What’s in Our Backpack?

What’s in Our Backpack?

People sometimes ask me what camera I use to take my crappy photos so I thought I’d put together a list sharing all the equipment I use and what gear we bring with us on trips. I won’t bore you by listing what brand of socks I use so I’ll keep it just to the cool stuff. 😆

We personally use everything listed here so I can confidently recommend them to anyone. Though we’re based in the Philippines, we shop at Amazon regularly and have the items shipped to us via LBC’s shippingcart.com. More on that at the bottom of this post.

*Please note that most of the links in this post are affiliate links.


  1. Photography
  2. Video: Action Camera
  3. Video: Drone
  1. Miscellaneous
  2. Post-trip


This is all the photography equipment I use.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (OLD MODEL)
Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) DSLR with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
I’ve been using this DSLR since 2011 and have no intention of upgrading soon. Pretty much all the photos in this blog were taken using this Canon. It’s an older model but still a great camera.
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
I use this as my walkaround lens. It’s a wide angle lens so it’s great for landscapes and for capturing as much of the scene into one shot as possible.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
This is the lens I use for all our food shots. It’s a prime lens (no zoom) so the pictures are sharp and it produces creamy-looking bokeh. It’s great in low light conditions as well. This is my favorite lens.
Transcend 32 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card
Transcend 32 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card
This is an older memory card but among all the ones I’ve tried, it works best with my equally dated Canon 550D. Faster memory cards stop recording video on their own. If you have an older Canon like mine, then a Class 10, 30 MB/s, 200x SDHC card may work best for you as well. For stills, it doesn’t matter.
Black Rapid Camera Strap
Black Rapid Camera Strap
I had been hanging my DSLR from my neck until my brother gave this to me. It slings over your shoulder like a messenger bag, making it so much easier and more comfortable to carry and shoot with your camera.
Joby GorillaPod Tripod
Joby GorillaPod SLR Tripod with Ball Head Bundle
This is a great alternative if you don’t like carrying around a full tripod. It wraps securely around many surfaces and gives you the flexibility to position your camera in different angles. It isn’t as tall as a standard tripod but it’s more versatile and much lighter. It makes a great vlogging handle and I use it with my GoPro as well.
JUSINO TK 225S Aluminum Professional Tripod with BS 08 Ballhead
Jusino Tripod with Ball Head
I used to bring this tripod on trips until I bought the GorillaPod. It’s a good inexpensive tripod but it’s a little heavy. One of the legs detaches so you can use it as a monopod.

Boya BY-MM1 Shotgun Mic

Boya BY-MM1 Shotgun Mic
I’ve been making more videos lately so I bought this inexpensive shotgun mic. It’s been great so far. I haven’t tried it but it’s supposed to be compatible with iPhones as well.
Kenko 67mm Zeta EX C-PL ZR-Coated Super Slim Frame Camera Lens Filters
Circular Polarizer Filter (C-PL)
C-PL filters reduce or eliminate the glare you get in certain situations (like reflective glass). It’s arguably the most important filter to have. I never take it off my landscape lens.
Kenko 67mm ND400 Professional Multi-Coated Camera Lens Filters
Neutral Density Filter
Ever wonder how people do those silky waterfall shots? This is what they use. ND filters let you take long exposure shots to get that creamy water effect. I used it to get this shot of Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Aputure MXII-C Trigmaster II for Canon
Aputure Remote Trigger
I set my DSLR up on a tripod and use this remote trigger to take pictures of Ren and myself. It’s great if you want your camera to be perfectly still for tack sharp photos. This one’s for Canon but they make one for Nikon as well.
Giottos AA1910 Medium Rocket Air Blaster
Air Blaster
You should have one of these air blasters to clean your DSLR and lenses. You squeeze it to blow the dust off your equipment. This isn’t the exact one I have but I think they’re pretty much all the same.
LensPen NLP-1
I use this to clean my lenses. On one end is a brush and on the other a carbon-cleaning compound to remove smudges.
Crumpler Men's The 7 Million Dollar Home Pro Camera Bag
Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home
My fun and stylish camera bag. It can fit my DSLR, 2 lenses, GorillaPod, and most of my GoPro gear. I’ve had it for over 2 years now and still love it.
Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home Photo Bag
Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home
This was my camera bag before I upgraded to the 7 Million Dollar Home. It’s a smaller version that’s ideal for a DSLR and 1 or 2 lenses.

VIDEO: Action Camera

This is all my GoPro gear.

GoPro HERO6 Black
GoPro HERO6 Black
This is the newest and best edition of the GoPro. If you don’t have a GoPro and are looking to buy one, then this is the one you should get.
GoPro HERO3+: Silver Edition
GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition
Even though I’ve recently upgraded, I still use my HERO3+ because I don’t have a gimbal for the HERO6 Black yet. Soon as I get one, then I’ll be retiring this baby. She’s served me well.
SanDisk Extreme 32GB MicroSDHC UHS-I Card with Adapter
SanDisk Extreme 32GB MicroSDHC UHS-I Card with Adapter
I have several of these Extreme micro SDHC cards for my GoPro.
Sandmarc Aerial Filter Polarizer - HERO 6/5 & Karma
Sandmarc Aerial Filter Polarizer – HERO 6/5 & Karma
This works just like a PL filter, but for your GoPro.
EVO GP 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal for GoPro Hero 3, Hero 3+, Hero 4
EVO GP 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal
I need to improve the quality of our videos so I invested in this EVO gimbal for my GoPro HERO3+. It’s basically a stabilizer to give you smoother, more professional-looking footage. It makes a HUGE difference. If you’re serious about making better videos, then you need to get a gimbal or stabilizer of some sort.
SP Gadgets POV Pole for GoPro (36 inch Silver)
GoPro POV Pole
This is the POV pole I use for my GoPro. It can extend up to 36″.
GoPro Jaws Clamp Mount
GoPro Jaws Clamp Mount
This clamp with detachable gooseneck is my most used mount. I’ve used it on an ATV and on bicycles (here and here). I’ve used the gooseneck on a stand up paddleboard as well. If you ride bicycles often, then this is a great mount to have.
Go Pro Head Strap And Quick Clip
GoPro Head Strap & Quick Clip
This is the mount I use if I can’t attached the GoPro to anything but my head. I’ve used it while riding a horse, an ATV, and the Skyline Luge on Sentosa Island in Singapore. It also comes with a clip so you can mount your GoPro to a baseball cap but I’ve never used it.
GoPro Tripod Mount
GoPro Tripod Mount
You’ll need this mount to attach your GoPro to a tripod or GorillaPod.
Bobber - Floating Hand Grip for GoPro HERO Cameras
GoPole Bobber
I use this whenever I go swimming with my GoPro. It floats and attaches to your wrist so you don’t lose your GoPro.
GoPro Floaty Backdoor
GoPro Floaty Backdoor
As a safety precaution, I have this orange floater permanently fixed to the backdoor of my waterproof GoPro housing. That way it’ll float to the surface if it ever gets detached from the mount.
SHOOT 3.0 - 6'' inch GoPro Dome
Shoot 3.0 GoPro 6″ Dome
Ever seen those cool half over/under water shots? This is how you do it. This 3.0 version comes with two grips for more stability. I chose this specific model because it allows me to use my original underwater GoPro housing with the Dome. You can follow the link to check out sample images and a video of the Shoot 3.0 Dome Port for the GoPro.
GoPro Anti-Fog Inserts
GoPro Anti-Fog Inserts
I stick a couple of these in my GoPro waterproof housing to keep the lens from fogging up in water.
Movo GM300 Battery Powered Lavalier Lapel Clip-on Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone for GoPro HERO3, HERO3+ and HERO4 Black, White and Silver Editions (9-foot cord)
Movo Clip-on Microphone for GoPro
I bought this so I could get better audio with my GoPro. I chose this particular model because it’s compatible with my EVO Gimbal. The mic clips on to your shirt so you can get sharp and clear audio even with the GoPro held away from you.
Movo Clip-on Microphone Furry Windscreens
Movo Clip-on Microphone Furry Windscreens
We’re going skiing in Hokkaido in February 2017 so I bought these furry windscreens for my clip-on microphone to drown out the wind.
Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Dual Charger for GoPro Hero3, Hero3+ and GoPro AHDBT-201, AHDBT-301, AHDBT-302, AHBBP-301
Wasabi Batteries and Charger for GoPro
The GoPro doesn’t have great battery life so you’ll need spares. This Wasabi 2-pack comes with a charger as well.

VIDEO: Drone

As described, we’re looking to create better videos in 2017 so I bought a drone to help us do just that.

Mavic Pro drone by DJI
DJI Mavic Pro
As much as I loved my Phantom 4, it was just too big to bring on most trips so I replaced it with this Mavic Pro. I got the exact bundle pictured here with the two spare batteries and shoulder bag.
SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDHC Memory Card Plus SD Adapter up to 100 MB/s, Class 10, U3, V30, A1 - 32GB SDSQXCG-032G
SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDHC Memory Card with adapter
Like the GoPro, the Mavic Pro use micro SD cards. Based on my research, this Sandisk Extreme Pro micro SDHC card is the best one on the market right now for 4K video.
Mavic Pro Anti-Glare Sun Hood
Mavic Pro Anti-Glare Sun Hood
If you’ve flown a drone, then you know how hard it is to see your smartphone screen on sunny days. This hood reduces glare and helps you better see what you’re shooting.
Sandmarc Pro Plus Filters – DJI Mavic
Sandmarc Pro Plus Filters – DJI Mavic
These work just like DSLR ND and PL filters, but for your drone. This 6-pack from Sandmarc comes with a PL, ND4/PL, ND8/PL, ND16/PL, ND32/PL, and an ND64/PL filter. This is the set you need to get if you want to do long exposure shots or film over water.


Other things we bring on trips.

CabinZero 44L
CabinZero 44L
I LOVE our CabinZero 44L bags. They’re lightweight, durable, and designed to fit in an airplane’s overhead bin. Follow the link to find out how our CabinZero bags have changed the way we travel.
iPhone 6
iPhone 6
A smartphone is your best friend when traveling. I have a lot of travel apps installed on mine and use it to control my drone and as a viewfinder for my GoPro.
ASUS External Battery Pack
ASUS External Battery Pack
Powerbanks are almost a necessity when traveling these days. Smartphones and pocket wifi devices tend to run out of power by mid-afternoon so I always have a fully charged powerbank to last us through the day.
You’d be surprised by how many hotels have just 1 or 2 outlets. I’ve had to stay up on many occasions just so I could plug the last charger in. This PowerCube is compact and has 4 outlets and 2 USB jacks.
Lipo Battery-safe Pouches
Lipo Battery-safe Pouches
As you know, batteries can be dangerous on a plane even when handcarried so I bought these fire/explosion-proof pouches to carry all my batteries. I travel with a lot of gadgets and batteries so it’s important to be safe. Even with these Lipo pouches, it’s important to always handcarry batteries and never attempt to check them in.
FlipBelts weren’t really made for this but they work great as hidden money belts. I stopped using traditional money belts after the clasp broke off on mine. I switched to these elastic FlipBelts to hide cash around my waist underneath my clothing.
Origami Unicorn TUO -Travel Undergarment Organizer
TUO Travel Organizer
Origami Unicorn sent us this TUO to review and we’ve been bringing it on trips ever since. It’s meant to be an undergarment organizer but we use it for toiletries and medicine as well. It’s stylish and well-made and keep sour stuff organized when we travel. Follow the link to learn more about the TUO by Origami Unicorn.
Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask
Tribord Easybreath Snorkeling Mask
If you enjoy snorkeling, then you’re going to love this mask. It’s a revolutionary device that combines the mask and snorkel into one piece. The mask covers your entire face so you can breathe more naturally and not have to stick an uncomfortable snorkel in your mouth.
Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag
Dry River Bags
If you’re going to the beach or anywhere with water, then it’s a good idea to have one of these waterproof river bags to keep your valuables dry and protected.
Sunglasses from Sunglass Warehouse
Sunglass Warehouse sent us two pairs of shades with cord straps to use on a recent skiing trip to Japan. Not only did they protect our eyes, but they made us look super cooh too. 😉 A good pair of sunglasses is an essential travel item for the snow and the sea so we’ll be bringing ours to Vietnam as well.
Alunsina Handbound Books
Travel Journal
I store information on my smartphone most of the time when traveling but it’s still good to have something to write on. I bought this travel journal from Alunsina Handbound Books a few years ago and have been bringing it with me on trips. I use it to take notes and do some occasional sketching. If you like to write and/or sketch, then you’ll love their line of handmade journals.


I don’t bring these on trips but they help me create content for this blog and store our travel memories.

Macbook Pro 15"
Macbook Pro 15″
I recently upgraded from a 13″ and love the extra screen real estate. I’m a web/graphic designer by profession so I need a powerful laptop to do my work as well as work on this blog. The retina display is pretty awesome.
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Large Tablet
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Large Tablet
I’ve been using a Wacom pad for almost 20 years now. Without it, creating digital graphics would be so much more difficult. It allows you to draw on the screen more naturally, like you would with pen on paper. I use it to create the graphics on this blog.
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive with 200GB of Cloud Storage & Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0
Seagate 1TB External Hard Drive
You need a good external hard drive to store all your pictures and files. I’ve used several brands but I find the Seagate drives to be the most reliable.
The Clip and Country Spacers from Traveller Collective
The Clip & Country Spacers
Ren has her Pandora bracelet to commemorate our travels. They don’t make one for men so I was ecstatic when Traveller Collective sent me this Clip with Country Spacers. Each metal ring is engraved with a 2- or 3-letter country code to represent every country you’ve visited. Best of all, 10% of all sales go to charitable causes. Follow the link to learn more about Traveller Collective.
HostGator web hosting
HostGator Web Hosting
A website’s success starts with a reliable web hosting provider. I’ve been in the web design business for almost 20 years and have been using HostGator for over 10. In fact, Will Fly for Food and many of my clients’ websites are hosted with them. If you’re thinking of starting a blog, then HostGator is a good company to consider. You can get 25% off when you sign up for hosting by using coupon code CJSAVE25.

As described up top, Ren and I shop on Amazon and other online retailers from time to time. Amazon’s international shipping is expensive so we use LBC’s shippingcart.com to send any items from the US to the Philippines. When you set up an account with them, they’ll provide you with an address in the US that you can use as a delivery address. Once your items arrive, they’ll ship them to the Philippines. Their shipping rates are reasonable and we haven’t had any bad experiences with them yet.

Though they’ve been reliable thus far, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable using a third-party service like this to ship expensive gear like electronics. But for everything else like supplies, clothes, etc, they’re perfect. If you’re based in the Philippines and want to do some online shopping, then shippingcart.com is worth a look.


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There are 12 comments for this article
  1. Carl Kruse at 10:58 pm

    Wow. Do you guys really carry a full SLR camera on your trips? Not saying this in a bad way, but in a respectful way, having ditched mine a long while ago.

    Carl Kruse

  2. JB Macatulad at 9:46 am

    Hi Carl, yep still do. The weight doesn’t bother me yet. I’m not one to upgrade my equipment with every release so for as long as this baby’s still breathin’, she’s gonna get some lovin’. 😉

  3. Roman at 11:28 pm

    He, thank you very much for this great list. I thinking about to buy a copter. Are you happy with the Phantom? I thinking about to buy a Typhoon H advance. Do you have experience with Yuneec?

  4. JB Macatulad at 9:38 am

    Hi Roman, I’m very happy with the Phantom 4. It’s a great drone. Though if I had to do it again, I’d probably get the Mavic. Specs-wise, it’s almost as good as the Phantom 4 and it’s a LOT smaller. The advantage in size makes it very attractive. Sorry, I’ve never used the Typhoon H before so I can’t offer an opinion on it. 🙂

  5. Pepe Samson at 7:33 pm

    Grabe andami!!!! Ako isang camera lang, a small tripod, 2 extra lenses and my trusty S7 Edge!


  6. JB Macatulad at 8:44 pm

    Haha hindi ko naman dala lahat on every trip! Only my camera, 2 lenses, GoPro, and GorillaPod ang nasasama lagi. Everything else as needed lang. 😉

  7. [email protected] at 4:54 pm

    Can’t help but laugh when I read that you need all this equipment to take your “crappy” pictures. Coildn’t agreee more, very crappy… NOT!

    I’m very tempted to buy a GoPro, so it’s good to read that you have one your happy with. Maybe I’ll go for the newest, the Hero5.

    LOVE that Easybreath mask, definitely gotta get me one of those. Very smart innovation, finally!

  8. Junnel at 1:13 pm

    Hello, thanks for sharing this. I am just curious if you ever considered a zoom lens as your walk around lens? I mean most people I ask would suggest a zoom lense like a 18-200 for their walk around.

    What were your consideration when you chose a wide lens like EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM.

    Sorry for asking as I am currently undecided. I have a good old 1100D by the way.

    Thanks in advance.

  9. JB Macatulad at 10:04 pm

    Hi Junnel, yes definitely. An all-around lens like the 18-200mm would be the easiest and most practical. I got the 10-18mm because I wanted a good wide angle lens that isn’t as expensive as the 10-22mm. But I do find myself switching between lenses more than I want to. If you don’t really enjoy changing lenses often, then the 18-200mm is a great lens. I’ll probably wind up getting one myself.

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