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The Basics

Because I am going to be traveling for three weeks, I was thinking today about packing. Last year, I spent five weeks on the road, and I packed a cabin-size suitcase, plus a messenger bag. Didn't feel like I had forgotten anything, so I guess I didn't.

That was spring and this will be late fall, so I will add a sweater and a better jacket.

So, it seems the amount of things I need to take with me on a trip doesn't correlate with the duration of the trip beyond a certain point. It seems that all the material assets I need to live fit in a smallish suitcase (plus a bag). I moved to Buenos Aires twelve years ago with a suitcase, a TV and a cat.

So, ignoring details such as family and sentimental value (which, for me, material things have none), suppose everything I own burned down in a fire. How much money would I need to miss nothing I lost?

Assuming I am moved into a bare appartment with the usual things in it (no furniture, but has a stove and a fridge), here's my list:


7 t-shirts, 3 pants, 2 shorter pants, 2 pairs of sneakers, 2 sweaters, a coat, misc. About $400 or so?


I am considering upgrading the one I have for a $800 one, so surely no more than that.


I have a $90 phone, but let's replace my kindle too, so a nicer one: $250


A table, a few chairs, a matress (I had to replace my bed recently, matress in the floor for a week was surprisingly nice!). Perhaps $500?


Cutlery, dishes, a pot, a frying pan, towels, bedsheets, coffee mug, toiletry items, blanket, extension cords, etc. $1000?

Nothing else comes to mind, so, it seems I need a bit over $2000, let's say $2500 to be on the safe side. It's interesting to imagine I could move to, say, Costa Rica, by just having a job there, $2500 in my pocket and no baggage.


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