Apr 242016

Yes, it’s time once again to take stock and inventory.  A quick rundown of all my worldly possessions, packed into one little bag.  In case you have never heard of the 100 Thing Challenge, it was created by one Dave Bruno about 6 years ago.  He wanted to show how one could live without all the trappings of a consumerist lifestyle, instead carrying only the basics, enabling one to be able to travel and explore, unburdened by a bunch of useless stuff.

I’ve done this challenge a few times over the years and since I’m sort of stuck in cold, dreary Pa. for a few weeks, I thought it would be a good time to take said stock and inventory, so here goes.

I should add a slight declaimer.  What I am counting is what I currently travel with.  And I like to travel in warmer climates so everything is geared towards tropical and island living.  I do have some winter clothes which I keep up here in Pa. but they never leave here.  It may seem like cheating but so what.  Someday I will be in the islands permanently never to return to the cold, wintry north.  And said clothes will be discarded.

Here is what I have, in all it’s wrinkly glory…


So, what’s here, besides a really comfy bed…

  1.  Marmot Gunnison Backpack.  I picked this up on my last trip up and it’s proving to be a pretty good pack.  Two main pockets for clothes and computer, three smaller pockets for little stuff, two side pockets for more little stuff, and a bottom pocket which comes in real handy for stuffing an extra pair of shoes.
  2.  Ziplock compression travel sack.  These are really nice.  Stuff them with clothes, seal them up, squeeze the air out and they take up way less room.  Very handy for keeping dirty laundry separate.  These things are cheap and save a ton on space.
  3. Ziplock compression travel sack.
  4. Mac Air laptop.  My workhorse.  It keeps this empire running.
  5. Hot Spot.  Portable wifi.
  6. 1 TB external hard drive for backup.
  7. Laptop sleeve for extra protection.
  8. iPhone.  Second only to the computer in importance.
  9. Waterproof phone case.  For rainy days.
  10. Columbia lightweight jacket.  A recent addition.  It’s a good rain jacket and comes in handy for staying warm whilst sleeping on the cold floor in an airport where they run the ac too damn cold.
  11. Columbia Tamiami Fishing shirts.  My favorites.  Lightweight, comfy, and built in sunscreen.
  12. Columbia Tamiami Fishing shirts.
  13. Columbia Tamiami Fishing shirts.
  14. Columbia Snake River shorts.  Makes a nice complement to the shirts.
  15. Columbia Snake River shorts.
  16. Columbia Snake River shorts.
  17. Columbia Silver Ridge convertible pants.  This was a new addition and I’m really liking them.  They are comfortable with nice, deep pockets, and the legs zip off to make a pair of shorts.  I may add another pair later on.
  18. Columbia Longsleeve shirt.  A good shirt to wear while paddling.  May add another one to the mix.
  19. Wigwam socks.  Good when one does a lot of walking.
  20. Wigwam socks.
  21. Boat shoes.  Always a must when around boats.
  22. Merrell hiking shoes.  Found these last year.  Very good hiking and walking shoes.  Extremely comfortable and durable.
  23. 1 pair underwear.  Need for the long pants.
  24. 1 pair underwear.
  25. Tilley hat.  If you are in the tropics, you will need one.
  26. Reading glasses.
  27. Reading glasses.
  28. Reading glasses.  Because they cost a buck and you can never have too many.
  29. Sunglasses.
  30. Pen.
  31. Sharpie.
  32. iPhone case by Otterbox.  Built in secret compartment so a wallet is not needed.
  33. Battery powered shaver.
  34. Drivers license.
  35. Bank card.
  36. Checks.  Rarely use them but still keep some.
  37. Captain license.  Expired but I still keep it for id.
  38. SS card.

Things like toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers, and other cosmetics, I didn’t include as they come and go depending on where I am at the time.  All disposable.

So, there you have it.  My current inventory.  As you can tell, I’m a big fan of Columbia brand clothing.  Well worth the price.  They fit well for island life.  Everything fits quite snugly into the backpack with some room to spare.  I’ve found it’s good to keep some space for any extras which may crop up whilst on an adventure.  I’m still playing around with what goes where but I’m finding when properly packed, it’s real easy to get stuff in and out of the bag quickly and efficiently.  Very handy when you are sitting in a tight space like an airplane seat.

I could probably condense down a wee bit more, maybe replace the shorts with another pair of the long pants, little things like such, but I am comfortable with what I have at the moment.  Everything gets used and gets used a lot.  It’s all replaceable in a short period of time and without spending a lot of money.

So, what does your 100 thing challenge look like?  Is it 100?  200?  500?  It’s not the number which is important so much as the usefulness of what you have.  Are you using everything you have or do you have a lot of crap lying around which you ‘might need’ someday?  This challenge is a good test to see how minimal you can live or how dependent you are on material goods to get by in life.  Take the challenge and see what you come up with.  You may be surprised by how much crap you do have.  And maybe, it will be an incentive to downsize, even a little bit.

Capt. Fritter



  5 Responses to “The 100 Thing Challenge – 2016 Edition…”

  1. I’m down to around 200 things, after 6 yrs. of downsizing. I kept the cheaper, more easily replaced items, and gave the expensive duplicates away. I feel so much better owning easily replaceable stuff that I use regularly.

    I even unloaded my girlfriend and all of the suit and tie crap that she expected me to wear. I should have sent the dozens of ties to you as a joke. I know how you feel about those damn things!

  2. There’s a related challenge called Project 333 where you pick out 33 items of clothing and accessories to wear for the next 3 months. I haven’t been able to get my count up that high yet. 🙂

  3. I love how you live.
    it has inspired me.
    I have gotten lazy I see.
    the marine has a couple of those columbia convertible pants too.
    JG … funny!

  4. Where’s the flip flops? Everyone needs ’em.