Given the diverse nature of my destinations, ranging from downtown metropolitan cities to some pretty desolate areas, my predominant packing criteria is versatility.
I don’t want to drag survival gear all around the city, nor haul urban gadgets into the wilderness.
Other criteria include:
The following is a list of what I consider to be globetrotting essentials based on these criteria.
1. Carinthia Tropen Sleeping Bag
Once I finally narrowed down what sleeping system I wanted to go with, choosing a brand was easy.
The Carinthia Tropen is a compact mummy shaped sleeping bag, equipped for temperatures around 0°C (32°F). I am six foot two (1.87m), so went with the larger six foot seven (2.0m) version, but the Tropen also comes in a 0.44lb (200g) lighter 6′1″ (1.85m) version.
What I specifically like about the bag is its integrated mosquito net. I will be spending a fair amount of time in malaria areas, so I don’t mind the extra precaution.
The Tropen can also be combined with the Carinthia Defence 4 to create a combined sleeping system for temperatures down to -30°C (-22°F). I begin with the Tropen because I start my journey in tropical zones, but those starting in more temperate regions should probably consider the Defence 4 first.
2. Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite Sol Padding
Widely praised for versatility and durability, the therm-a-rest Z-Lite Sol clearly fits my bill. It’s extremely lightweight, relatively compact, and unpacks in a New York minute. It easily doubles as a seat, and when not using the full length, folding some of the top layers together creates an elevated headrest.
The padding might not meet everyone’s comfort criteria, especially for those used to sleeping on their side, but you can always beef up the padding with natural resources or simply add a compact air pad on top of it.
My only remark is that it doesn’t come in Coyote.
To find out why I chose foam padding to begin with, check out my post on sleeping systems.
3. Tasmanian Tiger Field Pack
I had originally planned on stuffing my North Face Crestone 60L, but quickly realized I’d have to cut my provisions in half or have more things dangling outside my pack than I’m comfortable with. So I made a last minute decision to go with the 80+20L Tasmanian Tiger Field Pack.
I will do a proper written and video review on this pack after some field testing.
5. ITW Web Dominators
Nothing gets my goat like dangling straps. While several modern backpacks come with velcro keepers attached, many still lack efficient webbing solutions.
Click here for an instructional video on how to use them.
6. Pathfinder Canteen Cooking Set
It ultimately came down to the Nalgene Stainless, Klean Kanteen, and Pathfinder set. I really liked the extra mouth ring feature on the Nalgene bottle, but but when I realized I could get the same functionality with the Pathfinder by adding a fish mouth spreader to the set, I decided to go with the latter.
You can find a great video review on both products here.
7. Light My Fire Spork
There’s tons of different smart cutlery options out there, but I consider the all-in-one knife, spoon and fork a great choice. The spork is compact, lightweight, rustproof, has anti-slip grip, and a polished surface against that metallic taste. You could say the knife isn't its best feature, but then again, most of us carry a separate knife anyway.
8. Herbertz Rescue Knife AISI 420
I reluctantly decided not to bring my beloved 35cm/14inch S&W Search and Rescue CKSUR6, as I don’t expect to be building natural shelters anytime soon. So, given all its features, I went with this Herbertz Rescue AISI 420 liner lock. It's integrated belt cutter and glass punch make it a perfect all purpose knife.
9. McNett Tactical Fibre PT POD
Let’s face it, microfiber materials are extremely versatile and useful, and the PT POD is a perfect example of this. This compact little towel is extremely lightweight and easily stuffs into itself. I rarely go anywhere without it and this trip won't be the exception.
10. Tactical Microfiber Towel
While using the PT POD for smaller immediate tasks, the larger Microfiber Towel is perfect for larger chores.
11. Friendly Swede Grenade
It is never part of the plan to get lost in the wilderness, but there's no harm in carrying a 5.5cm/2 inch all-in-one emergency survival kit.
12. Wild Country Helium Quickdraw
I can't think of a reason not to carry a karabiner, so why not go premium.
13. Schrade Tactical Survival Pen
I always like to have a pen by hand, so why not give it some extra features and uses. Besides jotting down your thoughts and catching that cute girl/boy's phone number, the Schrade has an integrated ferro rod, striker, whistle, and glass breaker.
14. LifeProof Fre
At the expense of optimizing my media gear set-up, I required an all-terrain smartphone case. Having spent hours comparing rugged battery cases, I went with the LifeProof Fre.
Practically, you compromise some of the audio and touch quality for durability and robustness. Making this case perfect for those looking to use their iphone as an action cam.
15. EasyAcc Rugged Powerbank (IP67 20.000 MaH)
This took a lot of consideration. Initially I wanted to purchase the easyacc 9000 mAh power bank travel charger as a small backup bank for my phone and a bigger (16.000-25.000MaH) Zendure A' series powerbank for longer trips out. I even looked into some solar chargers but the hassle doesn't outweigh the benefits yet.
Eventually I decided on the all-in-one 20.000MaH, IP67 EasyAcc Rugged Powerbank. This way I won’t have to worry about water, dirt, and clumsiness, while being able to charge all my electronic devices.
16. Lacie 2TB Rugged
USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt compatible.
2TB Should be plenty for backups and general storage. If not, you can always combine it with a cloud storage plan.
17. GoPro Kit
Everybody has different GoPro equipment compositions. These are some of the accessories I can't do without.