Mike: What’s in your Bag?

In preparation for a five week adventure that only involves one backpack each, a good question that I’m always asked is, “What’s in your bag?”  In all the traveling that I’ve done over the years, I seem to appreciate the simplicity and flexibility that comes with traveling smart and light.  Never have I gotten home from a trip and said, “I should have brought more stuff.”  The exact opposite has always been true for me.  Shrugging, in my early years of traveling, I realized that the extra weight of carrying with me 4 pairs of shoes, and 20 different shirts far exceeded the annoyance of carrying along extra baggage.  Now, I will see, traveling with one backpack is much easier to do when going to a summer destination.  However, in our case for the 2014 ATW trip, Jordon and I will be bouncing back-and-forth across the equator—experiencing lots of different weather conditions along the way.  So in celebration of travel minimalism, I disclose the travel gear that works perfectly for me:

THE NORTH FACE Terra 35 Backpack – After years of using my trusty Jansport, I wanted something with a little more padding and back support.  I have found it in The North Face Terra 35.  I find it to be the perfect size-wise bag for logging serious flight miles.  It is adaptable, sleek, and easy to use; and provides a vertical mesh channel on back panel provides superb cooling comfort. The Terra 35 completely anatomically correct to help support proper posture. Cushy shoulder harness and tricot-lined hipbelt keeps you comfortable.


Columbia Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt, Large, Beacon – Proper travel shirts are a must.  You need something that is lightweight, convertible, and especially quick-drying.  Theses shirts by Columbia can be used in a day, then washed overnight for use or packing the following day.  I travel with 2-3 of these in different colors on every trip.This keeps the shirt fresh and odor-free over multiple wearings. Other features include mesh-lined cape vents at the back shoulder, which provide maximum airflow and breathable comfort; deep pockets at the front chest for stashing gear; a rod holder for hands-free convenience; and button tabs for rolling up and securing the sleeves.


ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Tee,Black – A great choice for all your sporting adventures as well as daily wear, this ExOfficio Give-N-Go men’s tee is made of the same fabric found in ExOfficio’s popular Give-N-Go underwear. High-performance and low-maintenance, the Give-N-Go is particularly suited to travel–whether by foot or plane–as its quick-drying fabric allows you to wash on the go and pack fewer pairs of underwear.  Perfect as an undershirt or for working out, the Give-N-Go tee has a slim fit with a straight hemline, forward shoulder seam, and tagless label. It’s made from 94 percent nylon and 6 percent lycra, and they’re ultra-light at just 4 ounces per square yard (5.5 ounces in total). It also features treatment with Aegis Microbe Shield to control odor-causing bacteria.

Levi’s Men’s 527 Slim Boot Cut Jeans – The Levi’s® brand embodies a pioneering spirit that is always driven to innovate. Levi’s jeans have been worn by presidents and ranchers, Americans and Russians, doctors and outlaws, kings and coal miners. They are a common thread with a common promise: to provide quality clothing in which to Go Forth™



Hush Puppies Men’s Outclass Oxford,Dark Brown – Hush Puppies invented casual. They apply their philosophy of fun, comfortable, genuine style to every shoe they make – from work to weekend. In 1958, when they first introduced the soft suede Hush Puppies shoe, something amazing happened; the world discovered casual, comfortable style– and that style has been a favorite ever since. Because they combine advanced comfort technology with fun, contemporary styling, Hush Puppies fit perfectly into everyday life. So it’s no wonder Hush Puppies have become a worldwide favorite. With a full line of footwear, apparel, and accessories for the whole family. Hush Puppies can be seen on the feet of celebrities, in movies, and in 80 countries around the globe.


ExOfficio Men’s GiveNGo Boxer Brief – Well-suited for adventure and travel, the high-performance Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs from ExOfficio have built-in features to keep you dry and fresh no matter where you roam. The extremely breathable and moisture-wicking fabric is quick-drying so you can wash-and-dry on the go and pack fewer pairs, and is treated with Aegis Microbe Shield to control odor-causing bacteria, making it ideal for wear in hot, humid climates and on sweaty adventures. A terry elastic back and functional fly add comfort and convenience. Take the Give-N-Go camping, fishing, hiking, paddling, exploring, backpacking or nowhere at all.


Exofficio Men’s Bugs Away Breez’r Cape Hat – The BugsAway Cape Hat has a rollaway cape to provide maximum bug and sun protection, which can also button under the chin to keep it in place on windy days. It is rated UPF 30+, dries quickly, and wicks moisture to keep you cool. Permethrin, the active ingredient in Insect Shield, is invisible, odorless, and tightly bonded to the fabric fibers, and lasts the expected lifetime of the garment (70 washes). It repels mosquitoes (including those carrying West Nile virus and malaria), ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges (no-see-ums). Insect Shield repellent lasts 70 washings.


Tripshell International TR-Adap-BK Travel Plug Adapter With Surge Protection – Tripshell is an universal travel adapter that covers outlets over 150 countries including US, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, UK. It comes with surge protection that protects your electrical appliances safe from Spikes/Surges in foreign electricity supply. It has built in 6A fuse, L-N surge protector, 110/230 Vac voltage indicators, and children safety shutters. Power rating: 2.5A Max. 100 240 Vac. – 100 Vac max. 575W – 230 Vac max. 1380W


Mini 2200mAh Portable Power Bank Pack External Extended Battery Built-In Highlight Torch  – 2200mAh external battery comes with one USB ports (5V/1A) which can be used to charge your smart mobile phone, MP3, MP4, PSP, or any other mobile digital products. Easily recharge it with the Micro USB cable. It supports pass-through charging so that you can charge the external battery and the digital products simultaneously. It is made of excellent quality 18650 Lion battery that can make the life of the external battery longer, and the charge and discharge cycles reach at least 1000 times.



Exofficio Men’s Bugs Away Chas’r Short Sleeve Tee – Enjoy your life in the great outdoors without the worry of pesky insects and bugs cramping your style. Nothing can ruin a weekend camping adventure like an evening of itching and scratching away at the mounds of mosquito and bug bites you got on your afternoon hike. Show those bugs who’s the boss when you show up in the ExOfficio Men’s Bugsaway Chas’r Tee Short Sleeve Shirt.

Frogg Toggs Action Poncho – Frogg toggs ultra-lite2 bi-laminate action poncho w/ hood, one size fits most colors: khaki, and green made in frogg toggs ul2 non-woven bi-laminate materials, w/ stuff/storage sack included; ultra-lite and pre-packed, waterproof & breathable, washable and recyclable materials w/ no pvc or phthalates



Swiftwick Performance Seven inch Cuff Socks – Olefin produces a fast drying, lightweight sock with superb abrasion resistance and long-lasting durability. As a fiber, Olefin retains less than .01% of its weight in moisture and resists deterioration from chemicals and perspiration. The combination of nylon and spandex with the Olefin fiber helps create a softer, more comfortable sock with incredible breathability for everyday wear. Olefin, the only Nobel Prize-winning fiber, has a great story. Its production leaves very little waste; therefore, it has less environmental impact than most polymers and is easier to recycle. Olefin also has the lightest specific gravity of any other fabric.


eBags Small Packing Cubes – 3pc Set – These amazing packing cubes help keep me organized.  I can comfortably for 3-4 of these in my THE NORTH FACE Terra 35 Backpack.  I organize clothing, accessories, and toiletries easily and efficiently; and can pull “sections” of my bag out with ease.  A must for staying organized along the adventure!

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