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The 2014 Gear Post

For those of you who were linked here, or who are new to my blog this year, every year I write a gear post which contains every single item I travel with. Despite being minimal, the set of gear is fully functional, allowing me to be comfortable and productive everywhere from the tropical beaches of the Caribbean to the ski mountains of Tahoe.

This year I thought I'd start off by sharing some of the principles behind my gear selection. You can use these principles to guide your own gear search, or simply to evaluate whether my choices match your own needs.

The overriding priority in my search is functionality. I will always choose function over form, even if the difference in form is large and the difference in function is minor. I've simply found that my productivity is not improved when a device I use is prettier, and that my enjoyment of travel is not affected by the style of my clothing. This is why my clothes tend not to be from mainstream brands and why Apple products very rarely make it to my gear list.

Functionality may be my overriding priority, but size and weight are close. Unlike fashion, I have found that having a lighter pack allows me more flexibility and enjoyment. There's a huge difference between having to check in to a hotel to drop off luggage and being able to go straight from a train to a mountain to climb. I also really like stretching out layovers to be a half or full day instead of two hours, so having a light pack allows me to do whatever I want without having to find somewhere to leave my luggage.

Meet Mortimer

On Where Pianos Roam

O and B are becoming acquainted with a new member of my little family.

I mentioned in a couple of previous posts that I've been reading a lot lately.  Well, there's a reason for this.

 Truthfully, in spite of my love of reading in general, it has taken a distant backseat to all of my musical and artistic pursuits over the last couple of years.  If I could, there would be two or three books that I could be working my way through, but that generally creates more of a hassle in terms of lugging them around and frequently misplacing them (as I am prone to doing more than I should).

Several years ago, Amazon (dot) com, the behemoth online get-whatever-the-heck-you-want website to end all websites, released it's first version of The Kindle.  It was a portable and digital reader that allowed folks to read books and carry them around within a little machine.  It could be held easily in one hand and weighed less than 9 ounces.   I was fairly skeptical when I first heard about it.  I've long loved the smell and feel of books and the physical act of turning a page.  To me, this is like a warm bowl of soup on a cold day or a soft bed to lie in when taking a nap.  Reading an actual book has always felt like home to me.

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