A recent stay at the hospital has weakened our strength somewhat, so we've been forced to examine how much stuff and tech we take around every day out of practicality. The fact of the matter ideally you should carry what you need at a comfortable weight; you don't want to be carrying around too much stuff for both health and safety reasons. But how to trim the fat?
How to Keep Your Tech Gear at a Minimum:
1. Eliminate carrying around technologies. If you've got your smart phone with you, leave your MP3 player at home; consider what you really need for the day instead of bringing everything.
2. Keep a record of what you use/need throughout the week. Keeping a tech journal will help you figure out what to bring on which days.
3. Consider the low tech option. A paperback book over an eBook reader and laptop will save plenty of pounds on the go.
4. Pack efficiently. Smaller, travel sized tech accessories like foldable keyboards, a small sized mouse or bringing your point and shoot instead of your full size DSLR can make a big difference. And of course, carrying it all with a properly outfitted capable backpack, sling bag, or laptop travel bag that secures all your gear; it can make all the difference between a solid and secure pack and hauling around a possibly injury source.
While having enough gear with you in case of an emergency seems prudent, you can end up lugging a heavy amount of gear regularly. For starters, if you've got your laptop, tablet, smart phone, mp3 player, DSLR, and other tech with you, it's time to see if you can start leaving some at home or consolidating devices (why do you need an MP3 player AND your smart phone?). The easy way to do this is to keep a record of what you use in a week in a simple fashion. Once you've gone through a week and you've established your pattern, it's time to lighten your pack.
One of the things that we can't live without is a book, or the current book that we're reading. There's always some parts of the day that involves waiting around, which is why a book or an eBook reader comes in handy. We prefer lugging around a plain paperback. Unless you're planning on working on the road, you can probably leave your laptop at home. Between your smart phone and tablet, you've got plenty of computing with you already.
Secure your devices with a travel pack with individual storage sections or use something like the Cocoon Grid-It system. Having a specific space for each item will force you to choose wisely instead of throwing everything in.
You can consider combining some devices so that you can leave others at home. For example, if you've got an iPhone with 32GB, you don't really need an mp3 player with you, especially an iPod. The iPad + iPhone is a nice and light combo that can be augmented with a foldable or rollable keyboard.
Every little bit counts in the long run, and if you're a creature of habit like us, making plans ahead of the time means less weight, less items to lose, and more time enjoying the freedom of a lightweight backpack.
(Images with permission: Michael Josh Villanueva)