A new version of this article, mainly with many more and larger photos, is now available at: https://sites.google.com/site/1ozluggage2/  
There it is a part of: 100 steps to Ultra Light Luggage and Less Heat Stress.
Another part deals with a related subject: Travelling for weeks with only the clothes on the back. 

Dress of this trip

 I had not foreseen this situation. A large bottle of drinking water (cheaper per volume), a small loaf of bread and some sliced boiled ham in the pockets.

   Even a dedicated traveling light person like me must admit I look a bit overstuffed.


Traveling super light, without a bag.  A bold experiment?

All gear carried in a multi-pocket vest & pants

Since then I have produced reports on "100 steps to Less Luggage and Heat Stress"    Short version     Long version


Copyright Anders Ansar 2006- . All rights reserved. You are welcome to use pictures and words as long as you include a link to my pages.

 
Abstract

Traveling light is convenient. Since some years I wanted to try putting all in a vest with many pockets. I tried it in Romania, in September.  A bit tough when temperature dropped to 9 degrees C with rain, I added insulation by putting wrinkled paper in the  pockets. 
   An old travel super light saying: B
etter a bit cold one day than lugging around long  johns and a sweater for fourteen days!

At times I looked overstuffed. In nice weather the vest with content weighed some 9 pounds, 4 kg. I will modify gear. My tailor is now making a new improved? vest.  

   
  When not used I carried a  pair of 
 trousers folded  on the inside of the back of the vest fastened with safety pins at their top.

  Pick pocket attack went well - defense systems worked.
  When the Siberianskaja, the local cold strong wind, struck I used kittens to keep ears warm :-)  
  Next trip in similar climate, only vest again. Next trip in the tropics, no vest, maybe no extra garments.

I have mostly been traveling light, carrying some 10 pounds, 5 kg in a bag. I think it is a nice challenge to concentrate your needs in a small volume/weight.

  There are many advantages of traveling light. See links near bottom of page. 

 

New dress for next trip

  For the next trip my Asian tailor have now fitted four big outside pockets on my trouser legs.

   He has also made a multi pocket vest with removable sleeves.
(The tailor stitched the vest for USD 9! Material USD 3! 

 
 

The trip


Since some years I have been thinking of traveling "super light", without a bag, in a mid Europe autumn type climate. Opportunity arises when a seasoned traveler and friend wants to visit Romania in September.
  I also wanted to see Romania since I visited Bulgaria many years ago and found it very nice.
  The idea for traveling without a bag was to carry most of the stuff in one of these multi pocket vests.

 

 
Starting from Myanmar, Burma, I bought a vest and ordered a pair of trousers from my tailor. I wrongly decided I didn't need extra outside pockets on the trousers. My thinking was that it was best with only one piece of specialized gear, the vest.

  The average maximum daily temperature for Romania in September is 75 F, 24 C.

  Off to Europe, for about two weeks, and meeting up with my friend in Bucharest. 

 

  We head north through Transylvania stopping at palaces, Dracula's castle, beautiful towns, etc in fine weather. 

 I have all my stuff in the vest and trouser side pockets. 

The one pair of extra trousers and one shirt hangs inside the back of the vest, secured at the top with safety pins.

 Then coming to Gura Humorlui in northern Romania to check out the "world famous painted monasteries in Southern Bucovina", you know, it becomes a testing time for my outfit. In the morning when we leave for the monasteries it is 50 F, 9 deg. C, light rain and foggy.


I am dressed in all I got: Sandals, a pair of very thin (tropical grade) socks, thin underwear, two pair of pants, three shirts, the vest, a single layer thin windbreaker and a sun hat.

  I am still cold and must move briskly to stay warm. On the way to the bus for the monasteries we visit the big hotel and I ad some insulation by stuffing wrinkled paper towels in the pockets of the vest.
  I am ok. I had the option of buying more clothes. 

I ad 2016: When I realized I was not dressed for the occation I should have asked our landlady, we were staying in a family, if I could borrow some warming clothes, sweather, pants. If not possible I could have asked for big towels and safety pins. Makes good long johns and a vest! See warming clothes in my reports: Short version

 
 
When you are down at these weights, vest with content around 7 pounds, 3 kg, in temperatures around 70 f, 20 C, weight is not an issue. More compact gear may be more interesting in order to not look too stuffed.
 
 

The gear except garments

 
This is some of the gear I carried in the pockets.
Clockwise from upper left: An elastic loop with comb,  reading glass (used if I don't have the glasses with me), light, compass, key and a toothpick.  The box is the camera battery charger. Toothbrush. Aspirins, mosquito oil, sandpaper for trimming nails, shaver, deodorant, disinfectant (for skin cuts). 
 
 
That is all the toiletries, no shampoo, used accommodation soap, no soap/towel (was always available were I slept), no tooth paste. Shaved using the soap.

  Note that most of this gear is special, modified in some way to make it smaller. 

  The camera charger is the most bulky piece. I used it at least one time. I used my camera this way: Usually taking several shots of one motif, later deleting most of them. This roughly doubles the time the camera is on. If I have enough memory for the trip without deleting pictures I can use it longer.

 
 
In an emergency I could possibly go to a camera shop and charger the battery there if they have the same model charger or an universal charger.  

  Also in the pockets, camera Sony T 7, some 10 mm thin, some ten pages copied from my one kg travel guide (left at the Bucharest hotel), compact flat sun glasses, very light raincoat, the volume of a hand. 

  A chain and a combination lock for locking e g a cupboard in hotel, quite heavy, around 2oz, 75 grams, especially the lock. Now making a locking wire, diameter 2 mm, with loops, which I will use with a very small, 0.8 inch, 10mm padlock.

 

Garments


Of the two pair of trousers one pair is light linen for hot weather the other pair average thickness. So with the option of using both at the same time they cover three different temperature ranges.  

  Similarly of the shirts one is very light, "see through weight", for tropical weather. One is of average weight material. The third, carried as evening wear, is one of these made of wrinkled cotton (they were fashionable at the time) - no need for ironing after tight stowage or washing. The more wrinkled it is, the better it looks.  After a trip on a bus my friend commented that some of the local women seemed impressed by the shirt.
  When I wore only one pair of trousers and one shirt the remaining trousers and one shirt hung with safety pins on the top inside of the vest. One shirt was in the big back pocket of the vest.


Washing

 


All the time I carried the thinnest shirt innermost. Keeping the others quite unsoiled. When I washed it it was dry, except for the cuffs, in the morning.

  The warmer of my trousers I didn't wash. They luckily had a camouflage pattern. On the second day of the trip somebody stepped in a puddle of dirty water splashing on my trousers. When the water dried the camouflage design even looked more natural than before. :)    

 

 

Down at the Black Sea coast I jumped across a small stream. The landing spot broke and I fell forward, rolling a bit in some mud. Again no immediate need for washing. Trousers and mud colored shirt looked quite OK after drying.

  Returning through Bangkok it was time to wash the light pair of trousers, which I had worn innermost most of the time in Romania. I washed them in the evening. Hung them over an air conditioner blowing upwards. They were dry in some 3 hours. 

Drying the socks on the road 


 

I didn't use

 Sunglasses. Mosquito oil. MP3 player, the size of two index fingers.
Also I didn't use disinfectant and aspirins - but that is emergency gear which I carry next time again.


I used, but could have done without

I carried a raincoat, very thin plastic, a bit "one time use", volume like a hand. I used it one time when walking in rain. My windbreaker had been enough.


I borrowed from others

A bit serious

We made an unplanned stop in a city just to sleep, and arrived late. I didn't have copies of the travel guide for that city. My friend had the whole guide and we easily found a hotel. I could have had a problem finding a budget hotel without the guide book. Locals naturally don't have much knowledge about hotels.

Not serious

  • Ahead of a trip and dinner on the train I bought a can of sardines. It turned out I needed an opener. I borrowed my travel companions Swiss Army Knife. Also his plastic tea spoon to fish out the sardines. Without my friend I would have asked fellow passengers if they had a knife. 
  • I wanted to lower my inner trousers so I could tuck them into my socks keeping my ankles warmer in cold weather. I borrowed, a piece of string, tape and scissors from may travel companion to lengthen the suspenders of those trousers while on a train. Otherwise I could have got the string and borrowed scissors at an accomodation.
  • When the Siberianskaja cold wind struck I had to borrow two kittens from my landlord to keep my ears warm. If I wasn't allergic to cats I would have kept them there also when sleeping. :)

      If you been in the Danube Delta on a cold autumn day you may also have experienced this very cold strong wind, the Siberianskaja, coming from Siberia, picking up speed over the steppes of Kazakhstan then accumulating moisture as it crosses the Black Sea. Finally doubling its speed as it is compressed into the channels of the Danube delta.

      The chill factor is tremendous.  It is so chilling, even in 60 F, 15 degrees C plus, that when we put a cup of water outside it froze in minutes!  :-)  



 

Pick pocket attack went well - for me. Defense systems worked. Their intelligence seemingly OK.  Surprised by my defense?

A guy with some 15 pocket should be a bit of a challenge for pick pockets. But they managed to go for the right pocket. Good intelligence or luck?

  We were waiting for a bus at the railway station of the city Brashow. The bus came, I lined up to enter, a woman (good sun tan, wide skirts!) stopped at the door in front of me, didn't enter. It rung no bells in my head - latest  encounter with pick pockets was years ago. Some people pushing from behind. A big hand grabs my money, passport etc from outside my pocket. I have a defense system against this type of attack - hidden zips on the pockets. I look back, it is the usual set up, a person, this time a man, with a coat on his arm shielding the proceedings. I shout "Pick pockets, pick pockets" as the doors closes and the bus starts. If the pick pocket had got my stuff I could not have run after him. Timing good! Maybe organized with the driver.

  After this I adjusted my money, passport etc to make it slimmer - less noticeable from outside. 

 

Next trip in same climate I go again in my vest only 

Maybe to Crimea, in Ukraine, with Yalta etc on the northern Black Sea coast coming spring. See Test Runs with Ultra Compact Luggage


Next trip in the tropics

I am just now planning to go with still less. Big trouser pockets. No vest, no extra trousers, maybe one extra shirt. See Test Runs with Ultra Compact Luggage

 

What may travel companion carried altogether, in a backpack weighing 40 lbs, 17 kilos,

I don't know in detail. But he reports one pair of long trousers, two shorts, five shirts or T-shirts, one fleece jacket, four footwear from heavy trekking to bathroom slippers, three pair of socks, one umbrella, one SLR camera outfit and one digital camera in a camera bag. A Swiss Army Knife and a tea spoon. Also one radio with short wave and one immersion heater for boiling e g coffee water in the morning. A toiletries case with a volume of about one and a half liter. A Eastern Europe travel guide, about one kilo.

 
Any tips, suggestions or comments?


 


Links

What to Pack, is a very, very good site, lots of experience behind it and lots of sound advice - I have little to add except when it comes to travel ultra compact.  Lists e g good reasons for traveling light. Also Avoiding theft

 

One Bag - Doug Dyment, another very good site. The Art and Science of Traveling Light.  Listed advantages: Security Economy, Mobility and Serenity.

 

Light weight trekking, Ray Jardine. Book: Beyond Backpacking. Creative thinking! Moving this art forward! A very inspiring site, for some body into the related field of Ultra Compact Travel.

 

Packing & Traveling Light Recommendations by Mark Veber.  A nice and extensive travel light site. Many links. List advantages of traveling light - but he doesn't suggest carrying all in the trouser pockets. 

  Peter Cochrane's Blog, link doesn't work any longer but read part of it below.

Published: Tuesday 27 September 2005.

"In my wilder moments I dream of a 'no bag' future where I travel wearing everything including all my technology in a fly fishing style jacket including all my extra clothing neatly hidden inside my top coat. The basis being that the airlines measure and weigh bags but not people. But that is something for the future."
  

The human Swiss Army Knife, Eric, "carrying permanently about his body more than 1,000 useful objects."  No bag! Sure a colleague! 

 

 

 

 

 

100 steps to Less Luggage and Less Heat Stress 


Ultra Compact Travel Gear for the tropics from 1 ounce, 30 g, - all in the pockets - saves $$$. Clothes for freezing also goes into pockets. Clothes and accessories that keep you cool. Short version     Long version  

 


 


Traveling this light is extreme?
 


Check out my extreme Stand Inside Wing Sail, 120 km/h, 75 mph

To my  Skate sailing in wings, building plans and article available 



Here I sail one of my Ice-Wing skate sails, on ice. The wing hangs on my shoulders. I wear ice skates. The front of the wing is transparent. Top speed is around 120 km/h, 75 mph.




Things from my desk. Sailing boats I have raced and sailed. My humble abode.


100 MPH?, 160 km/h? My design High Speed Wing Skate Sail. Sailor in wing The only one in the world, as far as I know.
This is a small area wing sail and should therefore be able to reach higher speeds before you are over powered.
  With this wing over powering should come around 100 mph, 160 km/h. 
Wing still in modification and testing phase - and right high speed conditions are very rare - about once a year. 
My Four Record Speed sailing projects
My skate sailing page  



75 MPH, 120 km/h. My design Course Racing Wing Skate Sail 
I think I was first to show that 
skate sailing in wings is much faster that its predecessor with the sailor standing to leeward of a fabric sail. Top speed is some 75 MPH, 120 km/h. That is 30% faster than its predecessor. 
Photo:The wing
 hangs on the shoulders and I wear ice skates. 
It sails 4 times faster than the wind.
Some 100 have been built world wide. I have designed, built and raced some twenty of these wings.
My skate sailing page 

Small boat sailing to Iceland on the cold northern Atlantic Ocean
Sailed with a friend, Lennart Berglund, in his 28 ft boat. A very rewarding three months trip: From Stockholm, east coast Sweden, Kiel Canal in Germany, west of England, Scotland, Faeroe Islands, Iceland, (from there by airplane to Greenland, Kulusuk), Shetland Islands, Norway, Goeta Canal from west to east through Sweden, Stockholm.
 At night 39 F, 4 C, approaching Iceland. 
On the west coast of England we got a Gale Warning. As the nearest port we had a chart for was Liverpool we headed there. (As charts were expensive then, USD20, we only had a few). We got in before the storm hit.... 

Boats that I have sailed and raced A C-class sailing canoe (local Swedish design). An Elvström Trapetz two man dinghy. A Star Boat. Two Tornado Catamarans, once an Olympic class. Two Laser dinghies.When I sold my first Tactical Compass, Ansar 1, to sailors I was engaged as a tactician on a 6 m R-yacht and a very successful Scampi Half Ton Class, Lady Luck.
Photo. Camping trip in a Laser Dinghy This was on large Lake Saimaa in Finland for half a month with a friend in his dinghy.
 
  
Freelance photography and writing. E.g. my E-Book: 100 steps to Ultra Light  Luggage and Less Heat Stress
Photo: No-Bag-Travel. All in the pockets for weeks! 
After decades of traveling light on the world's hot roads in sixty countries, several circumnavigations, minimizing, testing and eliminating gear - finding ways to manage without, I have writen the above E-Book.

My Tactical Compasses for Sail Racing.
Wind shifts At-A-Glance

Animation: The position of the central pointer gives you the wind shift information At-A-Glance! Wind is here from the right. 
 "It helped me to gain at least three or four places in each major regatta", writes Ed Baird, about the Ansar 1 compass.
Other famous buyers are Iain Murray, Australia, Peter Norlin, Sweden.


My Tactical compasses
 

The view from my humble abode in central Stockholm, Sweden. Beyond the water, a bay, lies the Karlberg Palace. 


The bay is connected to the oceans. There is a public jetty just outside my abode so you can arrive by boat for a visit. 
The castle dates back to the end of 1640.




(My note: Latest version of this table is here on IW page,  9 Jan 2018) 

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Email, Postal address & Telephone number.  

Copyright © 2009-2018 Anders Ansar. All rights reserved. You are welcome to use pictures and words, uncommercially, as long as you include a link to my pages.

Modified May. 2018.