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What's in Your Backpack, Norbert Figueroa, Road Warrior?

by Norbert Figueroa Nov 4, 2011
Matador’s current road warrior in Belize, Norbert Figueroa gives us a peek into his backpack.

[Editor’s Note: Norbert Figueroa is the third writer-in-residence to participate in the Road Warrior program, a partnership between MatadorU and the Belize Tourism Board. Norbert is spending the fall exploring Belize’s architecture and Mayan culture in anticipation of Maya 2012. Each week, he reports on his experiences for Matador, his personal blog, and for other outlets.]

As I start my round the world journey in Belize as the new Road Warrior, I have to make sure that I carry everything I need not only in Belize, but also in any other destination I might visit during my long term travels.

I travel with a Gregory Z55 backpack and a Gregory Imlay 22 daypack. This is what I carry in them:

MacBook Pro 13”

I just love Mac. The power and performance it has are way better than what any small netbook might have. It’s effective for heavy editing of videos and images without losing processing performance.

iPod Touch

I use it to stay on top of my social media and email wherever I can find a WiFi signal. It’s also great for instant sharing of pictures and videos, taking notes, and recording interviews. Of course, it also keeps me entertained with my music and apps.

Canon T2i with a Canon 18-200mm lens

One of my goals is to produce good quality pictures that record and tell the story of my travel experiences. With the Canon T2i, combined with the 18-200mm lens, I’ve been able to improve my pictures’ quality significantly.

This DSLR combination is a good start for any traveler who wants to take great photos without having to carry too many lenses or equipment.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310

When doing adventurous activities where the DSLR is not ideal, I carry the Cyber-shot since it’s easy to handle. The only drawback is that the picture quality will not be the same as the DSLR.

WD My Passport External Hard Drive 1TB

This is important to keep a backup of everything, plus it helps increase storage capacity. One thing you learn while on the road is the ridiculous amount of gigabytes pictures consume.

Light and Casual Clothes

I’m all about looking and being casual while traveling, but most important for me is to be comfortable. I have enough t-shirts, shorts, and underwear to last about a week.

I also have a few Icebreaker t-shirts designed with the active traveler in mind, so they are light and “smell resistant”.

Eastern Mountain Sports Rain Jacket

This is ideal to have for hiking or visiting a destination in its rainy season.


I have a small bag where I carry enough toiletries to last a couple weeks. These include everything from personal hygiene and styling goods to vitamins and meds.


I learned from experience that it’s good to have all my clothes and electronics safely stored in airtight travel bags (at least while in transit). While any bag can do, I’ve found Smartbag to be resistant and durable.

They’ve helped keep everything dry when I get caught in the rain or when my backpack gets thrown out of a boat into the sea (yes, that did happen once).

First Aid Kit

I learned from experience after I had an accident in an archeological site in Honduras where no immediate medical assistance was available; now, I never travel without a first aid kit. Mine is small enough to fit anywhere in my backpack, but it has all the essentials to treat any common injury. 

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