Monday, March 1, 2010

What Home Looks Like

Obligatory. I’ve made small annotations here and there, but mostly it’s clearly the work of a noob backpacker. My general philosophy is to keep costs down as much as possible while allowing for some general piece of mind and flexibility to create what I need to create – photographs, writing, drawings. Also: nothing "just in case" that I couldn't buy in any decent sized city. As is always the case with travel, some things will be discarded and others acquired.
I’ll update in a few months with some thoughts about all this crap.

  • 65+10 L Pack
  • Schwag messenger bag
  • Cloth tote bag
  • Toiletries bag
  • Smaller cloth bag
  • 2 Trash bags
  • Various ziplocs
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Bill clip wallet
  • Half-cube
The idea of buying and carrying around containers for your crap seems somehow ridiculous to me, but I had some of these things already and only bought a few things. The pack is obviously a specialized item, but I bought a bigger one than I needed to allow some flexibility. I also chose this particular pack because of a zippered lower section that I can lock.

  • 2 short sleeve shirts
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • button down shirt
  • 2 pairs fancy-shmancy underwear
  • Jeans
  • Slacks
  • Leather Belt
  • Board shorts
  • Athletic shorts
  • Sweater
  • Sweatshirt
  • Baseball cap
  • Sport coat jacket
  • Earth slip-on shoes
Again, nothing bought except the underwear, which is comfortable and easily washed. Note that I’m only bringing one pair of shoes. If I need any others, or any other articles of clothing, I’ll buy them. I haven’t included some winter gear that I’ll bring to new york and london because I’ll be sending them back in turkey.


  • Sony alpha a330
  • Case
  • 18-55 lens w/ hood, lens cap holder
  • 55-200 lens w/ ditto
  • Lens case
  • Polarized Filter
  • 2 Ex batteries
  • Battery Charger
  • 4 8gb sd cards
  • Lens pen
  • Usb cable
This is as cheap and minimal a photography setup as I could manage while allowing for the artistic freedom I’m looking for.

  • Netbook w/charger
  • Cellphone w/charger
  • 4 gb, 8 gb usb drive
  • Ipod shuffle
  • Bluetooth headset
  • Travel surge protector
  • International outlet adapter
Everything as compact and cheap as I could get it. The usb drives will hold scans of important papers and serve as a backup solutions for photos when I have trouble accessing fast enough internet to upload them.


  • Laptop Lock
  • Cable Lock
  • travel padlocks
  • Mini flashlight
  • Luggage tag
  • Steripen
  • Pacsafe bag
I wish I could leave all of this at home.

  • Moleskine notebooks
  • 4 graphite solid pencils
  • Sharpener
  • 3 small gummy erasers
  • 2 ballpoint pens
  • Light pen
Nice to have. Once upon a time I was an art student and sitting at a cafe sketching seems like a nice idea.

Misc/McGuyver Shit
  • Key belt loop
  • 2 fabric key chains
  • Assorted keyrings
  • Saran wrap
  • tape wrapped around pens
  • Velcro straps
  • Safety Pins
  • Small zip ties, tie wraps
  • Bookmark
  • Water bottle
Doesn’t really take up a lot of space, and easily discarded if not needed. Somehow I imagine that it’ll come in handy. I’m probably wrong.

  • Razor
  • Earplugs
  • Glasses
  • Chapstick
  • Travel toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss Picks
  • Mouthwash
  • Contacts/solution
  • Travel aspirin packets
  • Sink stopper
  • Comb
  • 2 small grooming scissors
  • Contact rewetting drops
  • Moisturizer
  • Tissues
  • Travel tide packets
  • Condoms
  • Cotton swabs
  • Body wash
  • Nail clipper
  • Immodium
  • Wide-spectrum antibotics
  • Malaria pills
This is a needlessly exhaustive list, obviously.

Some items of note:
  • I own and love an iphone 3gs, but it won't be coming with me. It's flash, expensive and heavy for what it is. It would be by far the single most expensive thing I'd bring and I'd be pretty pissed if I lost it, unlike basically everything else here.
  • I'm waiting to see how available FAST internet is where I'm going before I commit to a backup solution, but cloud storage seems the most reliable and cost-effective. Google in particular has very reasonable rates. As a backup, I have some usb thumb drives and will probably buy a few more along the way. I'll be shooting JPG, so it's not such a huge deal. All my documents will be done via offline google docs in chrome. Pretty slick.
  • If you haven't clicked on the pictures already, I'm using mobileme galleries for my photo hosting. I like the presentation and ease of use. It isn't well integrated into windows, obviously, but I can live with that.
  • I spent under $1k to buy stuff I didn't have already. I sold some stuff on craigslist to offset most of this cost. Besides books, furniture, kitchen stuff, a shitbox car and a modest amount of clothes I'll put in storage, this is basically everything I own.
  • It weighs in a hair over 25 pounds.