Photo: Osprey 46 Porter backpack

What's in Your Backpack, Keph Senett, Traveler-in-Residence?

Türkiye Travel Insider Guides Adventure Center: Travelers-in-Residence
by Keph Senett Oct 3, 2011
This story was produced by the MatadorU Traveler-in-Residence program in partnership with Adventure Center.
Osprey 46 Porter




Built to hold a full 46 litres while adhering to the carry-on restrictions for most major airlines, the Porter is compact, sturdy and versatile. I especially like the bag’s simple design and plain appearance.

Backpack straps and a hip belt are available, but they also tuck away neatly behind the back panel. A padded handle on the top and side make it easy to transport even when fully-loaded, zipped up, and cinched.

Moleskine Notebook

The default accessory of romantic writers and adventurers everywhere, a small Moleskine’s included in my bag for use only in the unspeakable event that I can’t type my notes. It’s a foolish strategy. Decades of keyboarding have transformed my hands into useless claws with only the faintest muscle memory of cursive.

Glue Stick

The default accessory of lazy writers everywhere, a glue stick helps me paste business cards and brochures directly into my journal, drastically reducing the call for long-hand. Since I’ll be writing several articles about my Adventure Center trip to Turkey, I want to keep this information handy.

Lenovo X120e

What I really like to write with. At 11.6 inches and only 3.5 pounds, the Lenovo is easily portable, and with its sturdy, funereal black casing, it appeals to the Darth Vader in me.

Sony CyberShot DSC H100V

Known as a bridge camera, this Sony seduced me with its powerful 30x optical zoom, an impressive 10 frames per second in burst mode (crucial for sports photography), and intelligent sweep panorama features. The ability to take stills while shooting movies helped, too.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ2

Noisy when zooming ever since I pointed it into a sand storm (the picture was worth it), and unable to contract its lens cover after I doused it in caramel sauce while researching a story on a cooking class, this pocket-sized workhorse still produces some great shots.

Unlocked iPhone 4

Every business tool you need, in your pocket. Also, I’m addicted to Fuzzle.

Green Tea

When I’m traveling I’ll frequently go for hours without stopping to refuel. Green tea keeps me hydrated, is tasty even when it’s gone stone cold, and is perfect to share.

MEC Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp

Absurdly dorky and infrequently pressed into service, this is one of those items that I’m embarrassed to use – until I’m confidently striding into a dark and unfamiliar toilet. Doubles as a reading light for old-fashioned paper books.

Black V-neck Merino Wool Sweater

Super-compact and light, my black sweater is the most portable and effective way to clean up fast, which is especially important after being seen in the headlamp.

Travel Clothesline

The twisted elastic design makes it easy to hang your freshly-washed clothes on an overnight, but I’ve also used this item to hold doors open and once, to create a simple privacy wall in a 6-bed hostel room.

Duct Tape

Perennial friend to handymen, survivalists, and adventure travelers (and aren’t we all one and the same?) Can be used to repair, fasten, and weatherproof, and a small roll goes a long way. 

[Note: The author is a Matador Traveler-in-Residence participating in a partnership between MatadorU and Adventure Center. During 2011/12, Adventure Center is sponsoring eight epic trips for MatadorU students and alumni.]

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