I packed my bag and in I put......(2)

Moore's law states that the power of computing doubles every two years (to be pedantic, the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit board doubles every two years).  That's all very well, and I for one wouldn't dream of arguing with it, but it's also true that, despite Moore's law, computers or other clever computer related devices never quite give you what you want.

There might be another law, almost a counterpoint to Moore's law (sod's law?) that could state that what you want is always two years away from being available.

This is not quite as contrary as it sounds. What we can have is constantly moving forward (that's Moore's law) but unfortunately what we have now then redefines what we could have and what we want.  The counterpoint to Moore's law is perhaps another way of saying "tomorrow never comes".

So what has this got to do what what I put in my bag.  Well tomorrow there is clearly going to be some whizzo bang device that meets all the requirements I can conceive of today.  This whizzo bang device would clearly be able to:
  • take pictures and video;
  • allow me to update my blog as I travel along the E4 (sorry must have a keyboard);
  • help me navigate (big decision needed on whether to go total or partial GPS);
  • let me phone home (ET on the E4);
  • play music.
At the moment this could be 4 or 5 devices all with different battery /recharger/cable combinations - a total in my bag nightmare.  I need some serious advice on this.

My thanks to anonymous for his/her (suspect his) comments on my first packed my bag blog.  Really helpful advice.  Interesting views on how long the boots will last - perhaps I could get a sweepstake going on this one.


  1. Enjoying reading your prep blog.
    One suggestion for your whizzo bang device is the HTC HD2 - a mobile phone on steroids. It has a pretty good camera - it plays music and videos - it has a built in GPS - a huge screen with a superb virtual keyboard and it will take a 16Gb memory card. The OS is Windows Mobile 6.5 so you can run navigation type programs such as Memory Map if they have a WM version, but to be fair you would probably be better off with a separate GPS device - for safety reasons as much as anything - eggs and baskets etc.

  2. I'd also suggest using a decent mobile phone. Nokia phones have a Maps application that doesn't use expensive data, just the phone's inbuilt GPS. I've used my N95 for navigating in France and Spain, and although the GPS won't ever be at the standard of a stand-alone device, it's always been good enough to be able to get me back on track. (On the other hand, Lonewalker's probably right about a belt and braces approach to GPS.) If you want to blog, you could look at the N97, which has a physical querty keyboard. If you go for a smartphone, try explaining to your phone provider what you're doing and see if they can offer you any deals on roaming data charges!

  3. John,

    I'm also enjoying reading this, this is very interesting! it's my dream too to quit job and take a long walk...
    anyway, a few thougths: 1, I agree with Lonewalker. it has to be a smartphone of some sort. Also agree with the separate GPS idea. I would add a solar-powered charger as well. Expensive, but good.

    2, this is just an advice, take it or not: I would start the journey in Hungary and end it in Spain. Hungarian parts are going to be the worst, I think (I'm hungarian, I live there). Don't get me wrong, the blue route in Hungary takes you through some exceptional terrain and scenery. but the accomodations...there's not much, that's for sure. Or you have to leave the route every day to get a room or sg (I don't know whether you want to use a tent or a hammock maybe - that makes it easier). And their quality won't be comparable to, let's say, Austria's.
    So I'd go from East to West. This way you can be there when that festival starts in Andalusia.

    3, another advice: I'm reading right now the Backpacker's Handbook by Chris Townsend. If you wanna know _everything_ about backpacking and long-distance hiking, you grab a copy and read it. This book has been written for you, mate. It holds the answers for most of your questions.


  4. Gyorgy

    Thanks for your comments - and thanks for the Chris Townsend recommendation, have started to make use of it already.

    On direction my thinking is that by goung south to north and west to east I will avoid the heat of the Spanish summer and be able to cross the Alps when the snow is at its minimum. Good warning about the accommodation is Hungary though, my need to get your advice on this when I start putting that bit of the plan together.

  5. Hi John -

    I would suggest a portable solar panel to charge all of your electronic devices. You can hang this off of your backpack while walking and top up your devices during the day so you are ready to update all in the evening. Our CIGS technology is VERY light and will offset many extra cable/charger needs. You can also contact us directly via the website. Power your life!