Outfitting the multimedia
29, 1994 18:20
Straight to Packing List
16:49 Whistler, BC; Canada :: 29 DEC 02
I thought it might be necessary to overhaul the packing list below.
Written nearly a decade ago, the pace of change in multi-media electronics
would seem to have obsolesced the information here.
My current DELL
Latitude laptop is about the same size and weight as the old monochrome
Toshiba T3400 used to write the article below. The hard drive is an
unthinkable 40GB and the RAM is expandable to 1GB, with a huge colourful
screen. The specs have increased exponentially, but so have the demands.
Exchange floppy disk for a CDRW, digital video tape for Hi-8 and,
if you're endowed with a digital camera, perhaps a couple extra memory
sticks rather than roll-upon-roll of film, exposed and unexposed.
All that digital data has to go somewhere and that laptop is now both
short-term storage and archive disk writer.
What remains absolutely the same is the need for power, cables, adaptors,
batteries and everything else that goes along with toting a rucksack
full of electronics, just as it's described below.
23:18 Airlie Beach, Queensland :: 26 AUG 94
Having finally assumed the role of backpack adventurer, as opposed
to luxury sedan renter or festival participant and brotherly parasite,
I'll set about describing the contents of my down-scale valise. The
bag itself is the Eagle Creek Transport II, a 65 litter combination
of main bag and zip-off day pack. Eagle Creek manufactures two basic
formats in this line and size of bags: back-pack and suitcase. The
differences are primarily cosmetic with some alterations in zipper
formats to accommodate carrying the pack upright on your back or sideways
from a handle. While I prefer the back-pack format and cosmetics,
I chose the Transport II instead because three extra, very useful
pockets line the inside of the main bag.
- Main Bag contents:
sacks for laundry, socks and briefs.
- 5 pairs of briefs.
- 5 pairs of socks--2 wool; 3 white cotton.
- 2 pairs long cotton pants
- 1 pair cotton casual
- 1 pair swim shorts (in Oz these are called togs, bathers,
- 1 pair running shorts
- 2 long sleeved cotton button-down
shirts (mustard, purple)
- 1 short sleeved cotton upscale
- 1 mundane T-shirt (for running)
- 1 singlet (undershirt)
- 1 belt (nylon webbing)
- 1 pair running shoes
- 1 pair hiking shoes
- 1 fleece
- 1 wind
- 1 cotton
- 1 Lonely
Planet guide to Australia
- 1 Lonely
Planet guide to SE Asia
- 1 box of 10 Hi-8 video cassettes
- 1 Toshiba external floppy drive for T3400 laptop
- 2 3.5" floppy disks (for backups)
- 7 rolls of Fuji Velvia
- 1 Non-fiction book (Anthony Trollope's North
- 1 toiletry
- 1 hair brush
- 1 Towel
Main inside pocket on front flap:
1 heavy-duty, non-slip shoulder strap.
- 1 crushable DriZaBone wide-brimmed
- 1 graph-ruled composition book (for notes and journal
- 1 ziploc bag for recorded receipts and foreign currency
Small inside pocket on top:
1 Canon UCS5 battery charger/power supply w/ American power
- 1 North American to Australian power socket adapter
- 1 Toshiba T3400 power supply w/ Australian power socket
- A strip of closed cell foam protects the power supplies
from external shocks
Small inside pocket on side:
1 Canon UCS5 power supply cable
- 1 Toshiba T3400 American style power socket cable for
- 1 Toshiba T3400 external floppy connector cable
- 1 twisted pair cable and Australian phone jack adapter
- 2 compression straps
Small inside pocket on bottom:
1 ziploc bag for air tickets, traveler's check #'s, insurance
- 1 first
- 1 Money
belt (in reserve for less law efficient countries)
- 1 box prophylactics
Large outside pocket on front flap:
Nothing now, but magazines and brochures when I get `em.
Zip-off Daypack contents:
1 T3400 Notebook
- 2 Camcorder batteries (1 hr, wrapped in closed-cell foam)
- 1 very old fully manual Ricoh 500 RF 35mm small format camera
- Some closed-cell foam to protect electronics
1 Canon UCS5 Hi-8 camcorder
w/ 40 minute battery
- 1 spare roll 36 exp. Fuji Provia
slide film, 100 ASA
- 1 Swiss-army "Rucksack" lockback knife
- 1 Canon lens cleaning kit
- 1 Mag-lite
- 2 pens
- 2 Novels (the Oz classic, We
of the Never-Never and a Fritz Leiber fantasy,
Swords & Deviltry)
- More closed-cell foam to protect the UCS5
1 3X5" notebook and pen
- 1 white card for white-balancing the video camera
- 1 spare Fuji Hi-8 ME tape
- 1 ziploc bag for unentered receipts
- Lots of post cards
Day pack harness storage slip: (pack straps
hide-away in this compartment)
More closed cell foam for added carrying comfort and to protect
the T3400 computer in the main compartment.
In what has become for me the signature passport wallet on a neck
string you'll find my passport, credit cards (Amex & Mastercard),
cash, receipts for accounting & other odds-n-ends.
I'm definitely carrying more weight and bulk than desirable but
most everything listed is essential. I'll probably turf a couple socks
but another T-shirt would be useful. I would normally do without the
running gear: shoes, shorts, T-shirt, a pair of white socks (or two),
but I need the exercise. Certainly, three pieces of reading material
are unnecessary and two of them will be put up for adoption immediately
after taking down some notes and quotes.
14:02 Airlie Beach, Queensland :: 27 AUG 94
Some words about choosing a backpack.
While the majority of travelers carry huge top-load bags, serious
budget travel gurus consider the "front-load backpack with zip-off
day pack" to be the best format for traveling light and compact. These
gurus also vigorously recommended the main bag meet guidelines for
carry-on luggage. That is, it should fit under an airline seat. Becoming
permanently separated from your gear is less likely if you always
carry it with you. A bag this size carries 3 changes of clothes, a
sweater, rain jacket, a couple extra T-shirts, summer weight sleeping
bag (down), some food, the ubiquitous towel, and a toiletry kit. There
will be room left over for food & water and the day pack will
remain relatively empty until you put your camera and some film in
The problems for the multi-media backpacker begin with the nature
of mobile electronic equipment. The gear itself can only be so compact
and then there's the question of batteries, power supplies and cables.
More bulk comes as recording media: floppy disks, video cassettes
and film. All this bulk and weight limits bag selection options. Some
bag formats simply won't accommodate the bulk. More than a matter
of simply cramming it all inside, it's important to stow the devices,
cables, power supplies and other peripherals so they are secure, accessible
and protected from external shocks. Ideally, cables and peripherals
won't confront you every time the pack is opened or impede access
to clothing or other frequently used gear. Also important is the accessibility
of the devices themselves, particularly the camcorder and camera.
16:47 Airlie Beach, Queensland :: 28 AUG 94
I looked for a bag set in which the day pack could carry all the
electronic gear and essential peripherals required on a typical day
trip. Not only must the gear fit but there must remain ample room
for foam padding to protect the more delicate devices. Essential gear
includes the camcorder and 3 batteries, the computer and a phone-line
cable, small format 35mm camera, a reserve roll of film, a reserve
video cassette, lens cleaning kit, white-card, flashlight, pen and
notepad. Where necessary, I would add foam padding to protect the
camcorder, computer, power supplies and batteries. (The 35mm camera,
an old, all steel, manual Ricoh, is virtually indestructible; it doesn't
To make sure the bag met these requirements I shopped for bags and
electronics at the same time. Eventually, I chose the Canon UCS5 over
a somewhat superior Sony camcorder because the Sony's blocky body
would have been difficult or impossible to fit in the thin compartments
characterizing the zip-off daypacks on the market. By contrast the
UCS5, while about the same volume as the Sony, is shaped more like
a hardcover novel (approximately 1.5"X6"X8") and fits nicely in most
After narrowing the bag contenders down to three I purchased the
Toshiba and UCS5 and brought them along with the cables, power supplies
and other peripherals, into the bag shops to assure a proper fit.
The Eagle Creek Transport II won out because, 1> travel gurus recommend
Eagle Creek bags above all others; 2> the Transport II day pack
provided the best fit for the electronics; 3> the inside pockets
of the Transport II main bag quite handily fit the power supplies
and cables--the other contenders didn't sport this feature.
Patrick. -- Responses Sought --
04 Jan 2010, 20:04
Great advice--I've also enjoyed the criticism sections of your site.
I work for a design company that's making an effort to share a recent
project on travel with those who write eloquently about it. The project is
a fun revamp of the age-old travel game where you pick locations that start
with the last letter of the location the other player chooses, with this
version entailing numerous twists.
You can find it at apps.facebook.com/lastletter
We hope you enjoy it!