The Packing List: Longyearbyen

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This was the duffel I decided to bring along on my monthlong sabbatical. The backpack straps let me sling it across the front of my body to counterbalance the Mystery Ranch Commuter Zen pack I wore on my back, and the side compartments kept all my film and cameras readily accessible without having to unzip the whole bag.

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This was my main backpack throughout the trip and now that I’m back home it’s still the only one I use. The front velcro pouch has a built-in lanyard and side-access zipper that lets you swing the pack around and unlock a door or grab your passport without having to take the bag off completely. This was huge since I usually had my hands full with a ton of stuff, especially at the airport.

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This is the first digital camera I’ve owned and I love it so far. On the trip I mostly shot film during the day, and then as soon as it got dark or I wanted to capture the interior of a bar or restaurant, I switched to the Fuji X100F. It’s super-sleek and easy to use. Definitely a great place to start if you’re new to shooting digital.

The steeziest ski mask I could find on such short notice. I wore this with a Carhartt fleece neck gaiter on a few especially cold nights in Svalbard and Tromsø.

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Threw this on the Fuji X100F before I left and I was stoked on how it held up. It’s slim enough to easily tuck beneath a jacket hood, and the perfect length to wrap around your wrist when you need a shorter leash. By far my favorite camera strap I’ve used.

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A really awesome lightweight layer that also packs down into a water bottle-sized pillow that was a whole lot comfier than the ones you get on overnight international flights.

Thomas McDermott