Thursday, March 27, 2008

Travelling light

Well that's what I'd like to do, the reality may not be so simple. My number one priority on this trip is going to be photography so that's what gets packed first. A dSLR and 2 lenses plus tripod. That's what I took last year and found it suited perfectly. I mostly used the zoom lens (18-250mm with macro capability) but there were times when the wide angle was a real treat to have in the bag.
The tripod is a new purchase. I carried a very small and light tripod on last year's trip and used it quite alot. I noticed a big improvement in my photos, but it is too light and flimsy and has a video plate and no quick release. So I've gone upmarket and bought the dream model: strong, rigid and light, just not cheap. It isn't quite as light as the cheapy but it is much more versatile so I'll learn to live with the extra weight.
This trip I won't be taking a laptop, something I've got used to taking on my dive trips so I can edit on the go. It's just extra weight that I really can't afford, not to mention the power cords etc etc.
So then the question arises, what to do with all these photos I'm going to take? How many CF cards will I need to bring? Given I'm photographing in RAW this is a real concern as storage gets used up just that bit quicker.
Final solution: a portable hard drive that allows me to store, review the photos and upload them to a computer/internet. It also works as an iPod. Even better, it uses the same batteries as my camera. Costs a bomb!
So I've now got 4.5kg worth of stuff in that backpack. I'm determined to only carry 10kg total, I'm quickly running out of space!!
I've decided to ditch the sleeping bag, afterall I can always hire one along with all the other camping gear. Not worth carrying around SE Asia for the few times it'll get used.
Next step is clothing. Light new age fabrics that wick moisture away and dry easily overnight. Zipoff shorts/trousers, sarong and togs. Good walking boots. Hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Toothbrush and minimum of personal toiletries. Raincoat.
Journal, pen and a book to read.
Think that's just about it. (oh yeah, money and passport better not forget them)
Roll on August!!

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