What’s in your pack, Dave Lee?

Dave Lee of GoBackpacking.com recently saved $30,000, quit his full-time job, and hopped on a plane to travel the world for a year or more. “While I’m not going to be the lightest guy on the road, weighing in at a total of just 20lbs fully packed, minus the clothes on my back,” he wrote in an email late last month, just 48 hours before departure. “It’s hard to avoid carrying technology now that it’s so small, light, and inexpensive, though I know I could drop a few pounds if I ditched a bit of it.” So, Dave, what’s in your pack?


Clothes and Packs

  • Gregory Chaos backpack (2,800 cubic inches, from Summer ’98 Europe)
  • Patagonia daypack (new, not pictured, replaces green Jansport canvas bag)
  • Merrell hiking boots (I might regret taking these, from Spring ’05 Costa Rica)
  • Saucony running sneakers w/custom molded orthotics
  • Brazilian flip flops (from Spring ’05 Costa Rica)
  • North Face windbreaker (from Spring ’05 Costa Rica)
  • North Face khaki cargo pants (from Summer ’98 Europe)
  • North Face khaki cargo shorts (from Summer ’98 Europe)
  • Bathing suit
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 3 pairs of socks (2 new crew Smart Wool, and 1 Ingenius liner hybrid)
  • 3 boxers
  • 2 bandannas (from Spring ’05 Costa Rica and ’06 Belize)
  • Baseball cap – DC Nationals camo (new, not a fan of the team – just like the design)
  • Eagle Creek money belt (from Summer ’98 Europe)
  • Oakley sunglasses
  • Prescription glasses w/case (new, though I have 20/20 vision)

Toiletries and First Aid

  • Small paktowel (from Spring ’05 Costa Rica)
  • First Aid Kit – homemade w/Tupperware. Includes assorted band aids, gauze, Q-tips, digital thermometer, Sudafed, Imodium, Gas-x, Benadryl, moleskin, healthy travel and first aid booklets.
  • Toiletry bag – toothbrush, dental floss, nail clippers, Motrin, Aleve, Gold Bond powder, Centrum vitamins, 2 safety razors, 1 roll toilet paper.
  • 1 quart Ziploc bag with <3oz/bottle – Campsuds, suntan lotion, Neosporin, Cortizone, shaving cream, toothpaste, eye drops, bug spray, skin lotion, Prep-H

Electronic Gear (I think I crossed into official flashpacker territory)

  • Canon PowerShot Digital Elph SD700IS camera w/soft case (new)
  • 2 camera batteries and 2 memory cards (new, 2gb each)
  • Canon battery charger (new)
  • Petzl Zipka LED headlamp w/2 AAA batteries (new)
  • Casio Pathfinder digital watch (new, love it!)
  • Creative Zen V Plus 8gb MP3 player w/headphones, cloth pouch (new)
  • Universal Adapter/Power Converter (new)
  • Universal Charger by Creative (new, specific to mp3 player)
  • Card reader (new)
  • E*Trade digital security token (new)
  • SanDisk Cruzer Micro 1gb Flash Stick (new, loaded w/Skype and Firefox + my personal bookmarks)
  • Cheap headset/mic for Skype (new)

Documents and Money (all items to be scanned and e-mailed to self, copies left at home too)

  • Passport w/Chinese Visa
  • Photocopy of passport info page
  • Printout of Australian electronic Visa
  • 9 extra photos (for Visas)
  • Driver’s License
  • Anthem health insurance card
  • WHO Immunization card
  • 4 flight e-ticket receipts, NYC bus reservation
  • Lonely Planet Tahiti, Rough Guides New Zealand
  • E*Trade Visa debit card
  • Suntrust Visa debit card (back-up, expires 9/08)
  • Capital One Visa credit card
  • 3 paper E*Trade checks
  • $150 in travelers checks
  • $300 cash (USD)


  • Notebook and pen
  • Camera and watch manuals
  • ~ 70 Moo/Flickr mini cards w/blog and e-mail address
  • Sewing kit (from Summer ’98 Europe – yet to be used!)
  • Gum

Thanks, Dave! If you’d like to be featured in our What’s in your pack? series, send me an email: justinglow (at) gmail.com.