Electronics for the Digital Nomad

My electronics bag is heavy. It’s probably heavier than my actual backpack. It’s the price I pay to live and work anywhere in the world. They say never to put all your eggs all in one basket but I feel more comfortable keeping the smaller bag with me at all times than putting any electronics under the bus. So I’m left with just carrying everything around all the time.

When I can, I keep a few things behind in the states but if I plan to live somewhere for months or travel for a long period of time, I need to have everything. I do try to stay minimal although I realize I do have a lot of electronics. Here’s a few things I do to keep my electronics bag lighter:

  • I buy electronics that can charge via USB.
  • I try to have many of the devices use the same wire so I carry around less wires.
  • Everything needs to be light and small.
Now what exactly do I carry around with me around the world? Well below is a complete list.
Computer Bag

Canon VIXIA HF M31

Many of our travel videos have been recorded using this camcorder. It’s lasting us awhile and the quality is amazing. It’s much easier to record videos while walking around with this camcorder than having a tripod setup for the dSLR.

Canon WD-H37 II Wide Conversion Lens

I don’t even bother removing this lens off the camcorder. Most of what you see in our travel videos has been through this lens. It does make the camera much bigger in the front but the wide angle we get from this lens is well worth it.

Rode VideoMic Pro VMP Shotgun Microphone

What a HUGE improve this microphone makes to our audio. Previously I had bought the older model of this mic and it didn’t last all that long before the rubber started falling off. But this newer model is a big improvement. It’s way smaller and the rubber hasn’t broken off yet. I can’t imagine recording audio without this thing on. Still a pain having to connect but I’d rather have it on than not.

Canon PowerShot S90

Stephanie travels with this camera so it’s technically not in my backpack but thought it was still worth a mention. I use to own this camera but it had to be replaced under warranty after showing some weird colors on the screen and on the pictures. Well it started happening again after close to a year with it. Really great quality but those colors kill it for me. The new PowerShot S110 looks really great though which might be our next investment.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i Kit

Not only does this camera take beautiful pictures but it takes great video as well. We wanted a camera so that we could take awesome depth-of-field in our videos. We’ve used this camera for most of our interviews and talks. I’ve installed the Magic Lantern firmware hack to add a few video and time-lapse functionalities. If you’re wondering why we chose the kit instead of just the body and a separate lens it’s because I found the 18-55m to be a really good value for the money.

I did buy a 50mm 1.8f lens. My only other lens. It was super inexpensive for the quality of the lens. I get this awesome depth-of-field. I’ve gotten a lot better at taking portraits thanks to this lens.

Manfrotto MK393-H Tripod

I’ve heard so many good things about Manfrotto that it was hard to resist. What I didn’t expect though was the weight. It says it only weights 2.8lbs but it feels heavier. It’s also bigger than I expected so it usually needs to be tied up against my backpack. It’s a pain to carry around but we really have no choice if we want to take video with our T2i.

Lowepro Fastpack 250

Believe it or not, this backpack fits everything on this list. It gets heavy but it fits. The side pocket compartment for my MacBook Pro is a nice feature especially when I’m on the go real fast like going through airport security. The bag does fit under the front seat on a plane though it does stick out just slightly but no one has said anything. The back and bottom part is framed for protection of the electronics so it can get bulky. Luckily it’s not too flashy nor expensive so I’m not as worried about carrying it around. I traveled around South America with this just fine. Also this backpack holds rain insanely well. It’s not mentioned as a feature but I’ve been stuck in the rain dozens of times with this backpack and my electronics on the bottom part has never gotten even slightly wet.

MacBook Pro & MacBook Air

I carry the MacBook Pro 13″ in my backpack while Stephanie has the MacBook Air. I have the 2010 model so it’s lightly heavier and bigger than the newer ones out now. I want the newer one so badly but it doesn’t really make much sense to buy a new one when this one works very well still.

External Harddrives

It’s so annoying when I fill up another drive. I hate having to carry more. My LaCie 500gig is for my videos. I don’t recommend the drive. The firewire cable falls off my Mac way too easily. My Western Digital MyPassport 500gig is for all of my music and documents. My Seagate 1TB is for all of my pictures. The next time I need to purchase another drive, I’ll mostly likely consolidate the drives and use another for backup.

If you’re wondering what I do about backing up my files, you’ll want to read my article on it.

External Drives

Samsung Galaxy SIII

Sometimes I just don’t want to carry around my dSLR. It’s big and bulky and not always safe to carry around. This phone takes amazing pictures and I feel a lot safer carrying this around in my pocket than a huge dSLR around my neck. I’m insanely addicted to Instagram too.

Then of course there’s over 700,000 Google Play apps to choose from to make everything from planning, budgeting, and mapping out my travels.

The Galaxy SIII came at a good time as I start to create our Eat The World app for Android phones. The phone was sent to me by Samsung for review on Art of Backpacking. You’ll see more articles about the phone in the next couple weeks and months ahead. All views expressed here are my own honest opinions and do not reflect the views of Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy SIII

Software

  • I’m an Adobe fanatic. Adobe Master Collection CS6
  • For  some strange reason, the Master Collection doesn’t include Adobe Lightroom. Why Adobe? All images are processed through Lightroom.
  • I have far too many logins and passwords. I keep all of them right on 1Password. Secure and safe.
  • Xcode, Appcelerator Titanium, and various other softwares for app development.

Other Small Accessories

What’s your electronics bag like? Have any recommendations on what we should buy?

21 Comments

  1. Our Oyster on November 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm
  2. Our Oyster on November 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm
  3. Sammy on November 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm
  4. Sammy on November 8, 2012 at 12:08 am
  5. strok-nine on November 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm
  6. strok-nine on November 10, 2012 at 11:32 pm
  7. bali hotels on November 16, 2012 at 1:33 am
  8. bali hotels on November 16, 2012 at 1:34 am
  9. Jim_Bizily on November 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm
  10. MichaelTieso on November 19, 2012 at 10:28 am
  11. ottsworld on November 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm
  12. @clickeric on April 4, 2013 at 11:48 am
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