Post image for Gear Update: Two Weeks into my RTW Trip

Gear Update: Two Weeks into my RTW Trip


After the technical clothing fiasco, I ran out and bought myself a couple of shirts from a tourist-oriented street vendor in Banglamphoo. They’re made out of this radical light-weight, paper-thin, fast-drying material called cotton. They’re both a bit hippy-ish and I paid double what they were really worth, of course, but the Thai markets don’t exactly stock a lot of clothing in the husky sizes. I wear one while leaving the other to soak in the sink.

I later bought a new cowboy hat in Chinatown — total cost: 50 baht ($1.50 US). The vendor patiently explained –with sign language and a calculator– that I could buy 3 for only 35 baht each. Lacking a extra head or two, I splurged and paid full price. I often crush it flat to store in my pack, so it’s developing character at a rapid pace.

The Thais think it’s hilarious when I wear a cowboy hat — I suspect it implies I have sex with farm animals.

The Thais think it’s hilarious when I wear it — I get endless smiles and laughs. I can only assume that there’s some cultural reference of which I’m unaware — knowing my luck, it implies I have sex with farm animals or such. I’m not too worried — as Ray Wylie Hubbard says: “Screw you, I’m from Texas.”

While in Chinatown, I also picked up a decent-quality Chinese Spyderco knock-off with an easy action — it can be opened with the flick of the wrist. It also has what appears to be a seatbelt cutter and a punch for knocking out windows — pretty serious business for only 300 baht. I have a Leatherman Juice CS4, which I love, but getting the right blade out and functional in a hurry is difficult. If things get ugly, there’s a 50/50 chance I’d be defending myself with a nail file.

My favorite purchase so far has been the Timbuk2 Swig backpack.

As for the goodies I brought with me, my favorite purchase so far has been the
Swig Medium Laptop Backpack
. Made of durable ballistic nylon, it has enough room to safely and comfortably hold my laptop, SLR, guidebook, and whatever other heavy stuff I’m dumb enough to carry with me on a daily basis. The waterproofing is very good and easily withstood several hard rains on a motorcycle before I left home. Bonus feature: a bottle-opener is built into the shoulder strap.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathan - As We Travel March 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Hey Johnny, sounds like your having a great time over there – where are you planning on heading next? Is that solo Motorbike mission going to happen? :)


wes March 19, 2010 at 1:30 am

Thanks, Nathan. I am indeed. I’m on the island of Ko Chang now — just got in yesterday afternoon. The bike trip is still in the cards, but after 2 weeks of Bangkok heat, I decided to head to the beach and cool off. About to rent a scooter and go explore the island.


ayngelina March 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Great post. I’d love to hear about what you thought you’d use but it now seems useless. All my junk is on my floor and there’s no way it’s all fitting in my backpack.
Oddly enough as a female, it’s not clothing but gadgets!


wes March 19, 2010 at 2:17 am

I hear ya with the gadgets, believe me. So far the only thing I’ll send back is my thermarest and probably the pacsafe — too much weight for too little usage. threw out a bunch of little stuff that added up to a pound or so, mostly the pouches included with gadgets, etc. I have a toiletry bag that is seeming redundant — may just dump everything in a mesh bag and be rid of it.


Michael March 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

that waterproof case will come in real handy when Songkran rolls around next month!


TR March 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Being from Texas, you should know the cowboy hat implies you have sex with farm animals in the US, too.


Chris - The Aussie Nomad March 18, 2010 at 8:19 am

Mate your bag has a bottle opener… where do I get one :)


wes March 19, 2010 at 1:10 am

chicks dig it.


stella alesi March 24, 2010 at 1:32 pm

i would like to see a photo of you please in that hippy shirt.
thank you.


wes March 25, 2010 at 1:50 am

nope! :p


YearAroundTheWorld March 31, 2010 at 1:27 am

My guess is the hat makes you look like a typical American Cowboy! Don’t other countries assume we are all cowboys like G.W.?

Great site!


wes March 31, 2010 at 2:46 am

thanks! yeah, I think they do. Especially when I tell them I’m from Texas :/


JB May 14, 2010 at 8:32 am

I’m not sure exactly how you define technical clothing. I personally have been using and loving the shirts that use dri-fit and similar technologies (I have used Nike, C9 by Champion, and Asics). They feel great and are FAR better than cotton in the heat. Plus, they dry really fast. I also love the convertible pants (I primarily use REI Sahara and Magellans, a brand sold in Academy Sports but which I can’t find anywhere else).

BTW, I LMAO with your shart story!
.-= JB´s last blog ..My First Lengthy Travel – Why, Where and What I Brought =-.


KX January 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Cool blog. Quick question… what do you do with your daypack (the Swig) when you’re carrying your big backpack? Do you stuff it inside the big one or carry it in front of you?


wes February 1, 2012 at 8:03 am

I carry it in front. If I had to carry everything a long distance, I would fit it all in the main pack but for just getting from the bus to the hotel this works fine.