When everything you own has to fit in one tiny bag, on the chilly beach…
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I’m glad the previous post about everything I own was so useful (and controversial). The astute may have noticed something, though, being that I’ve been up in Chicago part of this time. What if it gets really cold?
Well, I’ve had classes all week in San Francisco and this place always feels like winter to an Austinite. Fortunately I have a few simple extensions to the one backpack plan. The first is now my favorite piece of clothing I’ve ever owned: the Mont Bell Thermawrap. This jacket is not quite 10 oz and stuffs into a tiny sack. At the same time, I can wear it down to about 40 degrees with just a t-shirt underneath. It’s absolutely amazing. As with most of the ultralight kit, spendy, but well worth it. I’ve been wearing it every day in foggy, chilly SF.
Add a Patagonia Capilene 3 zip neck shirt and the tiny Icebreaker Pocket Beanie to the collection (beanie stuffs into the sack with the Thermawrap and I can’t even tell it’s there), and I can hang out at freezing temperatures. Fantastic. All still in a tiny backpack.
Now, I have been able to fit the rolled up Capilene into my tiny North Face Recon backpack and strapped the Thermawrap to the side. (The Thermawrap also makes a great little pillow on the airplane.) But this week I was feeling over the top luxurious and also discovered that I’d have to carry large notebooks to class. (At least, until I have a chance to scan them to a hard drive and ditch them.)
In any case, I upped my space a touch by experimenting with a new backpack. It’s a North Face Overhaul 40. I believe they might be discontinued already, but it’s a bump from my 30L pack to a 40L pack. Not massive yet, by any stretch, but definitely spacious. After what I’ve been using for so long this thing feels like it could carry three people’s life works. I’ve modified it a bit by adding two compression straps so that it takes up as little room as possible and better balances the load. So far no problem sliding it under the seat on the airplane and it definitely makes sliding things in and out really easy. Oddly, though, it also feels kind of loose and sloppy to me. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed having tight, tiny little places for each item where they tucked in just so.
So this pretty much handles 32 degrees and a variety of things in between. If I were to add anything else to the mix it would be a Themawrap vest which would provide crazy versatility for another 5oz. I’ve even thought about getting the vest and ditching the Capilene, but I think I’d miss having the mid level soft longed sleeve thing.