Every week Josh Gates' braves the world of the unknown on SCI FI's Destination Truth (disclosure: SCI FI owns DVICE). As anyone who's seen The X-Files knows, investigating weird phenomena in the field requires quick thinking, unrelenting guile, and the right equipment. That's why Josh brings with him a pack full of helpful gadgets in his travels.
But is Josh's equipment really the most topnotch, useful and lightweight travel gear you can get? Uh, we have no clue, really. As bloggers, we're all homebodies and city folk, so to really give us the skinny we asked someone who might actually know what he's talking about when it comes to outdoor gear: Tim Ferriss, author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek. Tim took a look at the contents of Josh's bag, as listed on the Destination Truth website, and offered up this valuable advice. Anyone interested in debunking some flying-saucer sightings in Nazca should be clicking Continue pronto.
1. Victorinox Backpack
Victorinox rules. I've used their hiking packs, replete with wheels for when you're crossing cities, for four years. The detachable daypack makes this an all-in-one tool.
2. Nikon D200 Camera
Josh's taste here is a little flash for me. I'll break lenses, and they’re attractive to thieves. I use arguably the most reliable point-and-shoot digital camera ever made, — the Canon PowerShot SD300
. I also carry two 2GB memory cards for hours of video.
3. Garmin GPS
Who likes getting lost? Not me. Good call on GPS. For city exploration, also consider a TomTom
or other car-based GPS that can be detached and thrown in a pocket. I'm all about multipurpose when possible.
Seems cool to be able to see like a Predator, but I opt for simply avoiding places where big animals that are able to eat me hang out.
5. iPod Nano
I use a Nano minus the Nike part for both music and external data storage and backup. Not much of a pedometer-phile, personally — more of a pullups, situps, handstands, burpees kind of man.
6. Bose Headphones
I use the cheaper Philips version
of the same. Love 'em. Too bulky? Just grab a bunch of earplugs at a convenience store or smack the loud kid hanging on your seat. Both cheap and effective.
Just remember to put these bad boys in your stowed-away luggage or you'll end up with a machine-gun muzzle to your head. I prefer Benchmade, but it's a personal thing, like hats or shoes.
Josh's might be made out of mole hides, but I think he's referring to Moleskines. Great for sticking in a pocket and saving ideas that you can later forget over and over. Think you'll remember that night with the drunk Russians forever? You won't. Write it down.
Paperbacks are good, but an Amazon Kindle
is better if you'll be around reception. Otherwise, bring one
book (your back will thank you) and trade when finished with a fellow traveler or at a hostel/hotel.
10. ProDesign Glasses
Good sunglasses are a must, especially if you'll be near water or snow. I use Mormaii surfing sunglasses from Brazil, but most anything will do.
11. Sony Unblocked Phone
I have a quad-band unlocked phone from Buenos Aires that I bought on the cheap but try whenever possible to just go phoneless when traveling. Whatever you do, do not have one number where everyone at home can bother you when you're doing your walkabout or exploration.
12. Gin Rummy
I don't know Gin Rummy. The solution? Bring a $30 pocket breathalizer with you when you travel. Cards involve drinking, usually, and this little gadget will make you the life of any party. Any BevMo or chain beverage store will carry them.