My Carry-on Backpack Which Has Withstood The Test Of Time

It’s been about 5 years since I bought my eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible and it has been with me on around 8 overseas birding adventures now and is still going strong!  This bag is really sturdy, hardly weighs anything so you can maximize a 7 kg carry-on limit.  It easily holds a DSLR, 100-400mm lens and several changes of clothing although you should always wear your heaviest shoes on the plane.




WWF Shares Their “Must Pack” List For The Rainforest

World Wildlife Fund has a list of items they feel are essential for traveling in rainforest areas.  See their list then see which items I agree with.

  1.  Hand Fan – I don’t normally use one.  Trying to juggle a camera and binoculars is enough!
  2.  Mosquito Repellant – absolutely!  Especially with Zika, Malaria and other nasties about!
  3.  Long Pants – another yes!  They add extra protection against mosquitoes.
  4.  Long socks – sort of.  I hate shoes and socks but will wear them if I absolutely have to, though I tend to stick to established trails when birding.  I do have leech socks and have worn them in Sri Lanka.
  5.  Poncho – yes, I bring one more for protecting my camera than myself!
  6.  Bandana – sort of.  I have lead bands to keep the sweat off and I recently bought a Buff (as seen in Survivor) for more variety in headgear.
  7.  Pencil – not really.  I probably should take more notes while birding but I really prefer to to my bird list back at the lodge, preferably with help from my guide.
  8.  Trail Mix – OK, not trail mix exactly but I usually bring some kind of snack and definitely lots of water.

And I have to add

9.  Scottevest – love all the pockets to carry stuff in!

Scottevest’s Annual 40% Off Sale Through 8 Feb

It’s that time of year when Scottevest puts some of their most popular items on sale with huge discounts!  I always travel with one and it really helps me get through with carry on only on those airlines that are stingy with weight requirements for carry on bags.  Jackets aren’t weighed!  If you have a city-based trip, there are some more professional looking jackets that allow you to keep your valuables securely pocketed away.


14 styles including men’s & women’s styles and some jackets suited for the working porfessional – all with the trademark Scottevest pocket system.


Great Holiday Gift For Birders & Eco-Tourists

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Eid gift for the budget/eco-tourist in your life?  Or something to hint for to your loved ones?  Here’s the perfect idea!

During our trip around Africa, the use of Scottevests was essential to allowing us to stick to carry-on bags only.  It wasn’t the size of the bags, it was the weight.  Most birders have lots of heavy camera gear and bird field guides.  At several airports, they weighed our carry-ons and we would have been forced to check some bags if we didn’t have the Scottevests to stuff the heavy stuff into!  If you are traveling to hot climates, I recommend  the Featherweight Vest.  It is available in men’s and women’s sizes and comes in cement & cadet blue.  The cement is a better choice for birding.

Those afternoon tropical rains won’t be a problem as it is even waterproof – watch Scott in the video below as he demonstrates the features.

Always check out the daily sale tab at the top, they have a different item on sale each day!

Scottevest Featherweight

If you use my link, I will get a small commission for which I thank you.  I wouldn’t recommend these products if I didn’t use them myself and were very happy with them.

Cool Gadget – In-flight Pouch

Since next year’s trip involves a lot of economy flights, I was looking for a way to keep things I need during the flight on hand so I don’t have to keep digging into my backpack in the overhead locker.  This one looks nice, has lots of pockets and fits neatly into the seat pocket.  Has anyone ever used one of these?