Gear, gear, gear, and more gear!


Packing a new backpack is something that takes practice. I’ve packed, unpacked, repacked, chucked, added, re-arranged, and modified items with my knife all in the hopes of being able to physically carry everything that I need to take to Cape Town to Cape Town. I thought I had it good too – until I got to National Geographic’s Headquarters in Washington DC today and  received yet another camera kit to bring along (but a very useful video camera!). After the camera was handed over to me, my ‘handler’ (my term, not theirs) immediately asked “now where are you going to put that??”

I may not travel light, but I sure as hell know how to pack a backpack.

A note about the photos of the gear all laid out: while this photo is great for this blog about my journey, its main purpose is to remind myself of every item I packed in case I lose the bag in the airport or while traveling. I’ve gone through the headache of insurance claims on baggage once before, trust this traveler’s tip – photograph everything you are taking on a trip before you pack it. When filing insurance claims and claims to the airlines, its absolutely impossible to remember every item you packed after you’ve lost it.

Here is my insurance photo, with a list of every numbered item below. Now what do you think – am I missing anything??

  1. Airline travel bag (goes over backpack)
  2. Osprey backpack
  3. Organics climbing chalk bag & MadRock climbing shoes & two carabiners & belay device
  4. Black Diamond climbing harness
  5. Jansport day bag
  6. Tripod carry case
  7. MeFroto Travel Tripod
  8. Collapsable water bottle
  9. Camel back
  10. Trekking poles
  11. Cotton Carrier Strapshot (to hold SLR on backpack when walking)
  12. Assorted tools/kit for Cotton Carrier
  13. Compass
  14. USB hub
  15. Assorted charging cables
  16. USB flash drives, assorted cable adapters
  17. Handy cord
  18. Thermarest sleeping pad
  19. Handy bag for headphones, stereo cables, etc
  20. Emergency cellphone
  21. Handy clips
  22. Lighter
  23. Lapel mic w/ 20ft cord
  24. Re-useable shopping bag
  25. Over-ear deadphones
  26. Plugs & apple power adapters & ziplock
  27. Various USB adapters for solar panel
  28. More adapters for Solar Panel
  29. USB SD card reader
  30. Backup cellphone
  31. Circular polarizing lens
  32. 120 Film (5 rolls x  2)
  33. Zoom H2 sound recorder
  34. Windshield for recorder
  35. 120 film roll
  36. The North Face sleeping bag (15 deg)
  37. Zoom travel case
  38. Memory card & Battery travel wallet
  39. Canon Rebel T2i
  40. Kodak No 1 Diomatic
  41. 50mm  f-1.4 autofocus lens
  42. 18-55mm f-1.8 USM lens
  43. 2 backup canon batteries
  44. 2 Lens cleaning wipes
  45. Bottle opener
  46. Water bottle
  47. Sony backup audio recorder
  48. Backup headphones
  49. Pen, marker, USB flash drives, notebooks, soothing wax
  50. Travel toothbrushes
  51. Instant coffee
  52. Sunglass strap
  53. Knife
  54. Fannypack
  55. Eddie Bauer travel flask
  56. Asolo boots
  57. Nylon scarf
  58. Fleece gloves
  59. Down coat
  60. Fleece and wool hats, baseball cap
  61. Fleece pants
  62. Small herd of wool socks
  63. Merrell trail runners
  64. Sunglasses
  65. Passport
  66. Yellow fever / medical card
  67. Passport wallet and backup cash ($400)
  68. Copies birth certificate, passport, social security, yellow fever card
  69. Pretzel headtorch
  70. Battery razor
  71. Gators
  72. 2 pants
  73. Fleece
  74. REI Waterproof jacket
  75. 2 shorts (one zip-off)
  76. Hessian sprouting bag
  77. Toothpaste, soap, bag
  78. Apple power cord
  79. Assorted hard drive cables
  80. Backup USB SD card reader
  81. G-tech HD
  82. Mobile device Solio solar charger
  83. 4 LaCie hard drives
  84. Backup battery supply
  85. Voltaic solar panel
  86. Swim/running shorts
  87. 4 long-sleeve shirts
  88. Underwear!
  89. Cycle shorts
  90. Waterproof bag for computer
  91. 11″ Macbook Air & Incase sleeve & magsafe charger
  92. 15″ Macbook Pro & Incase sleeve
  93. Magsafe charger
  94. Rolling carry-on bag
  95. Compression bag
  96. Compression bag
  97. Leg warmers
  98. Arm warmers
  99. 2 tank-tops, 3 t-shirts
  100. 2 long-sleeve base layers
  101. Fabric/towel!