I travel a lot, you may have heard. Over the years I've fought a constant battle with having too much stuff. These days there's little left, and I still get frustrated. Here's all I think a person needs to survive in hospitable climates.
  1. A reliable pack
    Mine has been modified to fit a guitar, using water resistant material and stitched with floss.
  2. Weather-resistant jacket
    I recommend something dark that fits over everything else you own.
  3. A heavy-duty tarp (dark)
    Wear as a poncho in incliment weather, wrap around your bed roll to stay hidden and protected from the elements.
  4. Sewing kit & first aid/hygiene
    I typically keep all this together in one pounch: baking soda, toothbrush, floss, needles, scissors, nail clippers, gauze, benedryl, etc ...
  5. A knife AND a leatherman
    The leatherman is an outstanding survival tool due to it's multitude of function, however it's not great at any one thing. When you need a knife, you need to trust it, so get a good one.
  6. Fire starter flint
    I recommend two traditional Bic lighters in addition to a magnesium firestarter. I never use my flint, but it's nice to know it's there.
  7. Carabiners & cordage
    For attaching things to your pack or stringing up your tarp like a canopy.
  8. Messkit and a tin cup
    You'll often find you'll need your own dish. A coffee can makes a good stove to cook over, just poke some air holes. Get your food from food banks, churches, dumpsters, or food stamps.
  9. Socks!
    Just wear them until they stand on their own, then throw them in the trash and start a new pair. Keep one pair of nice wool socks in case your toes get cold, treasure these.
  10. Boots & shoes
    You'll need boots to tromp through gnarly alleyways, rocky trainyards, dark construction sites. You'll also want a lightweight pair of well ventilated shoes to put on so you don't get trenchfoot.
  11. Jeans & a hoodie
    Get used to smelling bad and looking the same everyday.
  12. Entertainment
    A favorite book, drawingpad or notebook, sudoku, magic cards ...
  13. An atlas
    Because GPS doesn't work everywhere and you need to know where you're going next!