For a truck as relatively small as Jessie (a 1993 right-hand drive diesel Land Rover Defender 90), she holds a lot of gear, which is a good thing as the trip on which I set out at the end of February will take me 10 months of on-and-off driving to complete and will take me through almost every possible weather condition. I’ll be traveling coast to coast through rainforests, deserts, mountains, prairies; almost every kind of geography North America has to offer except tundra. Sometimes I’ll be in cities, sometimes small towns, other times in the middle of absolutely nowhere, so while this is no expedition, I’ve needed to prepare for a certain amount of self-sufficiency.
Without boring you with an exhaustive packing list that details toothbrushes and spare eyeglasses and how many USB cables I have, here’s what Jessie’s carrying, inside and out. I guess I don’t need to tell you I don’t travel light.
Western Mountaineering down sleeping bag
MEC overbag for use as a summer sleeping bag
Black Diamond lanterns (1 large, 2 small)
Black Diamond Headlamps (2)
Coleman 2-burner propane stove
MSR cookset inc. pots, utensils, plates, bowls
2 x MSR 10L Dromedary bags for water storage
2 x Large Kathmandu travel towels
Assorted Kitchen goods for cooking and cleanup
REI foldable kitchen sink
3 x Nalgene Bottles
1 lexan french press for coffee
1 PETT Portable toilet for leave-no-trace camping
1 12v Cooler
1 MSR Zing Tarp
1 MSR Mutha Hubba Tent
2 REI camp chairs
1 REI roll-top camp table
1 ActionPacker with a week’s worth of freeze-dried meals, clif bars, and dry foods
2 ActionPackers for all of the kitchen stuff, except the stove
3 pairs blue jeans
2 pairs light nylon hiking pants
4 Filson long sleeve shirts, cotton.
3 Patagonia short sleeve shirts, cotton
2 merino wool t-shirts
5 pairs Icebreaker underwear
5 pairs Icebreaker socks
2 Icebreaker merino wool sweaters
1 Patagonia Retro Fleece jacket
1 Patagonia Down Parka
1 Patagonia rain jacket
1 pair Patagonia rain pants
Hats, gloves, BUFF bandanas
Merino wool long underwear (top & bottom)
1 pair Blundstone boots
1 pair Asolo technical boots
1 pair Keen sandals
3 dress shirts just in case I need to impress someone. 🙂
All these fit into 1 ActionPacker (for Rain and Cold) and 2 small MEC duffles.
2 x Nikon D3s bodies, 9 lenses
2 x chargers, 5 batteries
1 Hasselblad 500 c/m
1 Canon G9
2 x GoPro HD video cameras
2 x 64 GB SanDisk CF cards for each Nikon body
2 FW800 CF card readers
3 Pocket Wizards, 2 strobes, gels, etc.
1 Aquatech water housing with Canon 5D and 17-40/4.0
2 Gitzo tripods, 1 Gitzo monopod
1 Manfrotto Magic Arm
All this, except tripods, fits into 3 Pelican 1650 cases, 2 of which also hold a Kiboko bag with the gear inside.
17″ and 13″ MacBook Pro laptops
EyeOne Display calibrator
Medium Wacom Intuos4 tablet
Assorted cables and dongles, etc.
2 HyperMac batteries
1 iPad, usually mounted to the dashboard so I can sing along with Josh Ritter and Mumford & Sons as I drive.
1 iPhone and a ludicrously expensive monthly phone bill
1 Virgin MiFi
Some of this fits into a large Patagonia messenger bag, some of it into my fourth Pelican 1650 case.
1 ActionPacker for personal stuff, medication, toiletries, laundry soap, etc.
1 ActionPacker with spare parts for the Land Rover
1 ActionPacker with miscellaneous bits and pieces that in normal life would go in my office. Envelopes, pens, spare Moleskine journals, folders for receipts, a couple novels I’ve got no time to read.
1 Think Tank Retrospective 30 satchel, my primary working bag when I’m shooting.
1 Timbuktu Doctor Duffle for weekend trips.
1 North Face Base Camp Duffle, L, rolled up tight, for international travel.
1 Large First Aid Kit
1 Fire extinguisher
1 Hi-Lift Jack
1 full-sized matching spare.
1 Gerber camp axe
1 fold-up shovel
1 tow rope
1 tool kit
1 set charge cables
1 inverter hard-wired into auxiliary battery to charge electronics
1 spare inverter
The top of the Defender is my home, an Autohome Columbus Variant, the Large one, mounted on Thule racks.
I’ll discuss security and logistics in future posts, both of them significant concerns that took a little planning, but that list should satisfy the curious. As I have time I’m happy to reply to comments and questions.