How light can you pack? We managed 3kg for 3 weeks of travel and here is out list.
In 2012, the team at the Scrubba wash bag were challenged to prove that the Scrubba wash bag can allow you to pack and travel lighter and cleaner. After booking a 3 week trip to South East Asia, we managed to pack under 3kg of luggage each, including the clothes on our back and our bag. To see a video summary of our trip, click here.
The contents of our very light day bags (available to purchase as part of the Scrubba traveler's kit) are shown the image below. While we sought to pack as light as possible (1 pair of shoes and flip flops, 2 T-shirts, shorts, socks and jocks), we didn't forego on some travel comforts/modern necessities (we still managed to pack an iPhone/iPod, eBook reader and camera without tipping the scales).
The trip had it all. From the crazy streets of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh, to the confronting sights of Phenom Penh, to the temples of Siem Reap (intermingled with a drink spiking and tut tut accident resulting in multiple visits to emergency departments), to the relaxing 4000 Islands of Laos, to the epic waterfalls around Pakse, and the beauty and beaches of Hoi An. In 3 weeks, we traveled through 3 countries by bus, boat, rail and motorbike, loving the freedom that only traveling with a simple and light day bag can offer.
We also met with locals in Cambodia and Laos to see how they washed clothes as we initially thought the Scrubba wash bag would be a great item to donate to communities in developing nations. While the locals loved the Scrubba wash bag and found it much easier and more effective than their method of soaking clothing and brushing the dirt out with a course brush, we realised that donating Scrubba wash bags may be the most useful way for us, as a company, to help. While the Scrubba wash bag is durable and can be easily repaired using patches or glues that you can buy in most hardware, cycling or camping stores, such items are not readily available in developing nations and therefore the Scrubba wash bag would be less likely to be repaired and end up in landfill. Instead, we have chosen to donate money to charities in developing nations (click here for more details).
Traveling to South East Asia, we had some reservations whether our clothes would dry in time as we would be on the move most of the time. In the end, this wasn't a problem at all. Most of the rooms we stayed in had fans or airconditioners. By par drying our clothes in our travel towel and hanging them on coat hangers or our travel clothesline directly in front of the fan or airconditioner, our clothes were dry within a few hours.
Traveling with less than 3kg of luggage gave us great freedom. We never had to lug around excess luggage, hire a locker or pay for storage. Plus we could take transport not suited for larger bags.
We also managed to wash our change of clothes while on the go: on a street corner in Saigon; on a night bus; on a boat; and even on the return flight back to Australia. Videos of these are here.
In retrospect, we really could have got by without the tripod and the camera (the iPhone camera would have been fine and saved further weight) and with only 1 pair of shorts and 1-2 T-shirts as we found that by packing quickdry gear, our clothes would be dry by morning after a nightly wash. Nevertheless, the Scrubba wash bag enabled us to travel this free and I doubt I will ever pack more than a few changes of clothing or pay for check-in luggage again.
The Scrubba wash bag received a great review from examiner.com and made the Examiner's 2013 Spring Camping Gear Review Roundup. Here is the excerpt:
"Scrubba Wash Bag:
One of the biggest problems of traveling for any considerable amount of time is being able to pack light. Of course, the problem with packing less clothing than the amount of days you will be traveling is that you will have to deal with washing them every few days. Yes, you can wash your clothes in a laundry mat, hotel sink, camp bucket, creek, or lake. Sinks and buckets use lots of water and make a big mess no matter how careful you are. Natural bodies of water are fine if you are lucky enough to be near one. The problem is access to many of them involves trudging through mud and using soap in said body of water is not great for the environment.
The Scrubba Wash Bag solves this by allowing you wash a few clothing items without using a lot of water or making a mess. Plus, nobody enjoys paying to sit in a laundry mat while on vacation. The Scrubba Wash Bag looks deceptively like a waterproof dry bag. However, it has two features that make it very effective as a wash bag for your dirty clothing. First is the built-in internal raised washboard that helps agitate your clothing. The second feature is the air release nozzle that allows you to get the remaining air out of the bag after you have sealed it up.
While testing, I brought the Scrubba Wash Bag along on several trips, and I found it highly effective and easy to use. It’s a great way to limit how many clothes you need to pack for your next adventure as well as reducing how much water is necessary to get your clothes clean. I definitely recommend it for those who pack light and enjoy camping, backpacking, road-trips, or world travel."
Review by James Hannibal, Tech Review Photojournalist, examiner.com
In 2012, the team at the Scrubba wash bag were challenged to prove that the Scrubba wash bag can allow you to pack and travel lighter and cleaner.
Not being a team that likes to back down from challenges we set to prove that the Scrubba wash bag could allow us to travel for 3 weeks in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with less than 3kg of luggage each, including our backpack and clothes on our back.
The following video shows how to pack light and travel clean:
We will be posting a detailed summary of what we packed in our next blog.
In the meantime, if you want to travel with less gear and less effort, buy a Scrubba wash bag now. Otherwise, the Scrubba wash bag makes a great gift or present for family or friends who are traveling for their holiday or vacation.
We recently came across this great review of the Scrubba wash bag from thisworldrocks.com and thought we would share a quote as it is a great example of why we developed the Scrubba wash bag in the first place:
"We are only carrying two carry-on sized backpacks for our extended trip, and it was evident from the start that a laundry solution was a critical issue for us. We first heard of the Scrubba Wash Bag by doing a Google search, and it looked perfect for us. We have been travelling with it the entire time, and have used it on almost every piece of clothing now. We have been very impressed by this product, and it has saved us a lot of money and trips to laundry mats. It requires a little bit of manual labor to wash the clothes, and the more you work, the cleaner the clothes get. The product is thin and slides into the very bottom of my backpack without taking up much space at all. So far, it is also much more durable than I expected, with no signs of wear at all. Highly recommend!"
We were recently asked by one of our customers what washing material we recommend using with the Scrubba wash bag and we thought it would be useful to post our response here.
"At the moment we don't really have any firm recommendations for which cleaning product to use other than that the cleaning product should be a liquid (powders or detergent leaves take too long to properly dissolve). One of the reasons we haven't put up specific cleaning products (or included a cleaning product in the kit) is that every traveler has different priorities for cleaning products. For example, travelers such as myself prefer to travel as light as possible so if I can have a single product that can perform multiple tasks, I will choose it over a single purpose product no matter how much more efficient it is. In this regard, I will generally use a small dollop of 3-in-1 bodywash-shampoo-shave liquid in the Scrubba wash bag.
That being said, if you don't mind carrying extra products, carrying a very small (~25-30ml) bottle of washing liquid (e.g. Omo or the like) is a good idea when traveling. Washing liquids are probably the most efficient for cleaning your clothes in the Scrubba wash bag as they are purpose designed for removing oils and dirt from clothes. You really only need to use the smallest amount (probably a few ml per bag load) as washing liquids are generally highly concentrated. A good trial and error test for quantities of different cleaning products in the Scrubba wash bag is to do a few loads. If after 30 seconds of rubbing you still have suds, then you can probably reduce the amount of cleaning product for the next batch. Optimising the amount is not only better for the environment, but not overloading the cleaning product will minimise the amount of rinsing required.
Finally, if you are environmentally conscious, there are a number of bio-washing liquids on the market (often released by outdoor brands and available at camping stores) that are better for the environment (e.g. phosphate free). These probably fall somewhere between using bodywash/shampoo and a washing liquid in efficiency."