In the past I have ended up carrying around a lot of stuff that I seldom used. I had a camera bag (well used and loved), a backpack with my notebook computer and a lot or wires and little devices, a folio of art paper and sketch books and finally one (or occasionally two) carry bags of art gear (pencils, paints, brushes, etc,,etc). There was no way I could routinely carry all this around.
So I firstly went on a search for a decent camera bag (not too expensive mind) that could also handle a laptop computer (15” screen) and have some room left over for art stuff (enough stuff for sketching and simple watercolours). There is a lot of choice in camera bags and the prices vary a lot. I ended up choosing a Lowpro Fastpack 250, although there were bigger and more spacious backpacks available I was conscious that I would need to carry it around all day.
Next I analyzed carefully those items that I seldom used, and make sure those things that I wanted would fit. It was actually simple. I needed my camera, and separate telephoto lens, extra SD cards two phones, USB memory cards reader, IPod, battery chargers for phones, IPod and camera batteries, a couple of USB memory keys (one containing Portable apps), a western digital backup USB drive (for Backups). Also very important where a couple of power adaptors for foreign power grids. I also reduced my art gear to tubes of watercolour paints, a couple of portable plastic palettes, a small box of water-soluble crayons, pencils and brushes. Whilst I would carry one or two sketchbooks daily the rest of the paper and others sketch books. lived in my one suitcase. Also in my suitcase was a portable tripod.
The good news is I happily carried my backpack everywhere with me and I used every item I had bought (accept I only used one of the extra SD cards, and I didn’t use the card reader). More importantly I didn’t really feel there was anything extra I should have packed.
NOT SHOWN in the photo (above) are my computer (I ended up taking a smaller netbook) and the backpack Disk Drive, which I did carry on planes (and through airport security) boats and trains. However I did not carry routinely then as I wandered around. Also not shown in the photo is a water bottle and small folding umbrella which I did tended to carry on most days.