The heaviest bag we drag around on our bicycles is probably the bag with electronics. In this overview we'll show them all and share why we chose these.
Electronics are essential for our journey. We love to take and edit photos, write and share stories, listen to music whilst cycling long stretches and of course navigate our way towards Japan. For all of these activities these are the accessories we use and love.
Photos and videos
So maybe we carry a lot of camera's with us. But for us it’s worth the extra weight. Photography is one of our true passions. The Fujifilm XT3 with a Fujifilm XF 18-55 mm F/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom lens works as our all round camera for all sorts of photos. It is also our preferred choice for recording short videos, time lapses series and astrophotography. The lens doesn’t have a lot of zoom, but we prefer getting up close to subjects.
Speaking of getting up close, the Fujifilm X100F is a camera with a fixed lens with a focal length of 35 mm (APSC size sensor). The lens is pin sharp and the camera is light and small enough to take photos incognito. Perfect for street- and portrait photography. We're full-on Fujifilm fans, mainly because of the design, the placements of the buttons and the amazing color profiles (Classic Chrome).
We also brought a GoPro action camera, but to be honest, we haven’t used it that much. There is a helmet mount coming our way, so hopefully we'll start making more ‘on-board’ footage from the bicycles soon.
|Lens||Fujifilm XF 18-55 mm F/2.8-4|
|Accessories||Lens hood & filters|
|Memory cards||Sandisk [6x]|
|Action cam||GoPro Hero7 Black|
|Memory cards||Sandisk & Samsung|
Writing and editing
We decided to both bring our MacBook. We don't regret it, since we put a lot of effort and time into our website and social media channels. Robin's MacBook Pro 13-inch is insanely heavy in comparison to Sabina's MacBook. But we need it to run photography and video editing software. Having both laptops ensures that we can work simultaneously. Essentials like adapters, card readers and a world plug make our workflow quick and efficient.
To store and back up all footage we use a LaCie Rugged Mini 1 TB harddisk. The LaCie feels sturdy and is water, dust, and crush resistant. It definitely survived some crushing and dust, but we haven't put it to the water-test yet and are definitely not planning to either.
|MacBook||MacBook Pro 13 inch & Macbook 12 inch|
|Hard disk||LaCie Rugged Mini USB-C 1TB|
Charging it all
We also have to keep all our devices charged of course, which is done with the help of two power banks. One of them, the Anker PowerCore+ 13400, was a gift from 'Kiwi' Sam in Khorog, Tajikistan. The other power bank is from BioLite, an inspiring company that for every purchase brings safe energy to households across sub-saharan Africa. They have an entire division dedicated to designing solutions to alleviate global energy poverty. Our BioLite Charge 40 keeps us powered wherever we go. It's weather resistant and made of stainless steel, so sturdy enough to bounce around in our panniers.
With our Skross World Travel Adapter MUV USB we can charge a power bank and two more devices at the same time. The extra USB slots are perfect, since almost all our devices can be charged by USB. We usually have to charge a lot at the same time, and often ho(s)tels only provide one plug. Two if you're lucky. This solves that problem instantly.
|Powerbanks||BioLite Charge 40 & Anker PowerCore+ Quick Charge 3.0 Qualcomm|
|World plug||S-Kross Pro Light USB|
Phones and banking
Listening to Spotify, checking our Facebook and Instagram and connecting with family and other cyclist is all done with our iPhones. Robin is still using his old-fashioned iPhone SE, while Sabina uses an iPhone 8. In almost every country we buy one or two local SIM cards to stay connected (depending on the possibility to create a personal hotspot). The phones are also used for navigation with apps like iOverlander or Maps.me. We don't really use the phones for taking photos and videos, since the quality of the footage doesn't even come close to the cameras we're carrying. Occasionally we need to deal with an extra level of security while online banking. So we need our banking card readers.
|Smart phones||iPhone SE & iPhone 8|
Navigation and safety
To navigate into the unknown, we both use a Wahoo Elemnt cycling computer. We are extremely happy with the Elemnt’s battery life, user interface and connection with our smartphones. We use a regular Elemnt as well as the Elemnt ROAM. The biggest advantage of the ROAM is that it recalculates the route if we got off track. It also has a color screen which the regular Elemnt doesn’t, but that’s not really an issue because screen visibility is great even without the blue and yellow. We can share our rides instantly from the Wahoo app to our Strava and RidewithGPS feed.
In case of emergency, but mostly for our family's peace of mind, we carry a Spot Gen3. This is a GPS-device providing a 'life-saving line of communication'. When we're traveling at remote places without cellphone service, we are still able to call for help if needed. The only function we use when we're off the grid is the check-in function. This function sends a personalized e-mail to our beloved ones, in which they can see our exact location on the map. In case of emergency we press the SOS button, which alerts emergency responders and tells them our GPS location.
|Cycling computers||Wahoo Elemnt & Elemnt ROAM|
|GPS device||Spot Gen3|
Chaos of cables
All these devices together make for a crazy amount of charging cables. Our comprehensive cable collection consist of USB cables, USB-C cables, micro USB cables, Lightning cables and multiple types of earphones and other adapters. All of them in various lengths and colors. We keep the cables and other accessoires in separate small packing cube from Ikea. It's a lot and it's heavy, but it doesn't take a lot of space in our bags and panniers. It is annoying and unnecessary to have so many different items all for the very simple use, charging stuff. We long for the day we can use one single universal cable, but for now this mess will do.
Ever since cycling our very first meters from Tbilisi we've dropped stuff and added items. In our blog about Crossing the Caspian to Kazahkstan we wrote about a parcel we shipped home. One of the items in the parcel was a MacBook charger (we each had one). We saved ourselves a little of weight, but the parcel never arrived in the Netherland. In fact, the parcel is still in Kazakhstan, since September. Thanks a lot Kazpost. We also got rid of a budget powerbank after we got one from our friend 'Kiwi' Sam. Josh sold us the SpotGen, since he wasn't using it.
To compensate the weight loss of our lost MacBook charger we bought ourself a bluetooth speaker. A JBL Go 2 mini speaker is making its way to Sri Lanka together with Robin's family. We both really miss listening to music together, so we can't wait to listen to some decent tunes, and add another charging cable to our extensive collection.