07 January 2013

My No-Baggage Challenge in Washington D.C.

I stepped off the plane in DCA and jogged to the National Mall (over 3 miles away) without any hassle. 

I also stayed on foot till my ride picked me up that night after dark. 

To do this, I had to travel light. 

Real light. 

I got this idea from Rolph Potts. It’s called the No-Baggage Challenge. I didn’t bring quite as little as he did (my excuse is that I’m a photographer), but I was close. Here’s what I brought...


  1. Ski jacket
  2. Beanie
  3. Touch-screen gloves
  4. *Long-sleeved thermal
  5. *T-shirt
  6. Jeans and belt
  7. *Underwear
  8. *Socks
  9. Hiking shoes

CARRYING (Backpack)

  1. Canon Rebel T1i camera + 50mm prime lens
  2. Canon charger and spare battery
  3. Android Galaxy Nexus phone + charging cord (for photos and blogging)
  4. Hackie sack (for entertainment and keeping warm)
  5. Toiletries (deodorant, floss, chapstick, toothbrush, toothpaste, concentrated detergent, earplugs)
  6. Swim trunks (which double as PJs)
  7. *Spare Long-sleeved thermal
  8. *Spare t-shirt
  9. *Spare underwear
  10. *Spare socks

The starred items are polyester, and I brought 2 of each—wearing one and carrying one. Polyester is odor resistant. It also dries quickly. Each night, you wear your thermal, shirt, underwear, and socks in the shower and wash them with detergent (or hotel shampoo also works). Wring them out, and they dry by morning.

My parents were there for my brother’s graduation from Marine OCS, and—ha ha—I had my mom smell test me at the end of the week. I passed.

Traveling light made passing through TSA security a breeze too. Still, next time I’m going to bring even less.

— j

My feet at the Capitol Crypt (as mentioned in Dan Brown’s  The Lost Symbol)
DCA, also known as Reagan International

Me at the US Capitol carrying my only souvenir—the Declaration of Independence


  1. Travel Pants from REI will work like your shirts do. Wear a pair, take a pair and they'll last you the week.

  2. I did something similar when I travelled to Europe in 1999. 2 shirts, pants, socks, etc. Washed one and wore one. It was so much easier to travel that way. I now make it a point to travel light (unless I am taking my kids...then that is almost impossible).

    Thanks for sharing...

  3. Travis, you are hardcore because you live hardcore.

  4. Awesome picture of the D.C. temple.


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— J