What’s In My Backpack: Everything You Need for Long-Term Travel

My Backpack

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When planning out a trip one of the hardest things is deciding what to bring in your backpack. This is amplified with a longer trip, where you don’t know exactly where you will be, what environment you will face, and how long you will be gone. The weight of your pack becomes a factor when you start to think of all the possibilities. Here is the ultimate guide to the essential things to take backpacking long-term or short-term. Some of these may seem like strange or unusual things to bring, but I’ve found them to be extremely helpful when traveling light.

Skip the words and just see the stuff →

Backpacking Box

My best suggestions for low maintenance backpacking travel.
For more recommendations see my article: https://aylonpesso.com/2014/02/18/whats…

kit by @aylonpesso

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24 Hours in a Clock: How and Why I Switched to 24 Hour Time

24 Hour Clock
The Protein and Produce iPhone

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24 Hour Time:

Despite its lack of adoption in the United States and several other countries, 24 hour time has become the world standard for telling time. In the 24 hour system, unlike its 12 hour counterpart, there is no AM or PM designating morning or evening.  Instead, there is just each hour of the day, from 0 to 24, and its corresponding minutes.

After some thought, (yes, I think about minutia such as the most efficient and effective way to tell time) I decided to wholly switch over to 24 hour time. Here’s why and how I did it.

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I Am a Traveler and So Can You

October 16th, 2012, 17:30
In the Toronto airport, panic strikes. Hard. I’ve been sitting here with Odin, my big orange backpack, for about 5 hours. In hindsight a ten hour layover in Canada wasn’t the greatest idea. And the next one in Frankfurt probably wont be great either. Fear fogs my vision while I stumble-run into the cold sterile bathroom with Odin weighing me down. As I slam through the door, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, flushed face and all. Reality hits. I’m going to India. Alone. With no planning whatsoever. For an obscene amount of time. Six months. Half a year. Is this too much? Should I quit halfway? Make it two months instead? Did I bring enough money? Am I wrongly trusting strangers? Are these people I found on couchsurfing going to kidnap me or rob me or kill me? What the hell was I thinking? This is a mistake. I’m stupid. This was wrong.
All of these thoughts and more strike me all at once and fly around my head. And I haven’t even left North America yet.

Day 2: Riding in the back of a pick-up truck in the crazy streets of Chennai, delivering donations to an orphanage, during a thunderstorm.
Day 2: Riding in the back of a pickup truck in Chennai, delivering donations to an orphanage, during a thunderstorm.

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I Am a Traveler

October 16th, 2012, 17:30
In the Toronto airport, panic strikes. Hard. I’ve been sitting here with Odin, my big orange backpack, for about 5 hours. In hindsight a ten hour layover in Canada wasn’t the greatest idea. And the next one in Frankfurt probably wont be great either. Fear fogs my vision while I stumble-run into the cold sterile bathroom with Odin weighing me down. As I slam through the door, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, flushed face and all. Reality hits. I’m going to India. Alone. With no planning whatsoever. For an obscene amount of time. Six months. Half a year. Is this too much? Should I quit halfway? Make it two months instead? Did I bring enough money? Am I wrongly trusting strangers? Are these people I found on couchsurfing going to kidnap me or rob me or kill me? What the hell was I thinking? This is a mistake. I’m stupid. This was wrong.
All of these thoughts and more strike me all at once and fly around my head. And I haven’t even left North America yet.

Continue reading “I Am a Traveler and So Can You”

Evolution of a Traveler


Traveling has a profound ability to change a person in many ways. It can give you a new outlook on the world and its cultures, make you learn new skills and, if you do it right, push yourself to the limits. But long-term travel can also change you physically. You’ve seen what it can do to a passport. Whether it’s a beard, hair, sun damage, or weight gain/loss, something is bound to evolve.

To test this, I took a picture of myself every week for my 6 month backpacking trip through India. Be on the lookout for only five shirts (but mostly my Lululemon Metal Vent Tech shirt), two beards, and no haircuts.

On my return, people said that I aged 5 years. See for yourself.

Introducing the Evolution of a Traveler:

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