Technically, I’m on the way to China. Practically, not just there yet. I left home with a massive luggage, but I have to clock few more days at work before I get to board my plane. I’m trying to build up the excitement for the trip as I’m feeling slightly deflated by the recent projects falling apart (see the video update). Since there is nothing I can do about the failed projects right let’s write about the tech to take abroad. It’s the tech I will take with me to be precise.
The tech to take abroad
Before I jump into a detailed list of items in my luggage, note, that I’m taking some of this for the purpose of creating more content abroad. It’s the tech to take abroad if you a content creator!
There is no particular order to this list, some of the items I purchased myself, some of it is also reviewed by me here.
A designated picture snapper is a must for longer trips. Nothing beats a good DSLR and a set of lenses (Nikkor 50mm f2.8 & 18-135mm f3.5-f5.6), no matter how clever Apple gets with their marketing strategies, a designated camera is bulkier, heavier but always better than your mobile equivalent. Nikon D5200 (D5300 linked as it’s a step up from the discontinued model) is what I have been using for the last couple of years. Upgraded with a battery grip for extended battery life and an external shotgun mic is a tool that I use for all planned videos. I’m the cameraman and host at the same time, therefore this wireless adapter keeps me sharp and in the frame. A very handy accessory, although the mobile app that comes with it (Nikon app) could use a lot of work.
To keep the camera pointed at me, I got this interesting camera clamp I no longer can find any Amazon listings, so you are on your own. This thing kept the Nikon attached to the motorcycle in the Alps. It’s a long and super tale from my younger years.
But if you don’t like to plan your videos the next item could be your back up solution.
An action cam
Purposely bought for a diving trip by my wife, this budget GoPro knockoff is not so bad. I don’t spend massive amounts of time underwater so the camera serves me as the time-lapse specialist for my project videos. Comes with bucket-loads of accessories and it is personally tested up to 25 m below the surface of a hot Greek sea.
I found a selfie stick to be a useful addition if you are one man camera crew. It’s not intended for every video, but due to its size and weight – it will be with me all the time. The last fallback is obviously the mobile phone. I’m not going to even mention phones on this list. Let’s face it, we are hardly going to toilets without it. There is a wide lens add-on in my bag, just in case the action camera dies on me (review).
A battery bank (and something to keep it charged)
This powerful 20.000 mAh monster has been covered in the review. Nowadays, I’d rather take the bank than a charger. I still have to take a charger with me and with 2 USB-A and USB-C this charger seems to be my choice.
The bank came with some cables, but I decided to add nice braided Aukey cables to the mix. I have a lot of devices to keep charged up. I don’t want to queue up charging jobs.
Bought with travel in mind, Lenovo Yoga 710 series is light, fast and comes with excellent battery life. It’s not a rendering machine, so all the video processing will be offloaded to my home PC. Since the I/O consists of two closely spaced USB-A ports, I have added the USB3.0 hub to the mix and a card reader which can read both SD and micro SD cards at the same time (reviewed here).
For the same reason, I have a Bluetooth mouse. I don’t like the touchpads of any kinds and this mouse promises 18 months on a set of batteries. In fact, I have 2 of them, one for me and one for my wife. It won’t win any productivity competitions, but does the job well on the go!
When taking the computer with you, it’s good to remember about all the services one may end up using. It’s not all about the hardware.
To edit on the go, I have an online drive where files are synced to. A VPN server runs to cover my back in China as all the usual Google services are not available. Apparently, the recent crackdown on VPNs makes it even harder to find a reliable VPN solution – so having your own $5 VPN server is a must!
Active noise cancelling on the long haul flights are must! God forbid, that you end up sitting next to a screaming baby without them. Honestly, I cannot recommend the noise cancellation of the Sennheiser PXC550 enough. With the 30h battery, you are covered even for the longest of flights. This pair of cans comes with 3.5mm jack as well as a plane adapter – let’s face it, I cannot afford business class, but I can have the business’ class sound on board!
Bonus: Arduino LEDs 2 pots and 3 buttons
I might have run out time, but not the energy. I don’t like to give up, so the Arduino Photo Panels are going with me. Well, the slimmed down version. There is an Arduino Nano, and 16 RGB LEDs in 3 strands that will pretend to be the actual panels I made earlier.
I’m hoping to finish up the code before I come back from China. Bonus fact, programming pulsing LEDs or segment displays on long-haul flights is a fun time to kill the time. It also terrifies the fellow passengers when the numbers are counting down. Be nice, explain in advance to them what are you up to!
And that’s all the tech to take abroad with me. Obviously. it’s a lot! I’m going away for nearly a month, and I don’t want to leave my website unattended. If you are going to move a lot, travel light. That’s the best advice I have for you. The fewer items you get to take, the easier it is to travel. Plus you will have every opportunity to shop should you need extras.