Before I left on my July/August trip to Mongolia, I bought some new stuff and posted about it here and here. It included a new camera pack, jacket, hard drive for image back-up and memory cards. I also bought a couple of pairs of L.L. Bean tropic weight pants.
The KATA digital rucksack was a WIN. My camera equipment was well-protected and easy to access. The straps had a good ergonomic design that made the pack very easy to wear while hiking.
My new REI Windbreak Thermal jacket was also a WIN. It was all I needed for summer travel in Mongolia and it really did stop the wind and resist light rain.
The Toshiba 500GB hard drive, which I used to back up images that I had downloaded to my MacBook Pro did the job. I liked not having another battery to keep charged, as was true with the Wolverine drive it replaced. Another WIN.
The Sandisk Extreme 8GB cards were indispensible. I was filling one in a little more than a day at times. I’ll keep the 4GB ones for back-up for now, but will probably get two more 8GB cards for the trip to Kenya/India in January. Definite WIN.
The only FAIL were the L.L.Bean “tropic weight” cargo pants. I have no idea what they were thinking when they named these. I wasn’t in the tropics, but the weather was often humid, sometimes VERY humid. The pant fabric didn’t breathe at all. If anything, they acted like a moisture trap when my legs started to sweat. Very uncomfortable. Needless to say, they aren’t going to India with me, but they’re fine for wearing here in Humboldt County.
As I said last week, I had a few more things coming in and they got here the middle of last week. One is a 500GB Toshiba portable hard drive. My plan is to shoot my pictures, download them first into iPhoto on my MacBook Pro and then back them up to the Toshiba, so that they will be in two places. It’s light weight and has an internal shock sensor for protection. I bought mine on Amazon.
Next were two new memory cards for the cameras. This next trip will be almost twice as long as my previous ones and since I’m hoping to see lots of Mongol horse action close up, races and herders working, I anticipate using the burst function more than ever. I already know that I can fill a 4GB card in less than a day. The price of memory cards has continued to drop. My new SanDisk 8GB Extreme SDHC Class 10 High Performance Memory Cards cost less than the 2GB ones I bought a few years ago. I buy the “Extremes” because I can never be sure what weather conditions I’m going to encounter and I need a fast card that won’t hang up in the middle of the action. These came from an Amazon seller.
The third item I described as an “indulgence”. What I wanted were portable speakers for my iPhone, for listening to music when I was in a hotel or ger camp. I ended up ordering Livespeakers and returning them. Maybe my really good quality earbuds have spoiled me, but the sound just didn’t cut it. My husband, who understands how things like speakers work, explained why it’s physically impossible to get a real bass tone out of small speakers. I knew they would drive me crazy and I can use the fifty bucks for something else. Voices sounded ok though, so for someone who wants to watch movies I think it would be fine.
So, that’s about it. One pair of LL Bean tropic weight pants with cargo pockets still to arrive. I’ll do a packing dry run this weekend.