Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Packing List: Digital / Analog

I present you the Digital / Analog packing list.  Keep in mind it's for a 6,000 mile trip over about 2 weeks time.  It sounds simple enough, but I assure you I will make it overly complex.

  • GPS - powered by bike.  NUVI 500*.
  • Paper Maps - 1 for each state to be traveled in plus, regional maps and printed detail maps of select areas.
  • Cheaters - so that I will be able to read the paper maps.
  • Cell phone - with wall charger, 12v charger and 12v adapter for bike.
  • Laptop - in protective case with power cord.**
  • Postcard stamps - yes I buy and mail postcards during my journeys.
Data Recording:
  • Laptop - also see Communication.
  • Paper and pencil - doesn't get much more analog than that.  Small note book in tank-bag for taking notes during the day.
Image Recording:

  • Small camera -  to be carried on person for impromptu riding photos.  Must be able to fit in gear pocket, and be able to operate with gloves on.  Canon G9.
  • Infrared Camera - because I like to take IR photos.  Canon G6 or Canon S5IS
  • DSLR - for better quality photos and more control.  requires at least 2 lens, 3 filters/holders and timer/remote.  Canon XTi, 50mm f1.8 mkI, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-3.5.***
  • Video - GoPro HD Hero, appropriate mounting bits and pieces, extra lens covers.
  • Accessories - appropriate battery's, chargers and memory cards for all recording devices.  Gittos tripod, Manfrotto Magic arm with super clamp and camera mount.  QR plates, cleaning cloths, Small bag or backpack for hiking.
This is where I complicate things.

* On previous trips I have taken a small hand held GPS (Garmin eTrex Legend Cx), It's a nice back-up to have, but is it really needed?  It runs on AA battery's, so if I brought it I would need another charger and even more extra battery's, unless my IR camera is a S5IS, it also uses AA battery's.  So if I bring a Canon S5IS, then I can bring the eTrex, right?  I really want to bring the eTrex, as I like that the display can be set to show data fields of your choosing, for example; altitude, time of day, speed, heading etc.  My new Nuvi shows only what it deems necessary.

** Laptops are HEAVY and do I really need one?  Will the world stop turning if I don't have a computer with me?  Will any body miss me If I don't answer emails for 2 weeks?  Laptops carry a lot of personal information, that if ending up in the wrong hands can do much damage or worse it can be destroyed in an accident.  I really like my laptop, it has lots of memories stored in it, so I think I will lock it up while I'm gone.  But I would really like to have a computer with me to update friends and family of my journey and to back-up my so maybe I will look for a netbook, that will let me keep up with friends and family when in a hotspot and back-up images, videos and words.  I doubt it will handle Photoshop or video editing, which is good as I won't spend all night trying to get the perfect cut on  that crashing video...

*** Photography,  I just feel that I need to bring it all, but on the bike I would have to leave all my clothes and tooth brush at home in order to do so.  I have been struggling with whether I should bring my DSLR, I hope to find my self in situations that no other camera suffice to get the shot.  On my last journey I used it only a couple of times over a two week period, but no other camera  would have gotten the shot's.  If I don't take the DSLR and I find my self in that one situation where only it will do, it will haunt me forever.  So in the end the DSLR will be along for the ride.  Maybe I can leave the G9 at home, but I will need to find a small camera that can be operated with gloves on and that takes great photos.  The G9 and the DSLR share a battery charger/battery's so anything new will introduce another battery charger and battery's.  Ideally I will find a Canon G7 or G9 to convert to IR then I will have only one battery charger for the three still cameras, Compact Flash for the DSLR and SD for the rest.  Simple enough, right?

Well is that overly complex enough for you?

See you on the road, if I get my sh*t together.



Mike said...

Really good post Gordon! I like your planning and organization. It's a fun read to see how you justify each item. I would have the same struggles with the laptop and the DSLR. Both are a necessity IMHO.

I just got a Netbook last Friday and so far I love it. I can't go anywhere without my G10 too. You might look at the Panasonic Lumix line for a small pocket camera. Good quality and compact size.

Hope I get to meet you at the Rally!

682202 said...


Thanks for taking the time and reading the post. I know the DSLR will win in the end, and a netbook is most likely in my near future.

I may take a look a the Lumix cameras, hopefully the store won't mind me wearing my riding gloves... I know it's weird but when I see the word "Lumix" my brain reads it as "Lummox", and I think to my self how could anybody buy a camera called a Lummox? I just love my Canon cameras and would have a tough time stepping out on them.

I too hope to meet at the rally. I always enjoy meeting new people at the BMW Rally's.


bobskoot said...


I have been downsizing for a while now. I barely use my dSLR and when came time to upgrade it, I didn't. I know that a dSLR is superior in every respect, except size.

I carry my G10 and Lumix ZS3, now I have my GoProHD for dedicated bike use and I also carry another videoCam for off bike video, so that makes for 4 cameras. I cannot function without my NetBook as I have to have a way to transfer the images to my external drive(s), the fact that I can email is a bonus, as I also have a smart phone with internet access.

Every camera has a specific purpose and I need the 2nd for a backup, just in case

The G10 I use for night time exposure shots, plus I have radio shutter release for my self portraits. My tripod is in my tool tube, small manfrotto

The Lumix ZS3 is my main pocket camera. It has a larger sensor than most. I like the 12x zoom and use the HD 720p30 video mode a lot. They just released the ZS7 so you may be able to find the ZS3 on clearout somewhere. It is a great camera, metal body but has a problem with blowing out bright areas, so on backlit shots you have to use exp comp -2/3.

I have mainly used Canon P&S cameras until now, but this is the first Lumix I have tried, and I like the 460K LCD screen. BTW Panasonic is getting great reviews on their VideoCams. They were tops in Camcorderinfo reviews last year. Sony never even placed in the top 10. Lumix also has the best OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) system plus it is 25mm wide angle which you are able to use in video mode.

As for Redmond, OR I am not a camper, but I wanted to stay where fellow bloggers stay, then perhaps head over to the Oregon Coast. If you have a motel preference I want to be there too. Gord, that road from Shaniko to Fossil is a great M/C road. I have a post a bit back with some photos.

Mike, I was thinking of riding south down the Windy River route into Stevenson, WA and perhaps stay a night around there, then head into Redmond the next morning. Depends whether Lance decides to come, he told me last year he was

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

682202 said...


I guess I will have to put my prejudices aside and take a look at the Lumix. Liked the Lumix best out of 6 similar cameras. I like the idea of having the HD video in a P&S camera. I just need to find a local retailer so that I can get my gloves on one. Hopefully the Best Buy carries them.

I can tell you that I will be residing at the Super 8 in Bend, OR on the Friday night and Saturday night of the Rally. I should say, I have reservations for Friday and Saturday, but It's possible I could arrive late Thursday night also. When I looked a couple of weeks ago the lodging options in Redmond were nearly zero.


bobskoot said...


just checked on the web. Super 8 now $110. + taxes, looks like one room left. wasn't there anything in Redmond ?

to make you feel any better, I have always used Canon P&S. However, only Sony and Panasonic use AVCHD codec for 720p30 HD video, and I didn't want to use MS. My Hawai'ian videos are all taken with ZS3. Only thing you have to learn how to PAN really slow. The new ZS7 is a cut above, has power OIS and faster shutter response. Metal body too, perfect for IR conversion.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

682202 said...

There may have been a few rooms left when I was looking, but they were out of my price range. The rooms fill up quick, there may be something like 6000+ people at the rally, a couple of years ago there was something like 9000 attendees. If you found a good deal in Redmond I'd move. Feel free to email me 682202 at Gmail dot com


cpa3485 said...

Very impressive. Makes me dream of taking a long trek someday. I'll need a stouter machine, though. Looking forward to hearing about it.

irondad said...

You may have the same awakening as I did. I got all my s**t together but found I didn't have room to pack it all!

682202 said...


That is exactly what I expect to happen...