In preparing for our around the world trip (covered in detail the blog Nomads in Asia), we had to think long and hard about reducing everything we'll need to use for about a year to two backpacks. I've read a couple of great lists on the subjects of what to pack including and thought that it'd be useful to share ours. Other than cloths, these are the items we've started with
Netbook: After a lot of research, we settled on the Samsung N110, as it had the best (5-8 hours) battery life and video Memory. The machine has worked really well after a $20 2 gig RAM update. The only time when the Atom CPU has not been able to keep up with my regular computer has been video editing. The only criticism is that the screen still pales to a 15inch monitor, which is why I would consider the Acer for future travels, even though it weighs a little more.
2 4gig USB Cards. We will use Firefox and chrome off these USB's in internet cafes to further secure our data.
External hard drive - I'm partial to Western Digital, but had a larger Toshiba lying around at work.
1 DSLR and 1 Point and shoot camera. After breaking 2 Cannons in 2 years, we've gone with unconventional with the choice of Olympus models for these devices. We've had these cameras for almost 4 months and so far they've been great. The Olympus point and shoot had a problem with the original battery, but that has been solved with a replacement.
Camcorder - On loan from my sister. Will have some good videos to come
Photocopies and photos of all of our important documents (insurance/bank/Visa papers) - I used to scan these in the past, but found that I can get the same quality with a digital photo.
Lonely planet on a shoestring + 2 fiction books to read/trade.
Swiss army knife.
Adapters - I left the convertor at home since most of our electronics didn't need it and we were able to save about a point.
~10 Cliff/energy bars. Although I'm a pretty adventurous eater, there have been times when hot weather travel has left me with no appetite which is when these come in handy. After they run out, my go-to local equivalent will be vanilla wafers.
Bungee cords/Carabineers - don't know when these will come handy, but I know they will.
iPhone - the contract may be cancelled, but hopefully this sucker will still work wonders on wifi
Cable Splitter - so we can both listen to an ipod/watch a movie on the same device.
Inflatable Travel pillow - Last minute impulse purchase, we'll see if it's a keeper.
2 sheets/pillow cases - You can always buy a Sleeping bag liner at REI for 40 bucks, or take an old sheet. I went with the second route.
Light summer sleeping bags - We might regret this, but they were cheap, weigh 1 pound each, and can be thrown away after we hit the mountain in Malaysia.
Shamwow as towels - I've hated travel towels in the past so we've substituted Shamwow's which cost account a fifth of the price and seem to actually work better in my test run
Extra passport photos for the ongoing visas.
A headlamp - way smaller and more practical than flashlights, and good for night and early morning hikes
Expect an update in a few months to see which items we forgot and which ones we've thrown away. Check our progress around the world a our blog t Nomads in Asia.