Postcard from Brussels from :

On the Road: What I take to Yemen

Tomorrow morning, 06:00 I will leave home for another trip to Yemen, continuing my work on a book about the mystique isle Socotra. Three weeks of exploration and adventure! Three weeks out in the wild!

Curious what I will take with me? Carry-on baggage only. (Yes, I travel light. And you want to travel light because you are faster and more flexible with little to drag along. We have to be fast and flexible when on the road. You never know what’ll happen…)

(Not in the picture are books I’ll take to read, a Gorillapod, my second camera (the handy Panasonic GF1), and a selection of my photographs and pictures of my family – great tool to build trust.)

I guess most things I take are kind of the usual suspects (underwear! money! camera!) but there are some things in this picture that I really do not want to miss when travelling:

Packet soup & nuts. You will always feel like food you know after some time. I always take a couple of packet soups (Turkish “manti corbasi” and German “wild mushroom soup”) and bags of nuts (for long days of shooting without time to eat) with me. Light, tasty, and a quickly prepared.

Chalk bags. I am not a climber, but chalk bags are just perfect photographer’s equipment (Thank you Ed!). Easily attached to any bag or belt, they are perfect lens pouches! Designed to be handled with one hand, sturdy, and low profile. Perfect!

- All weather notebook. Oh, these moleskins are so hip. but Rite in the Rain notebooks are the real shit. Water proof paper – you can write on it when its wet, nothing will ever blur. THE notebook for serious journalists!

Battery powered electric toothbrush. Do you have one of these fancy wireless electric toothbrushes at home too? But have to resort to old-school manual brushing when travelling? Ha, there is a AA-battery powered toothbrush out there, too. Not easy to get hold of these, though, as they’re only sold in ‘developing markets’. I got mine in Istanbul.

Dual-Sim mobile phone. Get a cheap pay as you go in the destination country and keep your home number active, too. There are a couple of dual-sim phones out there, mostly cheap Chinese replicas (There’s even a dual sim iPhone mock up) but Samsung has a couple of more serious options. I’m lovin’ it! Again developed for ‘developing markets’ they might be hard to get hold of in the west – but hey, why not travel to India just to get one there?

The rest are usual suspects: my D700, lenses (24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/2.0), screw on close up lens,  50 gb of compact flash cards, card reader, spare batteries, charger, Zoom H2 sound recorder, headphones, two passports, WHO vaccine booklet, traveller cheques, credit cards, cash (USD + EUR), torch, 1st Aid Kit, Thinkpad X61, 1TB Lacie rugged hard disk, travel towels, tramp sleeping bag, mosquito repellent, sun cream, boots, flip flops, t-shirts, pants, blabla.

All of that fits into one neat little backpack (32l only…) and there’s even still space to put a “borrowed” airline pillow in. Cool ha?


  1. daniel says:

    err where are the clothes???

    1. Claudius says:

      The pile on right. But that is the smallest part of my luggage…

  2. Soleil says:

    your funny and an extremely light packer! thanks for the pretty neat stuff you recommended like the “Rite in the Rain” notebooks and “Battery powered electric toothbrush” which are sold in ‘developing markets’ (hahaha) and i looked up the 1TB Lacie rugged hard disk, it’s pretty neat too! thanks!

    1. Claudius says:

      I know – this “developing market” is such a funny concept… I can’t believe that big corporates don’t sell certain products in the west because they prefer selling more expensive stuff that lacks function. I mean: I f**** want this 6€ toothbrush – and not because its dirt cheap but because it has a feature the 40€ toothbrush I have at home doesn’t have. Hello?!?

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tammy David, IPA and Wilfred Phua, IPA. IPA said: RT @tammydavid: On the Road: What I take to Yemen by Claudius Schulze interesting to see what this photograph … […]

  4. Andrew says:

    Hi Claudius,

    thanks for the very useful (and daunting) pic. And I thought I was a light packer…

    You seem to have blacked out the nikon logo and red hand grip. I’d love to make my D300 a little more discreet. How did you proceed? Also, what are the numbered squares next to the camera?

    Thanks a lot and safe journey,


    1. Claudius says:

      Hey Andrew,

      sorry that it took me so long, I was in China, behind the Great Wall (of censorship).

      To answer your questions: I just used some black masking tape. I also taped all the seems and edges to (a) protect the Camera against water/dust and knocks and (b) make it look old and ‘worthless’ if you know what I mean.
      The numbered squares are the memory cards. I printed little stickers with my address and the promise of reward in case of safe return – so far I didn’t need it but who knows…

      all the best!

      1. Andrew says:

        Hi Claudius,

        Thanks for your reply, glad you made it back over the Wall…

        The masking tape sounds like a good idea, I think I’ll give it a try :)

        all the best,


  5. Jodi Hilton says:

    Hey Cladius,
    what’s in those little nylon bags on the left side of the photo? And do you carry any kind of camera bag? I’m working on my packing style !

    1. Claudius says:

      Hey Jodi,
      the small black one is a travel towel and the big one is a ticking / silk sleeping bag.
      I should make a new shot, I kicked some things out of my bag, added new things. Packing isn’t easy, is it?