My project for 2020 was to narrow down to some nice minimal packing list by reading all the packing lists on r/onebag and r/heronebag. It went great but now the year is winding down and it’s time to find some new hustle for 2021.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why are we wasting time with more than one book?” If so, you and I are right there on the same page, my friend.

What I want to do it put together a 150-page book that will be useful to people who travel light. I want it to be a good general-purpose reference book: a compendium of extremely concise reference books, something that will be good to have in the bottom of your bag if your internet ever goes off for some reason.

I’m still trying to figure out what should go in but probably something like:

  • A map or two
  • A few recipes
  • First aid guide
  • Survival guide
  • NATO and phonetic alphabets
  • Phrasebook for popular languages
  • The packing lists from this blog
  • A history of the world
  • A summary of the world’s religions
  • Important equations and conversions
  • A couple games for kids
  • A couple drinking games
  • A few pages where you write in your important information, like vaccinations, family and insurance phone numbers, passport number, etc.

There’s not that many situations these days where you don’t have internet but you never know: some natural catastrophe, a blackout, you drop your phone in the bath and can’t get a new one right away, or you’re just sick of looking at a screen all day.

It’s going to be pretty difficult to do this: lots of research, lots of intellectual property obstacles. Still, I’m hoping to have a poor-looking draft done by the end of next year. If it goes well, and is fun, hopefully I can keep polishing and refining in the years to come. I’m hoping that one of the by-products is that I start to get pretty good at some of these things – like my first-aid skills get really hot and I actually remember the rules for a simple game of 21 for once.

In terms of product, I think it’s just going to be a pdf that I keep somewhere on this website and update from time to time as I finish topics off. At the end of the year, I’d ideally like to arrange a nice printed and bound version for myself that I carry around in my own onebag. I chose 150 pages because that’s about the size of these little “Very Short Introduction” books that I always loved – nice and compact.

Very Short Introduction to Consciousness and passport for scale

The best part of the 2020 packing list project was that I kept posting things on r/onebag and r/heronebag and so I had a lot of people to bounce ideas off of and who helped to improve the packing lists and eventually who found their way over to this website. This isn’t really a onebag thing, so I don’t think I can keep posting there. I don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be a subreddit of people who want to create their own compendium of reference books in a pdf for their website.

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