Packing List For FinCon18

crispydoc Uncategorized 10 Comments

I may not sting like a bee, but I pride myself on my ability to float like a butterfly.

That has less to do with my verbal adroitness or boxing skills than my ability to travel carry on and the pleasure out of proportion I take in packing light.

FinCon18 will be my first finance blogger convention (I feel like a JV pretender joining the varsity lineup, but I plan to fake it ’til I make it). I’m going to meet some heroes, see some virtual friends in person for the first time, and learn some skills that enable me to become more entrepreneurial with the blog. Check out the bottom of the original invite post to see updated RSVPs!

So how do I pack for an event I’ve never attended? Minimally.

  • Three short-sleeve button-down shirts (made of wrinkly drip-dry material that never needs ironing).
  • One t-shirt.
  • One pair of shorts and one pair of jeans.
  • One nicer dress shirt for the docs in finance dinner I’ve organized.
  • A swimsuit, goggles and workout/airplane travel shirt.
  • Basic toiletries (shaver, brush, hair gel, toothbrush and toothpaste).
  • Campsuds to wash clothes for reuse.
  • Laptop and charger.
  • Phone and charger.
  • Book for the plane.
  • 3 pairs of underwear.
  • One pair of sandals (because hey, Californian, who needs other footwear?).
  • ID, glasses, and a good attitude.

Excepting the underwear, all clothing will have been purchased used from thrift stores.

It’s all going to fit in the REI Traverse pack shown in the photo, purchased used for ~$30 just under a decade ago from an REI Used Gear Sale. I’d originally thought of using a smaller pack, but since FinCon supposedly involves some swag, I figured leaving a third of the pack empty for swag would be reasonable.

What will you bring?

What’s your baggage?

The two questions are far from identical, if you think about it.

Comments 10

  1. Have fun CD! I wish I was going this year but I think I dipped my toes too late in the blogger pool to have even considered it. Hopeful to do it next year.

    I too love taking pride in packing everything possible in the smallest container possible. It’s truly an art form.

    Of course my girlfriend doesn’t like my suggestion of once you use an item (including underwear, you can just flip it inside out and reuse) doubling the utility of each garment! (by the way I was just joking on that before people think I actually do that 🙂 ).

    1. Post


      You exploded on the scene to every blogger’s delight, so I’m not buying the “too late to the races” excuse.
      We’ll have to compare high density packer notes someday.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if your flip and wear idea catches on…

      Thanks for the kind wishes, my friend.

    1. Post
  2. I live in NB running shoes, workout shorts with pockets, and golf shirts. It’s going to be 87-ish all week daytime and 75ish at night all week. Bring a small collapsible umbrella. We tend to get afternoon downpours that last a short time. FL is interesting, I’ve had it rain in my front yard but not in my back yard.

    1. Post

      My parents get their annual dose of Cuba in Miami, so I remember those afternoon downpours well from trips as a kid.
      Good tip on the umbrella, although it sounds like I’ll be mostly indoors at the resort where the conference is taking place.
      My friends swear by NB shoes for the extra wide sizes.

  3. Ordinarily, my wife and I are minimal packers. But this is the first time traveling with a baby. To bring the car seat or not? I think we’ll have to because we may be traveling by car/taxi/uber/lyft. If it was NYC with great public transit, the baby carrier might be adequate. Anyway, this is the first time we aren’t traveling minimally. *GASP* we will have to check in baggage this time…

    Btw, thanks again for organizing the physicians of finance dinner. The restaurant looks fantastic. PoF and all of his cronies who went on the cruise with him will be the perfect judge to see if the food is authentic.

    I already know what I’m going to get…. the veggie paella. Looks good!

    1. Post

      I was also drooling over the veggie paella – I’m trying to cut back on meat, and I chose the restaurant with you in mind knowing we’d need some decent veg options if you were to attend.

      As for car seat travel with kids, I’m a huge fan of the sit and stroll. We bought a couple used for $100 each off craigslist, and used them until the kids outgrew them. Super convenient for cab/rental, and one-handed steering through airports was awesome.

      Our carry-on travel with little kids tips (which was admittedly usually to family, not for a conference):
      -Buy diapers/formula on arrival
      -plan to do laundry Q2-3 days for clothes

      Look forward to meeting you and the family!


  4. Amazing… as I pack my 40 lb check bag for Fincon… LOL

    I am not a light packer by choice. I could definitely be better about my clothing choices, but I am bringing some things that are very important to me: my Aeropress, a small water boiler, a water filter, pre-assembled drink packers with protein powder and such for the morning, certain snacks that are not easy to come by, etc.

    Also, I hate to pull the woman card but there is just more on average for us to bring! Looking forward to meeting you-

    1. Post

      I did look wistfully at my Italian stovetop espresso maker as I left home – coffee is one of those things I prefer to make myself, as much for the quality assurance as for the pleasure of the ritual.

      The humor to me is that I conceive of most rock climbers as carrying the bare minimum for safety and freedom of movement. I am well aware that one sphere of life does not always readily translate to another.

      I’ll absolutely concede that women have more gear to carry.

      My wife is a rare exception. The first time my parents greeted her at the airport, they offered to walk her to baggage claim to pick up her suitcase. I can still vividly recall their jaws dropping when she informed them there was no checked bag. I realize this is uncommon – that’s why I married her.

      Look forward to meeting you. You’ll recognize me as the guy alternating the same clothes every other day.

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