Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Use the Gear I Cover, Part 2

About a year ago I did a posting on how I really use the travel gear I review on this blog instead of just regurgitating press releases or gushing "Isn't this cool!" about something that looks great but doesn't actually work very well. While I'll occasionally point to what others have said about some quirky item that sounds fun, I try to put everything I write up through its proper paces. Often that means taking it with me as I travel.

As a travel writer, I am out and about quite a bit, like the 9 days I just spent in Panama. Here's what worked, and worked well.

Altec Lansing iPod speaker
There are some wierd quirks to the design of this thing (pictured above), but it delivers where it really matters: in the sound. A great bang for the buck.

Energizer battery charger
Speakers need batteries, but this small charger allows me to keep them primed without sending acid to the landfill (or in developing countries, the side of the road.)

Eagle Creek Wallaby hanging cosmetic case
I've used one of these things on every trip I've taken longer than a weekend for the past 16 years. A great item for when counter space is limited and it allows you to find what you need in a hurry.

Eagle Creek Meridian backpack
This is one of those convertible backpacks that zips up into a suitcase. So whether I'm going first class or low class, I'm ready. Works as a carry-on too, so no lost luggage when making connections.

Western Digital portable hard drive
I've got most of my desktop and all my photos on this thing as a backup, yet it weighs hardly anything and doesn't take up much room. Even has a little travel carrying case. I back up my photos to this every day or two and keep it in a separate place so if my camera and/or laptop disappear, I've still got my pics.

Buzz Off shirt from Ex-Officio
An extra layer of bug protection is a good thing in the tropics. This long-sleeve shirt with thumb holes helps keep them away from my skin. Right now there's a clearance sale too at the official site: BUZZ OFF Clothing at ExOfficio.com

Laptop backpack from eBags
I've been putting this thing through hard paces for two years now, using it every week and taking it to eight different countries.

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