Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I'm Camping

I'm in my pop-up camper. Its only flaw is a lack of air conditioning. And the fact that I failed to set up the canopy outside the front door before it started raining. (The picture is from Labor Day last year or the year before that.) But I've got electrical power and wifi, so all is well with the world.

I have backpacker friends who will sneer and say this isn't camping.

Packing this time was enlightening, as in lightening, as in lighter. Years back I got my first laptop. It was a beast. A laptop has gone with me on every trip, big or small, ever since.

This has generally entailed a backpack wherein I'd keep the laptop, and its power supply, and various books I'd haul along. Packing was generally a Big Deal because I'd go through my bookcase and agonize over which books to bring along. I'd invariably bring along books I never opened and pined away that the books I was in a mood to read were sitting at home. Or I'd bring them all and that backpack would weigh a ton. Same goes for the CDs I'd pack along to listen to while driving.

Then I got a Kindle and packing changed to "what electronic gizmos will I take along." And that raised its own logistical issues because gizmos invariably need to be recharged. And that meant I had to pack along several cables and chargers in that backpack.

This year I packed a simple black nylon folio, roughly 8.5x11x2.5 in size with a shoulder strap. It has my MacBook Air, Kindle DX, and iPad. My smartphone, camera and iPod are in the side pocket. All the cables and wall warts went into a drawstring bag in my overnight bag. (I feel like a Luddite packing the camera when my smartphone has a perfectly serviceable camera.

I think that packing this much kit in such a small, light space is the best part of living in the future. The sheer complexity of such miniaturized gimmickry boggles this Engineer's mind. I'm grateful to live in such a time and wonder what marvels the future holds.

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