aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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an electronics junkie's round-the-world packing list

An Electronics Junkie's Round the World Packing List from theroadforks on Vimeo.

One of us is obsessed with buying organizational systems, packages, and bags which leads to this sort of packing list; the other of us is mad about gadgets, electronics, and the newest toys which leads to the packing list below.  It is a bit of a problem that our electronics bag weighs more than all my clothes, toiletries, and miscellaneous equipment and that we carry nearly $9,000 on our backs. 

But, here's the thing: we use all of it every single day.  Though this list is long, we would not give up any of our electronics because they keep us connected, working, and able to capture the best parts of our travels.  If you want the quick and dirty version of our electronics gear, watch this short 2-minute video which captures how we pack in our electronics, including weight and total costs.

Or, if you want the nitty gritty details, come walk through our electronics packing list with us.

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If you have made it all the way through this post, then aside from needing a stiff drink, you probably think we are either crazy or rich to own and carry all this equipment around.  I can't speak to the crazy part, especially after this stunt, but we are certainly not rich.  We have been slowly building up this gear over the last four years and usually give each other electronics gear as Christmas or birthday presents.  The Macbook Air is on loan from Patrick's company so that Patrick can consult for them while we travel and the Sony Vaio is a two-year old computer that we purchased to replace my old laptop.  We certainly could travel with less but because we both work while we travel, we use all this equipment.

What are your favorite electronics equipment for your travels?  Anything here that you think is unnecessary or that is better replaced with another item?  Let us know if you have any questions about what we chose and why we chose it because we (and, by we, I mean 90% Patrick and 10% Akila) have spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff.  Too much time, really, as you can probably tell from this post.

Related posts: a woman's round-the-world packing list, canon wp-dc29 underwater camera, peach tart with gingersnap pecan crust + we're off

[Ummm, so, if you click on any of the links above and purchase something from Amazon, we will get a tiny amount of money - like maybe enough to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  I'm just telling you this because the FTC thinks you aren't smart enough to figure this out for yourself.  Everything listed above we reviewed after purchasing it ourselves and we have received no endorsements for any of the above review.]

12/15/2009 16:32
Very cool video! I think everyone loves seeing people packs ( ...see honey I'm not crazy :) ) Are you concerned lumping all of your tech into one bag? Also how many bags do you have when traveling between destinations?
12/15/2009 16:41
Thanks Scott! In total, we each have 1 backpack we carry on our back (mine is really small and this one is Patrick's) and then we each have a larger backpack that we roll. We carry on everything except for Patrick's backpack which is 24 inches so just a bit too large to carry on. Everything fits compactly and works out nicely.

At first, we were really worried about carrying all our electronics in one bag in case it gets stolen but now we are so happy we made this decision. Basically, we don't worry much about our other bags because they only carry clothes, toiletries, and other small items, so they are much easier and cheaper to replace. We focus all our security efforts on this bag and make sure that it is well locked and looked after wherever we go. It is not possible to get to the laptop area while the bag is on Patrick's back so our most expensive items are always safe. And, because, there is padding underneath the camera area, slicing the bottom of the bag wouldn't make the cameras drop out.
12/15/2009 21:27
I have nothing to say about the equipment, since I am guilty of the same obsession with techy gadgets that *must* come with me. However, it's the thought of lugging all that stuff in a backpack that gets me!
Gourmantic's recent blog post: A Walk Through Mogliano Veneto
12/15/2009 21:49
Oh my dear lord. That's all I can say. I loved seeing what you guys are packing - and there ARE two of you, but it's just hard to believe that you are carrying nearly $9 grand in electronics! Holy cow how fast it adds up! :-)
12/16/2009 01:01
I'm glad to see you also love your toys. and that I'm not the only one who probably has a completely filled back of just electronics! :)

Great list!
12/17/2009 03:25
Great video, I think everyone like seeing people packs Are you concerned lumping all of your tech into one baggage? Also how many bags do you have when traveling between destinations?
Timeshare Relief 's recent blog post: Canadians Using Timeshare Relief and Loving It
12/18/2009 10:51
Gourmantic, We did so many test packs trying to reduce the weight but Patrick said that he doesn't mind lugging the stuff around. I don't carry it - it's too heavy for me!

Shannon, I know exactly what you mean! The money adds up so fast. The bulk of the costs are in the laptops but we really love having two laptops with us. I think, if we weren't working while on the road, we would just have one.

Thanks Matt and Timeshare Relief!
12/21/2009 11:12
whoaa that's alot hehe

ever lost any gadgets or forgot them somewhere?
flip's recent blog post: Promote your Hometown
12/25/2009 12:12
Flip, it is a lot! Luckily, we haven't lost or forgotten any gadgets yet. But, Patrick does have a knack for losing sunglasses - he is on his fifth pair since we left the U.S.
Akila's recent blog post: spiced chocolate + glacier hiking
01/01/2010 12:06
I can certainly understand your obsession with gadgets and electronic gear. We're the same :)

I was interested in seeing the Kindle here and that you love it. Books take up a lot of space and weight in our bags as well, but I've been hesitant to exchange them for a Kindle because I thought reading from a screen would get annoying and difficult on the eyes. But from your description, especially as avid readers, maybe I should reconsider and we should add this to our shopping list.

We're considering getting the SB-600 Flash since we keep finding ourselves on microfinance photography projects with a woman who works in almost complete darkness (i.e, one light bulb or tiny window). Glad to hear you've been happy with yours until now.

We used to travel with a VAIO and a Mac (PowerBook G4), but the hard drive died on the VAIO. The machine always was hot, but we think it just overheated in Guatemala when Dan was running a virus scan and it fried the hard drive (now he has a Mac). You're smart to travel with a cooling pad, not only to protect your skin but also to cool the machine down.
01/01/2010 14:11
Audrey, If your concern is the screen, don't hesitate in buying the Kindle. The screen does not bother my sensitive eyes (I had lasik several years ago and staring at screens for long periods of time annoys my eyes). The e-Ink technology looks exactly like a paperback book and because there is no backlighting, it does not tire your eyes like a computer does.

We have spent a lot more time working with the SB-600 and I think it is a good purchase if you mainly focus on taking pictures of people. We took most of our Christmas pictures with the flash and they turned out really well - some of the flash pictures are better than ones we took in daylight. I still struggle with the flash and food photography because food ends up looking flat and unappetizing even with the diffuser.

And, I'm glad to know that there are other electronics obsessed people out there!
Akila's recent blog post: lavender ginger creme brulee
11/17/2010 13:19
Jacked-in Old Fart
I appreciate my electronics as much as most anyone, but reading your post makes me think that you guys are potentially closer to being ancestors of the Borg than sensitive World Travellers.
08/13/2011 12:55
M
Hi
really great and informative blog. I was wondering how much you use your telephoto lens having the 18-200mm? I am pretty much decided on buying the 70-200mm with a TC III for a trip to Svalbard in Norway (polar bears etc) but now I am wondering if its a good idea/necessary to take it with me also on a 4 month trip to SEA. I would be really interessted in taking pictures of hornbills, orang outans etc and I dont know if my 18-200 is sufficient for that. I know its definately not enough for taking pictures of cranes here and its quite a slow lens at the telephoto end for wildlife. So basically: option 1, go with my 18-200 all around lens or 2, get a 10-24mm for landscapes and the 70-200 (+TCIII) for wildlife.

So I would really appreciate some input on your photographic habits to help me decide.

Wishing you many more wonderful voyages
08/17/2011 07:19
M, We definitely don't think that the 18-200 is enough for typical wildlife photography unless you're going to be really close to the wildlife which, at least in our experience, is quite rare. However, that being said, we found that wildlife in Southeast Asia tend to be very accustomed to humans --- perhaps unfortunately so. A couple of my friends have gone on orangutan tours and got excellent shots with even a simple wide angle lens because the orangutans are so used to humans. We lugged around our telephoto lens all through SE Asia and didn't use it even once because whenever we saw wildlife, they were very close up.

Either way, even for your trip to Norway, I would strongly consider getting the 10-24mm lens. We have the Sigma 10-20 OS and LOVE that lens. In our one experience glacier hiking, we found that the wide angle lens served us best to capture the planes and waves of the glaciers and I'm sure they same would be true in Norway. So, all this being said, I would go with option 3 for SE Asia, meaning go with your 18-200 and get a 10-24 if you have the budget. Sorry to add another wrench in your decisionmaking process!
Akila's recent blog post: weekly photo: penguins at boulders
08/24/2011 00:38
M
Thank you for your input. I agree with you 100% that 200mm, even on a crop frame, is absolutely not enough for typical wildlife. Which is why I wanted to hear about your experience as a lot of photos I've been seeing of seasian wildlife were not taken at crazy focal lengths. In that sense though maybe the 70-200mm is perfect (or do you think 70mm would still be too long!!!?): 70mm ish for the big animals and 200mm for the birds with the possibility of extension. One can usually back up I imagine if the animals are too close which is even better for the animal in the long run... And of course the quality of the lens should be far superior to that of the 18-200mm in the 70-200mm range. Especially in the darker jungles I imagine that having f/2.8 versus 5.6 should be a definite advantage?
I guess what I need to do is walk around with the 70-200mm and the 10-24mm and see if I could live with one or the other as a general walk around lens.

Thanks again for your input. It was not a wrench, just another important data point :)

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