My Minimal Kit

I’ve started carrying way too much shit, time to scale it back.

One of the constant struggles that I face is what do I take with me when I want to, say, go to a coffee shop, or the library for a few hours. Realistically I could take everything, I mean my bag has room. I could also take just my laptop, that would likely cover me as well and would be as minimal as I could get.

It’s just a few hours, why is it so hard to decide what to bring?

Part of my struggle is that I don’t like to move things in and out of my bag. I like to get everything setup in the bag and then leave it there — don’t touch it — just keep it in the bag until I need it. Because I don’t like to swap things in and out, I like to have my bag ready for a short trip to a coffee shop or a longer trip while traveling for work or pleasure. My bag should always have the necessities in it for either.

So I took everything out of my bag and spread it out.

That’s quite a bit of stuff, and I’ve stared at that picture for a long time. I wanted to make it more minimal, but still versatile enough that I don’t have to add or subtract from it as I prefer.

The first thing I realized was that I was carrying some really odd shit, here’s the full list of what I have in that picture:

Whew, that’s quite a list, and as I said I needed and wanted to make it smaller.

After staring at that photo for a bit I decided on a two pronged approach: shrink the kit, and replace some of the older gear if needed.

Here’s the new kit:

  • Fujifilm X100T
  • Retro 1951 Pen
  • Hardgraft Box Case with Business Cards
  • GORUCK GR1 Field Pocket
  • X100T Battery
  • DDC Stuff Sheath with Field Notes and small Moleskin inside
  • USB Micro Cable, 2″
  • Lightning Cable 6″
  • Lightning Cable 8″
  • USB-C to USB Adapter
  • Samson Go Mic w/ USB Mini Cable
  • ANKER Battery Pack
  • Finger Nail Clippers
  • Apple Earpods
  • GORUCK WireDopp
  • Apple iPad Air w/ Smart Cover
  • Leuchtturm Notebook
  • Keys
  • Apple MacBook

Originally I was carrying 34 items with me everyday and everywhere I went. Now I am down to 21 items, with many of those taking up less space. Only the battery pack got heavier, but it also holds a lot more power so I call that a wash.

I could have stopped there, but as I wrote about in my review of the GORUCK 15L Shoulder Bag:

And I think that’s where my issue is: the size of the 15L is not a compelling enough reason to use it over the GR1, and I was banking on the fact that it would be compellingly smaller.

I also wanted to tackle that problem I am facing with the recent changes of a few notable things in my life:

  1. My everyday gear list is a lot smaller
  2. You might have noticed I moved from a 15″ MBP to a new MacBook
  3. I have two trips coming up where I know I will want to carry a bag with me, but DO NOT want that bag to be the GR1 for varying reasons (that’s a topic for another post).

So I also slimmed down from the GR1’s 26 liter to the GORUCK Bullet Ruck which is 10L. I’ll do a full review of that later, but my thinking is that I want something more mobile like a nice shoulder bag, but that is still a backpack and large enough on my back to not look foolish.

We will see how this gear setup fairs long term, but I am committed to carrying far less crap with me everyday and suspect I will be pruning my list even further as time passes.

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