FAQs

What equipment do you use?
I shoot with the Sony Alpha a7s and use predominantly 3 lenses: FE/4 24-70 lens, f/4 10-18 lens, and the FE/4 70-200 lens. I also use a GoPro for shooting on the motorcycle or in the water.

Where do you get all your quotes?
I read A LOT, and never have any less than 3 notebooks on me at one time, filled with quotes and notes.

What are you afraid of?
Wearing high heels down a cobblestone street. Also, pincher bugs— those are the fucking scariest things I know. I found one in my salad once and it was truly horrifying. 

How do you make money while you travel?
When I was younger, I would work for a year or so, then take a year off, but in 2017 I founded a design studio called Hazard House and work from the road full-time, as well as working as a freelance writer— for my own brand Lone Rucksack as well as other companies. (You can read more about that here, in my bio section.) If that isn’t enough, I also work as a freelance photographer. I love digital storytelling, so at any moment of the day if I’m not asleep, I’ll be working on something, whether it’s a story or photo or design project. Ultimately, I have a lot of years logged in my field, working with many different companies, and I work very hard at what I do.

But, I also spend very little. I’m a minimalist, I don’t agree with consumer culture, and only have a small closet-sized storage unit in the US for anything I can’t take while I’m traveling (my bicycle, books, important papers, extra gear, etc.). I stop there every now and again to swap out gear. I don’t buy clothes or jewelry or entertainment— I bike everywhere and don’t replace anything until it breaks and can’t be fixed. When I was younger, I was horrified to see how much of my money was going to insurance and car payments, house payments, cable and heat, entertainment and cocktails and impulse purchases. I found by traveling full-time and minimizing my expenses, I had a much more fulfilling life.

Aren’t you afraid of traveling alone?
No. Fear of being alone, as well as the fear of traveling alone as a woman, are things that are culturally taught— it’s not inherent. There’s no point in being afraid of the world, of things that may happen— so head to the mountains my friend, and spend the night alone. It may seem strange and a little scary at first, but I promise if you do it again and again and again, soon you’ll feel nothing but peace, and the fear will be gone.

How do you plan for these trips?
Depending on the type of trip, planning is definitely a lot of work. To have a successful trip takes some thought about what you’re going to need on the road— especially on a motorcycle trip. Replacement parts, maintenance, camera equipment, route planning, maps, timeframe, budget— all these things need to be taken into consideration when planning. I have multiple spreadsheets for travel, and am constantly making notes and doing research before, during, and after a trip.

Sites like the ones below can be very helpful in determining what type of gear to bring and what kinds of situations may be faced in country.

CIA Factbook
Checking in-country info like water quality, political climate, and border issues. (Keep in mind the travel warnings aren’t always accurate.)
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

iOverlander
Map app that has detailed notes on where to find wild camping spots, wifi access, and more.
http://ioverlander.com/

Maps.me
Offline maps app, great for walking around towns or using for directions on a motorcycle tour. Be sure to download the maps of the areas/countries you need before hopping off wifi!
http://maps.me/en/home

When you’re traveling, is it a problem if you don’t speak the language?
Not at all, communication is a lot more than words. I speak Spanish and English, and between these two, I get around just fine.

Do you carry a weapon with you?
There’s no point in being afraid of the world— fear is a negative emotion, and should have no part in planning.

#notyourbro

Follow Lone Rucksack

 “We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.”⁣ ―John Irving⁣ ⁣ Hidden waterfall spotted through the trees while #backpacking #cascada #getoutside  “Run to the fire, don’t hide from it.” —Meg Whitman
 “Every day, live in a way that honors who you are.” ⁣ ―A.D. Posey⁣ ⁣ I climbed the Cerro, the sun in my lashes and the dust exhaling in small clouds around my feet with every step upward. The clouds hovered around the mountains, sunlight streaming through the holes between illuminating the thick trees below— I hadn’t cimbed the Cerro in months, I hadn’t felt like myself. ⁣ ⁣⁣ The peace and stillness of being alone—it was this more than anything, the warmth of the sun and the smell of the dirt, the sound of insects in the grass and the dusty feeling on my hands, that gave me hope. It made me feel like the woman I used to be was still there, shimmering softly beneath the deep exterior of a vast, dark lake. And if I could see her there, I could grab her arm and pull her out completely— I could pull her into existence through pure force of will.  “Movement is fundamental to the Universe.” ―Anupama Garg
 “She still preferred to run rather than walk, often mistook admiration for affection, and did whatever she felt like doing.”⁣ —Benedict Wells⁣ ⁣ Getting back to basics like muddy shoes while waiting for the new pair of hiking boots to arrive, peering out at the rain and the ruins of a fire and the city of Medellín in the distance. #backpacking #sleepinthedirt #motherofcomfort #thegooddaysaremade  “The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell.”⁣ ― Rebecca Solnit⁣ ⁣ Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and all the way back again. It took three days to get to this flight from the coast in Ecuador, crossing borders and cramming my luggage into tiny mototaxis, but seeing the lights of Lima spread below the moon heading home to Medellín made it all worth it.
 Change. #blackouttuesday  “The key to being a warrior is not to be afraid of who you are.” ―Tom Spanbauer
 “... you know something is happening that will change you, and you don't want it to, but you can't stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again quite be the same person you were.”⁣ ― Jennifer Donnelly⁣ ⁣ The rain pouring down the windows, cool air streaming through the small crack we left open to the world, we move the bed against the window and pretend we are outside.  “You're under no obligation to be who people think you are. Change, grow, rearrange yourself. Free and beautiful things always bloom and spark with no holding back.”⁣ ― Charlotte Eriksson⁣ ⁣ Laughing on the death road while riding hard and getting soaked in waterfalls and eating oreos and spending time with other amazing humans in the spectacular mountains in Bolivia, arriving at the end of the road completely covered in dust. We drank beers as the light faded and kittens played at our feet and I remembered something small but important— despite who we think we are and what we think we should be doing at any given moment adventure is out there— it’s always out there waiting to embrace us.
 “... you know something is happening that will change you, and you don't want it to, but you can't stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again quite be the same person you were.”⁣ ― Jennifer Donnelly⁣ ⁣ The rain pouring down the windows, cool air streaming through the small crack we left open to the world, we move the bed against the window and pretend we are outside.  “For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.”⁣ ― Rebecca Solnit⁣ ⁣ The softest of blues rimming the mountains in the distance, the edges of dry earth crumbling at the ends of the canyon, the air dry and always, always, waiting.  @misadventures_of_sarah
 “... you know something is happening that will change you, and you don't want it to, but you can't stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again quite be the same person you were.”⁣ ― Jennifer Donnelly⁣ ⁣ The rain pouring down the windows, cool air streaming through the small crack we left open to the world, we move the bed against the window and pretend we are outside.  “Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.”⁣ ― Rebecca Solnit⁣ ⁣ Canyon exploring. Dust all over the pants. Toothy grin all day long.  @long_rode_home
 “Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”⁣ ― Roman Payne⁣ ⁣ Cerro adventures and healing knee injuries with @eliaspkfr #adventura #discoversouthamerica #medellin  “We're all building our world, right now, in real time. Let's build it better.”⁣ ―Lindy West⁣ ⁣ Venturing outside La Paz to explore the Valle de La Luna, and spotting some viscacha along the way— a chinchilla-type rodent native to South America.  @misadventures_of_sarah