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Rolf Potts’ No Baggage Challenge – Taking Packing Light to a Ridiculous Extreme

Think you’re a light packer? Be prepared to be humiliated. Essential travel writer Rolf Potts started a masterly conceived project/publicity stunt this weekend to draw attention to both the exorbitant world of modern baggage fees and to show that “what we experience in life is more important than what we bring with us”.

Potts is traveling around the world with nothing but the clothes on his back (and whatever he can fit in them).

I love this not only because when I travel I always feel hopelessly overburdened, lugging around all my stuff, playing the obvious traveler with giant camera, books, cables and all sort of other creature comforts.

To document the endeavor, Potts created a prettily designed new site to let his fans to keep up with his trek of ultimate minimalism – he’s calling it the No Baggage Challenge. The best video he’s got so far (not his buzzcut at a Kansas barbershop) is him fitting everything into the pockets of his Scottevest Travel Vest. It’s remarkable really. But hell, if you can get 51 varieties of tropical fish under your skirt the least you can do is this.

With or without a change of pants, it’s an around-the-world trip to be envied. He’s hitting 12 countries in 42 days including the perennial hotspots of London, Paris, Morocco, Cairo, South Africa, Bangkok, Singapore, and New Zealand.

He (and “logistics man” Justin Glow) have generated some pretty good buzz around the endeavor as well, appearing in publications like the USA Today,  Wired and ABC News among others. There are about a million places to keep up with Rolf as he wishes he brought that extra pair of socks to Thailand. Follow his Twitter stream (or Justin’s) or simply watch as their line across the planet grows.

So, the next time you’re getting ready to toss your hairdryer into your luggage while preparing to brush off the baggage fees as an unfortunate consequence, keep in mind Rolf’s journey of discovery. Think about what you to can do without.

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