Saturday, January 3, 2015

Revisiting My Portable Gear

It's been a few years since I bought some of my portable gear.

I took a look at my gear in 2012, and it's time for me to do it again.  

Jewelry bag

I bought this zippered jewelry bag in 2010 and I use it every day. I still wish it were a brighter color so it would stand out more clearly in a suitcase or offer better contrast against a dark-colored motel bedspread, but other than that, it still gets five stars from me.

zippered jewelry bag

Mini flashlight

Photo from
I still love my flashlight.

Yeah, I know everyone's gone over to the headband thing, and I am sometimes tempted, but being able to tuck my light into a pocket, in a small bag, or hang it around my neck - all excellent qualities. I've lit up an entire room when the power has gone out in Ethiopia, in Caucasus Georgia, and I don't even remember where else.


I bought my laptop in 2010. It's showing some age: 
  • The fingerprint scanner doesn't work anymore; 
  • The optical drive is cranky and unreliable; and
  • I'm on my second battery - an after-market brand, as the HP replacement battery was prohibitively expensive. 
I know I'll have to replace it in the next year or two. Assuming I'm still working online, I'll replace it with another laptop (versus a tablet). And I'll still want various ports, although I may give the optical drive a pass.

Electronics case

Still use the red Ethiopian Airlines "case" to keep my small electronic paraphernalia.

Ethiopian Airlines case for my electronic paraphernalia

Ethiopian Airlines case for my electronic paraphernalia

Rain poncho 

I've got the rain poncho I bought while on a break from Caucasus Georgia, and I've used it on a few occasions since I bought it, but my earlier conclusion still holds - an umbrella is handier and lighter. I especially crave an umbrella on brutally sunny, hot days. Some day, when my decrepit black umbrella bites the dust, I'll replace it with a lighter-colored new umbrella (to offset the sun's hot rays). 
There's a good bit on umbrella v. ponchos on here.


I went with the basic Kindle in 2012.

I think I'm glad I made the choice I did, though I feel a little sad I don't have the paperwhite version. The basic Kindle does what I want it to do, even though it's rather clunky to get from some points A to some points B.

I've downloaded quite a few library books to the Kindle. Nice. 

Also, my reasoning about not wanting to feel too much of a financial loss if it were lost or stolen remains valid.


Trekking poles

A great purchase in 2012! They collapse into a size that fits into my backpack. So lightweight. I love to have them on trails with uneven surfaces, just for the balance.


Portable speaker

Yup, I still use this! I attach it to my laptop for better sound. I hook it up to my mp3 player. To my Android phone. To my voice recorder for playback.

My "puppy"

I bought an Android in July, 2014. Glad I bought it. In addition to serving as a backup to my online work in the event to a wifi or laptop failure, I find it a quality-of-life enhancement. I have not introduced it to social media or games, and I don't intend to do so.

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