An Experiment in Traveling Light

Somewhere during the planning of this trip I stumbled across a website that changed everything: Travel Independent Info.   One article in particular caught my attention.  It was about how to travel lightly, and convinced me that this how I need to travel.  The gist of the article is that the smaller and lighter my bag, the happier traveler I will be. After many trips with heavy, bulky bags, I truly believe this.
With the information gained from this site, I embarked on a backpack search.  Initially, I thought I would “need” a 70-80 liter backpack to carry everything.  After many hours of comparison shopping and trips to several stores from Providence to New York, I finally settled on a non-descript REI-brand 40-liter backpack.  It is actually listed as a daypack on the REI website, and I’m bringing it on month-long trip.  I can’t believe how small it is, but I also can’t wait to put it to use and move effortlessly from rickshaw to train to plane.  That’s the idea anyway.


Traveling light will come in handy on crowded Indian trains.

I continued to research the world of lightweight travel and learned that in order to fit what I needed into my new pack, I would have to purchase special lightweight, quick-dry clothing.  I have been perusing the clearance racks at REI and shopping online for brands previously unknown to me (ExOfficio, SmartWool, Toad&Co) as well as some familiar brands such as Columbia.
One obstacle to my lightweight travel has been fitting in room for my camera and its equipment.  I have spent many hours researching how other backpackers handle this and, not surprisingly, there are almost as many methods as there are websites about traveling light.  Since I do not think I can keep my new camera and lenses safe in my backpack, I have opted to carry a smaller (though still somewhat bulky) second bag designed for the camera.  This will also serve as my daypack so that I can leave the larger backpack in my room as needed.
All of this intrigues me, and I really am devoted to traveling light, but it is still an experiment.  Look for updates on how this works in the real world.

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