Packing and Organization – A Capsule Workflow

Pack for a week and travel for years is not the province of the hostel going crowd. What is needed is an example and workflow that anyone can follow that is considering the adventure of a lifetime. I’m going to help that along in a series of blog posts regarding building that capsule from a base of clothing we all can have available with the finalist bag I have chosen to carry. Without further ado, the bag I have chosen to carry is the Tortuga Outbreaker. Here’s the bag.

First off, the clothing and I must state that since this adventure has no real end that I cannot pack that way. So the first blog post focuses on capsule clothing and organization to control that clothing. I’ve taken ideas from Tortuga’s post on this here. The basic idea is to come up with a set of foundation clothing one can use that is the baseline. Here is mine.


Socks and Underwear – 6 pair of each. I bought some Merino wool socks but I am not going to buy some $50.00 a pair underwear so I go with cotton.

Shirts – I am going with 6 cotton t shirts packed.

Pants and Shorts – I am going with one pair of jeans I wear, a pair of Chino’s and a pair of shorts.

Jackets – One hoodie I will wear.


Now we come to the all important organization of these items. Remember, I am not going to discuss electronics, camera, or other non-clothing stuff at this point. This post is only about clothing.

Packing Cubes – The bag I have chosen has small cubes already included in the main compartment. I will need a single large cube that will fit my t shirts and pants. This cube is the foundation element in the pack. The clothing is rolled where it makes sense and stowed in a packing cube unzipped half way. The packing cube is then placed in the primary compartment of the bag.

I believe that packing cubes make up a necessary organization and functional need for clothing particularly. The Outbreaker has smaller “cubes” already in the bag so I will use those for smaller clothing items. There are four of them so two will be for socks and two for underwear. There are zipper pouches that can hold the shorts and laundry bag.

This creates the foundation organization I need and lets me look at a composite capsule list for not only clothing but my next post which will be electronics. I don’t feel a pressing need to be truly minimal here so I am taking a bag that will hold 45 liters. That size is the upper limit on carry on but also the so-called “sweet spot” for travel like this.

Stay tuned for the next in the capsule series which focuses on the choices I’ve made for electronics. There’s a tradeoff on these things so I am still looking at choices. Do I carry the iPad mini 4 or my kindle reader? I can see one or the other but not both. We shall see.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.