Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Packing List and Preparation 01/29/14 Update

This part of the blog will be a "living" document and will be updated until time of departure.

I decided to write this rather mundane post partly as my own check list and in the case of theft/loss, and partly to help partly for all those who wish to follow.

Items accomplished

Updated 01/28/14

*Airline tickets with trip insurance (cancellation, medical, dental, property loss)
Note- in foreign country, your health insurance will likely not work!
*Hotel accommodations made
*Ecuador land travel accommodations made  (private car Guayaquil to Salinas, only marked cabs in town, realtors to show properties in their cars)
*Realtors lined up.  I an using > Hector G. Quintana {+001.786.220.4987 (Global),  098.522.9631 Within Ecuador)} He has two web sites that are helpful: ecuador_hgq@escapeartist.com , http://Ecuador.EscapeArtist.com. 
Hector's associate, and with whom I made initial contact is Noelia Roldan.  I met Noelia online through an excellent site located at http://www.internations.org  This site is free to join, and get information and meet "pen pals" in every corner of the world.  As a side note, I met a Canadian who will be going down after me and will be checking out similar areas, so we will share our intel.
*Passports and secure passport holders (I'm using a Victorynox necklace type for money, passport, vaccinations, etc., and it works very well, but Eagle Creek makes a similar one- either for about $20, either online, or can be purchased at Southlake Town Square).
*Tarrant County Health Department- no shots or malaria meds needed unless going into jungle.
*CIA check for safety concerns-all good
*Pets- dog sitter arranged, food and treats stocked, all meds given (heart worm, etc.)
*Banks & credit card companies notified
*On call partner notified
*All bills paid
*Camera gear put on homeowners insurance

Camera Gear:

Due to my concern over theft vs. my desire to photograph the country, I am making conscious choices to limit my gear.  As always, I want to bring the gear that I feel will be appropriate, but at the same time, I do not want to bring unwanted attention to expensive equipment.  I am a Canon shooter, and the big lenses tend to be white in color, and stand out like a, something that stands out a lot.  I have therefore decided to limit my self to smaller lenses, and  one small zoom.  I am taking a larger bag that I can fit even the tripod in to keep it concealed.  My bag of choice is a roller bag that converts to a backpack when needed.

*ThinkTank Airport Security V.2 Photo bag
*Benro carbon fiber travel tripod (small, light, sturdy)
*Canon 5D III
*Canon 24-70 2.8L II
*Canon 70-200 f4L is
*Canon EF 1.4X III Tele-extender
*Allen wrenches, various sizes

01/29/14 update

Here is a good overseas trip insurance tip

Camera Gear Contd:

*Canon EOS M with 18- 55 lens, case, spare battery, charger, spare memory cards (SD)
*Extra CF memory cards for 5DIII
**All memory cards are formatted in camera to ensure that there is no card corruption and lost data
*Charger and extra batteries for 5DIII*
*Extra lens and camera cap
*Card reader
*External HDD & soft case
*Heliopan 82 mm polarizing filter
*Kenko 67 mm circular polarizing filter
*Black Rapid camera strap with extra camera connectors
*Small powerful LED flash light

Tech Gear:
Macbook 15", plus sleeve/case- charged, synced with bookmarks and logins
power plug multiplier with 2 usb ports
Extra iPhone charging cord and lighter adapter with 2 usb ports

Update on Coastal towns-

I was given suggested sites to visit from Hector.  Most of the towns were so small I could find nothing on them.  I am waiting for him to get back with more info.  So far, I will be seeing Guayaquil and Salinas.  More tomorrow.

More tomorrow!