Fly from Vancouver to Hong Kong to be part of the Red Bull Illume ceremony. Spend 4 days in Hong Kong before departing to Bangkok where I will spend 2 days before getting a train up to the Cambodian border. Cross into Cambodia and spend 9 days photographing around Siem Reap and travelling around the northern part of the country in a 4×4 vehicle.
Every trip and destination has its own specific requirements in terms of camera and personal gear. On this particular trip to Cambodia, I’m going to be doing a lot of travelling around once I get to my destination. I’ll be using trains, Tuk Tuks, speedboats and 4×4 jeeps among other things so it’s imperative that I pack lightly so my luggage doesn’t adversely affect the trip. My goal with this trip was to pack just one carry on bag with all my camera and computer gear, and one checked bag with support gear and clothing. For the checked bag I chose the awesome Arcteryx Covert case which works very well for this style of trip since it’s rugged but also keeps a low profile. I don’t want anyone to take a second look at my bags and start wondering what’s in them. It has stow-able shoulder straps if you have to pack it on your back short distances and it has handles on nearly every side for slinging it around in and out of buses, jeeps and boats.
As you’ll see in the video, I was able to fit all of this into two bags with ease:
- Canon 5D MK III (my personal camera)
- Canon 6D (loaner camera for testing and review)
- Canon 28mm f/2.8 IS ( loaner for testing and review)
- Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L II
- Canon 17-40 f/4 L
- Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS
- Canon 8-15 f/4 L Fisheye
- Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS (loaner lens for testing and review)
Laptop & Accessories
- Apple Macbook Air 11″
- WD 1TB Thunderbolt drive
- LaCie 500GB Rugged drive
- Lexar USB 3 Card Reader
- Innate waterproof hard drive holder
- Mindshift Gear Rotation 180 Pro backpack
- Arcteryx Covert 70L Duffel
- Really Right Stuff TQC-14 Tripod
- Really Right Stuff Pano setup
- Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Pocket Tripod – For places that do not allow tripods (some temples)
- Assorted CF & SD cards
- Salomon Techamphibian shoes – Feet are going to get wet at this time of year. Better to have something that dries out quickly. Great for jungle hiking with river crossings. Big Gore-Tex boots would be wrecked in no time.
- Arcteryx Theta SV jacket and Alpha SL Gore-Tex Paclite Pants – It’s rainy season!
- 1 x pair of Prana Stretch Zion zip off pants/shorts – Legs need to be covered entering some temples. This way I can convert my shorts to pants for those moments and not have to wear pants all day in the heat.
- 5 X Shirts
- 1 X Pants
- 1 X Arcteryx Fortrez Hoody
- 2 x Shorts
- 1 Pair smart shoes (for attending the Red Bull Illume ceremony in Hong Kong, otherwise I wouldn’t have brought these along)
- Sun hat and Icebreaker super thin merino wool scarf
- 2 X 4Sevens Quark Pro LED Torch for light painting at night. I keep a small one on me at all times and a larger one in my duffel bag.
- XL PakTowel – These things are incredible if you are trying to travel with minimal weight and bulk.
- Assorted Outdoor Research stuff sacks and zipper bags.
- Bug net
- Zoom H6 Audio Recorder – For interviews and podcast episodes along the way.
- Re-hydration powder in case of de-hydration due to sickness
- Water purification tablets
- Diarrhea tablets – Suddenly switching to eastern food means it’s a near certainty at some point….good to be prepared as explaining medical symptoms in a foreign pharmacy can be challenging.
- Kleenex – Trains often don’t have toilet paper in Thailand.
- Canon timer cable release for timelapse and star trails
- HiTech Circular Polarizing filter
- HitTech 2-stop and 3-stop soft edge graduated ND filters
- HiTech 3-stop ND Filter and filter holder.
- Bungee washing line – packing light means doing washing along the way
- Bug spray and sun screen
- Moleskine notebook for taking notes for my travel articles
- Tom Bihn document wallet – keeps all your printed travel documents safe, clean and dry.
So this is the extent of the gear that I took with me. It might look like a lot but in fact, as you see in the video it fits into just two bags, with the duffel bag weighing in at only 20KG. It really is refreshing to travel in this way, to feel relatively unencumbered by your gear. It’s taken me several years and several hundred thousand miles of travel around the world to perfect this setup to a degree to which I’m happy but I think I’m finally getting pretty close to perfection.