What's In My Bag

gear for life on the run

Recent Posts:

What’s Your Best Travel Camera? 6 Tips

Of all of the questions I’ve gotten about travel, “JKev, I’m going to blahblah place, and I want to take good photos, what camera should I choose?” is probably the most asked question. There are so, so, so many cameras on the market for the average Joe photographer,...

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6 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Photo Hike (or Run)

If you want to get those eye-watering, amazing landscape photos - perspectives that you don’t see anywhere else - you usually have to work for it. That means hoofing it to far-reaching corners of the earth, away from the tour buses, away from the selfie sticks, away...

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A minimalist’s guide to packing: 4 months in 40 liters

Traveling the world should be more about what experiences you bring back home rather than the stuff you bring with you. Packing minimalist frees you of weight, worry about keeping track of your stuff, the extra carbon footprint, and allows you to focus on what’s in front of you.

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backpacks & such


Pacsafe specializes in secure travel gear. This pack has a number of safety features, including wire mesh lining, lockable zippers, slash-proof shoulder straps, and RFID-safe pockets, while also having enough versatility for active use: waist straps, rain cover, external pockets & extra straps for gear.

Bag Protector

When your life is inside one backpack, you want to make sure it’s as secure as possible. Pacsafe makes a wire mesh bag lock that goes around your whole bag and secures to a fixed object. Great for times when your hostel doesn’t have a locker big enough for your bag.

bag locks

keep prying hands from your stuff. Eagle Creek’s certified TSA locks felt a little flimsy at first, but they’re solid, and provide a visual deterrent to potential thieves. I like using combo locks so that I don’t need to worry about keys.

camera gear


I shoot with a Canon 70D. It’s a mid-range DSLR with a cropped ASP-C sensor that has most of the features of a pro-level camera along with some built-in presets, wifi to connect to my smartphone for remote shooting and image transfer, and 1080p video.

Amazing progress is being made with mirrorless cameras. They’re smaller and lighter while still providing all of the same features as a full-framed DSLR. Good things come in small packages, and unfortunately at an additional cost too, hence why I haven’t made the upgrade yet. Sony’s A7 series and their A6000 (a step down from the A7) are good examples.


You could have the nicest DSLR body in the world, but lenses are the first “line of defense” that control how light hits the camera sensor. Invest in quality lenses to make your images pop. I use Sigma lenses:

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens For Canon

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM Zoom Lens for Canon DSLRs with APS-C Sensors


A tripod is a necessity for quality photography, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, especially for night photography and landscapes. Choosing a tripod for travel is a delicate balance between weight, quality, and price. Light tripods can be shaky even in a light breeze, but you don’t want to break your back lugging around a sturdy one. Vanguard VEO series are lightweight travel tripods that pack down small but still have quality features and sturdiness. This one is only 15.6″ when folded.

Find it on Amazon

run/hiking case

I love trail running and the places it takes me that make for amazing photo opportunities. This strap is awesome for hiking and running. I like Mindshift Gear’s Ultralight Camera Cover 10 most for the waist strap that keeps it glued to my body, whether I’m running and jumping on a trail run or on a simple hike. The fabric provides some weather resistance and is a light buffer to any bumps along the way.

Straps & such

Nothing screams “tourist!” like a DSLR. The straps that come with them with the big “Canon” or Nikon” on them don’t help much either. Peak Designs makes flexible straps, harnesses and clips for just about any situation. This clutch helps keep your camera on your hand and deters would-be thieves from grabbing it right from your grip.


I’ve lost one camera to rain, and almost lost a second one. Having a good cover keeps rain, dirt, and shields from stray bumps and bruises. This cover from Peak Designs is great because it allows you to keep shooting with the cover on.

portable hard drive

Losing photos from your travels is like losing a loved one. Don’t let it happen to you; back it up. As a photographer, I work with large RAW files and backing up my images can take a long time with the wrong tech. I opted for this Scandisk 480GB SSD (solid state drive) with USB 3.0. It’s not the absolute fastest and most rugged out there, but it does a good job for the price to ruggedness to storage ratio. Also, it’s really freakin’ small.

other tech


It’s not essential of course, but a smartphone (regardless of cell service) will greatly enhance your travel experience and capacity. Most today have high quality (10-12+ megapixel) cameras, 720-1080p video. When you don’t have time to pull out or don’t want to be seen using your bigger camera, this is your go-to. Plus apps for navigating (google maps), finding a place to stay (airbnb), or eat (Yelp), etc. Save yourself some time. Get a cheap used/refurbished smartphone on Ebay or from your cellular provider and you’re on your way.

battery pack

When you’re on the run, on a hike, or on a bus or plane, there aren’t always wall outlets convenient or available at all. In today’s world, we rely on our devices for so much, we don’t want to be stranded without them. I just started using GoalZero’s Flip 20 recharger. It will recharge a smartphone two times fully, and it’s usb recharger is attached to it (no forgetting charger cables).


Books on books on books. All the books you could read traveling in a year can fit on your kindle, saving you room and weight. I hesitated a long time before jumping into using a Kindle, loving the experience of reading real books, but if you want to travel as a minimalist and still read a lot, this is the way to go. The battery will last you weeks on a single charge. I have the regular Kindle. Kindle Paperwhite is backlit for night reading, but i prefer to use natural light.


icebreaker merino

First of all, how awesome is that photo? Sheep aren’t usually glamorized like that. But Icebreaker is proud of their sheep, and the sourcing of their merino wool. Sustainably sourced, comfortable, and versatile. Icebreaker wool doesn’t get stinky and it’s breathable and warm even when wet, which allows you to wear it for multiple days (or weeks) at a time. You can hand-wash in the sink of your hostel, hang to dry, and you’re good to go. It’s more pricey than other wool or regular t-shirts, but it’s an investment that’ll last you.

wool buff

The original Buff is a versatile accessory: it’s a scarf, ear warmer, hat, balaclava, eye mask, eye glass cleaner, and more. The wool version doesn’t get stinky if you sweat in it, and it’s easy to wash & dry.


I only bring a single pair of jeans traveling with me. Jeans are notorious for using a lot of water, harmful dyes, and bad labor practices in their manufacturing. DSTLD seeks to eliminate those things, using natural dyes and fair labor. They’re exclusively online and have a home try-on program. I use their summer weight jeans, which have more stretch and are more comfortable. They’re also dark enough to double as “dressier” pants if needed.

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