Published on: 2021-04-30
Living in cities since few years, my daily best friend is obviously a backpack. Because of the usefulness to carry stuff on your back, it is probably one of the best invention ever. In fact, pack light is now part of my lifestyle.
- a daily pack: MEC Megabyte 21L, about 600g, $80 (in 2004).
- a traveling/hiking pack: Ark'terix Khatski 38L, 1.5Kg, $220.
- a second daily pack: Black Diamond Bbee 11L (in black), 360g, $55.
- a backup pack: Black Diamond Bullet 16L, 526g, $55.
- a bike saddle pack: Giant Bikescouting 15L (to carry more stuff while biking), about 500g, $100.
- a bike handlebar bag: Farsik Barbag 2L (for spare parts), about 200g, $75.
Total of 103L, 3.7Kg and $585.
- a daily pack: new Black Diamond Bbee 11L (red), 360g, $55.
- a traveling pack: new MEC Travel Light Carry On 38L (blue), 591g, $40.
- a bike handlebar bag: Farsik Barbag 2L (black), about 200g, $75.
Total of 51L, 1.15Kg and $170.
I needed a simple setup, light and not focused on a fantasy self
of a professional overnight hiker (I actually used the Khatski for one overnight hike in 3 years) and I reduced the total capacity from 103L to 51L by removing 3 packs and reusing the daily pack for almost everyting. I will use it while biking to work, hiking or strolling around with the family. No need to carry more than what this pack fits.
Every day carry (EDC)
With a capacity of only 11L in the daily pack, how can I achieve to do it all? The key is to plan in advance and reduce everywhere.
- Lunch of 2 plastic containers, 2 fruits, 2 snacks (1500 g)
- Snow peak Titanium spork (16 g)
- Westcomb Crest minimal jacket (142 g)
- Gloves : if require during cold season (150 g)
- Extra t-shirt and underpants if biking to work (160 g + 54g)
- Deodorant (140 g)
- 50ml refillable hand cream tube (65 g)
- Zebra F-402 ballpoint pen : cheap, made in JP, replacement ink available, good looking. (9 g)
- Supr Good Slim wallet with 4 cards (2 IDs, 2 credit cards). (50 g)
- Keyset with car fob and 3 keys. (100 g)
- Pair of urBeats3 (18 g)
- Phone cable (36 g)
Total weight is about 3 Kg including the backpack. After that, I can either add a 2L water tank (+2 Kg), a laptop for work (+1.5 Kg) or my own laptop (+1.3 Kg). Any how, the total weight does not generally exceed 4.5 Kg (10 lbs).
Water bottle can go on the bike if you bike to work or kept outside the pack if you walk/drive. Merino wool socks on me so I don't need an extra pair.
It is actually quite easy to commute with a small backpack like the Bbee 11. You just have to be mindful of what you carry around and stop hoarding like a pack rat. You don't need much in 8-10 hours of your day.
Also, one thing I also considered is the weight and size of the packs while not in use. The Bbee can be rolled away easily. The MEC Travel Light can be stored in its own stuff sack and is lighter than the Khamski (591g vs 1.5Kg!), while having a dedicated compartment to hold a 15in. laptop.
Even if I'm planning to move away from a high-density area to a small town later this year, I want to consider biking to work as part of my possibilities. No longer I want to be a prisoner of my car and a lifestyle I don't like that tends to violate my want to minimize and live meaningfully.