Monday, August 25, 2008

The Master List

So my last few posts have just re-iterated over and over what i'm bringing. But this one will be the master list. I'll edit this at will but will mark things I edit with a * in front. Everything I bring, make/model etc will be listed. Hell for the ones I can, I'll even link you to relevant pictures of it. The major categories are 1) Clothes 2) Electronics 3) Health and 4) Other. I've had to return a few things that I've ordered, but I'll save that for another post

1) Clothes

1 EMS 5000 Adventure pack (includes small daypack, which I may want to upgrade)
1 pack cover for airports( makes it like a duffel bag)
1 MEC bag cover for rain

2 short sleeved t shirts. 1 by Icebreaker and the other by MEC
1 long sleeved EMS shirt
1 long sleeved icebreaker shirt
1 North Face Flight Series fleece. Color is slightly lighter blue
1 Marmot Leadville Jacket

1 Tommy Hilfiger jeans. Got them at marshalls, they're broken in really well and I think I'll ditch them in SE Asia and buy a new pair of jeans when I get to Europe
1 EMS long underwear
1 EMS pants

1 Russel running shorts
1 Eddie bauer khaki shorts
1 Quicksilver board shorts

1 northface rain pants
1 EMS rainjacket

1 pair Northface boots
1 pair New balance running shoes
1 pair reebok sandals

3 pair smart wool sneaker socks
3 pair smart wool hiking boot socks (may cut down on these #s)
3 pair exofficio underwear. I may also cut down on the number of these... just kidding

1 MEC Towel

1 baseball hat

1 prescription glasses
1 prescription sunglasses

2) Electronics

1 Lenovo t61 14.1" (specs- 2.5 ghz, WSXGA, 2gb ram, 160gb 7200 rpm hd, int. graphics, int. webcam- dual boot xp and ubuntu hh)
1 Canon sd870
1 Nokia 5300
1 ipod shuffle
1 laptop charger
1 charger for camera
1 charger for phone
1 usb cord for shuffle
1 headphones from shuffle

1 LAN cable (may not bring)
1 APC universal converter

1 logitech vx revolution mouse. i'll rave about this later if its as good as i think it will be

1 keychain flashlight
1 headlamp

3) Health

1 toothbrush
1 tube toothpaste
2 bottles hotel shampoo
2 bottles hotel conditioner (thanks dad!)
1 small bar of soap
1 small bottle deodorant
1 small bottle bug spray (30% deet)
1 large bottle of sunscreen
1 gillette razor
1 tube shaving cream
1st aid kit
pristine water drops

4) Other

1 swiss army knife
1 moleskin journal
1 "modded" eyemask (thanks mom!)
1 pair earplugs
1 compass
1 deck playing cards
postcards of Lexington

multiple copies of all passports/ credit cards/ travel information

cash spread out in multiple places throughout my bags


Thats all for now. I'll keep a list of every time I update this list

Original writeup- August 25th noonish
Edit #1. Picked up a cordless mouse, 1st aid kid, compass and headlamp. also forgot to mention underwear
Edit #2. Returned my REI neo jacket for a Marmot Leadville jacket. The leadville is lighter, warmer, blocks wind and fits better. Also was 33% off. Also purchased an icebreaker long sleeved shirt.
Edit #3. Added 1st aid kit, playing cards, medications/pills, pristine water drops, flexoline

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Trip to BC and Packing (continued)

So first off, I went to British Columbia for a week, returning just a few days ago. I went to see my girlfriend and to check out the grad schools. Unfortunately due to bad weather and timing (as the professors I was most interested were out of town), I only had a good chance to look at the University of Victoria. But otherwise it was a great trip- I got to see Penticton, Victoria, Salt Spring island, and of course Richmond, BC. (The last one was when I went out with Jack and Ed and did not see another white person for a few hours. But the chinese food/ bubble tea were great)

Pictures are here

As for packing, today I decided to stuff everything I planned on bringing into my backpack to see how it all fit. It was based on the idea that I am wearing...

1 pair of socks, underwear (suprise, suprise), shorts, a t shirt, belt, wallet and money belt. I also have a great thing to wear in airports that holds my ticket/ passport etc.

Everything else was in my backpack. I stepped on the scale and it all weighs... ~ 30 lbs. I think thats pretty good, considering my laptop + battery + charger must be around 7 lbs. I am def looking forward to seeing what Noah packs in his, as he bought a 3800 cu inch backpack (mines 5000) and I'm pretty tight on space. I guess its mainly due to him bringing 1 less pair of pants and 1 less fleece. I kept these figuring I'll want extra warmth when I go to Patagonia/ climb mount fiji/ visit Scandanavia.

To buy: I still need... a first aid kit, some ziploc bags (1 large enough for my laptop + charger...), a compass, and a computer mouse.

Things to do: Look through all the packing options I have (ie, 2 normal packing cubes, 1 toiletry thing from Geneve, a bunch of pockets in my backpack etc) to find out whats the most efficient/ best way to load up all of my gear. I think spending an hour (or 2 ) doing this now will probably save me a ton of time when on the road. Main goals is to make sure the important stuff is either very accessible or very well hidden.

Anyways, I'll def load up pictures of all of my gear before leaving so you can have a good idea of what i'm bringing/ how it all looks as I pack it in.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Packing List

So its time to pack. This is a list of my current state of packing.


EMS 5000 cu inch backpack. It has an add on day pack and a cover for the airport. Unfortunately (and i'm not really sure why) the airport cover is excellent for keeping all the straps in, including a handle to carry the back around- but it doesn't act as a rain cover. But I bought one, so no big deal. Overall its an excellent pack, I used it on the algonquin trip and had no complaints. I'm not a huge fan of its colors, but whatever.


I got a pair of reebok sandals. They were probably $10 new, and I had to cut away at part of it when i had a bad blister on my foot. So I won't be winning any fashion contests walking around with them, but they're comfortable and thats all that matters.

I bought a new pair of sneakers yesterday (guess what brand!) and yeah i put them on, walked 10 ft in them and bought them.

I have northface hiking boots that I've owned for a few years. Great shoes.


Okay so in total I'm bringing a laptop computer, 1 music player, 1 digital camera, a cell phone and a watch. Then along with those things, I have chargers and ear buds and cases.

For laptop I chose a Lenovo T61. Its 14.1" which should be a good compromise for portability and performance. I got 30% off cause its the 'older' model, but in general T61's are well known for being v. durable, as well as being ugly. But I kindof like the look.

Music player. Ipod shuffle. 1 gb. I found that I didn't mind my ipod randomly picking music when I drove home from Toronto and its so small.

Digital Camera. I went with the Canon SD870IS. Its pretty sweet, 8MP and more features then I know how to use, I ordered a 2 gig sd card on newegg today for like $10. I'm pretty happy with the purchase, and I'll be sure to take a lot of photos in Vancouver and give a full review later.

Cell phone. I'm gonna stick with my nokia 5300 for now. Its tri band and I think* I can get away with using it everywhere, but I'll keep you guys posted on that. If I had to buy a new phone I'd buy the cheapest quad band phone possible. I dont think I'll be using my phone that much.

Watch. I got a new band/ battery for my dad's old swiss army classic watch. Now that I'm wearing it again, I'm happy. Its simple, not very conspicuous and despite being 10+ years old, it looks great. I can't understate how good condition this watch looks, all things considered.

Flashlight. I ended up getting an Arclight AAA. Expensive, and I may also get a headlamp. The pros of this flashlight is that it uses an LED bulb and AAA batteries. Compare that to a maglite which uses bulbs that you cannot find replacements for and use small lithium- ion batteries. Cons is that i paid $30 for a flashlight smaller then my pinky.

Clothes (shirts)

T shirts. (2) Merino Wool t shirts. I've heard great things about these shirts, and so far they have not disapointed. I got one from MEC and another from icebreaker. They're expensive, but the mantra goes something like this- keeps you warm when its cold, cold when its warm, never smells bad. I'll let you guys know how it goes, but for now I'm keeping my eyes open to consider picking up a 3rd shirt. The ones I have now are black and grey, and I'd like to get one in a lighter color.

1 light summer long sleeve shirt. I ordered one from coolibar, recommended by the 4hour workweek guy, but its being shipped so no idea on how nice it is. Basically i want a shirt that looks normal, is light, but long sleeved to provide sun and insect protection. I'll say more when it arrives, but i'm really hoping that it looks nice enough that I can get away without packing a polo.

1 warm long sleeve shirt. I have an old one from EMS, its black, fits really well and I'm quite sure it'll make an excellent base layer.

1 warm fleece. At REI i found a long sleeve north face "flight series" fleece. I really like it- will take a picture of it later to add on. Its got those thumb things, it looks warm, nice zippers and it was on clearance. Makes a good outerlayer on chilly nights, and can make a good middle layer for when it gets really cold.

1 warm fleece outer layer. Again on clearance at REI i got a REI outerwear fleece. Basically it should provide about the same warmth alone as the above item, but it is an outer layer, so a bit more wind/rain protection and i can put them together when climbing mount fuji, or hanging out in patagonia.

Clothes (pants)

1 pair jeans. I might cut this out to save weight but jeans are warm, comfortable, durable and easy to clean. What seems quite likely is that I keep these and then ditch them some time into my trip as I'll bring a pair of worn out ones.

1 pair EMS pants. I picked up a new pair of jeans the other day. They look respectable, but I think they are made for hiking, so they dry quicker and whatnot.

1 pair long underwear. Also from EMS, and from a previous hiking trip, these will be layered with the above items to provide some extra warmth in patagonia/ mountainous regions.

1 pair khaki shorts. Probably my ll beans. I like them a lot, comfortable, nice pockets etc.

1 pair swim trunks. I can double these as shorts in beach areas (ie Australia)

1-2 pairs of running shorts. If space allows it, I'll probably bring 2. I might also consider bringing 1 nice pair and one not so nice one and ditching the not so nice one after I leave BsAs (I think i'll want more then 1 pair if i'm doing a lot of jujitsu)

Clothes (Raingear)

I got an EMS raincoat that I bought 2 years ago thats pretty good. And Northface rainpants I had to buy right before the algonquin trip (but they kept me completely dry one afternoon that made them oh- so- worth their ridiculous price). And I can wear my raincoat over my fleece outerlayer which is a pretty big plus.

Clothes (socks/undies)

Okay so I bought 3 pairs of smartwood sneaker socks. Wore them for the first time yesterday and they are unbelievably comfortable. It might be because i wear wool socks way less often then normal ones, but even after not wearing them for a few years they still retain that new sock comfort.

From previous trips and whatnot I have a bunch of full sized wool socks that I will use for when I wear my hiking boots.

For underwear, I got 3 pairs of exofficio briefs. I think I should've gone with the boxers, but they're very small, light and pretty comfortable.

Other stuff

Eh, this post is getting pretty long, and this stuff after this gets boring. But I also need normal glasses, sunglasses, toothbrushes, toothpastes etc. I'm gonna do a dry run in terms of packing 'everything' tonight and to see how it all fits in. And before departure I'll make another post listing everything with pictures etc.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Picking your favorite apartment (part 2)

Alright, I gotta narrow this one down in the next few days. Please give me your top 3 choices and your reasons for each, and I'll use your input to make my final decisions.

Given that I'm living alone, I am fine with taking something smaller/ cheaper- as I don't see myself having a ton of guests, but if one place really stands out as above and beyond definitely list it as such. Also, I have a bit of a preference for the high rises as I think they'd be a bit safer(?)

(In order of lowest price first)

1. Price 690/mo. Size 322 sq. ft

2. Price 750/mo Size 485 sq. ft

3. Price 795/mo Size 344 sq. ft

4. Price 815/mo Size 377 sq. ft

5. Price 850/mo Size 377 sq. ft

6. Price 850/mo Size 430 sq. ft

7. Price 875/mo Size 322 sq. ft

8. Price 875/mo Size 430 sq. ft

9. Price 900/mo Size 344 sq. ft

10. Price 900/mo Size 485 sq. ft

11. Price 940/mo. Size 355 sq. ft

12. Price 1015/mo Size 366 sq. ft

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The next step...

So I've been pretty busy the past week or 2 and still have a bunch of things I need to wrap up in the near future. I'll list them here to serve as a reminder for myself as some of them are pretty urgent, some not so much.

1) Travel shots/ health insurance/ travel insurance. I'm getting my physical tomorrow so I will get a recommendation for a place to get those done, and health insurance/ travel insurance I know nothing about. Travel insurance I might not even get, but i'll weigh the pros/ cons

2) Staying in S. America. I need to a) find a hostel in downtown BsAs that is recommended and book 3 nights there. then b) find an apartment for the month that I am there alone and c) figure out a side trip that I am doing before Noah and Leon arrive.

3) I have some small things regarding my financials that I need to organize. I want to passively invest my income with a split of around 50/50 stocks and bonds. But this takes time and I've been bad at this. I also gotta figure out my situation with credit cards and whatnot.

4) buy gear. I'm doing pretty good at this. I got some expensive ziploc bags (supposedly the navy uses them) to keep my electronics dry, some new underwear (i'll make a long, long post on gear later), 2 pairs of merino wool t shirts (short sleeve), socks, camera, camera case etc etc.

5) Grad school stuff. I'm visiting BC pretty soon, so I need to finish my resume and then send it to some profs so I can hopefully meet up with them when I'm in Vancouver.

That's all for now. I've been pretty busy trying to put in hours to work, spend time with my parents (I'm doing the spanish tapes with my mom every morning now- way to multitask, amirite?) and still have time to relax before 10 months of travel. Next up, I'll give some in depth on the clothes I'm planning on wearing