Hey there folks, here’s what I figured out works best for me when traveling in daytime temps of 40F-70F and nighttime temps of 20F-40F. I travel mostly by train and hitchhiking.
~backpack -mine’s a Gregory 60L internal frame - it was expensive, but I’ve had it for years and it holds up to all the throwing around/snagging on stuff/sitting on/tugging on the straps I do to it on the road. I actually got the pack before I started any kind of bum traveling. I was just doing some multi-day hiking trips at the time.
~sleeping bag (I use 2 bags stuffed inside each other, a Kathmandu synthetic ~45F bag and a super light & cheap synthetic 60F sleeping bag inside that)
~sleeping pad (I used an Alps Mountaineering comfort series pad for a while and loved it. I just upgraded to a 14oz Thermarest, pictured here)
~tarp & paracord (or tent or bivy) (pictured ~7ft by ~8ft lightweight tarp)
~thermals (its really essential to have a good base layer! Some kind of mid-tier quick-dry thermal legging and long sleeve shirt has worked for me)
~down puffer jacket (packs down super small and is super light. I swear by this thing)
~gloves (I have fleece-lined swede fingerless gloves from Walmart)
~socks x 3 pairs (merino wool or merino wool blend are warm and long-lasting)
~tee-shirt x 2
~ear plugs (protect your ears, people! You only get one pair!)
~notebook & ccg
~pens x a lot
~plastic document holder (I like to keep my papers/notebook/pens organized and semi-waterproof in this thing I got from Staples - pictured, it's above my backpack)
~cooking stove & cooking pot (this is essential to me in cooler weather. Worth it just for making hot coffee/tea in the morning without having to leave my spot. Endless possibilities making curry, beans n rice n veggies, chorizo, oatmeal, etc.)
~lighter & matches (not pictured)
~day pack (small backpack, can help keep shit organized within ur pack too)
~soap (not pictured)
~period products of choice, first aid kit, & medications
~sunscreen (not pictured)
~plastic shopping bags (not pictured, but necessary!!! Pack out your trash. You can also shit in these on trains.)
~toothbrush / toothpaste / floss (take care of your chompers, folks!!!)
~ID, money, etc.
~knife (not pictured)
~smiley (not pictured)
~markals & markers
~duct tape (wrapped around a pencil)
Further Notes and Suggestions:
Battery Packs & Solar Power Systems
As of now, I only travel with a “solar power battery pack”.
Solar power chargers are usually 3 or 4 flap foldable cells and allow you to charge your devices when it is exposed to sunlight.
Solar power battery packs hold charge for charging your devices and have a solar cell on them, but are supposed to be charged primarily by plugging them into a wall outlet, and charged by the sun in emergencies and are advised to not be left in direct sunlight.
A system of both can allow you to charge your battery pack using your solar power charger to have charge when you need it!
Many people also travel with a multi-tool or other tools they find useful. These are all personal preference. I find an easily-replaceable 3in. blade assisted opening knife to be suitable for my needs, cooking and cutting fabric/thread/etc.
Sleeping gear is probably the most debated but most important. It is very strongly all about personal preference and what works best for you. I’ve traveled with a tent and with just a tarp and paracord and both have their benefits and drawbacks. This fall, I’m going to be traveling with a lightweight tarp and waterproof bivy. Tents offer protection from rain and bugs, and when its cold do a great job of holding heat in, but are heavy and require set up & breakdown and aren’t very stealthy. Tarps are easy up and easy down and stealthier, but never offer complete cover from the elements and leave you to be a target for mosquitoes and other critters. Bivys are essentially waterproof body bags that also protect from wind and offer a bit of extra warmth and respite from creepy crawlys. I’ll get back to you guys on how things go with my bivy!