packing dilemma: how to pack carry-on only for a Yosemite camping/hiking trip and vegas

I’m headed on snow camping trip and a trip to Vegas, which poses some interesting packing challenges. My goal is to avoid having to check a bag…instead doing the whole trip with carry-on luggage.

What do I put everything in?

Chrome delta flap-top bag – bought this bag in new york on a sweet sale ($55 instead of $110). Glad I was encouraged by my girlfriend to make the purchase. It is waterproof and easy to access. The shape is great for stuffing, and it keeps a slim profile, making it easy to slip under airplane. weatherproof. max capacity: 24 L

Alternative: a chrome barrage bag could be cool with it’s side pockets and net. I would get this bag if it were on sale and I had seen it before.

Osprey Kestrel 48 liters (I think I had the 46 liter smaller size)

This hiking backpack is relatively lightweight (3lbs) and it’s smallish capacity encourages me to pack light 🙂 What I like about this pack is it’s sturdy construction, comfortable mesh backing, huge hip belt pockets, and functional straps for attaching gear to the outside. I did a Boundary Waters Canoe trip with this backpack. I strapped my tent to the bottom and a huge costco sleeping pad on the side.

Because I’m going back home, I can cheat a little by using old things I already own.

How could I cut down on weight / save space? I’ll borrow a few pieces of gear, buy a few things once I get there, and use washing machines liberally. I’ll also update this post after I return, so you have the best list that I could have brought.

WEAR = wear onto the plane; [] = instead of packing, borrow or find an old pair at home

WEAR 1 dress shirt

1 dress shirt

WEAR 1 t shirt

2 tshirts

1 dress pant –Instead of dress pants, I would have been better served by another pair of jeans. Dark wash jeans would have been formal enough for all the vacation occasions. Even clubs…they mainly check for shoes.

WEAR 1 pair jeans

WEAR blazer

WEAR 1 wool socks

2 short socks

[running shorts] – pick up at destination

[running shoes] – pick up at destination

WEAR brown dress shoes

WEAR long sleeve drifit

WEAR tights

ski pants

WEAR beanie – red

WEAR gator  – green

WEAR ski gloves / liner

WEAR -ski jacket- went with a fleece and a waterproof/windproof layer instead. Tested that down to 0F and it’s warm.

1 thin down jacket

goggles – w/camera

[boots] – dad has some…for car decided not to wear boots anymore, maybe I’ll have a pair in the car if I find some at home

[one change of clothes for sleeping in]

[one more drifit? for sleeping?]

film camera om1n – buy a battery Brought my compact olympus XA film camera because I was scared of dropping / falling on my camera in a ski trip. Because I ended up doing a hike trip (Recovering From a Cancelled Trip ), it would have been better to have had my dslr with (18-55 kit lens and 50mm prime lens).

flask – rye whiskey was not bad. washed my mouth out with whiskey so no toothbrush required =)

ledge sleeping bag – rated down to 20F. bought off of amazon for about $40. worked reasonably well. It was pushing the performance of the bag to go below 30.

sleeping pad – about 1.5 lbs, very small pad purchased for about $80 from REI

[bivy sack and/or space blanket] – purchase or rent once I get to Fresno -> my friend ended up borrowing a three season tent with great poles and a full rain fly. three season can work even on snow. Careful campsite selection and a rugged tarp help tremendously.

[stove] – friend KR has one   we ended up bringing a stove and propane tank. The tank didn’t fit and we ended up using the fire for everything.

[stove] – friend AKC brings his

[stove supply] – purchase

[water] – purchase aquamira bring lifestraw,    

             friend KR has pump  pumps are heavy, bulky and take a long time. The water was so clean, we probably didn’t need anything, but these tabs worked perfectly.

water bottle

eating bowl – collapsible

[spoon] – get from home

[firestarter] – cottonball make it at home, film canister, plastic sandwich bag



[food] – cliff bars, oatmeal, candy

{duct tape]




BORROW or PURCHASE: multitool -> borrowed from DAD

map of area


One thought on “packing dilemma: how to pack carry-on only for a Yosemite camping/hiking trip and vegas

  1. Pingback: best water filtration to use on a hike: pump vs aquamira vs iodine vs boiling | mplsadventures

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