilation. When hung in bright sunlight on a warm day dries in less than 1 hour. Also dries in less than 1.5 hours when I am wearing it in moderate temperatures and humidity. This is now my default shirt.
De Soto Mobius Tri Shorts (2018/2021) works well cycling, running, and swimming. They are comfortable for all the activities I engage in when the temperature is above freezing. They have reduced issues with chafing, dry fairly quickly, and are reasonably comfortable when wet. They have side pockets large enough to hold some nutrition and my phone so I don’t need to use a special cycling jersey. I never need to think about what to wear for vigorous physical activities…. I just grab a pair of tri-shorts. I get around 1000 hours of use from each pair before the elastic no longer provides any compression. Never had a pair develop holes.
Outlier New Way Shorts (2014) are nice looking shorts which fit me perfectly, are durable, and resist stains. The first place I have noticed wear is mesh to drain the pockets develop holes. These shorts feel like they were tailored just for me. I can’t put into words how “right” they feel each time I put a pair on. The fabric is thick enough to prevent items in my pocket from really standing out. They are pricy but at the time that I purchased them, I hadn’t found any shorts that I liked as much. They can function as a swim suit but aren’t ideal for that use because they take 2x times to dry as some of my board shorts and wife observed “they don’t look like a proper swim suit.” Still wearing the first pair I purchased. Purchased some others (some at goodwill!) which are in my cache.
Western Rise Evolution V1 Pants (2020/2022) Slightly stretchy nylon pants that are a cross between jeans and chinos which can dry overnight when hanging in the bathroom. The most comfortable pants I have found in hot weather that have a “business casual” look. I found their fit to be “snug” fitting rather than the nearly tailored fit of the Outlier Slim Dungarees. After around 300 days of wear they are a stretched and the color fades slight but otherwise are still in reasonable shape. I love my first pair of these pants, I am not as happy with later pairs. Sizing is not consistent, customer service is poor, and others have reported issues with stitching. Version 2 of Evolution are a bit more tight fitting and stretch more.There have been a few times these pants got completely soaked in the rain. I survival but it was uncomfortable. Bluffworks, Maker&Rider, Outlier, and Wool&Prince makes nice alternatives. Classic hiking pants like prAna Brion aren’t as refined looking but are cheaper. There are a number of good pants.
Icebreaker Anatomica Briefs (2014/2021) the most comfortable underwear I have worn. They dry quickly and resist odor. I get around 600 days of wear before the waist band deforms and small holes appear. Only downside is that they bunch up a bit in hot weather when carrying a backpack. Tommy John’s Air Briefs (2022) are really wedgy-proof and dry very quickly except for the waist band. In the past I found the synthetic briefs from Ex Offico were pretty good but have heard their quality has dropped. I tried Saxx a number of years ago, and didn’t think they were worth their high price. I have heard Uniqo Airism and Duluth Trading Buck Naked boxer briefs but no personal experience.
Xoskin Toe Socks – 2 pairs (2022) prevents blisters forming between my toes when walking or running for extended distances. I have worn one pair 30 days in a row doing 15-37 miles of hiking each day without blisters and had pre blisters that were forming before I started using the socks heal. They weren’t stinky after six days of continuous use (and not washing) while backpacking, though the are more prone to pick up odor after several hundred miles of use. They are significantly more durable than my previous merino toe socks. After 640 miles my first pair of socks got a hole from a toenail. I darned the sock and continue to wear it. Small holes between my hammer toes appeared at 700 miles but are not impacting it’s blister prevention At 1400 miles developed a large hole from my sandal’s toe strap. I have switched to primarily using a new pair, but on days that are less than 5 miles of walking I am still using them for sun protection when wearing sandals.
Luna Venado Sandals (2012/2022) I can walk 15-37 miles / day for a month on hard surfaces and my feet are still feel good. I love the feel of running almost barefoot and the tiny space they take when packed. They don’t make the slap sound some sandals do. They mold to your feet over time. Even after 1500 miles they have a bit of cushion though I have worn the sole through in at least one spot. I expect to replace them every 1300 miles or so. I have used them in the back country but the traction isn’t great. These have been my “shoes” in town unless social convention would have me wear closed toed shoes and have become my favorite track / street running footwear. Why is it women can were sandal and be considered dressed up and men have to wear closed toe shoes?
Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 (2022) Zero drop trail running shoe that is a good amount of cushion and a 12mm stack. Great fit for me: enough room for my toes to splay while gripping my heel perfectly. Used for backpacking or trail running when the terrain is too challenging for my Luna sandals or when I need to wear closed toe shoes. This model used to be called the TerraUltra G 270. I don’t have enough miles to determine if the graphene infused soles are any more durable than typical trail runners. So far they have been acceptable footwear in fairly snobbish establishments. I typically wear them whenever I am in transit because they are more bulky than my sandals.
There are some clothing that I take / use based on what the next leg of my journey will require. When not in use, they are stored in the trunk of our car.
Outlier Slim Dungarees – 2 pairs (2014/2019) High-tech nylon pants in the style of jeans. Gives me an almost tailored fit, looks great, good mobility and durability. Thanks to the NanoSphere treatment very stain and water resistant. They are perfect when it’s <75F and I am inactive, <55F when very active. When highly active in >70F the seam that runs along the inner thighs chafes. In hot weather prefer Western Rise Evolutions Pants. Over time the pants stretch out a bit especially around the knees which make them a bit less slim fitting. I get more than 550 days of use before there is any signs of wear: light pilling at the top of the pocket I use the most. I have yet to completely wear out a pair though I have retired a couple of pairs after a pen leak created a large stain (why I no longer use Pilot V5 pens) and after I lost weight and needed to switch to a smaller waist. When paired with nice shirt, blazer, and tie they have been accepted in situations which called for semi-formal dress, something the hiking pants I wore in the past couldn’t do. I have repeatedly had women say “Where did you get those pants? They look great. I want to buy a pair for my husband.” Twice the question was from someone in the “business” such as the owner/buyer of a women’s clothing boutique that my wife loves. SD seem pricey but it depends what you compare them to. When considering the cost / day of wear ($0.07/day)… they are 5x the cost of mass market nylon pants which don’t fit me that well, 2-3x the cost of higher quality nylon pants from companies like Prana and Patagonia, and about the same cost per day as Levi 501 jeans if you retired them when the knees are blown out. Maybe an indulgence, but I don’t think them as a luxury item when I see $1390 nylon shorts from Prada. Current pairs I am wearing were acquired in 2017.
Extra Icebreaker Anatomica Tee Shirt & Underwear which when added to my core clothing enables me to go for a week before I have to wash all my clothing. If I am going to be staying in one location for an extended time I will bring these along so I can avoid the hassle of hand washing my clothing. I have found washing machines clean clothing more effectively than when I hand wash.
Patagonia Cool Daily Hoodie (2022) Comfortable hoodie, resists odor for 4 days when somewhat active, provides moderate sun protection which I believe is good enough when I am indoors much of the day. Patagonia removed any UPF claims because between their initial testing and production the UPF performance dropped / was inconsistent (from >50 to 17-45, average 34). The Outdoor Research Echo is a good alternative for many: lighter, cooler feeling, with a slimmer fit, thumb loops, anti odor that almost as good. Unfortunately for me, the Echo’s UPF is 15-20 has resulted in me getting sunburn when I spend all day in locations that hit >10 UV Index.
Solbari Weekend Shirt* (2022) White button up which is UPF50+, resistants odor for a few of days when moderately active, dries quickly, and under a sport jacket can be mistaken for a more formal dress shirt. In cooler weather blocks a bit of wind, surprisingly comfortable in hot weather. Downside is that it seems to be a dirt magnet and has collected stains and has started to slightly grey after just 34 days wearing it while hand washing every other day or so, and machine washing weekly. Still gray several runs through washing machine using a non-chlorine bleach suggested by Solbari customer care.
Bluffworks Hopsack Blazer (2022) Blazer which doesn’t wrinkle, can be washed in a machine, and is light enough to wear in hot weather. Took on several trip but used very rarely and was never required. Current dress standards make it mostly unnecessary.
Darn Tough Socks – 2 pair (2013/2019) are unsurprisingly durable since they come with a lifetime warranty. Icebreaker and the Smartwool PhD line are good alternatives. Worn out and replaced 2 pair of the no show light socks after >4000 miles of use for each pair. None of my light crew have been worn through yet.
Vivobarefoot Gobi II (2017/2022) are comfort, zero-drop, minimalist ankle boots which look good with casual clothing or dressed up in a suit. I have used them around town, hiking in the backcountry and even run in them. Sending my original pair to be resoled after walking more than 1500 miles. With an occasional brush and polishing the uppers still look good after repeatedly soaked in rain storms, covered in mud, etc. They are generally not needed given current dressing standards, I can typically get away with trail runners.
Patagonia Hydropeak Hybrid Walk Shorts – no shown (2023) dry in a couple of hours while hanging, faster when wearing. The are very comfortable, give me good freedom of movement. Not excessively “Technical” looking. They can function as a swim suit, but if I am going to be be constantly doing water sports by the ocean I will retrieve my Bluesmith board shorts described in the “beach section” below. Used when I want to bring a single pair of shorts and expect to spend time at the beach.
The following clothing allows me to be comfortable at all actively levels when the temperature is 25F or warmer, and colder if I am engaged in high aerobic activities like running or cross country skiing.
Montbell Peak Dry Shell (2021) made from Shakedry. I can actually wear it and not be soaked by sweat when active! I have done zone 2 runs for >2 hours in 48F rain with just 1 gram of water accumulating in my running shirt. Waterproof and doesn’t wet out. Works well as a wind shell. Alas Shakedry is somewhat fragile and is being discontinued… hope something equally performant comes out soon. In the mean time I have picked up a few Shakedry jackets for my “stash” for when my Peak Dry wears out. This jacket was pulled from my stash when my GoreWear R7 Shakedry’s zipper failed. The Montbell is heavier, has a bit more room for insulation under it, a better hood, and a lot less ugly “branding”. Other options are discussed in my post about rain gear.
Zpacks Vertice Rain Pants (2018) are simple, light, breathable, waterproof rain pants. Used when in cool rain commuting by bike, hiking, or backpacking. I have been known to wear them while doing the laundry. After a few years of light use I am getting some minor leaking in the seat, and the bottom cuffs are fraying / delaminating. When they wear worn out will go with rain pants made from a more durable material like Gore Tex Pro.
Macpac Nitro Pullover (2021) Made from Polartec Alpha Direct (90gsm). Highly breathable and dries super fast. Very light insulate without a shell, surprisingly warm under a shell. Great when active in cold conditions. I can feel air flow at walking speed in still air. Worn whenever my shirt isn’t warm enough. I am comfortable sitting in 68F wearing the Nitro and a tee-shirt, but when I pull up the hood and layer on a shell I am comfortable down to 40F doing light work (walking <2mph). There are lots of good options for an insulation layer.
Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Vest (2021) Incredibly light weight vest which provides moderate insulation for my core. I have the Japanese version which has pockets. With a long sleeve shirt and shell I am comfortable down to around 40F. When combined with a tee-shirt, Macpac Nitro, and a shell allows me to be comfortable while walking down to 25F. Combined with Nitro and Micro Puff keeps me warm enough in any winter conditions I am likely to encounter in the next few years. More acceptable looking over button down shirt / under blazer than my hoodie. Less than perfect for me: cut is a bit too boxy the neck doesn’t seal well.
Montbell Umbrero Rain Hat (2021) is a 1.8oz folding hat which fully shades my face, ears, and neck. It’s fully waterproof but still provides the best ventilation of any hat I have used. It deforms but usable in 25mph winds. Montbell listing originally said provide protection from sun, but when I reached out to ask what’s its UPF was informed the indication of UV protection was a bug in their website. I addressed the lack of UV protection by coating the inside with a paint which fully blocks UV. I think it’s silly looking, and periodically have people point and laugh… but I have also received compliments and have had people chase me down, say across the parking lot at Costco to ask where they could purchase one for themselves. When walking the Camino we had around 90 people ask us where they could get their own and several requests for selfies with the hat. There are lots of other good hat options.
PolarBuff (2003) Generally I use the hoods on my garments, but sometimes I want extra insulation for my neck or head. Don’t use it that often, but small and light enough it doesn’t make sense to retire it.
Enlightened Gear Visp Rain Mittens – not shown (2022) Super minimalist protection from hands. Keeps my hand comfortable from freezing to around 50F when engaged in modest activity up to zone 2 workout.
Patagonia Micro Puff not shown described in the section below labeled “In the Car”
When walking the Camino I wanted to carry a light and compact pack. We will be staying some nights in alberques which don’t provide linens and post COVID don’t have blankets. We will be washing clothing and letting them dry over night and sleeping in spaces that are mixed gender. I want to use clothing which is exceptionally low water absorption and fast drying.
Hostel sleep system: 48″ x 62″ piece of Polartec Alpha Direct 4004, 120gsm (2022) compressible warm blanket which is a $20 piece of bulk fabric, MLD Bag Liner (2023) 3oz 10D nylon sleep sack, in a Sea2Summit 2.5L Ultra-Sil Stuff Sack (2022). For stays in basic hostels and alberques that don’t provide bedding of any sort. Comfortable for sleeping down to 55F. The sack is snug but not too tight, keeping the blanket well positioned when cold. As it warms move blanket to outside of the sack or remove completely. Blanket can be warm like a shawl during particularly cold days. Likely will get a bigger piece of alpha direct, add a head slit so it can be worn as a poncho and get a larger sleep sack.
Patagonia Terrebonne Joggers (2023) Very light weight polyester pants which provide a good range of motion, are very light, pack up small, UPF 40. Dry in less than 2 hours when hung indoors, less than 1 hour when wearing after being completely soaked in a rain storm once the rain stopped. Very breathable and comfort in hot weather. These are the only pants I worn when walking the 800km Camino Frances in 2023. found them good for outdoor activities in cooler weather and for sleeping / lounging. Downside are that the pockets are a bit shallow and loose so items can fall out when sitting down. Now my default backcountry backpacking pants.
REI Swiftline Running Shorts Shorts* (2022) are very light shorts which dry quickly and pack down into a tiny space. Great for running, working out in the gym, and as sleep wear. They can be used for swimming in a pinch.
Trailbum Gnu Rain Cape (2023) Ultralight 3.5oz rain protection. Nice because it protects me and my pack. I wrote up a description of using this poncho combined with a piece of polartec alpha direct as a poncho liner.
Used When I Didn’t Fly To the City of Residence
The following are used whenever they can be easily transported to where we are staying for >2 weeks. If we are flying to a destination, they are stored in our car.
Withering Body WiFi Scale (2014) makes it easy to track weight which is well integrated to Garmin, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, and numerous other health tracking eco-systems. Body composition numbers not accurate. Having trouble getting it to switch WiFi networks.
ChiliPad (2019) which cools or warms water which flows through a mattress topper. I need to be significantly colder than Jackie to sleep soundly. When under our bed the heat exchanger not able to hit the cooling target when the unit was under the bed, but it has been fine when sitting out. We tried an eightsleep system which much quieter but not worth the added cost to us. I didn’t find the automatic temperature adjustment of the eight sleep particularly helpful and the sleep tracking wasn’t significantly better than my Garmin watch.
Pulse Flex Wireless Speaker (2017 & 2022) allows us to have synchronized whole house music and plays nicely with other BlueSound products. We have the original Flex speaker and the updated Flex 2i. It also supports inputs via USB, Bluetooth, AUX, a number of streaming services like Spotify, and many free sites via URIs. Has a iOS and Android remote control app which works but has a somewhat awkward UI. Controls on the top let you select one of 5 user-defined “channels” without using the remote. I have the optional battery pack so it can be used in our backyard. Sound quality is significantly less than KEF LS50 but better than most portable speakers. When using them away from home primarily play lossless music which is stored on a thumb drive plugged into the back of the speaker. For people who aren’t using Roon, I would recommend Sonos: for its lower price point, better streaming options, and slightly more processed sound quality which everyone but audio purists like me typically prefer. Even cheaper are products from Audio Pro.
MacBook Pro 14-inch (2006/2021) Holds the family’s archives: pictures, videos, ripped CDs, digitized books, and documents. There are better performing laptops for the money, but the touch pad is more usable than most laptops and OS X provides high quality commercial applications and full UNIX tooling. I have made it through many OS upgrades without problems and have never had to wipe the disk and reinstall the operating system. I select a configuration with enough storage for 2x my current usage (4tb at the time of purchase) and the maximum memory available which has allowed me to use the same MacBook Pro for ~5 years before I feel the need to upgrade. My wife is still happily using my 2012 MacBook Pro. Only downside is size and weight. I hope Apple brings back an ultra-portable someday.
Lives in Car
I leave some items in car trunk in case we encounter unexpected conditions. I rarely use these items personally, but have often loaned them out to friends who weren’t prepared for the weather we encountered.
Linen Towel* (2020) Lighter weight, dries faster, and less likely to get smelly than a traditional cotton terrycloth towel, but isn’t as soft.
Matador Freerain24* (2017/2020) The waterproof zipper on a 1.0 model wore out after 2 years of daily running commute with my laptop and other supplies and so was replaced with the second version. Keeps contents dry in the worst rain. Weights only 5.5oz, and stuffs into a fist size package. Carries reasonably well but not as well as packable Vagabond. Shape tapers which is good for running but makes it a bit challenging to load properly for more “urban” uses.
ArcTeryx Squamish Wind Shell* (2012) is a 5oz windshirt with an air permeability of ~30 CFM. When combined with a heavy base or light middle layer provide comfort over a huge range of conditions. Comfortable against the skin. Current Squamish isn’t as air permeable. Best replacement is likely the Mountain Hardware Kor.
Icebreaker Quattro Hoody* (2012) is a medium weight merino wool sweatshirt. After several years of near constant use starting to pill so has been “retired” to the car.
Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody (2020) Keeps me comfortable ~25F lower than I would be without the jacket. Provides just the right insulation for me for winter nights in the SF Bay Area and shoulder season backpacking in the sierras. Combined with down vest or Nitro Hoody it’s just right for winter trips in the sierras. Reasonably light and compressible. Long enough to cover my blazer.
Keen Clearwater CNX* (2014/2018) are the lightest sandals Keen makes. The toe cap has been effective at protecting my toes. When worn with gray socks they can “pass” for shoes most of the time. Keens ground feel is a bit “dead”. I use them when I have been biking and Jackie meets me somewhere for lunch so I have something to wear besides my cycling shoes with cleats.
Backpacking / Hiking / “Real” Winter Gear
I have a 3-season packing list which makes use of a number of the items on this list and has several items which are specific for backpacking. I have not taken pictures of any of these items. The “winter gear” is not used “at home” because the Bay Area never gets cold enough to need these items, but they are pulled out when traveling to winter destinations. These are stored in a old Coke crate in the garage.
Gossamer Gear Gorilla (2012) An older version of the Gorilla which I use when doing multi-night backcountry trips or urban travel when I am carrying more weight / volume than appropriate for the Vagabond. Its weights just 28oz, comfortable carries up to 25lbs for tens of miles in a day, has survived thousands of miles, and works as a carry-on bag. My size L is actually 23″ long, but has been able to fit in airline sizers and overhead luggage bottom in first if not overpacked and placed at an angle. Sidenote: The first generations of the Gorilla carried pretty well, the current generation connects the frame directly into the hip belt which has been stiffened compared to the first generation improving it’s carry characteristics.
Osprey Ultralight Drysack (2021) Used as a liner to protect against rain, can be used to wash clothing on trips if I am sharing a bathroom and can’t soak my clothing in the sink, and as a giant “clothing packing cube”. Sometimes used to separate dirty from clean clothing.
Gossamer Gear Vagabond Packable (2021) 23L pack which is comfortable to carry and easily packs away in my larger bag. Used for done in a day outdoor activities, as a EDC / grocery shopping bag, and has been used as my primary luggage on trips on several trips. This is by fair the most comfortable carrying packable day pack I have ever used. Most package daypacks feel like a sack with straps designed to fit a non human.
Entchin Fanny Pack (2020) Inexpensive fanny pack which is a good size for half day activities. Can hold a headlamp, mini first-aid/emergency kit, water bottle, a protein bar, and small volume jacket. Use rather than daypack so my back is ventilated. The bucket has broken three times and is being held together by tape. Looked at a bunch of much more expensive fanny packs, but not work as well. Closest was the REI Trail 5 but when I put my water bottle in a holster it gets in the way of my arms as they swing.
Patagonia Cap 3 Tights (2007): added to my legs when facing continuously below freezing conditions.
Mountain Hardware Grub Gloves (2015/2020) medium weight PowerStretch gloves with a quilted mitten cover which folds away into the back of the glove making it comfortable to wear in a wide variety of conditions. My second pair almost worn out. Alas, this model has been discontinued.
Outdoor Research Meteor Mitts* (2004): which have a removable 300wt fleece inner mitt which folds back to let you use your fingers and a durable, waterproof shell. Can use the shells without liner when it’s warmer. The magnets on the inner mitt detract from overall comfort. Many people replace the liners. Dries faster than all-in-one handwear.
Traction Devices* (2020): Gives trail runners and other shoes grip on snow and ice. Picked up when we were facing icy trails in Grand Canyon without footwear with sufficient traction. Don’t remember the brand and it’s not stamped into the chains. When doing a lot of winter trips I would use screw shoes.
OR Gaiters: (<1988) for keeping snow out of shoes/boots and the lower legs most dry.
Bicycling Gear & Clothing
Specialized S-works 2019 Roubaix (2021) an endurance bike that smooths out the road making it easy to be confident on less than ideal road surfaces with a responsiveness that approaches the Cervelo R-series. A huge improvement from the 2013 version of the Roubaix. Fitted with an Infinity Seat (weird looking but the most comfortable seat I have used), 2 water bottle cages, and a small seat bag which holds a pump, tubolito, bike tool, and 2 tire levers. I have a charger for DI2 which is powered via a micro USB cable gets used every month or so. Otherwise it sits in the garage.
Cervelo R3* (2013/2015). Replaced with identical bike when my first was stolen. Comfortable enough for an endurance ride, responsive like a race bike, great for climbing. Wore out drive train which has now been mostly replaced… still looking for Rotor chain rings. Now primarily lives on a Kickr for indoor “rides” and is my “spare bike” and if my Roubaix is out of action or an out of town friend wants to go for a ride.
Felix BC21R Bike Headlamp and Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150 (2019) The BC21R uses a removable 18650 rechargeable battery. I don’t love the Felix but it’s getting the job done and the swappable battery is very handy.
Power Tap P1 Pedals (2015) because I like objective measures. No longer made. The Garmin Vector 2 pedals use standard Keto cleats, and are lighter.
Bicycling Shoes (2013) with cleats for PowerTap peddles. No idea the brand.. they were the cheapest shoes I found at a local bike shop. They are near the end of their life, but I haven’t found a shoe that is as well ventilated so I continue to squeeze a few more miles out of them by regluing the seams.
Xenith Delta Shirt (2021/2022) is the most comfortable shirt I have worn when sweating heavily. The shirt maintains air permeability and doesn’t stick when wet. The shirt dries at the perfect rate: faster than wool or cotton, but slower than classic “fast dry” shirts, and feels cool against the skin. I have also found that is it the most odor resistant synthetic shirt I have tried, though not as good as wool. Only UPF 30. If I am doing a long ride I put sun screen on and then put the shirt on. My first shirt has holes after around 1500 hours of exercise. If day to day wear-and-tear is similar, I would only get 90 days of all day wear :(. Hopefully my second shirt will last longer.
Black Diamond Alpine Start (2021) is a 6oz hoodless ultralight soft-shell which is very air permeable (30-60 CFM depend on who did the measurement… feels like 45cfm to me) and extremely water resistant thanks to the Schoeller NanoSphere treatment. Very comfortable in high wind <60F doing normal activities, bicycling at tempo pace (~220watts / ~18mph) when it’s <55F or doing a zone 2 HR runs when it’s <50F. In a light rain find it easier to manage moisture than a Shakedry shell because the higher air permeability helps me dump heat (reducing the amount I sweat) while resisting the rain. Normally I like a hood, but the lack of a hood is useful when cycling and running with a hat. Windshirts are great!
Castelli Light Arm Sleeves* (2021) and Leg Sleeves* (2022) UPF 50 sun protection I combined with short sleeve shirt and shorts to avoid hassle of sunscreen. When in direct sunlight, limbs actually feel a bit cooler than when uncovered. Typically using the Arcteryx Cormac hoody so don’t need arm sleeves.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Cycling Gloves (2021) Keep hands comfortable on rides when it is cool and maybe wet. Cheap thanks to a clearance sale at sierra.com. Likely better gloves but they are getting the job done.
CoolNet UV Buff* (2022) Protects my neck and ears from sun and also functions as a headband to keep sweat out of my eyes. A set of magnets made to “pin” race bib to a shirt keeps the buff from riding up and exposing my neck. Typically using the Arcteryx Cormac hoody so don’t need any more.
Giro Air Attack Shield Helmet (2013/2016) provides protection, good ventilation while having a streamlined aerodynamic profile. Has snap on optical shield. On my second Air Attack helmet due to a crash which broke the helmet but protected my head. If you ride a bicycle, wear a helmet!! I have been able to walk away from at least two accidents thanks to the protection of a helmet. Helmets don’t lead to more injuries due to a false sense of security. These days there are helmets which are more aerodynamic than mine, and also cheaper while providing equivalent protection.
Wahoo Fitness Kickr (2013) is a trainer for when it’s not convenient to hit the road. Integrated power meter and variable resistance which can be controlled via ANT+ or BlueTooth. Very useful if doing structured training based on power.
Stored during our travel (2022-????)
While I normally like to wear my “uniform”, but I sometimes want to wear something a bit different. I know my wife likes variety in my clothing. I sometimes call the following my “Jackie clothing”. These clothing can be rolled over their hangers and be stored in a $4 Ikea Frakta Duffel (2022) along with my beach items and extra clothing items.
Toni Richards Hawaiian Shirt (2019) Everyone needs at least one shirt for “Hawaiian shirt day” though some might argue that white and blue with sharks rather than flowers isn’t very Hawaiian. I find the cotton lawn fabric used by Toni Richards to be one of the most comfortable materials when it’s hot and humid. Alas, UPF is quite low.
Montbell Wickron Dry Touch Short Sleeve Shirt* (2021) for when I need to be more dressed when it’s is hot. The seersucker fabric is more comfortable than many other materials when it’s hot and humid. It resists accumulating odor better than many synthetics shirts I have used. A gift from my wife. Alas, UPF 20.
White Cotton Button-up Shirt* (2012) Was my default when I want to wear something more formal than a tee-shirt. Appropriate in almost any setting. Shirts which have more sun protection and dry more quickly have replaced it.
Peach Button Up Shirt* (2014) for a change from a white shirt when we are going out for the evening. Birthday present.
Muji Black/Grey/White Checked Button Up Shirt* (2013) for something that is casual but a bit more dressed up than my tee-shirt or hoody. Gift from Jackie.
Wool and Prince 210wt Burgundy Oxford Shirt* (2020) Slim fit, classic oxford cloth look while being 100% wool. Christmas present.
Outlier AMB Merino Wool Button Up Shirt (2019) Very comfortable. It doesn’t wrinkle and if I don’t spill food on it can be worn many days without washing. Good air permeability, surprisingly comfortable in warmer conditions.
Banana Republic Purple Merino Wool Sweater (2013) for cool days or when some color is called for. Purple is the color of royalty… so it can function as a Christmas or Easter sweater. Gift from Jackie.
Grey Cashmere V-neck Sweater* (2019) for fall and winter evenings when I need more warmth than just a shirt and my hoody is too casual. Love cashmere but durability is low, it pills very quickly.
Boss Blazer* (2014) for dressy events in the fall and winter that don’t require a formal suit. Christmas present.
Boss Wool Suit – not shown (2012) slim/european cut in super 140 wool. Fits me perfectly though not bespoken. First suit that I wear rather than the suit wearing me. Light enough that it’s usable in the summer. I use it for weddings, funerals, and special nights out on the town. I won’t naturally choose to wear a suit, but sometimes it’s appropriate.
Alpaca Blend Socks* – not shown (2021) are soft, warm, and cushioning with non slip “dots” on the bottom. Work well as slippers at home and are very pleasant on cold days inside shoes.
Luna Oso Flaco Sandals – not shown (2022) I can walk 25 miles / day for a week on hard surfaces and my feet are still feel good. Has decent ground feel and pack very compactly. Good traction on trails. The wings are must more convenient that the “traditional” lacing. They irritate the side of my foot when I run without socks (fine for walking). The sandals can make a slap sound when walking on concrete which the Venado don’t make. When they are wet my feet slide a bit which makes me consider trying 5fingers again for back country trekking and trail running. Purchase because Venado were nearing end of their life and wanted more traction.
Carots Shoes* not shown (2017) are formal looking zero drop shoes. These are the only minimalist shoes I have found that looks like traditional dress shoes (heels and and tapered toe) that are sufficiently comfortable for an evening..
Tadeevo Derby* – not shown (2023) Light (13oz), flexible, comfortable, zero drop shoes. Purchased to be a dress shoe that packs smaller than my Gobi. I like them, but the Gobi’s are better looking. What looked like a dark shadow around the toe on the website is a different material than the leather uppers which makes the shoe look at lot more casual. I considered returning them but international shipping back to Poland was expensive. The run a bit large, make sure you read their fitting instructions.
Ultrafino Santa Fe Hat* – not shown (2021) is “Panama” straw hat. Alas, this hat’s weave is so tight that the ventilation is minimal, and the brim isn’t large enough to consistently shade my face and neck. The function of this hat isn’t as high as I expected, but I have held on to it because it’s a great looking hat that I will sometimes wear to a party when the UV index isn’t too high (like early evening).
Nike Dri-Fit Visor – not shown (2012) keep sweat and sun out of my eyes while maximizing air circulation for my head. Mostly used when I am running. Combined with a hoody for sun protection.
Beach / Water Clothing and Gear
When we spend extended time near a tropical beach these get pulled out.
Bluesmith Spartan Board Shorts* (2016) For days that I am living in swimming suit, going in an out of the water. These shorts dry very quickly. Could use my other shorts if I was trying to minimize more.
Patagonia R0 Longsleeve Shirt* (2022) UPF 50 shirt for water activities. Tight fitting, dries quickly. Jackie approved. Picture has my retired Bluesmith shirt rather than white R0.
Matador Pocket Blanket* (2019) to sit on when at the beach.
Matador Droplet Wet Bag* (2019) which holds items on the way to the beach, and wet items on the way home.
Yeesam Prescription Snorkeling Mask (2019) which lets me actually see underwater life when snorkeling rather than just blurs and flashes of color!
Akona 2mm Neoprene Socks – not shown (2019) Prevent my toes from getting ripped up when using flippers. Sometimes used with keen sandals if I am constantly going in and out of water or with my cycling shoes if doing an extended ride is cold rain.
TYR Corrective Optical Performance Goggles not shown (2012) so that I can actually see when I am swimming.
There are a several items I have kept as a specific way to honor people I love or past experiences.
Box which I store these things, my spare glasses, some old documents, etc.
Various buttons collected over the years related to projects or movements that were important to me.
Libby’s pins (<2000) of a nativity scene, a mother and child. Originally worn by Libby on special occasions, they became daily decorations on the hats she wore during chemotherapy. They remind me of Libby’s courage and the two things most important to Libby, family and Jesus.
Gumby (2011) which was given as a reminder that when life is difficult, we need to be flexible.
Dad’s (<1980) tie tacks and Alox Swiss Army Knife which remind me of his love of the outdoors and his care for his students.
Knit Cap with 23andme logo (2016)
CatBus Plushy (2018) given to me by Jackie. It reminds me of the gentle film My Neighbor Totoro. I wanted a real CatBus, but no one can find one for me 🙂
Computer Wizard’s Tee Shirt (1977) from high school group club… still fits. Not shown: 23andme Tee-Shirt (2016) Hashicorp Cycling Jersey (2021)
Grandpa’s Yamaka (<1980)
Stored – Possibly Retire
“Extra” clothing stashed for when my existing clothing wears out. Most of the extra clothing were purchased on sale, lightly used, or I had been wearing and decided to drop the number of items I have in a weekly rotation. I currently have 1 pairs of outlier slim dungarees (2019), 3 outlier new way shorts (2014-8), 3 western rise evolution pants (2022), 3 tee shirts (2018-2021), 2 arcteryx cormac shirts (2022-2023), 3 pairs of briefs (2019-2021), 6 pairs of darn tough socks (2015-2019), 2 pairs xoskin socks (2022), GoreWear R7 trail running jacket (2022), Montebell Peak Dry Jacket (2023), Sikta Shakedry Jacket (2022), Macpac Nitro hoodie (2022), 2 delta tee-shirts (2022). These items will be pulled out when my current clothing wears out. It’s useful to have have an unused items purchased at the same time as one which is in “heavy rotation” to see how much wear and tear accumulates over time.
Tom Bihn Passport Pouch (2022) Small pouch which is large enough to hold my passport, phone and everything that might be in my pockets when passing through security checkpoints. In high crime cities I wear it under my shirt. Picked up a waterproof pouch for when we are in Costa Rica which can provide this function.
Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Hoody (2009) for cool/cold weather outdoor activities. Without wind protection the grid weave lets air flow through speeding the release of heat. With a shell it provides some insulation. Comfort down to 30F when running without a shell, below that with a shell. When walking around town keeps me comfortable down to 45F when combined with a wind shirt with hoods up. I am reasonably comfortable engage in high energy activities when it’s 65F by fully opening the zipper and pushing the sleeves up to my elbows. Dries amazingly quickly and feels more comfortable than any other shirt I have used when it’s wet in cool conditions. Mine was actually called Capilene 4 because it pre-dates the renaming to “thermal weight”. Likely retire because light base + macpac alpha direct hoody is more versatile and has better performance.
Rudy Project Ketyum Frames with Transitions DriveWear manufactured by Sports Optical* (2021) provides excellent protection for my eyes while cycling and any other daytime activity. Ketyum is one of the few wrap around frames that can handle a prescription as strong as mine. The lens are thick but not too heavy. Transition lens work well during daylight but are a bit too strong at dusk.
HiFiMan RE800 Silver IEM (2022) Light weight, good quality sound which doesn’t completely cut me off from my environment. Used when I want to listen to music without disturbing family. Great deal at $90.
Radsome EarStudio ES100 (2018) bluetooth/DAC/headphone amplifier allows me to use wired headphones with devices missing a headphone jack. Can also function as a USB DAC. The ES100 is tiny, with decent sound quality (though Chord Mojo is better) and can even drive Sennheiser HD800 to reasonable sound levels.
MagSafe Charger* (2021) at bit heavy but useful when lighting port in aging iPhone becomes unreliable
Extra Batteries and Charger for Panasonic LX100 (2023). So far haven’t needed to carry an extra battery.
AWS AC-650 Digital Pocket Scale (2012) a small scale which makes it easy to weight food on the go.
Violife slim sonic toothbrush (1999). I was thinking about some other travel toothbrush when I couldn’t find replace heads, but I decided that oral health is too important to to bring a full size electronic toothbrush on any trip that is for more than a few days.
Kindle Oasis (2019) Lets me carry the majority of my library and every book can be displayed with large print for my aging eyes. Love being able to quickly search for notes / highlighted passages. I miss physical books and I know knowledge retention is better when reading paper books, but the convenience of the ebooks outweighs this for me. The Oasis ergonomics allows reading with a single hand and I like the warm backlight in the evening. I have been tempted by e-paper Android tablet such as those made by Boox which are a more versatile devices. If I lost the Oasis I would likely use my phone and laptop to access my Kindle “library”.
Apple iPad Air 4 + Smart Keyboard Folio + Magic Keyboard for iPad (2021) Purchased as a second monitor (via Sidecar) for MacBook for when I am working away from home. I have found the iPad also works well for consuming media. The Folio keyboard is compact making it compact for onebag travel, but the keyboard feel is mediocre and not stable enough to use on the lap. I tried to do most of my “personal” computing on the iPad with a Magic Keyboard to see if a iPad could replace a laptop: it was a failure. There is too much friction integrating information from several windows and often the app experience on the iPad fell short when compared to the experience on a real laptop or Chromebook. This is my third iPad since they were introduced. While each was useful for a particular task, I have yet to find it a compelling device for general use. A portable UCB-C powered screen is more effective for me as a second screen. I have abandoned using the iPad. Jackie tried and gave up on “live on it”. Lives in garage for when exercising using Kickr.
GoreWear R7 Trail Running Jacket (2020) I can actually wear it and not be soaked by sweat when active! For example: doing a zone 2 run for two hours in 48F rain just 1 gram of water accumulated in my running shirt. Downside is that the fabric is fragile developing pinpoint holes in the shoulders after 2 years of use though I didn’t experience leakage. Then the zipper broken hence retiring it. GoreWear replaced it under warranty. The “new R7” is a bit more boxy, 50% heavier (4.2->6.4oz), has stretch fabric on the cuffs which I don’t like, and a double zipper which isn’t as stiff. I wish the branding on the jacket wasn’t so obnoxious / ugly. The replacement is in my future wear box for when my Montbell Dry Peak wears out.
Icebreaker Spector Tee (2021) I decided to try a lighter weight tee that isn’t as body hugging and is more colorful. I quickly decided that I prefer the Anatomica fit, and black for daily wear. After 300 wears it was looking tired. The first hole appear around 400 days.
REI eVENT Rain Hat (2013) a discontinued ball cap made from waterproof / breathable eVENT. Used when hiking or running when I know it’s going to be raining. Keeps rain off of my face and glasses.
Altra Running Superior Trail-runners (2017/2022) zero drop, modest cushion, trail running shoe which are light weight with a fairly grippy sole for mixed trail conditions. Beside wearing them running, they are my primary footwear in the backcountry, and I wear in town when my feet are sore and need some extra cushion. I have worn 18 pairs. Wish I could get more than 400 miles before they wear out. Pair 17 soles came detached after around 75 miles. Alta sent me a new pair under warranty. Something changed in version 5 (or maybe my feet changed) and they aren’t as comfortable as they used to be.
Bluesmith Kanaha Shirt (2021) Hydrophobic treated shirt which protects from the sun and absorbs very little water. Very comfortable to wear and works well when swimming without being extremely tight. Replaced a misplaced “rashguard” shirt. I experimented with it as a general fitness shirt but I don’t think it’s hydrophobic approach to moisture is better for me that Polartec Delta in hot weather. Downside if not used for water sports is it quickly accumulated body odor, upside is that a quick rinse seems to wash the odor away. Its effective, but Jackie really hates it style so it’s being retired.
Muji Sport Jacket (2013) A casual blazer which resists wrinkles and has served me well. Retiring because it was never a great fit and there are some stains that aren’t coming out.
Tom Bihn Synik 30 Backpack (2020) Wonderfully designed with organizational features that perfectly fit my needs. Large enough to hold everything in my packing list, but small enough looking that I have never needed to check it. Have notes about other travel packs. Downside is that it doesn’t have a load transferring hip belt. These days larger than I need.
Osprey Transporter 46L (2004) is nearly identical to the current Osprey Porter 46 with the exception that it doesn’t have a laptop compartment or a luggage pass thru slot. Used for 10 years as my primary travel bag until I downsized to a Tom Bihn bag in 2014. I can list features it’s missing, but I still loved it. Used to transport items to family and left with them to use.
Patagonia Tres 25L Bag* (2016) 23andMe swag which I don’t need.
Biosense (2022) ketosis breath meter to simplify measuring ketosis when experimenting with diets and fasting. Don’t need to test frequently and prefer accuracy of blood test.
Immersion Water Heater (1992/2019) carried primarily for Jackie when taking trips to cold destinations where the hotel rooms don’t have any way to heat water. We generally stay places that it’s not needed.
RunScribe Plus (2020) to get information about running form. I am not getting particularly actionable insight but provides more data on running form that Stryd.
Twelve South AirFly Pro (2022) BlueTooth transmitter and receiver used on long flights to listen to audio. Allows me to use AirPods with the audio from the airplane and to drive my Westone from devices that don’t have a headphone jack. There are cheaper/better bluetooth transceivers.
Westone 5ES IEM (2012) Great audio quality, used to provide 35db noise reduction which could be comfortably worn on 14 hour flights. Alas, my ear canals have changed shape so they longer seals well enough to significantly reduce external noise. The cost of reshelling doesn’t make sense given I don’t use them that much.
Geyes Bluetooth Keyboard (2015/2022) I have repeatedly searched for a compact bluetooth keyboard to use with my phone. In the last few years I twice settled on the Geyes keyboard. Yet, I end up giving up on it. Certainly better than typing on the screen, but falls way short of a real keyboard. I have decide to give up on a compact bluetooth keyboard once and for all, and will try to remember not to revisit this decision.
Portable 14″ 4K Monitor (2022) for more screen real-estate. Was needed when I was doing a lot of Zoom meeting and needing to also have screen space for documents. Now that I am not in back to back meetings likely not needed. A better solution might have been xebec since the screen is attached to the laptop rather than sitting to the side.
Moved from me to Family
LG 27BN88U 27-inch 4K Display (2020) No longer doing endless Zoom meeting for work. Left in our guest room for visitors.
Foldable Desk (2012) which the above monitor is mounted on. When folded up small enough to fit in the trunk of our car for transport. No longer needed by me. Now functions as a desk in our guest room.
USB Power Task Light (2020) In guest room.
RAVpower 120w USB-C Charger (2021) A compact power source with 2 USB-C, 2 USB-A ports allows me to rapidly charger all the devices I might use in day. Only downside is it sometimes gets confused how much power to deliver to which port and I need to disconnect / reconnect devices until each is getting power. Now in living room to be used by anyone who is sitting on the coach and needs power.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be alsoMatthew 6:19-21