I’m sitting in the Domestic terminal at Chhatrapati Shivaii International in Bombay waiting for my flight to Kerala. There are dozens of guards armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and the security screening is much more thorough than back home in the U.S. Each passenger has to go through a metal detector and stand still for a pat down.When I slid my backpack into the x-ray machine the security guard manning the monitor reversed the conveyor belt and said “Sir, Please Remove All Electronics.” I asked him if it was ok if I just removed my notebooks. “No sir ALL electronics,” he said. Needless to say, I had quite a few gadgets in my Timbuk2 backpack and the process took a couple of minutes. The line was backed up and a small crowd of travelers started gawking at my gear.
I put my MacBook Pro and HP Envy 13 in one tray and all of my gadgets in another. Amongst the gadgets I’m carrying is my Sanyo Xacti HD1010 camcorder, a pair of Seagate portable drives, a Gorilla Pod, a Blackberry Pearl, a pair of iPhones, a Monster travel surge protector, a portable speaker from Radio Shack, a Reliance 3G modem, a Call Pod Duo and a couple of SanDisk CF card readers.
My wife was carrying my camera bag through the women’s’ security line and the guards didn’t ask her to unpack it. That bag is packed with my Canon S90, Nikon D700 and an assortment of lenses and accessories.
I’m not one to pack lightly when it comes to electronics, but seeing all this gear spread out made me think about which items I have and haven’t been using here in India. I’ve been using the Envy 13 exclusively since I’ve been here because of its portability and long battery life. My Macbook Pro’s been a five-pound brick that I’ve had to tote around. I haven’t touched my Sanyo Xacti either. Instead, I’ve been using the video feature on my Canon S90. It only records at 640×480, but trying to upload HD videos over my 3G modem is impossible. We’d planned on using our iPhones for entertainment, but we have barely touched them.
I’ve shot about 5,000 images so far with my Nikon D700 so far. The DSLR and all of its accessories is a pain to carry everywhere, but the sacrifice is well worth the images I’m capturing.
I’ll probably pare down the amount of gear I bring on my next big trip, but I’d rather be prepared than not.