I don’t often get to work on the road, but when I do, I do it in a big way. Recently, I went to South by Southwest in Austin. Because it was such a big trip for me to take from Tok, Alaska — seven hours drive to Anchorage to catch several flights for over 15 hours’ additional travel — I made the most of my time in the Lower 48. That meant that I spent the next three weeks on the road visiting family and friends, and ending up with teaching workshops and giving lectures throughout Wyoming.
Given my extended trips, I have to stay productive, so I tend to over equip. I emptied my Keen bag today to photograph what’s inside to demonstrate how I need to be ready for virtually anything for my work.
Here’s what’s in my bag.
The Oswego Keen bag is relatively small as far as laptop bags go. It isn’t really meant for laptops but works well for mine.
Still plugging away with my black MacBook. Can’t leave home without it.
And I’m still using the Nikon Coolpix L5 (7.2 megapixels, 5x zoom). Yes, I should probably upgrade, but it still does what I need it to do: takes images suitable for web sites.
While I did recently covet The Flip HD at Costco, I’m still using The Flip Mino and keep my white Flip Ultra (30-minute version) on hand as backup (my Nikon Coolpix can function as a third video backup, too). I also have two mini tripods, one that I purchased with my Mino and a Gorillapod by Joby that I picked up at a conference.
I’ve used the Edirol / Roland R-09HR Portable High-Resolution Audio Recorder to record a number of presentations and to do interviews. I have recorded in .wav on occasion, but really like the convenience of recording good quality MP3s.
Portable Hard Drive
I won the 320GB Seagate FreeAgent Go external hard drive and yes, it is pink and very thin and light. I haven’t even used it yet but it fits in a pocket inside my Keen bag, and I figure I should have it just in case. Right now, I’m still just drooling over it and showing it off. Of course, I need to find out how to make this Windows drive work with my MacBook. I thought I saw instructions somewhere, but now I can’t find them!
I’m using the Rode Podcaster USB mic, which has been incredibly effective for recording my podcasts on the road regardless of my environment. I’ve been able to get clean and fairly consistent sound, even in hotel rooms and bathrooms. It’s amazing how directional the mic is and how great it cuts out extraneous ambient sounds (like footfalls, dog barking and heater clanging).
I have two mobile phones. One is an LG En-V through Verizon with a Wyoming number. I held onto this over the last few years because when I originally moved to Alaska, I was unable to get a good national plan that worked well in remote parts of the state. Then my local telecom contract ran out, and I ran to the AT&T store to get an iPhone. Each phone serves different clients and when one doesn’t work well where I’m located, the other does so unless I’m in the middle of Wyoming or the long stretch of highway between Tok and Anchorage, I’m pretty well covered.
I’m trying to do my part and be safe on the road. I just put in 1,000 miles on a rental car driving around Wyoming in less than a week’s time, so an earpiece for my mobile phones is a must. I have one from Motorola.
I also have my share of chargers and adapters, including a USB charger for my car/rental car.
What’s in your bag?