A life limited to carry-on lagguage

5. May 2019 Off By Justus Zeemann

Why I like traveling with carry-on luggage so much?

One of the main reasons is carrying less. A backpack and a shoulder bag are enough. With this I’m flexible and easy on the way.

Since I do not have sooo many flights a year, the airport argument about waiting hours does not appeal to me as much as to others. Nevertheless, it affects me in terms of time and comfort:
While others are waiting, I have already left the counters behind and “arrived” in my destination. Through the lemitation of fluids in carry-on, I may buy this time back at the drugstore. But I have to go shopping anyway and in my carry-on luggage I always have enough for the first few nights, if necessary.
When I take a plane or taxi, I do not have to worry about extra baggage rules or surcharges.

The 10kg limit for the backpack results in a certain limitation in the selection of my clothes and technology. I think twice about whether I really need something and if I have room for it. (See below for a list of the items I have with me).

The small amount of clothes automatically limit me in the selection. So I’m less worried about what I’m wearing, and I even go so far as to buy the same thing five times, not to think about what to choose anymore.
Clean and worn laundry I can easily distinguish by turning inside out. Washing once a week haven’t been an issue in the last year.

In the beginning of the travels it was an idea, but after 1,5 years one of the main reasons is that I just do not need more than what I can comfortably carry.
There is also a saying that expresses freely:
The amount of things one should have is measured by what he can wear. Is the shoe too small, it’s stupid, the shoe is too big, it does not help either.

Of course, there are a few things I miss from time to time. But they are less connected with traveling than with the comfort of a permanent home. So I’ve been used to two 27 “screens and good speakers for years. Both would be a high, if utopian motivation to take more than just the hand luggage. But only to buy a hardcase, to wait for it at the airport, to lug it around with me and then to have it in the apartment is not practical enough for me. So I will not go back to that while traveling 😀

How did I came up with the idea about carry-on only?

Before my first trip to Thailand I researched and came across people traveling only with hand luggage. It would have many advantages and especially in warm countries one needs less clothes anyway.
Thinking about what I really need in Thailand I was ready for a three-week experiment. I bought a carry-on backpack (Osprey Farpoint 40) and began to weight my clothes and equipment:

It totaled in 1070g of clothes (+ what I was wearing);
6.5kg technology;
1.5kg backpack and a few little things.
In addition I had a small camera bag + attached lens quiver.
For the documents and money I toke my used motorcycle belt bag. Very handy, because it had buttons to secure the zippers. I could walk around with a swimming shorts without proper pockets and still have my stuff with me.

I got on well with this style in Thailand and decided to keep it for my digital nomad travels:
The laptop was changed from 17″ to 15.6″ and saved me 1kg in weight.
The camera bag was replaced by the messenger bag, and the camera it self was replaced with a newer, smaller and better one.
GoPro, it’s gimbal and the belt bag were totally removed, microphone downsized and some clothes added.

Nowadays I always have enough fresh clothes for a week. Since it is mostly functional clothing with Merino wool I can even use them more often without washing. I can highly recommend to research about this fabric and try it for yourself.

My tip is to take a carry-on backpack and a small bag/handbag with you to the next week’s trip in a warmer region. Maybe you will feel comfortable with it and you do not need more to enjoy.

Enclosed you will find what my carry-on backpack contains today (5.5.19). If you need a more detailed opinion on any of the products, just leave a comment and I’ll give you feedback!

Thank you for your interest.


Osprey Farpoint 40 M/L
Manfrotto MB SV-M-50BB (Allegra 50 messen blk. Style P)

Technology and work:
HP Workstation 15G4 + powersupply
Nexstand Laptopstand
1 external HDD
Logitech G750 solar powered keyboard
Roccat Nyth Mouse + mousepad
UE Boom 2 Bluetoothspeaker
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Sony A6300 Camera + Batteryset
SEL-1018 Lens
SEL-P18105G Lens
Rode Videomicro Pro
Beyerdynamic DTX 100 individual InEars
Kindle Paperwhite
Powerbank min. 10.000 mAh
~30 pages A4 white paper
2 Journals
4 Pens
2 thin magazines for work

4 T-Shirts
6 Boxers
2 Pairs of socks warmer
2 Pairs of socks normal
3 Pairs of socks short
1 Jeans
1 Leather belt
1 Pants with detachable legs
1 Pullover
1 Jacket with detachable inlet – so it gives two jackets
1 Pair of Keen Unkeen 2 Shoes
1 Pair of trainers
1 Buff Merino

1-2 Toothbrushes
Small amounts of deo, shampoo, suncream and desinfektion
(Bigger stuff I buy in the country since it’s not allowed in carry-on).
Mens brush
Combi shaver
Electrolyts for 3 days
Throat pills
Skincreme for scratches
Cream for tattoo healing

Copy of all documents (also digital…)