So here goes. One more of these standard packinglists that you have on every single site. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a good source when you start but it feels like some people take these a bit to seriously. And I don’t mean the committed travelers. I mean the people you see with the 65L backpack and the 25L daypack hanging on the chest. Traveling is of course a very individual experience, but you gotta wonder if they are really enjoying a lifestyle like that.
Personally I have adopted the philosophy of many that travel around the world: Travel light! There are just so many benefits of being a carry-on traveler. First of all the obvious. You don’t need to drag 40 pounds worth of luggage around the world. And I believe that the experiance of travelling become so much more enjoyable when you can actually sit at a cafee with “all” your luggage and don’t take up two tables. An I personally don’t like to let my luggage out of my sight so on trains and busses it’s nice to be able to stick it on the rack or under the seat.
I started writing this as just a plain list but that’s so common so I decided I’ll do a bit more extensive explanation to my choises and put some pictures on here as well. Everyone loves pictures. There will be a congested plain list for the one’s who just wants the TL;DR (“Too long; didn’t read”) at the end. Everything is linkked with anchors so you can jump back and forth. So lets get to it.
First of all in my opinion all lists like these are very personal so let me just give you the short version of who I am as a traveller. I love two things. Nature and technology. Click the “About” link in the menu if you want the long version of that. This means that most of my gear are selected on a basis that I want them to be durable and technologically advanced. Some of the gadgets I bring will be overkill for some. Just keep that in mind.
Granted this will be my first longterm trip spanning over many months, but I concider myself a fairly avid and experianced traveller. I have traveld alot both in my previous workrole as an inspector in the oilindustry and puerly for pleasure. Plus I think that I posess that one key thing that you need to have when you leave the comforts of home: Common sence.
So here goes. My packinglist and reasoning behind some of the things:
Laptop – Lenovo Yoga 900
Before I started in the oilindustry I worked over 10 years in IT ranging from programming to graphical design to special effects in movies. That means that my requirements for a laptop aren’t “I need a cheap acer laptop off the shelf that can do wordprocessing and webpages”. When I started looking I wanted it to be powerful enough to do video editing in full HD. Not 4k. Portable, meaning light in my case. And multipurpose. The last bit was important for me. I didn’t want to bring my Tablet (I have a Samsung Galaxy tab-s) but I still wanted to be able to sit in a couch with it in my lap and just netflix and chill. There are quite a few options on the market. If you want something high-end though the options start narrowing down. I choose between a Microsoft Surface, A Dell XPS 13 and then the Lenovo Yoga 900. The Surface failed on the ridiculous price and the dell was “only” a laptop. The Yoga however has both a touchscreen and the ability to fold the screen 180° making it double as a tablet. It also has a good i7 processor and I went for the 16gb RAm option. It’s very light and only weighs in at 1.27kg (2.8 punds). So far I am very pleased with it and it has performed flawlessly. I do video editing and run both photoshop and lightroom on it. For more info on the worlkflow I use with software and a quick rundown of what I recomend for storage options etc have a look at my other post in this subject: Software and workflow on the road
Camera – Sony RX100 mk4, GoPro 4 silver
As for the laptop I wanted a high-end camera. I’ve taken quite a lot of photos and I’ve had photography as a hobby for a while so I know my ways around a camera. Let’s jsut say that If you don’t know what the “A” or the “S” on your camera means (if you even have them on a dial) then this recomendation problably isn’t for you. now I know some people bring an entire camera bag with external flashes, tripods and SLR cameras. I’m sure that works for them, but for me that goes against the first things I said: Travel light. So when I started looking for a camera I had some requirements. By the way I think this is a good way to chose gear in general. Set a few criterias that work for you and that are important for you and then start looking. For me it was that I wanted a good lens, good video and compact. The compact part was a dealbreaker so that limited the options somewhat. I looked for a while. I even bought the Sony A6000 in an ill adviced spontaneous moment. It turned out though that even that it is fairly compact it wasn’t compact enough for me. What I decided on in the end, and am extremly happy with, was the Sony RX100 mk4. This camera is just wow. It’s pocketable so it fits in a the pocket of a pair of hikingpants or a jacket without any problems what so ever. But that isn’t the remarkable aspect. What is fantastic is the specs. It shoots stills at 5472 x 3648 (20.0 MP, 3:2) and film at 3840×2160 (30p/25p/24p) and 1920×1080 (120p/100p/60p/60i/50p/50i/24p). So you get 4k film at 30fps and HD at 120. Those are all fine and dandy but it also has another cool mode. Super-slowmo where you can shoot at 1000fps. Granted the quality drops but it makes for some awesome shots. Have a look at my test of some waves. This is shot at 500fps though. I’ll put up some 1000fps footage when I have something interesting.
I’m not gonna do a long review since there are plenty of those around. Chek out this one from DPreview for instance:
Apart from my sony RX100 mk4 I also have a GoPro. I think that if you are in to travel and haven’t been living under a rock for the past 10 years I don’t really have to say anything else other than it’s a GoPro Hero 4 silver.
I don’t have a big, bulky tripod with me. Instead I use a Gorillapod for both of them. I can highly recomend one of those. Very flexible and takes little space.
Organizing – Eagle Creek Specter Compression Cube
Now before I say anything I should point out that I am a freak when it comes to organizing. Seeing a shelf with labels under each spot, sorted by color, with a digital registry just gets my juices flowing. So it’s no surprise that I don’t just chuck things into the bag like other people in a chaotic manner like an animal (you know who you are)! After some research I came across an article at the good folks at Neverending Voyage, http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/carry-on-travel-packing-tips/ and that led me into the compression cubes from Eagle Creek. Now I’m sure that there are other similar systems but these ones where easily available for me and are highly recomended. I tried some vacume bags but for the love of God try not to have to use them. It’s very cumbersam to have to fiddle about with getting the air out and the compression cubes do just as good of a job if not better. I will do a separate article and demonstrate the use of cubes vs just folding it neatly.
Bag – Osprey Farpoint 40
First of all the bag. I’ve chosen the Osprey Farpoint 40. I actually liked it so much that I bought two of it. Fun story. It’s all detailed in the short review and packing video that I’ve done. In short it’s a versitalie bag and fills the number one requirement for me on this trip. To pack light. Don’t get one of these massive bags that you use for hiking, because the more space you have the more shit you’ll bring. Less space forces you to think twice if that hoodie is really necessary. Many travellers say pack everything you would like to bring and then get rid of half. Sound advice.
I also had a small, foldable daypack from The North Face. A fliweight pack that folds into it self and takes up about the size of your palm in space.
Shoes – Merrell Capra sport GTX
I’m a hiker. I love the outdoors and I love walking in it. And I love hikingshoes. For regular hikes here at home I’ve used a pair of sturdy mountain boots from Han Wag. A pair with thick soles and good ankle support. Waterproof. Tough leather. Nice curves. Oh my … Erhm anyhow. These have one huge drawback though and that is that you almost need a separate bag for them since they rival moon boots in size. This presents a bit of a challenge then if you are like me and despise shoes like Convers or flat sneakers. I did a fair bit of looking around and finally decided on a pair from Merrell called CAPRA SPORT GORE-TEX. This is a lightweight sneaker with a gore-tex membrane, meaning that they will sustain your dry feet through some heavy downpour but don’t submerge them for to long. I think that a gore-tex membrane is an absolute must if you intend to use the shoes on anything other than tarmac or in the city. I used to have a similar pair from Haglofs but I decided on the Merrell’s due to their sole. A very “grippy” substance that deals well with wet surfaces.
Jacket – Bergha Votna GTX Jacket
I have a soft shell from a company here in Norway called Berghaus. Here’s a link to it (in Norwegian but I hear google translate is kinda hip with the kids). When you look at it it’s really ridiculous. It’s basically a thin fabric of no more than a few millimeters. No padding. No extra pockets. No fancy, clever storage solutions where the jacked doubles as a tent or escape pod. No, it’s “only” a rain and windproof shell. For roughly $400. I know! But in this case money really buys quality. In a normal rain jacket you usually end up being as wet on the inside as you would have been in a normal jacket since it doesn’t breathe and you sweat immensely. And a normal rain jacket has questionable qualities when it comes to wind resistance. This jacket is amazing in both those aspects. When I started buying gear for this trip I decided that it all needed to be tested at home before I leave (I strongly urge you to adapt the same philosophy). So I took a rainy day at home, been no shortage of those lately, and then I took on my jacket, put a fleece and a t-shirt underneath and went out on a hike along the coast. I spent about three hours in +8C weather with constant downpour and wind that whipped up some whiteheads on the ocean. I was more or less bone-dry when I came home. Both feet and body. So a pro-tip: Invest in quality for the technical gear like shoes and jacket. Things like t-shirts and shorts can always be bought from a thrift shop along the way.
- Laptop – Lenovo Yoga 900
- Mouse and charger
- Camera – Sony RX100 mk4 + GoPro Hero 4 silver
- Bag – Osprey farpoint 40
- Flyweight foldable daypack
- A (1) smurf
- Ziplock bags