Technology on the Road - What We Carry


We've received many reader questions about what technology we use, ranging from what I shoot with to what software I use for the blog. By popular demand, here is the roundup of answers. For a more advanced look at how we actually run things while on the road, read my other post on being a digital nomad.

Full disclosure: some of these links are affiliate links, which means if you click them and then buy something, Rob and I get a tiny percentage of your purchase. You don't pay anything extra.

If you have questions on what to pack outside of technology, read Lina's post on the essentials here.

What type of camera do you use?

My main camera is a Canon Rebel Xsi and I primarily shoot with the Canon 18-55mm kit lens as it's the most versatile that I have. I have a Canon 50-250mm lens that is great for nature shots (see our Borneo photo tours) and a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens that has been great for lower light situations and some more creative shots with a narrow depth of field.

TIP: Always have 2 batteries

For quick wider angle shots when I don't have my 18-55mm lens on my camera or close up stealth shots I've used my iPhone 4S and now my iPhone 5.

Workers digging what may be a hole for a pipe, barefoot. Kids included (see the upper ditch)

Unfortunately, my waterproof LifeProof Fre case leaked when I was snorkeling on the island of Camiguin in the Philippines. Very sad--the case was reliable for almost a year. We sent LifeProof's customer service an email, but never heard back. Ouch.

So what can I use underwater?

We've seen some amazing photos taken with the Nikon AW110, but it only goes to 59 feet (17.9 meters), so if you're diving, that's not very useful. For only a bit more money, you can buy a nice point-and-shoot and an underwater housing together. Most underwater housings are rated for at least 30 meters. If you have endless cash... Well, just buy an underwater housing for your SLR--just don't go too crazy. Or you can always rent a camera or ask your dive buddies for their pics, which works when you get close enough with the people on the boat.


What technology do you carry?

Lina writes a lot (it was her degree after all) and I code, so that increases our technology footprint, but we still needed to optimize for weight since we knew we'd be carrying this stuff for 6+ months.

  • Lina's MacBook Air in a iPearl mCover case for me. I left my MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display at home and had it shipped to New Zealand when we got here. It was just too expensive to merit taking through 3rd world countries and I wasn't planning on doing anything too hardcore while on the road. Although, I did at times crave more raw computing power.
  • My iPad 3 in a Moshi case for Lina with a bluetooth keyboard (The keyboard lost several keys and the case is no longer functioning as the iPad falls right out of it!)
  • Garmin Forerunner 405 for GPS tracking
  • Canon Rebel Xsi (see above for the lens)
  • CaseLogic Medium SLR Camera Bag. This case is tiny for how much it holds. It fits the camera, 3 lenses, a wide angle adapter, a macro adapter, a filter box, cleaning kit, and an extra battery with some room to spare.
  • iPhone 4S RIP June 2012 thanks to my LifeProof Fre leaking. I have since replaced this with an iPhone 5 and for lack-of-better waterproof options, a LifeProof Nuud case. I've been using this combination for a few months now and have had some success with underwater video.
  • iPhone 4 RIP April 2012 the WiFi stopped working, which made it pretty useless
  • Power adapter (all of our devices work fine with different currents so we didn't need a more expensive power converter).
  • Travel surge protector. This is a must-have for anyone who wants to travel with more than one device. It's crazy how many places only have one outlet! Plus, it requires you to have less power adapters. If I had to buy this again, I'd try to find a surge protector that has a built-in universal power adapter. The surge protector + power adapter combo often doesn't stay up on the wall, so I have to come up with creative ways to keep it from crashing down in the middle of the night.
  • Insta Mold Custom Molded Headphones. Life saving on night buses and flights for me.
TIP: Make sure you have cases for your electronics if you are traveling for a while

Our cases are pretty banged up, but except for the LifeProof leak, they've prolonged the life of all of our respective devices.

Some people we saw in Asia, made the new look old and well-used:

A brand new camera made to look ancient… Thieves are less incentivized to steal such things

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Leave us a note and we'll do our best to answer. For a more advanced look at how we actually run things while on the road, read my other post on being a digital nomad. If you have questions on what to pack outside of technology, read Lina's post on the essentials here.