art & wheels by Roland Brunner
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art & wheels basel - canon 5d mkII - canon 40mm f2.8 pancake

Packing List for 2 Weeks in the Yucatan Peninsula

I leave for the Yucatan Peninsula in less than a month! 

I’m only traveling with a carry on, and this is what I plan on taking with me.

  1. Herschel Supply Co. “Retreat” Backpack
    I chose this backpack because it should be small enough to be able to be considered a “personal” item on Spirit Airlines (It’s like an inch too tall but hopefully I can squish it down and they’ll let me through, fingers crossed), which means I don’t have to pay any baggage fees. The straps are comfy. The bag closes with a drawstring and has a flap that goes over and buckles in the front, which will keep my stuff more safe as opposed to a bag that just zips.
  2. Bathing Suits
    1-3 is sufficient
  3. Lace Underwear
    You may have seen or heard of special “travel underwear”. They’re super expensive and just silly. Lace is extremely quick drying. So you can wash it in the sink, leave it up to dry, and in a little while later it will be dry and ready to put back in your bag or wear. And guys, I’m sure there are some quick drying varieties of underwear for you out there too. 
  4. Shirts
    I’m going to bring quick drying materials. I like Nike Dri-Fit because they’re comfortable, light, and they dry quick. But pretty much any synthetic material will usually be quick-drying. 
  5. North Face Venture Rain Jacket
    I like this jacket because it’s super light and can be stuffed inside one of it’s pockets so you can save space in your bag when you’re not using it. It also has pit zips so you can air it out so you don’t get too hot. 
  6. Shorts
    I’m going to bring 1 denim pair, 1 nice pair (like colored twill shorts), and 1 pair of athletic shorts for sleeping.
  7. Linen Shirt
    Linen is lightweight and breathable so you stay cool. I’m bringing a white button up one to wear as a cover up for the beach, and to wear on cold buses.
  8. Crocs “Duet Busy Day Skimmer”
    Unfollow me if you want, but I’m a Crocs fan. These shoes weigh next to nothing and they’re super comfortable. And if they get wet, the kind of material that they’re made of will dry fairly quickly. 
  9. Crocs Cleo II
    Well, I was going to get a pair of Chacos, but they just didn’t fit my feet right, unfortunately. So I got these. I like that the strap is convertible. You can wear it behind your ankle for a secure fit, or you can wear you can wear it on the top of your foot so it’s a slip on. I wanted sandals that had an ankle strap so I can wear them in the water if I want, or while I’m water tubing, without having to worry about losing them in the water. Also, flip flops are bad for your feet and ankles…look it up.
  10. Travel sized brush
    Why bring a big one when you could bring a lighter, smaller one. Either way, they get the job done. And I like to wrap my hair ties around the handle so they don’t get lost. 
  11. Frogg Togg Chilly Pad
    I personally hate the heat so I’m kind of dreading the heat I’m going to encounter in August. But this little towel is really nifty. You make it wet with warm water, and then wring it out and as the remaining water evaporates it somehow cools the towel and it’ll feel cold. It’s pretty much magic. I’ll probably sleep with it around my neck, and wear it on buses that don’t have A/C.
  12. Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 Shampoo
    I started using Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 when I was in Europe last summer. Since it’s 2 in 1 you only have to carry one bottle into the shower. You can use it as a body or face wash if you want, too. Also, in Europe, I stopped using face soap, and my skin got so much better. I haven’t washed my face with soap in over a year, I just use water, and it’s seriously never been better. So that’s one less thing that I have to bring with me. Also, I might try to sneak a full sized bottle of shampoo onto the plane and not worry about putting it in travel sized bottles. In Europe, I snuck on full sized bottles of shampoo in my carry-on onto 5 flights. It’s worth a shot. If you get caught, just throw it away and buy a bottle when you land.
  13. Collapsible Travel Toothbrush
    I got this tooth brush at Walmart or Target. It folds down into itself and keeps it clean, and it’s small. I like it.
  14. Turkish Towel
    I found this towel on Amazon. Turkish towels are soft, super lightweight, quick drying and versatile. I’m going to use it as a blanket, a beach towel, and a bath towel. It’s pretty large, and it can be rolled/folded down very small. And it’s even pretty stylish. I’m excited to use it. I might even use Turkish towels for in my future home for the rest of my life. They’re awesome.
  15. All Natural, Biodegradable Sunscreen
    If you want to go into cenotes or snorkel in the reefs, you’re going to need biodegradable sunscreen. Regular sunscreen is really bad for the environment and kills the reefs. So please, don’t use regular kind.
  16. Small Travel Case
    I got this small pill case thing at Walmart in the travel size item section and it’s actually really useful. It snaps together. And when you open it up there’s different sized compartments that lock shut. So last year I kept different pills in there, you can put some q-tips, and I also used it to keep my SIM card and SD cards safe. I highly recommend this little thing. 
  17. Canon Rebel T3 with 40mm “pancake” lens
    I was going back and forth between whether or not I wanted to bring my DSLR with me, now that I have an iPhone 5s, which takes incredible pictures. But I think I’m going to bring it, because it’s better to bring it and not use it than to not bring it and regret it. And I have a 40mm pancake lens which takes great photos, and is super small and unobtrusive.
  18. Speck SmartFlex Card Case
    I got this case for my phone for my Europe trip and loved it. I still use it everyday. The back of the case holds up to 3 credit cards and/or cash. And it protects the phone well. I love that I can always have my phone and cards on me. And it makes the thought of losing it even worse, so I always make sure I’m mindful of it. So if I’m out and about all I need is my phone in my pocket, and I don’t have to fumble through a money belt, or fumble through my backpack to find my wallet and put myself at risk to be pickpocketed. I just grab my phone, pull my card out and I can just pay and go. It’s super, super convenient. 
  19. Waterproof Phone Case
    I got this just in case I wanted to take my phone in the water. It only cost $10. I was going to get a Lifeproof case, but they’re so expensive and cost almost as much as I paid for my phone, so I didn’t think it would be worth it. This case had good reviews on amazon, so we’ll see how it goes. Even if I don’t put it in the water, I’ll still use it at the beach so sand doesn’t ruin my phone.
  20. Passport
    No visas required for US citizens to go to Mexico, Belize, or Guatemala. Vaccinations aren’t required either, but it can’t hurt to get them.
  21. Journal
    Your memory will fade, so journal. And save all your ticket stubs and receipts, they make for great little souvenirs to bring home and keep in a jar.
  22. Credit Card
    Transaction fees can add up, so if you plan on using a credit card, get a card with no foreign transaction fees

I’m going to make a packing video when I get back to let you all know how I fared with these 20 items in my small, carry on. :)


Canon 40mm 2.8 Pancake lens. The first month.

Here’s a bunch of photos. Many of them for work, many of them just bits and pieces to give you an idea of how it performs. They’ve all been through Lightroom.

So this lens costs about $160, is about the size of a teleconverter, a great focal length, and is sharp as a tack. 

The step focussing is pretty shit, don’t bother trying to focus this thing manually. The whole feel of a lens barrel turning is lost, and it seems like the ring needs to be turned a million times to get the tiniest movement. Also, it’s motorised, so if you’re shooting video you’ll get a delightfully annoying robot sound in your audio. It’s also 2.8, unlike the glorious 35mm f1.4L. But it’s also about a tenth of the price. 

Otherwise, it’s a terrific walk around lens. The size means my 5d mkii fits in my little satchel, which is impossible with any of my other lenses. I find the focal length really excellent, being wide enough to capture scenes, but low distortion enough to get close to things when needed. I’ve even had my camera in my bag at gigs I’ve been up, run up the front and taken a few snaps wielding pretty decent results. It’s got a bit of natural vignetting wide open, but it’s quite pleasing (and can be corrected in Lightroom in a second if it’s undesired). 

I’ve toyed with the idea in the past of buying a Fujifilm x100 or something similar to use as a walk about camera, but something in the back of my mind just balks at the idea of spending over a thousand dollars for something that won’t make me any money.. I feel like every shot I take should be going towards making my technique more and more invisible, and bringing me closer to mastering the camera I have. You know, the whole make do with what you’ve got thing. And I think this lens really solves that problem. 

So at the moment, the 40mm also acts as a lens cap in my pelican.. It’s only about 5mm longer than the standard Canon lens cap anyway, so it means my camera now lives with a lens on it. I think I’ll still eventually get the 35mm L, but for now, this is still a really, really useful bit of kit for the price of a pair of jeans. Really love it.