Help! I’m packing for a 12-month road trip.

<div class='at-above-post addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide' data-title='Help!  I’m packing for a 12-month road trip.' data-url=''></div><div class='at-above-post-recommended addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide'></div>Helping our Tech Correspondent be a stylish dirt bag.<div class='at-below-post addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide' data-title='Help!  I’m packing for a 12-month road trip.' data-url=''></div><div class='at-below-post-recommended addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide'></div>
Helping Paul Pack – For a full 365 days on the road

Editor’s note:  Paul, our technology correspondent, is insane.  Not in the bad, lock-him-up kinda way, but in the way that he thinks about doing things only a small minority of us would ever consider.  Then he goes out and actually does them.  His latest adventure is about to start.  It’s a 12-month road trip.  A full year on the road.  He, his wife, and a mini-van.  He needs our help in creating a packing list.  Your suggestions will go in the comments section.

I’m packing for a serious road trip – a 12-monther (more about that here, here, and here).  There are a billion unknowns, so I just have to make a best guess at what I’ll need.  Some things I know – we will be outdoors a lot, we will be living out of a van (down by the river), and we will be stopping at multiple weddings (we’ll be the best guests ever – the ones sleeping in the parking lot).  There will be shitty days.  There will be cold days.  But we’re going to try and avoid as much cold as possible by staying south in the winter, slowly making our way north to Alaska by next summer.  We’ll see what happens.

Think of this as the ultimate ‘would you wear it‘ – what the hell will I wear?  My list is below.  What am I missing?  What do I have wrong?  What can I cut?  How do I pack for both Key West and Dutch Harbor?  Can I be a stylish dirt-bag?

Nobody says they want to be a dirt bag when they grow up. Wait, what?

From the bottom up, inside out, here’s what I’m thinking:


  • Driving loafers nice enough for more formal times.
  • Hiking boots (we’ll be camping in a lot of parks and hiking).
  • Sneakers.
  • Flips – for showering, slot canyon exploration.


  • Socks – probably a lot of blue and brown ones.
  • Undies – Enough that I can make it 2 weeks without doing laundry.
  • 2 pairs of shorts – one teal, one khaki.
  • PJs for when crashing with friends.
  • 4 pairs of pants + 1 pair of more formal pants (again, the weddings).  This means a 3x+ wear rotations between laundering.  Might be high.  I may need to buy another pair of jeans.  My formal pair may need to be informal enough to make it into the regular rotation.
  • 1 belt – got to make it work with one of these.  Will likely be my favorite leather one, not the canvas one.
  • 6 polos, 8 t-shirts gets me to 14 days of no repeats.  That seems like a lot of shirts.
  • 2 long-sleeve cotton shirts for when it’s cool.
  • 2 nicer button-down shirts.
  • Fleece sweater, cashmere sweater (we’re not savages).
  • Swim trunks.


  • Blue blazer (the weddings & formal s’mores galas).  Although the weddings are in the fall, so I may go tweed.
  • Fleece jacket.
  • Down vest – for the coldest days.
  • Waterproof shell.
  • Baseball hat (probably with a Cubs logo on it).


Let me know what you think in the comments.  I appreciate all the feedback.  And if you want to keep track of us, follow @drivinginertia on Twitter.