The List: 2013 Edition

checklist
For my inaugural post on this site, I published a list I had compiled for road trips and car camping that had stood by me for quite a while. While the whole point of a list is to not forget anything, the list itself is not exempt from this and has grown some, as well as expanded on a couple areas. Still largely focused on car camping, most of the items do however translate well into a backpacking checklist, usually just depending on the size of the gear. This stuff on hand, I usually feel prepared to go just about anywhere.

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The Most Portable Computer Is No Computer

Internet-based applications and file storage, or “cloud computing” as it’s popularly referred to, are fast becoming incredibly functional for most basic tasks on the computer, but there’s still a lot to be said for keeping the trusted essentials with you, especially when you’re traveling to places where internet connectivity and security are unknown quantities. Thankfully, not just web applications are easily portable; with USB flash drives going for peanuts, you can take your whole computer with you in your pocket, just without the hardware. Find any working computer, even one that’s been erased or locked down, and it can become yours with all your programs and files.

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Right Is Wrong: Driving on the other side of the road

driving
 
As international destinations go, England or Australia aren’t a huge stretch for those of us from the US. We speak the language, the food contains about the same percentage of deep fried things, and you can still find The Simpsons on TV at least once a week. The one big stumbling block that doesn’t really come up until it’s staring you in the face is that in these countries, among many others, driving for an American is the equivalent of a psychological experiment.

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Being A Computer Hobo

Being A Computer Hobo

Despite being a tech geek with a daily internet habit, I actually hate traveling with a laptop. While not the backpack-dominating bricks they used to be, they’re still a significant size and weight in your bag killing your posture. Additionally, laptops are a single point of failure: if it dies or gets stolen, you’re dead in the water, not to mention when your laptop walks away, who knows who now has your data.

So even if I’m still lugging my laptop around with me, I have focused as much as possible on “off-shoring” my computing, giving me the same access to my usual tools and data from pretty much any computer with an internet connection. By using install-free web tools, I’m left free to ditch the laptop if I so choose and become a computer hobo, living on the move off borrowed resources; all the freedom, none of the smell.

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