Absolutely no-one ever asks me what travel things I bring with me on shoots but I am going to write a blog about it anyway. I just like to write a bit and I’m a bit of a geek so I like to share and talk to other frequent travelers about what gadgets make life on the road easier for them.
I do a lot of traveling and I am usually away for between 1-3 weeks at a time. I’m usually based in a relatively modest hotel, boat or dive lodge so this list is tailored to being on a boat, in a plane or in a hotel room rather than say hiking for miles every day or camping in the jungle. I of course have essential bits of camera gear and dive equipment but this list could apply more generally to anyone who travels whether for film or other work. It’s basically about coffee and audio to be honest.
Cafetiere I tend to bring a large cafetiere along so that everyone on the crew can have a cup – that’s just the kind of guy I am 😉 This double-walled stainless steel cafetiere from Andrew James keeps coffee warm for an hour or so, is pretty cheap and robust and is great for making a brew in the hotel or on a boat. It’s lasted me two years so far being used at home and on trips. I think it’s just the right balance between rugged and functional.
Coffee grinder The best coffee comes from fresh beans so I try to buy some on location or bring some with me if I have to. At home I have an electric grinder but on location I travel with a Hunt Brothers hand grinder. It is made of stainless steel. It’s light and portable and pretty darn stylish. The burr is ceramic and has 8 different degrees of coarseness so you can use it to grind for espresso or a cafetiere (my personal preference for traveling).
Speaker I used to travel with an Ultimate Ears Megaboom but recently downsized to a UE Wonderboom – sacrificing a bit of power for a smaller luggage footprint. It’s rugged, can take a splash, and will pump out music for the crew on long van rides, while setting up gear or while watching rushes.
Bluetooth Transmitter For watching movies on planes I use my bluetooth headphones with a cunning Taotronics portable bluetooth transmitter. I have a bit of sticky velcro I attach to the arm of the seat and then stick it on there. This is probably my favourite gadget as I hate getting tangled in cables every time I get out of my seat. It’s tiny, takes up no room and makes flights way less tangly. Fully charged it lasts about 10hrs so I sometimes have to give it a recharge on a long haul flight but hopefully I’ll be asleep for at least a few hours anyway. As far as what I’m listening to on the plane – it’s usually long form interviews with hosts like Adam Buxton and Marc Maron.
Drinking bottle & Coffee mug I try my hardest not to drink bottled water from plastic bottles as I see first hand how much plastic trash there is in our oceans and on our beaches every day. I always bring a drinking bottle with me on shoots and take it with me as hand-carry on the plane so I can use it in airports and on domestic flights in Asia when they often let you take liquids on the plane. Currently I have this Eddy bottle from Camelbak. I also have a Bodum double walled stainless steel mug which I also bring carry-on to avoid disposable coffee cups and keep my hot tasty beverage warm a bit longer.