Simon Griffee Visual design, photography, writing, illustration

Rough Packing List for Extended Travel

Published 2009 August 9

Two days ago I saw the sun setting into the Tyrrhenian Sea off the ancient Etruscan port of Pyrgi. While walking on the sand at dusk I decided I will go traveling and end up living by a beach somewhere early next year. I started the following list to help me get organized:

  1. Pair of very good quality shoes suitable for all terrain and weather. Rugged, durable, dark brown or black. Comfortable to wear all day. Also wearable to social events when clean. Looks like something from Paraboots would do: Sebastião Salgado in an interview by Marcelle Katz in the Sunday Times, 1995:

    “Almost more important than my cameras, are my boots. I’m on my feet maybe 14 hours a day and I walk a lot. When I travel, I take only one pair of black boots which I wear day and night. I’ve had the same pair for 13 years and they are practically glued to my feet. They are called paraboots—an old French brand, which were originally made for the workers in the markets of Les Halles. They’re not beautiful but they are capital!”

  2. Pair of flip-flops

  3. 4 linen shirts, 1 dark brown, 1 light brown, 2 white (only one with short sleeves)

  4. 4 artificial fiber undervests

  5. 5 pairs of cotton socks

  6. 4 pairs of briefs

  7. 2 pairs of dark linen trousers

  8. 2 linen jackets, 1 of slightly heavier & warmer material than the other

  9. Dark brown belt

  10. Black tie

  11. Pair of linen shorts

  12. Pair of swimming trunks, quick-drying

  13. Small towel, quick-drying material

  14. Hat (straw?) with neck string

  15. Long cotton scarf, also suitable for wrapping around head as a turban

  16. Metal or leather water bottle

  17. Eye glasses & case

  18. Contact lenses, case, saline water bottle

  19. Toothbrush & small toothpaste tube

  20. Shaving kit

  21. Pocket knife (Swiss army)

  22. 5-10 meter piece of string

  23. Cotton cleaning cloth

  24. Small first aid kit

  25. Bar of soap (usable for washing of body & clothes)

  26. Bottle of shampoo (small)

  27. Wallet & coin pouch (small)

  28. Notebook in leather sheaf (small)

  29. Silly passports

  30. Pen & pencil

  31. 2 small digital cameras with 3 spare batteries & 3 spare SD cards each

    • Leica M8 or M9 with 35mm and 50mm (35mm-equivalent) lenses
    • Ricoh GRD III with 28mm (35mm-equivalent) lens
    • No Leica, GRD & other waterproof compact?
    • No Leica, GRD & Panasonic LX3?
    • Leica M3?
    • Voigtlander 28mm optical viewfinder
    • 2 spare batteries for each camera
    • 2 spare SD cards for each camera
    • 2 small USB SD card readers
    • Battery chargers
  32. Small laptop computer with built-in wireless networking, as light as possible

    • Macbook? Toughbook What are the lightest laptops? ‘Netbook’? OS X? Ubuntu Linux?
    • Software: Web browser, text editor, image editors (raster & vector), image library, FTP, VOIP
    • Power cable
    • Modem cable
    • Lan cable
  33. Portable backup hard disk drive, as small as possible, with one cable (powered by the computer), potentially with capability to connect directly to camera

  34. Mobile phone with wifi capability?

  35. Solar charger?

  36. Lightweight small ‘daypack’ backpack, which can also be checked-in with ‘potentially explosive liquids’ and pocket knife

  37. Good hand/backpack with space for all of the above, yet small enough to be taken with me in a commercial aeroplane’s cabin. Made to last. Maybe something from Saddleback Leather Company


Later in the evening, at Tre Casette, located between Sasso and the coast, I observed the moon rising above the dusty Roman horizon while listening to a surprisingly faithful Pink Floyd cover band consisting of a man and woman playing guitar and organ. They had sound mixers, lasers, lights and a smoke machine.

The breeze was gentle, the night balmy.

I didn’t have a camera.

What