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Author Topic: Take laptop on trip  (Read 3695 times)

Bart Heirweg

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Take laptop on trip
« on: May 21, 2008, 08:33:43 am »

I was wondering if some of you had some advice on the following thing:
The first two weeks of june I am leaving on a 2 week trip and I want to take my laptop to keep mee busy when not photographing and as an extra backup for my images. Since I will be camping, I don't have a hotelroom or anything to leave the laptop when going out photographing. So my only option is to leave it in my cars since I don't want to carry the 3 kg heavy Dell laptop with me, I already have enough have equipement to carry. I'm a bit worried about leaving it in my car, which can heat up a lot when it is hot and sunny. I will put the laptop in my trunk (coolest part) and try to park in the shade as much as possible, but of course this is not always possible. Anyone who has any good ideas/advice? I don't want to ruin my laptop, if this would be the case, maybe I should consider leaving it at home but then I don't have the extra image backup.
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Ken Bennett

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Take laptop on trip
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 10:35:02 am »

When traveling and camping I keep my laptop in a large Pelican hard case, locked with a padlock and with the case itself cable locked to the inside of the truck. The Pelican case has lots of foam padding and dividers which act as insulation, and keep the temperature inside the case substantially lower than the rest of the vehicle (a large SUV.) This way I get security *and* thermal protection, and I can keep other expensive stuff in there as well.

I also carry an inverter so I can charge the laptop and camera batteries, though many campgrounds have electric hookups if you need them. One thing I need to add to this setup is a USB modem, as my Macbook Pro doesn't have one built-in. Many campgrounds have a phone, but no wireless access. (That said, it's usually fairly easy to find a hotspot at a coffee shop or local restaurant.)
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David Sutton

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Take laptop on trip
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2008, 12:45:51 am »

I wouldn't worry about leaving it in the car as long as it's switched off. They are fairly robust in that respect. Mainly it's that some screens that can be damaged if compressed too much (e.g. in a suitcase or pack).
However theft is a worry. In many place you can find the whole car gone.
If it's your own country and you trust where the car will be left, fine.
My solution was to buy a cheap light weight second hand laptop for travelling (an ancient Toshiba Portege). It's so handy for backup, email and some photo editing etc.
The only problem I've ever had with it was having it come out of hibernate in my backpack. I just happened to check my email before getting on a plane and found it too hot to touch. Probably would had set the overhead compartment on fire while airborne. I always switch laptops OFF now.  
Have a good trip, David
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geotzo

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Take laptop on trip
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2008, 08:04:33 am »

I really find all this trouble and risk unnecessary. I do a lot of camping and I would find having a laptop with me, just too much hassle. So I got a Jobo Giga Vu Pro and shorted it out. It is always in my photo case, it is reliable and will last drops and extreme heat. If you feel like needing extra storage, you can get two of some cheaper Jobos or other brand. I just find camping situations and Laptop usage do not combine without trouble, but then again it might be just me  
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Hank

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Take laptop on trip
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2008, 09:41:46 am »

Storage in a car in hot weather is easy- Put the laptop and anything else that worries you into an icechest.  If you feel so inclined, you can even add a few gel packs.

Security for the vehicle and contents while you are away is problematic.  Our rule of thumb is to insure well, then leave nothing in the vehicle that we'd hate to lose.  A friend who travels a lot, frequently parking his van for long walks along the way, has found another solution.  He rents a small storage locker in the nearest town and puts all his valuables in there before parking the van at remote trail heads.  

That's not a solution if you're on short driving trips with short hikes, but you wouldn't be carrying the laptop for those.  I've got an Epson P2000 that suffices for downloads on hikes, but if weight is really an issue I carry more CF cards than I think I'll need.  I'm a newspaper columnist and can't get away from required weekly submissions even though I'm on the road for 2-3 month stretches twice a year.  Security for the laptop is easy in spite.  When I'm going to be away from web access past a deadline or two, I write several columns to cover the time period and submit them early, then leave the laptop and other valuables in a secure location while I backpack.
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