Posts Tagged ‘travel organizer’

How to Pack When going to a War Zone?

Posted on: March 6th, 2011 | No Comments

Packing depends a lot on your expected length of travel, gender and personal preferences but it’s helpful to think in the layer system (discussed in a previous post) and climate throughout the trip (not just at the destination).  It’s often cold in deserts and sunny in cold places, there could be a pool at your overnight stay while in transit and then there’s that unplanned requirement to sleep in the airport (here’s a worthwhile link to consider).  All these should be considered on one trip. 

Almost universally, things that stimulate the mind are carried by those traveling to Libya: books, MP3 players stuffed with music, laptops loaded with cheaply acquired movies and TV series.  But ballistic body armor is not: freelance stringers can’t afford it and aid workers are usually not that close to the fighting.  Besides vests and helmets are heavy, take up lots of luggage space and makes you stick out like a sore thumb.

So in most ways, packing to go to a war is no different than going to any place that is severely underdeveloped with a (possible) lack of electricity, clean drinking water, the presence of bugs and other annoyances that make travel more interesting. Even if conditions are fine today, what if the power suddenly goes out for three straight days?  A candle, matches and a flashlight that doesn’t need batteries would be great.  What if I need to wash my clothes in my hotel sink? I’d need a long cord to dry them.  What if my camera strap breaks, pack rips or jack tears at the elbow?  A bit of duct tape is essential.  This is what the Essential Journey’s Kit was made for and is included on my bag on the way to Libya.

Great Travel Quote

Posted on: February 10th, 2011 | No Comments

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

Eartheducation: Neverest supplies expedition to learn about sustainable development

Posted on: January 13th, 2011 | No Comments

Earthducation is a series of eight expeditions to climate hotspots over the course of four years.   The goal is to integrate the principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning.   Understanding connections between education and the natural environment on local scales will enable and empower change in education on a global scale by providing new approaches to education.

Right now, the Eartheducation team is in Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso (see map), where they are interviewing elders, students and others to learn and connect.  Through this expedition, they hope to create a world narrative of the dynamic intersections between education and sustainability.  The current expedition is led by Aaron Doering and Charles Miller, professors of Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota. 

Neverest has outfitted them with gear including the Essential Journey’s Kit and On-the-go items.  We hope you find them helpful.  Best of luck and travel safe!

Preparing for another travel adventure

Posted on: May 20th, 2010 | No Comments

It’s time to head to Africa again. How to prepare? I pack following the advice in my post on 4 May and consider getting the right information critically important step. Surfing with your favorite search engine is a good way to start. I avoid most government sites (which are usually out-of-date or generally not helpful) and have found these sites worth regular use:

Basic facts: and

Connections and travel info: and

Political and other background: and

The development and humanitarian situation: and

Currency conversions:

I also spend considerable time checking out maps.  Several of the sites above have map sections and Google earth is very helpful once you have a general idea where you are traveling.

Neverest Travel Tip #2

Posted on: May 12th, 2010 | No Comments

Beware of cell phone “roaming rates.” It is almost always less expensive to buy a secondhand local cell phone (for often less than $20) and outfit it with a local SIM card. Frequent travelers often stick with the GSM system and buy new SIM cards wherever they go. Keep them organized with Neverest’s SIM Card Holder.

Thank you Relief International, twice!

Posted on: May 8th, 2010 | No Comments

There are too few organizations that make meaningful contributions to assist the world’s worst off people. Relief International (RI) is one of those that make’s a real difference. Based in Los Angeles, RI has an operational presence in 17 countries. Their motto is “Saving Lives, Rebuilding Livelihoods.” They assist in numerous ways such as sheltering disaster victims, providing clean water to refugees and providing loans to the disadvantaged. 

Their management also understands that it is important to “help the helpers.” They recently placed an order so that each of their international relief staff would be equipped with a Neverest’s Essential Journey’s Kit. Thank you RI!

How the Pros Pack

Posted on: May 4th, 2010 | No Comments

In the last twelve months, I’ve traveled to – and spent chunks of time in – more than a dozen countries and many of the most challenging places on earth such as Iraq and Zimbabwe (if you’ve been following this blog, you already know about my travels to Afghanistan, Haiti and Sudan). This is not to mention all the great places in between including San Francisco, Hong Kong and London.

On these trips, I’ve really had to be prepared. Just as when dressing for cold weather layers are best, the pros approach packing for their next adventure by thinking in three layers:

Layer 1 – Pockets: Here, important items of immediate need such as identification, travel documents and money and, depending on the circumstance, pen, paper, matches, multi-tool with blade and even a whistle. All these later items are found in Neverest’s Essential Journey’s Kit and Neverest’s On-the-Go items also help keep you organized while traveling.

Layer 2 – Belt/Shoulder bag/Vest: These items should help a person a day or more without support such as water, a bit of food and maybe sunglasses. Depending on the environment and challenges faced, items such as first-aid supplies, a compass, scissors and a bandana are also important. The Essential Journey’s Kit has many of these items and has features which allow it to be worn on a belt or, using a strap, hung over a shoulder.

Layer 3 – Backpack/Luggage: Everything else can be included here such as appropriate clothing, extra food and water, and all those items that help make travel easier and more enjoyable. When there is not an immediate need, the Essential Journey’s Kit is still small enough to be included on any trip.

April’s Fools for the Traveler

Posted on: April 1st, 2010 | No Comments

It’s April Fools and time for a joke, gag and moment of levity no matter where you are. I remember a formdscn1026er colleague who would sing songs from his native Somalia. Invariably someone would ask what the song was about and he was pause saying “It’s a love song….about a camel.” And I remember my friend from the Balkans who shared his plan to always carry a bomb with him on a plane “because what are the odds that two assholes would do that on the same flight!?!” Or look at the fun we had this day at the Band-i-Amir lakes in Afghanistan. Priceless! For sure, making friends along the way is one of the best things about being outside and traveling. A great way to stay in touch is by using Neverest’s On-the-Go products – check them out today.

Responding to Haiti

Posted on: January 14th, 2010 | No Comments

The evening of January 12, was like any other winter night except that in Haiti there was an earthquake. This triggered a flurry of phone calls and quick decisions by a non-profit I have connections with, Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee. That evening it was decided to wait until the morning to hear more about the level of destruction.

By morning, it was clear the capital had been devastated and at least a hundred thousand people had been killed. A friend of mine does public lectures where people often ask him: “Why do you go responding to such disasters?” In other words, why leave stability and perceived safety and comfort? My friend has the best answer I’ve heard so far: “How could you not do anything?” Giving back is vital. I’m going to help. I pack warm-weather clothes, along with my Essential Journeys Kit and On-the-Go items.

Traveling with SIM cards

Posted on: January 4th, 2010 | No Comments

Let’s face it, cell phone roaming charges can be outrageous. And traveling, even extreme travel in far-off places, is no longer an acceptable excuse to be disconnected. Although not extensively used in the U.S., most of world relies on the GSM (global system for mobile communications). These phones use tiny SIM (subscriber identity module) cards that contain the telephone number and account details. The beauty of SIM cards is that, in most countries, they are inexpensive (as low as $5), easily obtained and provide a local number. This means you can instantly have a local number and local costs for reaching friends, making appointments, reserving hotel rooms and everything else.   

On a recent flight to Kabul, for example, I passed through London and Dubai, and in each place I popped in a local SIM obtained on previous trips. This keeps costs low and makes it easy for local friends and contacts to reach me. It’s the way savvy travelers operate. The challenge is keeping the tiny SIM cards organized and in one place. Neverest provides the solution with our SIM card holder, a credit card-sized travel organizer that fits in a pocket and holds up to five SIM cards ready for your global adventures. Very inexpensive and very worthwhile.