gear. part 2.


Remember the Gregory z30 backpack from our first gear post? Well, it turns out that it's just not big enough. As much as we love the back-venting system, it reduces much-needed space. So, we have exchanged both bags (the Gregory and the MEC Brio 60) for:

MEC Brio 50 Plus Backpack and the MEC Brio 70 Backpack

Compared to the other backpacks they sell at Mountain Equipment Co-op, the value for these is amazing. With a combined space of 120 litres I think we should have all the room we'll need.

Coglan's Emergency Blanket

- This 'blanket' cost less than 2 dollars and it's size, when folded up, is slightly bigger than a credit card.

On Sight Universal Pouch
- We purchased several of these pouches. Other travelers swear by packing cubes. These are essentially the same thing. They allow you to organize items separately so that you're not rifling through your whole bag for one item. We purchased different sizes and colors as well as some that have plastic instead of mesh.

MEC Travel Pouch

- A similar idea to the last item but with more organizational fun.

MEC Document Holder

- The title explains it all.

Tissue On The Go!

- This cost just over a dollar and is really tiny. We're also taking a full roll because every travel book/blog we ever read said that it's an essential item.

Charmin Toilet Seat Covers

- If people weren't so disgusting, these wouldn't really be necessary. However, we have a feeling we won't be using these anyway... better to get our quad muscles ripped.

Transcend External Hard Drive:

- We had all of our previous photos on two computers and thought that it didn't matter if one broke. When my old Macbook's hard drive broke, we realized that our pictures from Tokyo were only on that computer. Although we lost several great photos, we had them on Facebook, and had given some CDs to family so we were able to salvage most of them. This thing will prevent that loss from happening again. It's encased in rubber and is apparently drop-tested using US Military standards. We went with the 500 GB capacity in hopes that it will accommodate the ridiculous amount of photos we will most likely take.

MEC Pocket Dry Bag
-We're planning on using this to keep our camera dry between uses on rainy days.

Silk Sleeping Bag Liner:

-These have come highly recommended by other around-the-world travellers as a way of avoiding suspect sheets and bed bugs.

CLIF Energy Bars:
- As far as energy bars go, the flavors of the CLIF brand aren't so bad. The added bonus: they fill you up for hours.

Tekk Cutlery:
-Small and cheap. I'm sure we'll use these at some point.

SuperSak Laundry Bag:

-33 cents well spent!

SweetWater Purifier Solution:

- We were given a great tip about this stuff from the guy from MEC. We were considering the steri-pen but read some bad reviews online. Everyone tells us we're better off drinking beer, but Mina isn't a fan.

If any of you have had any pleasant experiences in Mexico City - we would love to hear them! Particularly a nice place to stay. Yep, this means we're finally heading out of Toronto. Stay tuned for status updates!

photos from

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  1. so interesting! i cant wait to hear about that "blanket" and the silk sleeping bag liner looks like a little bit of luxury away from home. i bet it was fun shopping for these lil things that you will use the heck out of :)

  2. That is interesting. I would never know that these items were needed, and probably wouldn't have the patience to research. Smart! Looks like you guys are very prepared!

  3. love clif bars, love tp to go!

  4. gosh i'm so excited to hear all about your travels. good call on the tp and seat covers!

  5. I'm not gonna lie, I've been known to keep TP to go in my purse...when I'm not traveling.

    You would be surprised at how handy it has been!!!!

    (sometimes there are no peeps around to spare a square)

  6. Anonymous4.12.09

    Fantastic list of interesting items. I can vouch for the toilet paper, especially if you're traveling by bus or train.

    When I was in Thailand and waiting for the bus, the shop has rolls of toilet paper for travelers to buy. I said to myself, "these are here for a reason." So glad I bought a roll!

  7. Anonymous4.12.09

    Good stuff. That can't be your first ever external hard drive? Ever? Goodness, we've got 3 or 4 around here since Dev records music and I take far too many photos :)

    You might want to get some hand sanitizer or hand wipes as well. We swear by the stuff at home AND when we travel :)

    A good thing to remember about the packs is that they may get too weighty. I know you're not treating this as a shopping spree, but you will acquire things. Be sure to have an address (with a family member or something) so you can download stuff. I traveled Europe for 5 weeks and I can't say what a godsend it was to be able to stop at a post office and ship things home!

    Lastly, I recommend a money belt. It's a very thin (fanny pack style, ahem, but more practical) case that goes on the inside of your clothing. That is where you could keep your passport, cards, and cash. But you may have that covered already :)

    Okay, I've written a novella here. Signing off and wishing you luck on this cusp of your journey!

  8. wow, You two are so seriously prepared and organized- You need to start a travelers consultation and preperation company! I will be referencing you for my upcoming travelers!

  9. Anonymous5.12.09

    Great post! You covered a very important topic, for all travelers.
    We're also preparing for a similar experience, and didn't know about all the things you mentioned.
    There are some other useful items we recently learned about:
    - a rubber sink plug; allows you to wash clothes in any sink, when there's no washing machine nearby, for days;
    - a flexible rope for drying wet clothes.
    - a bandanna :). It is versatile for all kinds of things.

    Anyway, it would be great if you update this list with what you discover useful along the way.

  10. save travels and a lot of fun! i have never been to mexico city, so don't have any recommandations for you! i get already excited when i see all your gear. ahhhh travel fever. but with a start up business not really possible for me.

  11. Anonymous5.12.09

    Whoa, the storage space in those backpacks is great. I wish I would have had something like that when I was travelling.

  12. Fantastic list of things! I can't wait to hear how they come in handy as you go along. I love the packing pouches, especially with backpacks. Get different colors so you can remember what is in what. We keep the emergency blanket in our ski backpacks, never had to use it and hope you won't either!

  13. WOW! So fun to look at your photos in the previous post! Best of luck to you as you begin your travels!!!

  14. Anonymous22.10.10

    Just discovered your blog. You guys are super cute. I love that you both look very stylish whilst being on the road for so long. How are your packs holding up and treating you??

  15. Anonymous - Thanks. We bought new clothes in NYC because we knew we were going back to Canada soon. The packs held up great for the 7 months that we used them. The smaller one was still 'like new' the bigger one got beat up a little bit more and got a tiny tear in it.