This is a little photo blog to document my travels around the world. Comments are more than welcome. I am new to photography in the sense that I bought my first DSLR camera in summer 2015, before embarking on my trip – previously I only owned compact cameras. The fact of owning (and always carrying) a “good” camera has motivated me to experiment with the different settings, so apart from the camera itself taking better pictures, I also hope to improve my photography skills by trial and error throughout my trip.
About my equipment
I shoot photos with a Pentax K-3, using an 18-135mm zoom lens. The only accessories I carry are a battery charger, a neopren case by US brand Zing Designs (highly recommended) and a comfortable China-made carrying belt. To process the photos I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. I copy the files to the tablet’s microSD card using a USB microSD reader. My camera supports a wifi SD card named “eye-fi”, which I own, but it is very complicated and slow to use.
In February 2016, when my camera was stolen, I used my brother’s Canon PowerShot G16 for some time. Then I only had my phone and tablet with me for about a week, and before boarding the NAVIMAG ferry, I decided to buy a cheap superzoom camera from the limited selection available in Puerto Natales: A Sony DSC-H300. This camera accompanied me for the rest of my travels through Chile. Back home I bought another Pentax K-3, which I’m now using.
My backpack also contains complete camping equipment, most of which I specifically bought for this trip. So far everything has worked well, except that the sleeping bag was not always warm enough. But that’s a compromise I made on purpose: A sleeping bag rated for 0°C or lower is just too bulky to carry all the time, so I took my 46N Helium (a Swiss store brand), rated 11°C comfort and weighing 650 grams. My tent is a Vaude Power Lizard UL, offering a solid waterproof shelter and lots of space at just 1.3 kg (including footprint). The mattress is also very compact while being more comfy than most camping mats – I went for the Thermarest NeoAir XTherm (regular size). Even when staying with hosts, it has come in handy to have my own sleeping surface. For basic cooking, I got a Primus Lite+ gas stove, a Sea to Summit foldable cup, a spork, a Swiss knife, and a cheap set of aluminum pans that I bought along the way (but don’t use enough). I further carry a Sawyer Mini water filter, which is much more useful than I expected, even in cities, since it allows you to drink any tap water. A travel towel (PackTowl) and LED flashlight (Chinese) have also been indispensable. For water storage, I have a 3-liter Camelbak and a 2-liter foldable bottle, enough for a 2-day hike in thirsty weather with some cooking.
My clothing is a compromise between different weather conditions, ranging from shorts to thermal underwear. I have two sets of warm clothing: A pair of jeans, hiking pants, a light sweater and a fleece hoodie. This combination has worked out well for my activities, and I always had something to wear while washing clothes. Weighing each item of clothing has been helpful to choose my wardrobe – e.g. I only carry two cotton T-shirts because they are heavier than synthetic ones.
Sometimes the smallest items have been the most useful, e.g. my sewing kit, roll of Leukotape, earplugs, and lighter. Some other items I carry have been useless so far: An adapter for valveless gas cartridges, a scarf, a head net against mosquitoes, and a compass, among others. To keep track of all my stuff, I have used a mix of lightweight textile bags, waterproof pouches, and ziplock bags. Overall, my baggage is about 23kg split between a 30-liter daypack and a 65+15 liter backpack.
You can find some information about me (including contact information) on my personal website.
Copyright and Licensing
All content © Martin Zoller unless otherwise indicated. You may use these works under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC-BY-SA) Version 3.0 or later. A comment would be appreciated if you like my pictures and/or are using them elsewhere. As of January 2016, I am publishing the photos in full resolution; if you need a hi-res version of an earlier picture, please request it through the comments feature.