Friday, November 27, 2009

Packing for a trip:

People often ask what supplies and equipment I take with me on my travels. So, here we go…I’m going to break it down for you into three parts. The following describes absolutely everything that I bring on a trip, down to the smallest item. This list is the result of a re-examination of the contents of my bags at the end of each trip, and eliminating any unused item. It doesn’t matter if I’m traveling for two weeks or four months; I always pack only the followin items.

First let’s examine my “checked luggage”. It contains all my clothes, toiletries, and non-essential photography gear. Starting at my feet and working up….1 pair Lowa Tempest hiking shoes. 1 pair flip flops, 2 pairs of ankle length socks, one belt, 3 pairs of Kuhl Jeans , 1 pair of Levi’s 560 comfort fit, 25% poly 75% cotton jeans (this is the one indulgence I grant myself…there is nothing better or more comfortable than a pair of good ole’ American-made, Levis). Next, 6 pairs of underwear, two Coolmax T-shirts, 2 hats, 1 pair nylon running shorts, which can double as a swim suit, 2 Eagle Creek Leg Stash money holders, a dozen plastic zip ties, a few rubber bands, a blower to clean my cameras, 4 extra AA batteries and charger, 1 extra AAA battery, electrical adapters, my Canon Mark II battery charger with 2 extra camera batteries, a Pac-Safe security net and four Snickers bars. All of these items are packed into 3 "packing cubes", two small and one medium.

Next let’s look at my toiletries, they include toothpaste, tooth brush, cortizone cream, triple antibiotic ointment, deodorant, chapstick, tums, razor and shaving cream, sunblock, nail clippers, dental floss, a Leatherman Mico tool, scissors, a flashlight and eseential medications packed in mini zip-lock pill containers which you can purchase at most drug stores.

All of the above items are packed into a Eagle Creek Hovercraft 25, which, when full, weighs 26.6 lbs, or just under 12 kg. I've never paid over-weight charges, even on small regional carriers, many of whom limit checked baggage to 15kg.

Next is my carry-on backpack. It contains my laptop computer and power supply, passport, passport sized photos, cell phone & charger, Ipod Touch with earphones and USB cable, Ambien sleeping pills, ear plugs, two Sharpie markers (one fine point, one medium point), and the guide book(s) for the country or countries that I am traveling to.

Finally, let's take a look at my camera gear. It all goes into my Think Tank belt system: 2 beat up, old, Canon Mark II bodies, a Canon 16-35 f 2.8, a Canon 70-200 f 2.8, Canon 580 EX flash, SanDisk CF Cards, flash memory sticks, external hard drive, reflectors, micro-fiber cloth, brush, press pass and Sony voice recorder.

In my pockets I carry , a Zebra F301 compact pen, chapstick, cash and a Moleskine, Cahier writing pad.

That’s it, that’s everything…nothing more, nothing less.

For more details please visit the "equipment reviews" section of my website.

Bon voyage!

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