I’ll admit it, we hate packing. It’s hard to condense our entire life into a backpack or a suitcase. You can either overpacked your stuff or have that feeling of not bringing enough, no matter if it is a 3 days getaway or 2 weeks trip to across Europe.
And that’s exactly why we considered packing as an art form, the art of packing. Since it’s an art, I’ll say that there won’t be a perfect stage into our packing life. It’s a matter of trying and trying and possibly getting better.
8 Days, 3 Countries, 1 Backpack
My last trip to Nordic was the first time I ever traveled alone with only a backpack for a long trip. Traveling solo for the first time was challenging, but packing for it was another challenge on its own. I usually travel with a suitcase, though the smaller the better. But a backpack was the real deal for someone with no experience before.
- Kalibre Explodius Backpack 25L (discontinue) – Surprisingly fit a lot more than what I expected and a great backpack all arounder. It fits all my stuff including the camera bag and my laptop except the tripod that I strapped on outside strap of this backpack. The bag also comes with a rain cover, the bright orange bags on the frame above. It did look a bit huge on me as a day bag but it worked perfectly as the main backpack. Have no problem bringing this into the cabin nor as a checked baggage.
- Manfrotto Stile V Amica 15W Camera Shoulder Bag – It fit my camera and 2 lens plus simple cleaning kit perfectly but not more than that. Small enough to be put in the backpack or even basic tote bag. It’s not the most convenient camera bag as you can only use it 1 way on your shoulder. I will say that having a camera bag that you can sling around your body is a better option.
- Tote Bag (not in frame) – Just a basic tote bag with no extra pocket or anything. I have this as my emergency bag in case I need to bring anything or if I don’t want to bring the main backpack which turned out to be quite useful as I ended up checking in my backpack for my returned flight. Any tote bag will do but I suggest the ones that fit your laptop.
- American Tourister Waist Bag – Since it was Autumn and I wore layers of clothes, I usually wore it underneath the outside layer to keep my bigger cash, credit cards, and sometimes my passport if I know I won’t need it for the day for safety reason. I personally didn’t find it efficient to use a waist bag anymore as it will only scream “I am a tourist!” so inside is the only way I wear it which I might actually replace this with a waist belt as this one is too big for that purpose.
A foldable bagpack might be useful to bring as a dayback if you don’t plan on carry your laptop daily
- Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless (main camera) – Compact and easy enough to use, most of the photos in the Nordic series were taken using this camera or my phone. I only own 2 lenses which happened to be all fixed lens.
- Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS – Perfect lens for street photography! And combined with the fast autofocus from the a6300. 👌
- Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS Lens for Sony E-Mount – I found the 35mm and this 12mm are all the lens I need. This is obviously the wider lens. The only downside is that this is a manual focus camera which for a lazy person like me is slightly bugging but I don’t think I have any major complaint other than that.
- Sony NP-FW50 Battery Camera Batteries – I have 5 of these extra batteries as it is essential for me because I rarely have any chance to recharge my camera during the day. We are the active didn’t-want-to-miss-a-thing kind of traveler so extra batteries is a must! You can get away with just 3 batteries or 4 to last you the entire day but I also take video footage and those 4k is definitely batteries monsters.
- MacBook Pro Retina Display 13-inch – Still using this until today and for traveling it’s just the perfect size, not too big but still enough for me to use comfortably. I usually use a case for my laptop but didn’t on this trip to save the space and weight, you know, the backpacker life.
- Seagate Backup Plus SLIM USB 3.0 2TB – Plus cheap case I got from an online store somewhere which the zipper already broke now, price have spoken.
- Aukey 5 Ports USB Charging Station Quick Charge – With 1 port that supports a quick charge, it is pretty handy to bring as I didn’t have to bring a power strip.
- Samsung Galaxy S7 (main phone) – Or the only phone I use, not gonna go into the android discussion tho.
- iPod touch – I can’t remember which generation is this as it broke already. Meh, I shouldn’t bring it as I barely even use it and it adds another cable charger to bring. But I did use its headset tho.
- Aukey Power Bank 20000mAh 2 Port Quick Charge 3.0 – The 20000mAh did result in a pretty heavy and bulky body.
- Anker PowerCore+ 10050 Powerbank – A really solid power bank! Small enough but really sturdy to hold, the downside is it kinda pricey tho.
- Xiaomi Power Bank 10000mAh – A cheaper option but still performs great in my opinions. I will either go with this or the Anker for daily use but this one is slightly more compact with the slim body.
We did went a tiny but overboard with the powerbanks, I will say bringing 1 10000mAh should be enough as long as you remember to charge it everyday. Or if you want to be extra, 1 20000mAh will be more than enough. Thats if you don’t mind the extra weight.
This part obviously depends on the destination, the season, and the duration of the trip. I actually booked Airbnb that have the washing machine but didn’t end up using it which made possible as it was Autumn and I didn’t really sweat that much. If it was summer or around the SEA, I usually will drench in sweat in no time.
- Pants (2) – I consider my style to be very basic and versatile. That mean black, grey, white, and all the neutral colors. And 2 black denim pants was all I bring.
- Leggings (3) – Since the weather was chilly but not really winter weather yet, I can get away with wearing this underneath.
- Long-sleeves (4) – Majority of them are turtlenecks because I need some protection for my neck area from the unforgiving winds. Some of them were thinner ones so I can layer them.
- Hoodie (2) – Well, it’s basically for the style variation. Need to stay fashionable for the picture, am I rite?? Tho I always wear a hoodie for flights as I need to be as comfortable as I can.
- T-shirt (1) – For sleeping and lounging around in the room.
- Underwear – Self-explanatory.
- Outerwear (1) – Simple black faux leather jacket looked pretty cool but I actually wish I bring something thicker. Autumn in Nordic is pretty much winter for my tropical soul. But the good thing about leather is that it doesn’t get soaked easily when it was drizzling.
- Scarf (1) – Lightweight but enough thickness to keep me warm and big enough to use as a blanket during flights.
- Socks (2) – The thick ones.
- Boots (1) – I prefer wearing boots for cooler weather and usually a faux leather as they don’t get wet easily. Definitely, no running shoes when I know there is a chance of raining.
- Toiletries – Put it in the zip lock bag to ease your way through the airport security.
- Waterbottle – To be honest, I didn’t really use it that much just. Most of the time I bought food that includes a drink and I get the bottled water that I just refill and reuse the bottle.
- Passport cover – Not necessary but the boring passport is looking much cooler in the photo with a leather cover, of course.
Things I Didn’t Bring / Wish I Bring
- Foldable Backpack
- Universal Adaptor – This is usually a must have but I didn’t bring it this time since I knew that Nordic countries use the same electrical plug as my home country.
- Packing Cubes – Organize, organize, organize.
- Waterproof Jacket – It rains quite often so having a lightweight waterproof jacket seems like a great idea.
There are obviously things to improve from my last trip on my packing skills but I am getting there. Practice makes perfect, right? 😁 Anyway, whats your style of packing? Are you the super minimalistic type or are you the over-packed type? Nothing right or wrong on how to to do, at the end it’s the trip and the experience that matter. Don’t sweat it!
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