I know, I know what's on your mind.  It's a truly impossible question:  how does someone (a 25yr old lady, no less) live out of a backpack for three and a half months!!!!  Or - WHAT IS IN THAT BAG?

Here's the list (I'm giving you all the details):  

CLOTHES - 2 pairs of pants, 1 set of sleep clothes that can double as exercise clothes, 1 sports bra, 2 regular bras (1 black and 1 white), 3 long sleeve shirts, 1 short sleeved shirt, 1 fleece, 1 rain jacket shell, 1 hoodie, 5 pairs of socks, 5 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of comfortable flats (which I will need to throw out after the trip), 1 pair of multi-purpose Merrells (I can hike, walk and run in them), 1 red skirt, 1 light dress 

BEST OF THE BUNCH - Rain Jacket (yeah, it's not always blue skies), my Merrells (I was recently told that my old Merrells have traveled at least 900 miles.  Time for a new pair?)


1 EMS hiking backpack donated by a Miss Garrity (It's great - one downfall it's a giant pocket.  I have packed and repacked that sucker so many times.  Wrinkles are my signature style.)

1 Vantage Photo Bad also donated by a Miss Garrity (the same one!).  This is what I carry with me everywhere.  It has my camera, recording equipment and all of my handy wires and manuals. 

1 Victorinox Swiss Tool - good for cutting apples and protection (at least it makes me feel tough). 

I spent a lot of time researching equipment I knew nothing about.  Here are the website resources I found useful:

Transom - they do this whole field audio recording for a living.

B&H - Not only do they sell equipment, but they collect customer ratings and reviews in a fashion that makes me trust the input of the consumers.  Their InDepth section compares products and makes recommendations on equipment for the kind of work you want to use in a language I can understand as a newly inducted Equipment Geek.

The best source was my brother, who has worked as a backpack journalist.  I told him I had a budget of $1,000 to buy a camera that was video capable, an audio recorder, and an external hard drive.  Here is my equipment list: 

SONY NEX-3N - This is a mirrorless camera.  The pictures are great, and the manual settings are relatively easy to access (I'm still trying to master them), but the automatic settings are also pretty trust worthy.  One difficulty is that there is no viewfinder on this model.  The screen can be hard to see in outdoor settings, but this is forgivable as the pictures tend to turn out great anyways.  Oh, and I lose the lens cap at least once a day, but that's my own faulty design.

ZOOM H4N  - I call it my taser, and sometimes you can catch me whispering "Beam me up Scotty" to it while I'm on a busy street.  This field audio recorder has been excellent.  It has the capability to edit it in hand, but I prefer to transfer the files to my computer and edit there.  There are different folders to separate interviews.  I have about 3hours of space on my SD card - good enough for about 2 interviews.  There is a wind shield that works pretty well, and if I manage to get my hands on a lavalier mic (why doesn't santa visit in October?) I could record both through the lavalier and still keep the x/y stereo mics running to catch the my questions and record the environment.  It runs on 2 AA batteries.

Western Digital My Passport for Mac (1TB) - This is a tiny, handy external hard drive - it wasn't my first choice (the LaCie Rugged with Thunderbolt capability - *dreamy sigh*).  My little WD is quick and compact.  It does seem a bit delicate, but so far no probelms!  

Dropbox - I have the 200GB plan.  This should be plenty.  Biggest difficulty - uploading large files (the entire purpose for having the massive data plan) takes foooooorrevehhhh.  Yeah, still figuring that one out.



It happens.  Audacity for audio clips (it's free!).  iMovie for video 'cause I'm fancy like that. 

No more geeking out.  Now you know everything...