Getting ready falls into a few categories, and one of my favourite is geeking out and getting ready all the electronic gear that I need. This trip I'll be taking two new toys... I mean... electronic items for work purposes that I am very exited about.
The first is a shiny tiny new eee pc. Last trip I took an older one and my good old MacBook. This time I've merged the compactness of the small computer with (a fair amount of) the functionality of my bigger laptop. I'm impressed by how far the specs have come on these things even in the 12 months since my last trip. Hopefully it's going to save me about 3-5 kg in weight for only a small sacrifice in usability.
The second is a cute little geo-tagger, about the size of a Mars bar. Turn it on while outdoors and let it silently beep away as you journey along. While it's on it chats to satellites and stores that data away. Then, when the journey's finished plug it into your computer and it will map your path onto Google Earth, and if you taken photos (and your camera's clock is correct) it will merge that info with your photos so you know when/when you took them down to the meter (also the altitude and and the temperature!). This is hopefully going to sort out that small problem I have of there being no known maps of the area I'm working in.
As always I'll also be bringing my audio recorder (actually, property of the department, which I must remember before I become too attached), video camera, still camera, backup hard-drive and jumbo headphones. Geek out indeed!