A big part of smooth travel is to avoid checking bags, to have a carry-on that is truly carry-on and will fit everywhere, including a commuter aircraft, and to have a small pack so it feels like you aren’t carrying a bag at all.
A big part of being a good Viking is to be… Spartan. As in simplifying your life and not hoarding shit, especially if you have to carry it around.
So, here comes the most minimalistic travel option yet. For Summer travel (as in year round for most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and from April to October for the Nordics).
The Fjällräven Lapland Hike 15 pack. Yup. Only 15L. And only 47x24x17cm (18 1/2x9 1/2x6 1/2 inches). Yup, there’s a belt as well that you can store at the back of the back. The back as well as the shoulder straps are made of wool, so it’s good when you’re sweating.
How do we do it?
First, we dress adequately. Our official non-combat Summer pants are the Fjällräven Gaiter No. 2. Yeah, gaiters are gay and we don’t care about them. But in this case, it means the pants transform into shorts, so that’s one extra piece of clothing we don’t need. The pants also are light, have side zippers to vent your balls, and dry super fast. They also have big pockets. Only drawback is that they aren’t available in North America, and they will cost you your first born. Then, we wear wool… Wool socks, wool underwear, wool t-shirts. Wool keeps you cool, doesn’t stink, doesn’t require much washing, and when washed, dries super fast. And for the chilly nights out, we use down vest/jackets. Very warm, very light and very compressable.
Then we organize our shit. Actually, that’s a lie. Úlfhéðnar do. And they came up with a color-coded system that any Marine, however challenged, can be on board with.
Tarmac (the dark brown) is personal stuff. Large bag is toiletries, small bag is meds (because we constantly have some sort of injury).
Sand is gear and electronics. Here ballistic sunglasses with shooting lenses, Petzl STRIX IR tactical headlamp, Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen (which can break glass), Trayvax Summit notebook, extra notepad (to write instructions so we don’t forget as our attention span tends to be limited), earplugs for shooting and a few other things.
Red is first aid. Includes a tourniquet, some combat quickclot, and a few other things.
Gay brown (lighter brown) is survival stuff. Includes some water tablets, rope, fire steel, and a few other things.
Yellow is our documents, including our passport collection. :-)
Then we’ve got the Camelbak Armorbak, which is interchangeable with our Mystery Ranch Crew Cab system, for simplicity. Together with the inline M.A.P.S. purification system, which is expensive, so we use it only when absolutely necessary, unless we want our Ulfs to beat us senseless for wasting money.
As for clothes, one change of wool underwear, one change of wool socks, and one change of wool t-shirt. With a Norrøna down vest if we get cold. And flip flops because steal toes are great to break faces in cities, but suck monkey balls to just hang out.
And nope, we don’t check any bag. As minimalistic, and as Spartan as you can get!