I like to travel light. 5 days in Poland, in a Spec-Ops bag.


Picture is messy, but I’m rather glad my test of minimalist (but still complete) tourism was mostly a success.
For those four days in Belgium, I took only a small haversack with an improvised ziploc toiletry bag (also loaded with basic travel medications), three sets of underwears and t-shirts, a hat, a light edc-kit and some gadgets. I was wearing some walking boots, a softshell jacket (I was a bit pessimistic about the weather, since it was still November in Switzerland, and I didn’t wore it a lot), and my farmer’s pants and shirt.

I was going to get my Casio G-Shock instead of my Garmin GPS-watch, but since I still can’t find a replacement armband for it, and its battery life is more than a month without using GPS and communication ports, I thought I would be ok with it. I was right, since after four days of various uses (with a bit of GPSing, alarms and illumination), it still was running at about 85 % of its battery’s capacity.

My EDC-kit was constitued of a Victorinox Stayglow Huntsman with a Photon X-light (both were useful for sharing some food and once for illuminating a very treacherous medieval stairway in a beffroi tower), a Fred Perrin SAP loaded with half-euros coins for self-defense and paying parking fees, passport, cash, and a Bic firelighter. I chose the Huntsman and the SAP because they were compatible with the laws of the multiple countries we had to cross.

I took four tech-gadgets for this long week-end, and they worked very nicely :
– my new Petzl Tikka+ headlight. It feels cheap (especially since it’s not that cheap, moneywise), but it’s a good polyvalent headlight running on three AAA batteries from 10 to 140 lumens (if I remember correctly). It also got a secondary red led.
– my Samsung dumbphone. It can survive shocks and water, and it can stay on for so long it can make a Nokia 3110 its little bitch. Even if I had used it the whole ninety-six hours in communication, I doubt the battery would be under 50 % of its capacity.
– my Panasonic Lumix GF1 camera. Not only it can take good pictures, and is rather sophisticated, it’s very efficient. I took about 1500 pics from Belgium to Luxemburg, and its battery would have last for at least the same amount of use.
– and last but not least, my distraction tool for the trip, my old Pocketbook ereader. Even if after three years of reading, the battery is dying and can’t hold its charge as much as it could, I was still on the fourth energy bar.
The result of that choices is that I didn’t need to bring chargers with me, effectively lighting my load (I could have brought a simple micro-USB cable for both the ereader and the dumbphone, but my watch and my camera use proprietary cumbersome chargers).

My first plan was to take my tablet with me, in order to check my social online life, and save my photos each night. I’m glad I didn’t, since I should have brought many accessories that would have burden my bag – and mostly because I would have been distracted from my travel.

I find funny the various glitches and bugs of Apple’s Maps, but last evening travel reminded me that Google Maps were quite ineffective too. Never, ever, ever, trust G-Maps while travelling in Switzerland. You’ll always end up in Düsseldorf or Napoli. And in the meantime, you’ll just be lost in the woods.


TransEuropeExpress EDC

Gorilla 24” crowbar

230V to USB adaptator

cheap headphones

Samsung Galaxy Ace

microUSB cable

ASP Key Defender (Street defender ?)

Victorinox Solo

Ear protectors

Cricket firelighter

Rotring RapidPro702 0.7 mm mechanical pencil

Ceylor condom (Ceylor for seamen ?)

Wenger diamond sharpener

Pelican 1920 tactical flashlight

Calling cards