If you’re considering ‘going nomad’ (and you really should!) you might be wondering “What do I need to get started?” It’s a question I field quite a lot, so today I’m going to delve into my own personal digital nomad gear list. Before we get started though, it’s worth noting that the only thing you need to be a digital nomad is some way of doing your work – for most, a simple laptop will suffice. But failing this, even an internet cafe (yes, they still exist) or a local library can help you out. We’ve talked before about only buying stuff you really need in your life, so consider if you can do without any new items for your nomadic lifestyle.
Having said that, if you want to get more out of your nomad experience, I can definitely recommend some gear that will help. Let’s take a look at what I carry with me and what functions each item serves:
Microsoft Surface – It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be able to do much of anything without this. I use it as my main laptop, and for anything substantial that requires a keyboard. I use it to check reports, stay connected to email, Facebook and the like. And most importantly, it’s what I use to blog – it’s what I’m writing this post on right now. While some may (understandably) baulk at the cost of the Surface, I personally am willing to pay for the incredibly useful form factor it has. It’s small enough that you barely notice it when you slip it in a bag, but big enough that it’s totally functional for work. Thanks to its ‘transformer’ nature, the Surface is also great for watching movies. In my view, it’s worth the cost to have something great for both work and play.
Arc Touch Mouse – Very complimentary to the Surface is the Arc Touch. I first got one of these several years ago (before it came in a Bluetooth version, there was a Dongle version) and have never looked back. This little mouse folds completely flat in order to glide into a case for your laptop or tablet. This means you get the best of both worlds – a full-fledged mouse to take with you when it’s serious work time, but not one that bulges awkwardly out of your case and makes you regret taking it. Worth every cent.
Mu International Charger – I wouldn’t be much of a nomad if I wasn’t prepared to charge my gadgets everywhere, huh? That’s why I never go anywhere without my Mu. It’s the single most capable and intelligently designed charger I’ve ever come across. By now, you’re probably sensing a theme here – that I really like stuff which folds flat. I’m not OCD, I swear 😀
Anker Power Bank – A very useful piece of kit for when you find yourself short of a socket. Which, if you’re travelling a lot, is often. Keeping gadgets charged to their fullest is a must for me, so I go for this Anker high capacity pack. Trust me, no digital nomad gear list is complete without a good portable battery.
Big Blue Solar Charger – While not something I take everywhere, this solar charger is indispensable if I know I’m going off grid for a few days. By using it to trickle charge the Anker battery, which then powers my phone and laptop, I can make sure I stay connected in case of emergency. This panel comes generates a whopping 28 watts, which is one of the highest capacities you’ll see for a portable panel. This, coupled with the relatively small size and weight, make Big Blue a standout performer.
Gear For My Own Sanity
Minirig Speaker – I love music, and it has to be LOUD. In fact, how I remain un-murdered by any of my neighbours is a mystery. I guess we all have our foibles. If you’re like me, and need to be able to feel the vibration when you listen to your favourite tunes, then you should seriously consider the Minirig. This thing is powerful – especially given its small size. Featuring a 15 watt amp and a battery life of up to 80 hours per charge (40 on average), it’s certainly a workhorse. It’s also great for movies if your laptop audio isn’t up to scratch.
Sea to Summit Aeros Traveller Pillow – When you’re on the move a lot, you never know where you’ll end up sleeping. A plane, a bus, inside a barn belonging to a friendly local (hopefully not). I find this pillow comfortable enough to sleep just about anywhere. It’s designed for your typical plane / train / bus seat, in that the sides ‘bulge out’ in comparison to the neck. This makes it easy to loll your head to the side and drift off. That, coupled with its absolutely tiny pack size and weight, makes it a real winner for the frequent traveller.
Scrubba Wash Bag – While you can wash your clothes in a sink (or better still, a laundromat 🙂 I’ve found the Scrubba Bag to be one hell of an addition to my digital nomad gear list. Using the internal washboard makes it quick and easy to wash t-shirts, underwear, socks and the like. Plus, you get some exercise by wringing the clothes out to dry. Sometimes, it pays to do things the old fashioned way.
Sea to Summit Lite Line – This capable little clothes line makes a goes very well with the Scrubba. Using a set of beads instead of pegs, you can hang your clothes out to dry just about anywhere. Add in the fact that it weighs just 1.3 ounces, and you’ve got yourself a very carry-on friendly clothes dryer.
Anything I Missed?
Well folks, I hope you enjoyed this rundown of my digital nomad gear list. What gear are you currently rocking? Let us know in the comments! And as always, stay tuned to the blog for more advice on maximising life while minimising stress.