Pack only what you can run with
I have been humping two bags with me all day today. The bags weigh 35 pounds. They are the bags I’ll be hauling to Afghanistan. I did a dry run today to see how well they are packed, the report is good. I didn’t run with them, for I don’t anticipate needing to, but if it comes to it shouldn’t be a problem. Of course it will sadden me to have to stand-by as a gate agent at Minneapolis International unpacks them in front of me. The 7 lithium batteries, an XLR cable, battery charges, tripod and an Ethernet cable will make me look nice and suspicious. Oh yeah, and I’m a male traveling alone.
Assuming I get it all put back together I won’t have problems lugging my bags through airports in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dubai and Kandahar. I’ll be able to climb into and out of vehicles, winged, bladed and wheeled, with relative ease. I’m 6’4″ so it will take a little packing and unpacking just to get my body into and out of seats, but my bags won’t hinder progress anymore than my gangly my legs will.
I wrote a blog back in February that looked at some unwritten rules of a journalist embed. I provided a very well-written list compiled by Peter Van Buren. Rule #7 is ALWAYS CARRY YOUR OWN GEAR. Packing as minimally as I have this won’t be a problem.