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  1. Quick facts
  • Total days on the road: 586
  • Currently in: USA
  • Miles Driven: 36821
  • Countries Visited: 17
  • Days Camping: 389
  • Days Indoors: 202

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Choosing Gear

Here you’ll find our advice for choosing the right gear for your travels. This includes mobile office equipment, electronics for staying connected and safe on the road, and travel gear for camping and backpacking.

Our advice is based on the years we’ve spent traveling, and working remotely, with an emphasis on choosing quality equipment that will last while not breaking the bank. You will only ever see us promote items and brands that we’ve tested ourselves and found to be worthy of a nomadic lifestyle.


 

The Best FREE GPS Maps for Central and South America

Written by Jessica on January 2, 2013

ruta-de-muerteThere are quite a few options on the interwebs for free open source GPS maps, especially for Central and South America. If you don’t own a GPS unit yet read this article for some advice.

A Word (or 60) on Paper Maps: This article is specific to electronic GPS maps, but it is my opinion that nothing replaces a good paper map. Hands down the best on the planet are from Reise Know How. You can buy through US distributors, but to get the most up-to-date versions we recommend that you contact Reise directly. (The shipping from Germany isn’t that much!)

OpenStreetMap (OSM)

The most popular free GPS maps are from OpenStreetMap (OSM). This is the largest open source map ever created. It 150 GB or uncompressed XML data. (Gigs people, Gigs!) OSM is always the best place to start when looking for free GPS maps. There are a few things you need to know.

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The Best GPS Devices for International Travel

Written by Jessica on December 12, 2012

As the official navigator of team Life Remotely, I’m in charge of getting us where we need to go as painlessly as possible. There are two very important tools for this task: a GPS device, and a decent digital map. The two are inseparable. A map does no good without satellite reception, and an excellent GPS isn't worth squat without a navigable map.

This is part one about how to pick the best GPS unit for international travel. In part two I discuss the best maps for navigating the Pan-American Highway.

garmin-logoWhy Garmin?

There is only one brand you need to look at if you’re traveling internationally, and that’s Garmin. No, we aren’t sponsored by them, nor am I being paid to write this post. Not that DeLorme, TomTom and Magellan fail to make good devices. Actually, they are quite comparable to Garmin. However, there is one huge deciding factor that puts Garmin miles above the rest, summed up in two words: open source.

Garmin accepts third party maps. You can make your own, trade with other travelers, download OpenStreetMaps or any of the other FREE open source map from non-profits around the globe. Trust me, the amount you could spend on maps far exceeds the cost of a GPS unit. Take advantage of the free (and often superior) maps available and buy a Garmin.

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Choosing a Digital Travel Camera : Part 2

Written by Jessica on March 6, 2012

Taking photos in cape townIn Part 1 of this article, I covered how to choose between and SLR or a compact digital camera, and gave you a few ideas on the best models available. And if that wasn’t enough information, here’s part 2!

I’ll cover the details of technical digital photography speak, most of which is just marketing BS anyway. Hopefully I can shed some light on all the features camera manufactures like to promote. Happy shooting!

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Choosing a Digital Travel Camera: Part 1

Written by Jessica on March 1, 2012

Photographers on a cruiseshipBefore I jump into the how-tos of camera buying, let me make one thing very clear: Buying a good camera will not make you a good photographer. If you do not know what a fancy gadget-enhanced multi-million pixel camera does, it won’t help you.

The best way to take better pictures is to take more pictures. If you really want to improve your photography skills invest at least 40 solid hours into taking pictures, talking to a photographer, taking a class, or reading a book.

Minimalist Photography 101 will give you plenty of reasons why you don’t need to upgrade. Every salesperson and their sister will give you reasons why you should. I’m here to explain your options.

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Sleeping Bags: The Good, the Bad, and the Extra Fluffy

Written by Jessica on June 6, 2011

Let’s get a few things out of the way. #1. I’m assuming you are camping, in a tent. #2. I’m assuming that packing space is a concern.

A sleeping bag is one of the most important pieces of personal gear you need to buy. If it gets too cold and you opt to spend the night in a hotel, it will cost much more than camping. Over the course of a long trip, that warm and cozy sleeping bag may save you a lot of money.

Jessica in a Western Mountaineerin Sleeping Bag

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Laptop Warranties Explained

Written by Jared on April 18, 2011

Laptop with smashed screen.Before you shell out hundreds of dollars for that new shiny laptop, check the fine print on the warranty. Do you know what is covered, and more importantly, what isn’t? If you laptop breaks in a country other than the one you bought it in, will the warranty cover the repair costs?

In many cases, laptops aren’t sold with international warranties. Manufacturers are getting better at it, but the devil is in the details. An international warranty that requires the repair be performed in the country you bought it in is not much help. Neither is being stuck in a country without a “certified” repair shop.

It’s smart to check whether your laptop is sold in the countries you’ll be visiting. Even if there are certified technicians, they may have to order parts if the laptop isn’t available in that country. If it isn’t sold locally chances are you’ll have to ship it off to be repaired and you may be forced to pay import taxes after it's sent back to you.

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How to Choose a Travel Laptop

Written by Jared on April 16, 2011

Back in the day, traveling with a computer was unheard of. Size and weight are a traveler’s number one enemy, and the luxury of a portable computer was rarely worth the trouble. Not anymore!

I’m here to help you pick out a travel-worthy laptop that fits your needs. I’m not going to list specific models, they’d be out of date a few months after this article was published. Instead, I’ll cover the decision points that most affect your choice, and give some recommendations for brands and companies I’ve used in the past.

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