How to Pack Light for Work or Adventure Travel

Over the last few years I’ve been traveling more and more, mostly related to work.  I’ve also moved a number of times, living in Montreal, Nova Scotia, Boston and New York in the last 2 years alone.

With all the moving and traveling has come experience in packing light and getting used to living with fewer things.

I’ve always been fascinated by minimalist travel (and minimalism in general), and inspired by posts like Tim Ferriss’s How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less post, or posts like this one (for the ladies).

I also try to combine travel for work and pleasure whenever possible, going to conferences and extending my trip by a few days or visiting friends in the area.

Combining work and pleasure travel makes packing light a little more tricky, but it can certainly still be done.

Last year I took a trip to Geneva - Prague - Berlin - Hamburg - Scotland over the course of a month, and only traveled with a carry-on and backpack.

In 2016 I traveled to the UK and Ukraine with just a carry-on.

I’ve managed to get my packing down to a system so that I can be just as happy heading to a trade show in 25C weather, and then finishing my trip with some sub-10-degree hiking.

Here’s my packing list for traveling light, and covers most urban/low-intensity travel with temperatures between -5C and 30+C.

The Item List


Travel Accessories



Workout Gear

With everything on this list, including two collared shirts, the total weight is around 8.4kg or 18.5lbs.

Removing collared shirts, workout gear, and the cold-weather jacket, you can easily get this down to around 5.5kg/12lbs.

Either way, this should give you a starting point for packing light.

Which extra items do you take?

Which do you not bother with? 

Let me know in the comments.

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