We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics


Topics: 14,735   Posts: 190,187   Members: 6,595   Active Members: 265
Welcome to our newest member, bosticderek.


No announcement yet.

"Always Pack List"

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • KmK
    I'll just stick with a couple of items that Others who initially have scoffed are always grateful I have on me when traveling.

    A couple of ziplock bags. It only takes one invasion by bugs into clothing territory far too personal before they become a stock item...

    A large cloth napkin...food, nose, wound, treasure you need to protect in your bag...multipurpose and washable.

    A couple of pencils with twist-up lead and a small pad of paper. While they don't respond kindly to rain, pencils don't go blooey in high temps or on airplanes.

    A page or two of crossword puzzles torn out and slipped into the back pocket of a carry-on.

    Leave a comment:

  • AlaskaGirl
    I always travel with a HeroClip. I got two, one for my ukulele and one for my Tom Bihn bag. The HeroClip allows me to hang my bag and ukulele anywhere. No more setting stuff on the dirty restroom floor. I made a paracord strap to attach the HeroClip to my stuff. elisa

    Leave a comment:

  • b1gsky
    Not counting my most important EDC stuff I always travel with:
    • A linen towel which is just big enough to wrap into after a shower, if I’m not staying with family or friends. Dries fast, doesn’t stink and feels nice. I can’t stand those microfibre towels.
    • A scarf. Not always the same one, it depends on what kind of clothes I’ve packed and where I’m going. I have a big blanket cashmere mix scarf which I love for the colder months.
    • Pyjamas. I just don’t feel comfortable wearing street clothes to bed, I need my dedicated sleepwear. I try to keep it light though (most of the time I’m taking a thin t-shirt and leggings).
    • Basic toiletries which is for me: toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, deodorant, razor and a nail file. Of course I usually carry more in that department, but these items are the minimum.
    • A water bottle.

    I also have a lot more items that I take on most trips, but not always - like my camera.

    Leave a comment:

  • Izzy
    True story, but weird: I used to get motion sickness all the time, on long car rides, on airplanes, and forget about even short boat rides.

    As soon as I stopped eating gluten, it went away.

    So maybe worth looking into. Apparently, there are quite a few of us who have celiac, but never had the really terrible consistent symptoms.

    Originally posted by melminimalist View Post
    Try ginger chews, those are amazing as well for motion sickness.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:

  • Lia
    Of course I carry a lot of the stuff already mentioned -- special shout out to hand wipes. I use EO Lavender wipes because they're biodegradable and smell AH-maze-ing. I take a dozen from the big container and refill plastic baggies over and over.

    Also, I always pack Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask/Wash/Scrub. It's a 3-in-1 that actually does all three things really well. I transfer it from the original container to a 1oz silicone tube and add extra tea tree oil, and it's everything I could want for my face, refreshing and effective. Wouldn't travel without it!

    Leave a comment:

  • Cristina
    I always pack individual sachets of Calpol (children's Tylenol). The number of times we've been away and I've had to re-buy it... Also, our big ear thermometer.

    Also, Travel Trays, obviously!

    Leave a comment:

  • Ms. Ferret
    I'm not counting my normal EDC stuff (wallet, phone, charger/cables, lip balm, etc.) in this list. Instead I went through past packing lists (yes, I keep these, LOL) to see which non-EDC items showed up in most of them, regardless of destination or type of travel:
    • Salux washcloth - I've used these all my life, yet somehow forgot to pack one during a recent trip to the east coast. I felt SO disgusting and grimy the entire time. Never again!!! A spare one now lives in my packing cubes.
    • Comb - I have apparently been traveling with the same small seamless plastic comb for over a decade now.
    • Toothbrush and suction-cup cover/holder - Keeps my toothbrush off of sketchy countertops.
    • Skinvac face cloth and suction cup w/ wire hook - replaces liquid or bar face wash. I wash it out with soap and hang it up on the hook to dry.
    • Lunette - because menstrual surprises are doubly likely when I'm far from home.
    • Large cashmere shawl - it doesn't matter where I'm going; planes are chilly year-round.
    • Reusable compact shopping bag - so this is actually part of my normal EDC, but these are particularly useful on trips.

    Leave a comment:

  • Kaadk
    Man, I must be seriously underpacked. My packing list is way small compared to ya’ll:

    1) double USB charger
    2) lightning cable
    3) Apple Watch charger
    4) toothbrush
    5) folding brush
    6) electric razor
    7) 3DOC 3-1-1 with body wash, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, chapstick, Glysomed lotion, nail clippers and mini tweezers, and a pocket Tylenol bottle with a couple Tylenol, a couple allergy pills, and a couple decongestants.

    And pretty much everything (except maybe all the pills) gets used every trip. The only two ‘maybe’ items I allow myself are:

    1) collapsible chopsticks
    2) bottle opener from the dollar store

    Aside from that, I just pack the clothes for the trip. For instance, for a standard 3 night “consulting week”, we’re talking:

    1) 3 shirts
    2) 3 Roos
    3) 3 pairs of socks
    4) 1 pair of pants

    This is the standard for when I’m flying. Now on the other hand, if we’re talking about what we all pack in the fifth wheel for a family vacation, that’s a whole different topic.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:

  • MarkWebb
    I always pack aspirin in case of stroke, house keys, car keys, small pocket knife (Spyderco Dragonfly), lip balm, Fisher Space Pen, and phone. Everything except the phone goes into a Side Effect, which isn't that full around town. Because I also carry a Cafe sized supplemental bag with me that does the heavy lifting - water bottle or smaller flask, a warm layer, and my phone since nowadays they are a little big even for a Side Effect.

    I guess you could ask why that small amount of items just doesn't go into my larger bag, the Cafe. Well, it's because I like to rotate my edc bags, and it's never a problem moving the big things to a different bag, the problem is moving all the small items and doohickeys one by one.

    So you could say the Side Effect aggregates the smaller items, acts as an organizer.

    In fact I can easily stuff the Side Effect into a larger bag, like a Medium Cafe, and then I don't even have to wear it.

    Another advantage is I can grab just the Side Effect instead of both bags when running curbside to help my wife with grocery bags.

    So what are the "must haves"?

    My current Side Effect list is pretty light, since I've also got room in the Cafe:
    1. Emergency full strength aspirin for stroke.
    2. House keys (I keep a second set in my supplemental bag e.g. a small or medium Cafe or similar sized bag).
    3. Car keys.
    4. Small pocket knife (Spyderco Dragonfly).
    5. Lip balm.
    6. Pen - a classic Fisher Space Pen, the original bullet style but with a pocket clip so it will stay in place inside the Side Effect interior drop slot.

    And here are some additional "must have" items in the Cafe:
    i. Sterile saline for rinsing my contacts if dust or grit gets in my eye.
    ii. Reading glasses to wear over my contacts (they are optimized for driving).
    iii. Actual eye glasses in case my efforts to clean my contacts doesn't work.
    iv. Of course a phone! But also a portable battery powered charger, a conventional plug in power brick, and charging cord.
    v. A Patagonia Houdini wind shell, which is super light and packable. If I need more than that, I upgrade to a larger bag, one large enough to hold the Side Effect too.
    vi. A water bottle. Room permitting, a sealed 16.9 oz disposable water bottle (from TJ's) which I almost never need to use (water bottles in car!) but when I need it, I really need it. I replace every 9 months or so even if never opened.

    OK that's surprisingly simple around home. This is not a "flee the wildfire" go bag, it's one real emergency item (aspirin), one "used all the time" item (cellphone), and one Scouts item (be prepared) a rain/wind shell.

    Things get more interesting on flights though, specifically on 13-14 hour economy seat flights from the West Coast to Asia.

    Now my always pack list looks like this:

    Overhead, I have a spare clothes ultrathin packing cube with one pair socks and underwear; one zip neck baselayer from Patagonia that doubles as a warm layer and as a shirt to wear while sink washing and drying my short sleeved shirt if I'm stranded at an airport; and one travel pants in case I spill food on the blue jeans I wear for the flight itself (I'm sure that absent a spill, the jeans will be presentable for much longer than any conceivable stranding at an airport).

    Also overhead is a small ditty bag with my bathroom kit. I used to split bathroom items between checked and carryon, but I simplified my life by switching from reusable contacts (which require a cleaning kit with 8oz minimum of peroxide solution) to disposables, and switching from an electric shaver to a disposable BIC.

    Finally, overhead is one of my most important transit items: a new-school "thin" down jacket. These are great for the occasional frigid flight, and save my neck when I had to sleep out at a cold, over airconditioned terminal one time after a missed flight.

    Seat side I divide my "seatside essentials" into stuff I MUST have if there is an emergency disembarkation, and stuff I WANT to have during the flight for comfort.

    MUST HAVE stuff is combined in my jacket and shirt pockets, and in that Side Effect, which during the flight is worn via strap cross-body (to the front of course!). The pockets have my glasses (reading and regular eyeglasses), lip balm, extra Fisher pen (in this case either a slim and short Stow Away or the Military or Police versions with full height and a pocket clip), floss sticks, and a handy charging cable to use in the USB port below the LCD screen on the airplane seat.

    The Side Effect itself has noise reducing earbuds (actual ANC, from Audio Technica, so inexpensive) - admittedly not essential to an evacuation, but essential for the seat; a spare phone for reading Kindle (I use an iPhone SE which is super small, and I use a Project Fi data-only sim which gives me data pretty much worldwide); that aspirin; another charging cable, an Apple classic tiny cube charger; more lip balm. And a passport copy.

    My passport is always on my body, in a neck pouch.

    BUT WAIT, THAT'S NOT ALL.... on the floor is something the size of a Daylight Back Pack, to hold a small puff vest (Uniqlo collarless is cheap and compresses well) and a neck pillow... for the pillow I actually use a foam cervical collar for whiplash victims, highly recommended for keeping your neck from lolling while napping. The vest is there because usually the jacket is overkill on the flight itself. And water bottles, 1L Platypus film bottle and a second, but .5L, Platypus. These fit in the seatback pouch better than hard round bottles (like bike bottles) and flatten down when empty. Since they expand and contract, changes in air pressure while ascending or landing don't affect them at all - no squished and crinkled bottles to deal with.

    The biggest problems I notice with air travel, is how cold it can get in airports. Flights themselves haven't been a problem recently. But airports in winter at nice can be freezing. I often have to wear my down jacket waiting at the gate for boarding, then replace it with the much thinner down vest for the flight itself. The neck brace is the real "secret" to my travel - it lets me sleep without waking up all the time my head lolls. And yeah, that water is essential.

    (Also - an Anker "lipstick" shaped battery powered charger in the Side Effect. Although I try to keep the battery in my iPhone SE plugged in and charging, I still want extra power - outlets are sometimes hard to find, and in foreign countries the plugs are sometimes different. And also nowadays it seems like every airplane seat has a charging port, but sometimes they are out of commission and sometimes they don't have a port.)

    Leave a comment:

  • kathryn
    Originally posted by sujo View Post
    Besides the usual 3-1-1 and stuff, I always travel with my entertainment kit.
    I have something similar in a Q-kit so I can always get some music to block out the world and calm me down--travel is pretty crazy-making for sometimes.

    In addition to the 12-volt car charger (because American seems enamored of combining the worst charging tech with the biggest IFE underseat boxes in the industry--best I don't get started on that rant LOL), mine also has the two-prong headphone adapter that some older planes still use for IFE.

    It's largely disappeared now, with seatback screens, but every once in a great while you'll get an older plane with plane-wide music channels/audio channel for the movie they show on the common screens. Back in the day (and maybe a rare unicorn of a flight still) the pilot will put ATC comms on one of the audio channels. For some reason, listening to that is incredibly relaxing for me.

    Leave a comment:

  • kathryn
    Originally posted by Kirri View Post
    As we left for a trip to Vietnam a few days ago, I stuffed a large white handerchief into a travel tray with selection of nuts and dried fruit to eat at airport, during stopover, etc. I needed something for kids to wipe fingers on. It has proved so useful and will now be an always pack item.

    I have a few that I inherited and didn't know what to do with but now have discoved their new purpose! They are large and very lightweight. For drying fingers, wiping hands/mouth, as a mini-picnic or table cloth (this sounds silly but is actually a pretty common occurance in our family as we tend to share snacks but buy whole meals out). So useful!
    Funny coincidence: I found some white men's handkerchiefs on the dollar wall at the pharmacy the other day, and thought I bet these would be great for travel! They're currently residing in my travel kit drawer waiting to be packed on my next trip.

    Leave a comment:

  • sujo
    Besides the usual 3-1-1 and stuff, I always travel with my entertainment kit. This is a small Sea to Summit stuff sack (a bit smaller than a No. 1 Travel Stuff Sack) that holds an iPod Shuffle and charger cable, earbuds, a male-to-male stereo audio cable, USB car charger, and 30 pin charger cable and wall charger for my iPhone 4S (which I have refused to give up regardless of the fact that I haven't been able to update the OS for 3-4 years now and can no longer use certain apps). This little stuff sack of listening pleasure goes from bag to bag whether traveling by car or plane or just moving around town on a daily basis. In flight, I usually keep it in my Side Effect or Travel Cubelet for in-flight entertainment. This works because I usually just listen to music, rather than read or watch movies. I will use my phone for this.

    I have a second version of this entertainment kit that I don't use as often but provides a few more options when I don't want to use my phone. It is a small Cordura Organizer Pouch with a 2nd Generation iPod, 30 pin charger cable/wall charger and earbuds. Though it is even more in the dark ages than my iPhone 4S, it holds an older version of Kindle, music, and one movie.
    Last edited by sujo; 04-23-2018, 05:53 AM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Kirri
    As we left for a trip to Vietnam a few days ago, I stuffed a large white handerchief into a travel tray with selection of nuts and dried fruit to eat at airport, during stopover, etc. I needed something for kids to wipe fingers on. It has proved so useful and will now be an always pack item.

    I have a few that I inherited and didn't know what to do with but now have discoved their new purpose! They are large and very lightweight. For drying fingers, wiping hands/mouth, as a mini-picnic or table cloth (this sounds silly but is actually a pretty common occurance in our family as we tend to share snacks but buy whole meals out). So useful!

    Leave a comment:

  • MikeV
    I've recently discovered Ginger Rescue from Ginger People. I eat their little ginger candies frequently after lunch but the Ginger Rescue is definitely not candy. They burn the tongue a bit even (not in a bad way).

    I don't get serious motion sickness but sometimes a twinge of queasiness. They came along on a pretty rough Victoria Clipper ride from Seattle to Victoria BC a few months ago and now come with me all the time on trips. My wife and I have both used them for slight belly-aches with great success too. They've worked really well for us and since they're not even remotely candy a ginger-candy-crazed-husband would not be inclined to eat them all

    Leave a comment:

  • G42
    Originally posted by kmw View Post
    .... but I may need to start a secret medicinal ginger stash that my husband doesn't know about. (No joke: just the other day I watched him consume nearly a whole bag of candied ginger. Something about it really tickles his lizard brain.)
    You need a decoy stash to distract him and the super secret stash for you.

    Leave a comment: