I’ll spare you all the details about what clothing I’m packing, other than to say that it’s ‘travel clothing’ (i.e., easy to wash/dry, packs small, etc) and generally boring. Sorry, fashionistas. The gear, however, is more fun to talk about.
I decided to follow the frequently given advice of ‘less is more’ and limit myself to one bag, preferably carry on sized. After doing some research, it turns out that I’m not the first person to take a trip like this or want a good bag, and there are several options out there. I settled on a backpack style bag called the Tortuga, which was designed by a couple of backpackers who didn’t like any of the options they found. It’s comfortable to wear, holds as much as is reasonable, and doesn’t have extra pockets to confuse me. Where’s the toothpaste, again? All of my clothes and gear fit in the Tortuga, although just barely. But then again, how many people carry a camera bag? Which leads us to…
Camera! I’ve been a Pentax user for many years now, and saw no reason to change that. There’s still at least three of us out there. With a good strap, it’s actually very comfortable to carry on hikes, and the extra weight is worth it to me for the photo opportunities I’ll hopefully have. I’m bringing the camera and three lenses: a standard zoom, a telephoto for long distance, and a wide-angle for the scenic vista opportunities. This will be carried in a handy messenger-style bag that doesn’t scream “expensive gear!”, so hopefully it won’t attract too much attention. All the various accessories too: SD cards, cleaning stuff, and a few filters.
I’m bringing my laptop so I can manage pictures and write blog posts. Plus I’m sure there will be the occasional cat video that I simply must see. It’s a 13″ ultrabook, which fits nicely in the laptop sleeve of the Tortuga. While it does bear a remarkable resemblance to the Macbook Air, this is in fact a Windows machine. Take that, Apple! (Apologies if you’re a stockholder)
The Kindle will help me to keep up with my reading, plus it’s small and light and the battery lasts forever. My (unlocked) cell phone lets me keep in touch with family and friends; I’ll buy local SIM cards in a few places, and hope for free WiFi in others. I have a portable battery charger for those overnight trips or rooms with no free outlets.
I’m probably forgetting a few things, and I’m sure there will be moments when I wonder why I brought something, or wish desperately I hadn’t forgotten that absolutely crucial item. You know, the one that does the thing? Man I wish I had that.
[I’ll update this post with real pictures of my gear when the time to actually pack arrives.]