Your Gear, To Go
I don't know about you, but I've been wondering when we started needing to take 10 pounds of electronic gear with us every time we leave the house. A recent email thread in BlogHer back channels led me to wonder if I'd shared, what exactly it is that I'm dragging around with me everywhere I go. It's true, I take all this stuff and have a decent pack to carry it in. Here's what's in my bag, and please don't mug me should you run across me out there in the world. I need this stuff to do what I do. Oh, in the interest of disclosure, NONE of this gear was provided by sponsors, we paid for all of it, except for a pocket camera and an iPod that I won on a blog giveaways and the USB mouse that I got from my day job.
- Netbook: MSI Wind. It cost about 400 bucks. The husband hacked the RAM so it runs big fat programs like PhotoShop. It's light, has decent battery life and does just about everything I need it to do. I don't use it for intense photo editing, the monitor is too small, but I do minor tweaks and used it to edit video, even. The touchpad drove me crazy at first -- I was always sending my cursor somewhere random but once I turned it off and got a Microsoft USB mouse (the Optical 4000), that problem went away.
- Card Reader: The netbook has a card slot, but wouldn't you know it, I shoot CF and the slot is for SD. I carry a USB card reader that I bought in Vancouver one weekend when I realized my CF cards didn't fit. Dang it.
- Nikon D200: I dropped my Canon in Bangkok, snapping off the lens and giving me the opportunity to discover that, hey, wait a minute! Bangkok camera prices aren't that great! What gives?!? With the demise of the Canon and a contract that legitimately allowed me to call a camera a business expense, I went back to Nikon, my first love. Carrying the Nikon means I also have a 28-300 Tamron lense, a Nikkor fixed length 50, and a SB-600 flash. I have an extra battery and the charger, of course, and a fistful of CF cards. Fun fact? ALL my Nikon gear was paid for out of blogging income! I LOVE that. It's how I buy new photo gear. I save my blog income and when there's enough, off I go to Amazon to get new gadgets.
- Pocket cameras: In our family, we have two because, as I mentioned, I won one in a giveaway. I have the Olympus Stylus Tough and it is super fun because it goes underwater! Now that I have it, I NEVER go out without a camera because it's wallet sized. Sometimes,I get tired of schlepping the Nikon. We've also got the Panasonic Lumix that the husband bought a few years back and sometimes, ooo, it makes me so mad because the photos he shoots with it are so gorgeous I want to take credit for them myself. (Yeah, we're not really competitive about anything else.)
- iPod: I honestly don't know how I existed without an iPod. I won this on a giveaway too, several years back and we are inseparable. Mine is loaded with music that I don't listen to except on flights (a little Blossom Dearie goes a long way towards making you mellow in hour three) and podcasts that I listen to everywhere. If you were to ask me, I'd tell you to get noise canceling headphones, too, they make an amazing difference in your disposition.
- Ancient cell phone: Quit laughing at it, it's a hundred dollars a YEAR, that's right, A YEAR. Sure, I'd love to go mobile, but until I stop feeling like the cell phone industrial complex is playing a huge joke on American consumers, I will continue to carry my vintage t-Mobile phone that I can use to... make phone calls. Oh, yeah, I can use it for text messages too. Plus, see above under "netbook". Wifi gives me 95% of what I need in communications while I travel.
- Cables, chargers, etc...: I'm sure I'm not the only one who dreams of a universal charger. The tangled wad of spaghetti I have to carry around with me to make all this stuff go is absurd. Luckily, I don't seem to need a converter anymore, but if I'm traveling abroad, I may need an adapter for whatever outlet configuration I have to use.
- The bag: Oh, I love love love my backpack! It's got a padded camera section with dividers in the bottom, a sleeve for a laptop in the back, a water bottle pocket, and enough space up top for snacks and a lightweight sweater, plus a few secure zippered pockets for additional doodads. Mine is made by Kata, and again, I bought it with blogging bucks, something I just love doing.
That's my kit and yeah, it's ridiculous. I also use a regulation size carry on bag for everything else I need. If it doesn't fit in the backpack and/or the carryon and I'm not wearing it, it stays home.
Here are a few others. Did you blog yours? Share in the links.
- Uncornered Market's officeless office
- Almost Fearless: A Year of Roadtested Travel Gear
- How to Pack Like a Photographer: Karen Walrond on Gadling
- Travellious: Packing Light with an SLR
- An Oyster Reporter's Mobile Worldspace
- Susan Getgood: What's in your electronic travel kit?
Nerd's Eye View