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3 Weeks in Patagaonia: Carry-On Only

I have 3 travel scenarios and 3 different sets of luggage: work, pleasure, and adventure. Patagonia landscape photography definitely qualifies as an adventure. And since adventure usually means lots of hiking, I want to pack as compactly as possible; achieving carry-on only is my KPI.

What’s in My Bag

I’ve got two bags with me; my camera bag, and my stuff bag. The secret is to have a bunch of organizers or packing cubes.

Stuff Bag

I try and separate the stuff bag items into clothing and accessories. Generally speaking, all the items in this bag will stay in the RV and not come with me on the hikes.

This bag contains all the stuff I need and will stay behind in the RV. I can really cram a lot of stuff into this thing.


Even though we’re going for almost three weeks, the plan is to find a place to do laundry after ten days.

  • Two pair of pants (wear one on the flight)
  • 5 undershirts 
  • 10 pair of socks 
  • 10 pair underwear
  • One light sweater 
  • One pair of long underwear
  • Two hiking pullovers (wear one on the flight)
  • Packable vest 
  • Packable outer jacket 
  • Packable rain/wind shell 
  • Warm hat, gloves 
  • Hiking boots 
  • Shower sandals 
  • Travel shower towels 
  • Two hangers 
  • Toiletries 

Hiking and Camping Gear

We’re not planning on doing any true wilderness hiking or extreme camping, but we might spend a night or two under the stars, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

  • First aid kit 
  • Water filter 
  • Pair of walkie-talkies 

Camera Bag

The camera bag is what I’ll be carrying around on these hikes. I want to bring everything I need, but nothing I won’t. Some items from the stuff bag (like the first aid kit) will come with me on the hikes, and some things will come out of this bag and stay in the RV. This configuration is for the plane.

I specifically got the smaller 21L version of this so it would fit under the seat in front of me, and to help keep the amount of stuff I bring with me to a minimum.
  • Pack of camera accessories like remotes and extra batteries 
  • Battery and power supplies 
  • Filter kit (I want to get something smaller; this Benro starter kit is too huge) 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Water bottle 
  • Headlamp 
  • iPad Pro (I don’t bring my computer; this will stay in the RV when hiking) 
  • Sleeping bag 

Bonus: Power Related Items

I travel internationally a lot for work and have a lot of electronic gadgets for every situation. I think I’ve got a pretty good power supply setup as well. 

I have basically everything Tumi makes between my three sets of travel luggage. This organizer is great for all my batteries and cables. I’m particularly pleased with my three dual battery charges that can charge all my camera batteries off of a single USB power bank.

Off of a single large capacity USB power bank, I can charge all three cameras, two batteries each. Or, I can charge my iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. Or, off of one single wall plug, I can charge all those items and the USB power bank and my wireless earbuds. I have a dedicated cable for every device so that I never have to choose what to charge and what to wait on so that I never end up with a dead battery. 

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place

Everything compacts down into these carry-on size bags. The large stuff bag goes up in the overhead storage, and the camera bag goes under the seat in front of me. 

Here’s everything I need for three weeks, all packed into two carry on friendly bags.

I won’t be taking up much room in the RV and there will be plenty of room for my traveling buddies who are also bringing proper camping gear like tents and fire cooking supplies. 

I’ve never had troubles on an international flight, but this time I’ve got to take a quick flight from Austin to Houston before going all the way to Santiago. I am a little worried that’ll be a tiny plane and they’ll take my overhead bag away from me. If they do, there’s nothing fragile in there, but I do put a lock on it for peace of mind.

About the Brands

I’m not sponsored by any of the brands/products here, nor are any of the links affiliate links. Everything here I purchased with my own money because they’re what I wanted. I used to live just outside Boston and there was an LL Bean store near my apartment, so all my outdoor gear is from LL Bean. There was a Tumi store in the mall so all my business travel stuff is from Tumi (and I use some of the accessories for adventure travel, too). And the WANDRD stuff, well, it’s awesome, so I got both their bags (and I’m looking forward to the new VEER 18L on Kickstarter.)

But if any of these brands did want to sponsor me, they can reach me through my contact form 🙂