Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Phuket Trip Travel Gear

Travel Gear

Old Gear

I've decided to change the way we travel. Specifically the way we do luggage. Our previous setup was usually a duffel bag and 2 backpacks. We also usually end up carrying a single messenger bag to carry stuff and new trinkets while exploring. This was extremely cumbersome and not to mention, inefficient. I've decided to ditch the entire setup. Despite the duffel bag being extremely voluminous, it usually ends up hurting my shoulders or my back. It was just hard to carry. 

New Bag

The new gear is focused on weight and carrying capacity. First on the list is replacing the bags. The first gear is Deuter Spectro AC 36. Originally meant for hiking, I've decided to adopt this as a main travel gear since it's very lightweight at just over a kilo when empty and very airy at the back. I've got a bad back and I've always thought that I'll never be able to carry a hiker's pack. I was wrong. With clever use of physics, the weight doesn't all end up on your shoulders but get efficiently distributed to both shoulders and hips. It's like magic. Hiker packs have probably always been like this and I just didn't know. Also, it's just under the limit for cabin size which means no more check-in luggage. This saves a lot of time.

It opens from both the top and the bottom. That means you can lie the thing on it's back and open it like a normal luggage. No need to dig from the top to get stuff in the bottom. Nice.

This is the first backpack I've had that didn't leave sweat stains at the back. The only thing in contact with your back is a mesh. The entire bag is lifted away from your back using 2 tensioned aluminum wires.

New Camera

In addition to the bag, I've decided to upgrade my camera. I decided that this new camera has to survive everything. Image quality needed to take a back seat to durability and survivability. After days of research, the purchase went to my first Olympus camera, the Olympus TG-1.

For the most part, it functioned perfectly. Autofocus was quick and low-light shooting was great. Beach sand wasn't a problem with this camera. Being fast and durable fits the bill. Unfortunately, mid-way through the Phuket trip, it hung while trying to focus. It's like the shutter button was stuck being half-pressed even if it wasn't. It was very annoying. It started functioning properly again a whole day later. I spent an afternoon trying to fix the thing. No firmware update was available and there was no way to reset even after removing the battery. I've since sent the thing to the service center. They've replaced the lens (thinking it has something to do with the focus problems) but claims to not be able to reproduce the problem. At least the service was commendable.

Things I took to the beach

Extra Surprises At Changi Airport

Despite having been to Changi Airport multiple times, we still managed to see some stuff that piqued my interest.
Each cell is for a different brand. You lock the charging phone inside the cell. Just remember to come back for it later.

A sunflower garden at the top of the airport.

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