So in the next couple of weeks I am off to Jordan. Awesome! I’ve never been to the Middle East so it’s new ground for me and I’m totally amped.
My girlfriend is working there for an aid organisation and I’m going along for the ride. I’ll keep working online making minimal dollars and will explore and take photos and live a new episode.
In honour of travelling light, hackpacker style, I’m going to outline below exactly what I’m taking with me, bearing in mind I could be there for anything from 6 months to two years.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about this list is that I totally suck at travelling lightweight! Call it a work in progress, any ideas you might have are more than welcome and I plan to refine this approach in a big way over time.
Alright, here it is, my Jordan Hackpack Checklist:
1. Hiking Pack
Why I’m taking it – Because I don’t have anything else to put the other ten things in, damn! I also have a camera pack, see below, but it’s too small to carry my life. This hiking pack is like 14 years old, bought it first year out of high school with my banking day money. It’s 65 litres, which from a lightweight perspective is like taking a 6kg juicer with you travelling (Which is what my
girlfriend is taking, no word of a lie.).
Why it sucks – Because it’s 65 litres! What do I need that space for? Nothing! The worse thing about it is that it lulls me into this false sense of security… I’m not taking much, my pack isn’t even full yet. Lies! You got 55 litres of junk in there man, get rid of it!
What I oughta have – Dan Andrews from the Lifestyle Business Podcast is all about the North Face Surge, which does look super sweet but I have a few unqualified hang ups with North Face so I’m getting excited about the Dakine Poacher – that thing is cool. Look out for me having one of these next trip. Any other suggestions though – I’m all ears!
2. Burton Zoom Pack
Why I’m taking it – Because it’s super awesome. I love this pack. I had an old
one and the zip bust and my girlfriend got her friend to bring a new one from the States when she visited us in Bangkok, just in time for my birthday, bang! Brownie points all over the place. Also it’s great for carrying my camera gear, laptop, books (yep, you read that right), and other things I need in transit.
Why it sucks – Because it means I have two packs. This isn’t even remotely cool. I need to get to the bottom of this dilemma and get on with my life.
What I oughta have – Hmm… good question. Would the Dakine Poacher be the true answer? I don’t think so because it won’t meet my camera pack needs. There must be an answer. I need a 35-50 litre pack with options for easy access to camera gear, laptop storage and all the other jazz that makes a pack awesome.
Why I’m taking it – This is two things. I’m aware of that. This list is kinda like that. Notice I didn’t even mention the lenses. These cameras are both awesome, they’re my right and left hand when it comes to photography. Most of the shots on my photo site were taken with these two. The Nikon D300s is a powerhouse and I love it coupled with my humble 50mm lens. The Canon G12 is my jacket pocket snap anything, video anything, go anywhere shooter.
Why it sucks – Two cameras is kind of a pain, I should just have one, I know, but whatever.
What I oughta have – A Nikon D800, the full-frame powerhouse of my dreams… the day will come. I might even retire the G12 if I had one of these. Yeah okay, maybe not.
4. $290 Laptop
Why I’m taking it – Because it’s my lifeblood! This laptop is my connection to the cyber universe and it facilitates my mobile lifestyle, the medium through which skills and information are craftily converted into bank balance digits, allowing world travel, life exploration and constant communication.
Why it sucks – It’s missing the ‘9’ key, the battery life is appalling, the screen is only 10.1″, it ain’t the fastest gun in the west, and I need to reformat it completely every three months or it starts to have life threatening seizures. But hey, it was $290 in 2010! Isn’t that awesome? I love my $290 laptop.
What I oughta have – A MacBook Air or some other space age equivalent. I know it would make my life more efficient and broaden my digital horizons, especially when it comes to processing images, wow. Again, the day will come. I even heard they have a new operating system after XP, is that true?!
Why I’m taking it – So I have something to play Dots on. No Iphone, no Dots, no point. It has its other uses too I guess, aside from buycbdproducts obvious, internet, calling, messaging etc, I have Wired News on tap, Twitter, ITA Software for flight searches, Skype, Google Maps, and so on. Can’t live without it!
Why it sucks – Battery life, staring at small screen addiction, bung home button.
What I oughta have – Iphone 5, plain and simple.
Why I’m taking it – ‘It’ is actually quite few items. Three pair jeans, two hoodys, one softshell jacket, shirts, t-shirts, boxers, socks, board shorts. One pair of boots. I hate carting round loads of pairs of shoes, so one pair it is, will probably buy jandals when I get there though.
Why it sucks – Clothes are amazing, they have so many uses, saying they suck would just be weird.
What I oughta have – Cooler clothes, Gore-Tex this, Goose Down that, Merino wool, blah, blah, blah…
7. Toiletries/Hair clippers
Why I’m taking it – Oh man, number 7, fascinating! Boring but necessary. The clippers are AA battery powered, cheap buzzcuts in expensive countries.
Why it sucks – Toothpaste doesn’t suck, toothpaste cleans!
What I oughta have – Sensodyne instead of Colgate. Teeth are amazing until they rot and fall out.
8. Books – old school!
Why I’m taking it – I don’t have a Kindle, what?! Am I crazy?! I know, I know, the day has almost arrived. I’m 3/4 through Warren Buffett’s biography, 600 of 800 pages and it’s dawned on me I’m not going to get finished and it has to go back to the library. Oh dear, so old school. I do love those paper pages though…
Why it sucks – Books are heavy, they take up crazy space, and you can only take a max of 20… okay 3 when you’re travelling.
What I oughta have – Kindle.
9. Hard drive
Why I’m taking it – Movies, photos, music.
Why it sucks – It doesn’t, it’s waterproof, small, and fast like a cat.
What I oughta have – Exactly what I do have.
Why I’m taking it – Cutting stuff (what stuff you say? Ah, good question.), charging cameras, laptop, phone.
Why it sucks – Cords grind my gears.
What I oughta have – Some crazy Futuretech with no cords, no chargers, no fuss.
Why I’m taking it – The powerhouse of the whole operation! Credit cards and strange foreign currencies. Where would I be without the trusty wallet. Brand of choice: Durkl.
Why it sucks – It doesn’t have enough money in it.
What I oughta have – The exact same wallet with way more money in it and a bunch of epic boarding pass stubs, Alaska, Argentina, Azerbaijan!
Alrighty, that’s the list. I know I skimmed through it pretty fast at the end but wouldn’t you? Toiletries? Is he serious?
Anyway, amped to hear your suggestions on how to refine this list and also let me now how you pack for your crazy missions…
Thanks for reading!