In the past, travelling has always been a major task for me. What do I need and what could I need?
Let us leave out the second part of the question, we have already taken a good step towards a minimalist packing list. It is that simple.
Only things that solve a problem are allowed. It has helped me a lot to approach the matter with a packing list and to provide each individual article with weight.
On the one hand this has the background that it’s written down what has to be done and you don’t start to pack any “could-use-items” again at the end. If you consider the weight you carry in spite of a minimalistic packing list, you can consider again whether you should optimize here or there.
With Packing Cubes you can separate objects thematically and get order in your luggage. Classic Packing Cubes for clothes (fresh/used) and PVC net bags in the appropriate size for hygiene and technical articles.
Power supplies are heavy due to their large amounts of copper. Meanwhile I manage to charge all my technical devices while travelling with a single power plug which has a USB-C and USB port. From this I can adapt to all other plugs. There are light USB chargers for camera batteries. Notebook, smartphone and camera equipment can all be charged with a single plug.
In the meantime I have purchased all cables in the shortest available length. This saves weight and space.
Update: now an ultra light USB-C power supply from Anker is available
Clothes need space and are heavy. One thing I had to realize when I started the minimalistic travelling is that you can’t get washing machines full anymore. So I switched to hand washing in the sink every 1 to 2 days. Another thing are Merino clothes. They are lighter, dry much faster than cotton and have the advantage that you can put them on much longer than normal clothes because of the odour-inhibiting merino wool. So I don’t have to wash as often and they can be used again faster.
During my last two-week trip I noticed that a triple set of T-shirts would have been quite enough for me. Of course I had too much with me.
There are odour-inhibiting socks in whose fibres are incorporated with silver salts. This reduces the growth of odour-producing bacteria and thus the socks can be worn longer such as the merino clothes. I am extremely enthusiastic about these socks. In theory, I can put them on for many, many days without them starting to smell. The same applies to the shoes in which I wear the socks. The socks are simply ingenious. For the next trip I will probably only take two pairs of them with me. So one pair can dry, the other one is on the feet. So there is only one pair in the backpack.
When I think about it, when preparing my trip I ask myself exactly the questions that are important for the way to minimalism. I pack my suitcases and take with me…