Fall Road Trip – Day 1: Packing It All Up – Technology

We’re a family of geeks; there’s no other way to say it. And we live in a technology riddled world. So, after we were done packing up the clothes and blankets, we started in on the technology.

Our general technology packing list includes:

  • cell phones and chargers
  • computers and chargers
  • DC to AC power inverter
  • cd players and ear phones
  • rechargable batteries and battery charger
  • iPod, ear phones, and charger
  • cameras, tripod, and chargers
  • audio books and Z’s music

Notice that we don’t have any hand held game systems on this list. Once upon a time, we did have Nintendos for the kids to play with on road trips only, but they became just another thing to be managed. So we haven’t replaced them (though the kids would love it if we did).  Now the kids just play games on the personal laptop, at night and when they’ve earned that privelege.

Because Greg and I work on the road, we also have two more laptops with us – my netbook, and Greg’s work laptop. These allow us to perform most of  basic work from the road, and allows us to connect up with our everyday work computers when we have access to the internet. Greg is also travelling with a Sprint Air card, so that if there’s an urgent work need, he can get into the office and get it resolved. But the Sprint card is a company resource, so it’s only for his use. I rely on free wifi services along the way to connect up.

The DC to AC power inverter is a road trip essential in my opinion. Our last one finally died, so for this trip we picked up a new one. This one has two plug-ins and a USB adapter, and can handle up to 400 watts continuous use. More than enough for our modest power needs.  The USB adapter is great for charging the cell phones, the iPod, and one of the cameras. The power outlets are great for recharging laptops, recharging cameras, and if necessary, running the crockpot.

While the kids aren’t allowed to use the computer during the day. We do allow audio books. In trips past, we’ve all listened to the same audio book, but now the gap between the literature the olders listen to and what the youngers enjoy is too wide. So we picked up used cd players for each child at the thrift store. But this also means lots of battery power. So we also have a set of rechargeable batteries and a recharger with us.

We love photography and permanently capturing glimpses of time and memories on digital film. So, we travel with our Cannon digital SLR with two lenses, a  Canon digital point and shoot camera with video capability, and my Kodak digital HD video camera with still ability. Most of the pictures you’ll see from this trip will be from my Kodak Zi8 or from our Canon Rebel digital SLR. J is also bringing his small digital video camera that also takes stills.

Once we gather up all of our technology on the table, it’s time to organize it and pack it up. Like with packing clothes and blankets, it’s rather like a puzzle, what goes together best, what needs to be more accessible than others, and what needs to be contained. We use Ziploc bags to contain like cords together. So we have baggies of:

  • earphones
  • charged batteries
  • batteries to be charged
  • power inverter and cords
  • my chargers (iPod, cell phone, camera)
  • Greg’s chargers

And then for the rest, the chargers go together in the same carrying case as the equipment. The kids’ cd players are in their activity backpacks.  I can’t stand having loose Ziploc bags of cords laying around (though I do like the cords contained in them) so I’m using a recycled plastic ice cream bucket to contain the cord bags needed from the front seat.

Lastly, we have our on-the-road entertainment – audio books! Everyone picked out audio books to listen to on the trip and has their first picks in their activity backpacks. I also have a plastic case for all the additional audio books we are bringing. Z has a hard time with language, so he balances his listening with music cds.

Next, it’s time to pack up the food.

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