Although travel continues to be limited- I have had the chance to go on a few small trips over the last couple of years. On a recent trip, I was reflecting on how much my travel kit has changed over time. In the past, I was inclined to bring ten or more fountain pens, an entire small bag of other supplies, and several pounds of notebooks. Not anymore! I use my stationery supplies a lot on trips, so I want to have enough with me- but too much is just extra weight and complexity. I’ve pared it down to a single pencil pouch and single notebook. In fact, recently this kit is all I’ve been carrying back and forth to work with me each day. That’s not typical for me, but it has reminded me how much I enjoy this group of items! Here’s a breakdown of my current set-up:
Uniball Signo Dx 0.28- Blue Black
Sometimes I alternate between black and blue black here- but no matter how much I minimize my travel kit, this Uniball Signo Dx is the pen that will always go with me. Could I go a day without this pen? Sure. Do I want to? Absolutely not.
Uniball Signo Dx UM-153- Black
There are use cases when I want a pen that lays down a thicker line. I really tried to diversify my kit with different brands or types of pens to fill this spot (sometimes I even rotate in a Retro 51), but I keep coming back to this one. Of note, depending on your needs the gold and white versions of this pen are also excellent.
Sometimes you just “click” with a pen and this pen is that pen for me. The magnetic cap is satisfying, the size just works for me, and the refill options are really good. I sometimes use a compatible refill here, but most of the time I hack a 0.38 Signo Dx refill into this pen body. Is three versions of the same pen too many? No, I really don’t think so.
Platinum Desk Pen
It’s hard to explain my love for this pen. The first time I used this pen extensively was a Well-Appointed pen weekend. Even though there were basically an unlimited number of pens on the table to try, I could not put this one down. I guess it’s ironic to use a desk pen in a travel kit, but Ana taught me to cut down the pen to a more portable size, and now it’s the perfect travel companion. I almost always have this inked with Platinum Carbon Black.
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen
Traveling is the time I’m most likely to take time to attempt to sketching. Because of this, I like to have a brush pen with me- and this Tombow is the one I most frequently take along. In my opinion, it’s one of the brush pens that’s easiest for me to control and use as someone who doesn’t often practice brush pen use.
It’s a classic for a reason. There are times that just no other pen will do.
A Fountain Pen
This is the part of my travel kit that most frequently changes. Sometimes it’s a TWSBI Eco or a Sailor Pro Gear or Platinum 3776. It depends on the kind of trip I’m going on, how I’m traveling, and what I’ve been using recently. But there’s always a fountain pen. And unlike the early days, I only bring one. It keeps the kit compact and simple, and it’s gives me more time with the one pen I choose to bring.
This is my favorite Blackwing pencil. I almost don’t need any more special editions after this one!
Blackwing Pencil Cap
There are cheaper pencil caps that work just as well, but it’s a perfect match for the Natural and it’s a looker. You don’t need one, but if you have one it deserves a place in your travel kit.
Caran’dAche Luminance 6901 Colored Pencils
These colored pencils are pricey, but buying a few at your local art store is well worth it in my opinion. A lot of the pens above are black or blue black- so these colored pencils bring some much needed color to my kit. The colors that I bring change almost every trip, but I usually bring 3-4 with me.
Sonic Cupot Pencil Caps
These are much more reasonably priced than the pencil cap above. They do show some wear over time, but are they are fun and perfect for carrying colored pencils.
This is a pretty chunky eraser, but I still feel like it deserves the space in my kit. It’s retractable, and it’s just a great all-around eraser.
This is not my favorite sharpener. But it strikes a good balance for me as something that can give me a decently long-point on a normal pencil and sharpen the colored pencils in my kit in a pinch. It contains the shavings and is extremely sturdy. I don’t use it often at home, but I tend to leave it in my travel case and carry it with me.
Shorthand Pencil Pouch
I have way too many pencil pouches, but this is the one that gets the most use by a long-shot. Shorthand is a shop that I’ve had the opportunity to visit in person, and absolutely loved. This pouch is the perfect size, compact but still manages to fit a surprising number of items. It’s long enough to fit a new Blackwing pencil with a pencil cap. It also has just enough structure to make it very useable unzipped on a table top. This pouch is what holds my travel kit together and keeps the kit from getting out of hand in terms of number of items I want to bring along with me on any given trip.
Trust the Process Pin
I got this little pin in-person at another lovely stationery shop, Baum-kuchen.
Well-Appointed Desk Pin
Lovely pin made my an even lovelier friend.
Typically, I pair my travel kit with my A6 William Hannah that has all kinds of different papers that have been hand punched and added in. Overall, it’s a compact versatile kit that has been a trusty companion for over a year now.