I consider myself to be as tech-savvy as a backpacker can be. As an entrepreneur who constantly needs to be in touch with people in order to manage my businesses remotely while traveling the world, technology has to be a massive part of what I stuff into my small backpack. For some backpackers, they are content with leaving it all at home. Throw some clothes into a big Osprey, leave the Macbook, DSLRs, and tangled up wires at home. Sometimes, I wish I had that luxury, but I truly can’t complain about lugging around some extra weight if it means living out my dreams.
Technology is revolutionizing how we travel, from improved cameras helping us capture incredible moments beautifully, to the simple nuisance known as the selfie stick (I own one of those, so don’t hate on them too much). Although I stay connected mostly for work-related issues, even the casual traveler can benefit from knowing the right gadgets to bring along and which to leave at home. I’ll share what’s in my bag, since I’ve basically got it down to a science.
What’s in my bag?
Macbook Pro – Although I own a few other computers, my Macbook is the one that always comes with me on my adventures. It is sleek and lightweight (even more so if you have the Macbook Air), and manages to give me everything I need, from video editing to jamming out on a plane.
Smartphone x 2 – I had an old phone lying around, so I always bring it along with my current iPhone. I keep it turned off and deep in my backpack only in case of emergencies if my phone gets stolen, lost, or dies. It’s also very useful as a backup camera if your current phone runs out of space like mine literally always does.
Seagate External Hard Drive – You probably won’t need one of these, but if you’re constantly recording videos and taking pictures, your computer and SD card will fill up pretty quickly. If I’m going to be gone for weeks at a time, it’s nice to have something the size of my passport to store several hours of footage and thousands of pictures.
Nikon D5600 – This was the first DSLR I ever bought, and it took me a while to buy it. It has been absolutely a game changer when I compare it to my previous days of shooting iPhone and GoPro only. This camera is lightweight and from a price standpoint, more affordable than people expect. It’s been a perfect tool to capture my travels. Mixed in with a bit of Lightroom trickery and a few of my presets, I’ve been able to grow a large Instagram following off of my photos.
DSLR Lenses – I shoot with an 18-55mm and a 75-300mm lens at the moment. The 18-55mm is perfect for day-to-day use and the second zoom lens has been great for capturing close-ups of distant scenes, such as on safaris.
Joby Gorilla Tripod – I never carried around a tripod before, mostly because photography has more been a hobby than a profession until recently. I got lucky enough that my friend who wanted to lighten his load on a long-term backpacking trip decided to just give me his tripod. It’s been a godsend as a solo traveler. I sometimes find that setting up my own shots yields better results than asking a random stranger to take a photo for me. For a lightweight, versatile, and portable tripod, there is nothing better.
OlloClip – OlloClip isn’t a necessity by any means, but it is a lot of fun. If you don’t have a GoPro or a picture-taking device aside from your phone, it really increases the versatility of your phone. It lets you take awesome wide-angle photos, among other styles. It’s a small little clip-on addition to your phone, so like everything else on this list, it is very convenient for the traveler who needs to conserve as much space as possible!
Power Banks – My phone dies quickly. I bring three of these around in my backpack just because you never know what could happen for when you’ll need an extra boost. You’d be surprised how few people actually bring these along, because usually I’m the one lending these out to my travel buddies. Three might sound excessive, but hey, they’re tiny and when it comes to keeping my phone alive, I play it safe. For the multi-day treks that I often go on, it is nice not having to worry about conserving battery when you’ve got so much to shoot.
I used to bring these along but have either since moved on or they have fallen into a river in Laos on a drunken tubing trip.
GoPro – The world’s most versatile camera is a fitting title for the GoPro. This tiny little thing barely takes up any space, and even with a few accessories like a headstrap, it takes up minimal space in my backpack. For times when you need versatility, the small size and waterproof features of the GoPro are absolutely perfect.
GoPro Selfie Stick – Hate on selfie sticks all you want, but it really does widen the range of incredible shots you can take, selfie or not. It is also so much nicer having something to grip than just the tiny little GoPro, so this is something I’ve found to come in handy. No shame in my game.
Wasabi Power Dual GoPro charger – When traveling, you might have to go days at a time without being able to have reliable access to power outlets to charge all your things. Wasabi Power lets you charge up to two GoPro batteries at a time, which helps save valuable charging time. Having three GoPro batteries in my bag takes up almost no space, and guarantees that I can us my GoPro as much as possible to capture my adventures.