Should I take my MBP for my backpacking trip?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hojoon0724, May 7, 2008.

  1. hojoon0724 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hey guys, I'm backpacking this summer through Asia and I'm sure I'll be taking a lot of pictures. I was sure I needed to take my laptop but I figured it might get damaged or even stolen (knock on wood) while moving around a lot.

    Then I remembered Apple has one of those iPod camera connectors that move all the pictures taken on the camera to the iPod. But it is not compatible with the click wheel model I have nor it is compatible with the current Classic models.

    So how do I solve this?
    Should I risk it and take my laptop? or is there any other alternative?

    Please let me know what I could do.

    BTW, I'm going to Hong Kong, Osaka, Kyoto, and Seoul.
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    does your bank do Travelling Insurance? if you loose your MBP you can get it back in insurance money. ive got no idea how much it costs might be pretty expensicve. i saw a poster about it my bank today so just a suggestion.

    do you have a USB BUS powered (i.e. no power brick) external hard drive and a USB flash card reader? you could take a couple of cards, fill them up, then just someone's PC (or Mac? :D) to transfer the pictures from the cards to the hard drive. then all you need to take is the hard drive and card reader which arent too bulky. im pretty sure flash card readers are plug and play in XP so no drivers are needed.
  3. Samarium macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2008
    @ home.
    Take it. You'll regret later if you don't take it.
  4. hojoon0724 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, I could do Traveler's insurance but I'd also lose all my precious data.

    Also I do have a USB HDD w/o hard drive but I think it would be pretty difficult to find a computer around. Who knows where I'd run out of memory. I'm just trying to plan so that I don't waste time trying to find stuff.
  5. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Take the MBP however i suggest you do a full backup of machine before leaving.. Think positive - it is unlikely that the MBP will get stolen or damaged, just be careful where you take it out.

    Definitely take Travelers insurance, just incase something happens.
    One thing to note is that MBP is a very heavy machine so don't take it if its going to ruin your trip lugging a heavy laptop around...

    Good luck and have fun.
  6. hojoon0724 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
  7. mikethemovie macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
  8. NP3 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2003
    Los Angeles
    My girlfriend just finished backpacking through Europe (major jealous), and she didn't take her's along.

    1) If you have a HOME BASE i.e. someone's house you could trust leaving it at,. then by all means take it.

    2) otherwise I'd find a cheap(er) piece of hardware. My g/f said it really helped her knowing the most expensive piece of equipment was always around her neck.

    This is just you want to have to be VERY careful every time you shove something in your bag? If you think you will, think if you would after the thousandth time of opening and closing it.
  9. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Are you kidding? I would never take my computer back packing.

    Spend the time to be for once in your life without a computer. When I went back packing I had major withdrawl for a short while and then loved the freedom.

    Also, there are internet cafes all round the world. Bomb sites in Kabul have internet cafes. They always let you connect your cameras and stuff, so just take your USB with you, connect up, and transfer all to the computer and to your ftp server. Or, better, get the camera iPod adapter... asuming you have an ipod.

    Look. I normally take my computer everywhere. Just when backpacking I wouldn't. It's not light and you need all the space you can get. It's something extra to worry about. Not only breaking it but also someone knifing you for it. Backpacking takes you to dodgy places but is awesome in every respect. Wont your friends think you geeky taking it anyway. I dunno! Just don't take it :p
  10. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    If you're always staying in good hotels and friends houses, then sure. You can leave it at theirs while you're out.

    If you're staying at cheap places / doing any camping / sharing rooms with strangers in hostels / won't know in advance where you're staying, then NO WAY!

    Taking a $3000 laptop is insanity in that kind of situation. You'll have to be with it all the time, and can't leave it in your room when you go out. Remember you'll have to be with it when its charging too, and if anyone sees you with it, then they might try getting it off you hours or days later.

    If you're in any kind of cheap hostel or shared room backpacker hostel, then letting it charge while you sleep is also highly unwise.

    Where will you put it when you go out for a meal, to a nightclub or to a bar?

    As people have said, buy a bunch of high capacity cards, and a USB reader. There's net cafes EVERYWHERE. An 8GB camera card is what, $30? Buy 3 of them.
  11. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Even if it does not get stolen, it's bound to get dented or broken. You will soon resent the weight in any case. It is just not built for backpacking.

    Either get a device like mikethemovie suggests, or, if you cannot do without a laptop something disposable like an eeePC or a similar small laptop second-hand. I have the photoadaptor which works with my 5G iPod. Transfer is slower than you would think and it kills the battery, so I rarely use it. I would therefore not suggest getting a used 4G/5G iPod as an alternative.

    Take plenty of camera memory cards and upload at internet cafes wherever possible, regardless.
  12. dlubis macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2008
    absolutely NOT recommended for a backpacking trip... I was once bent my MBP in my backpacking trip and sold it in a cheap price for it... its body is not durable enough, MB is more durable for that kind of trip...
  13. steeler macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2008
    Assuming you don't have a safe "home base" as others have mentioned (so you could leave it while you're out backpacking), I would leave it at home. Buy as many large capacity flash cards as you can for your camera and have fun.
  14. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    Definitely leave it at home. Grab a few big capacity cards for your camera, they will set you back way less money and hassle than replacing the MBP.

    Maybe take a USB cable with you as well, you never know.

    I know if I was going on a trip like that it would be no heavy expensive stuff.

    Hope you have a great time btw, sounds awesome.
  15. macwannabe77 macrumors member


    Nov 30, 2007
    Pennsylvania USA
    I wouldn't take the computer backpacking. I backpacked through Europe for 2 weeks. I barely had room in my backpack for clothes and other things. You don't want to have to worry about your computer as well. YOu have to be really careful where ever you are staying. Most of the hostels I stayed at had internet cafe's or there was one nearby. Don't take it, enjoy life without one for a while. I just took extra batteries adn extra XD cards just in case!! Have fun but don't let a computer tie you down.
  16. jerrah macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007
    When I was backpacking through Asia last year I took a 2nd hand Macbook in my Daypack. My girlfriend thought I was crazy to want to carry a laptop but by the end of the trip she was convinced by being able to back up photos and send emails home easily. Macbook was small enough to fit into a pocket on my daypack so I just took it with me everywhere I went. I didn't notice the weight. That said the reason I bought a 2nd hand macbook was because I wouldn't have dreamed taking my MBP. Too heavy, too expensive and too much risk of damaging it. The MB surived fine and I sold it for what I bought it on my return.

    My girlfriend is currently backpacking through Europe and she''s taken an EEEPC. Much cheaper, much smaller hdd unfortunately but easier to carry. She didn't want to take something as heavy as the Macbook and she said it's excellent for writing her travel journal on planes and trains. The unexpected benefit she said was most surprising is that because she can touchtype she can look at the view out the window whilst writing whereas if she was using pen and paper she'd have to put more concentation into it.
  17. hojoon0724 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
  18. zuskie macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2008
    I just finished an 11 month backpacking trip...mostly in Asia.

    Bringing the laptop
    - easier to save photos
    - easier to journal or type blog entries w/o always having to be at a cafe

    - just another thing to get lost, stolen, broken, wet, etc
    - you'll always be worrying about it (i would)
    - you're missing out on part of the travel experience by still being on your computer all the time.
    - more weight/space/etc. when traveling, going as light as possible is a virtue. why bring more crap to lug around all the time?

    The portable device suggestion is a possibility as well. But my concern would be that the data still isn't backed up.

    I would go to internet cafes and burn duplicate copies of DVDs of all my photos. I'd hang on to one copy and send the other one home. This way if it got lost in the mail, I had a backup. If the copy in my possession got broken/stolen/scratches, I had a backup.

    My photos are a big deal to me, so I was a bit neurotic about it. One device wouldn't make me feel secure.

    In case anyone's interested:
  19. soms macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2007
    Depends on what you are going to be doing and where you are going to be staying. If you are going to be staying in rural towns w/o internet then I don't see the point really, however if you are staying in major towns then it might behoove you to take it. Just make sure you pack lightly when going out and try not to look like a tourist so you don't draw unwanted attention.
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    What part of Asia?

    Thailand and Vietnam (and tbh probably the rest of SE Asia, though Cambodia and Laos might be a problem) will be fine (I saw people with MBP's in Cafe's in Saigon), just don't leave it in your luggage unattended.

    If you are white you'll look like a tourist from the colour of your skin. You want to look like a tourist, they probably won't try and rob you (as they'll get in big trouble as you're a tourist) and they can just overcharge you for stuff.

    EDIT: If its just for the photos just take some high capacity flash cards, they are insanely cheap now and you'll be better off without the weight/risk.
  21. aldog macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007

    There are tons of other makes and models of the same type of item, I just can't for the life of me think of the proper name for them, something like memory card backup or something. I don't know, but they're very useful, if I can think of the name I'll look for some more as well.

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