In my kit: 11 favourite things from 2015

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

It was a big year, and I probably could've included a whole lot more items in this post, but I cut it down to my favourites – things I used every day, or just stood out as awesome. Also I pretty much wanted an excuse to do a knolling photo!

From the Top left (to right & down):

1. Lined Notebook (

This book has been super handy for everything day to day - from story ideas and to-do lists, to sketching photo concepts and lighting setups. I've always wanted to use a notebook for this, and in 2015 I finally got there.

2. Hurricane shoes by Windsor Smith (

Until last year I pretty much lived in skinny jeans, Nike SB shoes and T's - the arrival of Ali was a bit of an influence here in opening my eyes to quality footwear that I wasn't going to trash trailside or from riding. These also come in black, and are the comfiest sock-less shoes I've ever had. I still wear my SB's the rest of the time though!

3. Hustle Butter Deluxe (
As a huge fan of jojoba oil for healing tattoos and caring for piercings, I was skeptical to try out hustle butter, but my artist Jess has been using HB and put me onto it. It's awesome for the first few days of healing a new tattoo, soothing the sensitivity and keeping everything moist. And it smells awesome! I still use jojoba for colour and moisture in my tattoos after they're healed, because it's a bit cheaper, but found HB really effective in the flakey stage.

4. Lucky Straps Brown/Tan wrist strap (
I had seen these early in the year, but fought the inner urge to just buy that nice thing for my camera. Then Ali got me this strap (stamped and all) for my birthday, and I'm wondering why I waited! In 2016 I'll be getting the full neck strap for my pro body, for now I'm just using the wrist strap on the Canon EOS M3.

5. S'well water bottle (
No doubt that this is the coolest water bottle I've ever seen. Not only is it handpainted to look like wood grain, but it's a functioning thermos, built to last from stainless steel. Keeping hot drinks hot for 12hrs, and cold things cold for 24, there's actually nothing I'm missing from this bottle. It fits great in my camera bag, too, so I'll never be without coffee on the trail.

6. iPhone 6S+ (
So technically, I only got this on December 31, but technically that means I got it in 2015. I have no regrets in choosing the larger screen, and have been nothing but impressed with the phone since I got it. Same old iOS setup, with a few sweet additions like 3D touch for quick access to things, all on a new 5.5" ultra HD screen. I spend so much time on my phone, from emails to photo editing so I really couldn't pass up the opportunity to save my eyes and neck with the larger screen. Like I said; no regrets.

7. Apache Pine 'The Original' watch (
As distributor in Australia for Apache Pine I have seen all the models. I like them all, really, but the new Original (available since December) is definitely my favourite. If you ask me, it's a full ode-to-nature timepiece, complete with laser inscribed back face and leather/stainless hardware. I've always been a fan of the watches, but the OG2.0 just took it up a notch.

8. Canon EOS M3 (

I bought this camera for travelling, and chose to go Canon over Sony for the compatibility, and simplicity of user interface. I did a lot of research before buying this camera to make sure it was up to standard before I bit the bullet. I knew the autofocus speed would be much slower as it's mirrorless, but it's easy enough to get over by shooting manual focus, or using the pro camera when possible. I got this body for landscape photography, and to take all the bang of a pro camera without the bulk when I'm mountain biking. It's also to be our travelling camera when we're overseas - rather than filling up luggage with expensive (and heavy) pro gear. I'm really stoked on the touch screen, mobile access and overall control this camera offers, as a 'pro-mirrorless' body. I could go on, but I won't....

9. Kikkerland Survival Tool (

Too often I used to get caught without a bottle opener, or tool in life and on the trail. Now I have half a chance of getting out of trouble, and being stainless this tool will last as long as I can keep my eye on it. It has 11 features, many I had to read to figure out but all impressive ones! 

10. LaCie Rugged Drive – 1TB (
Hands-down the most important thing I carry when I'm travelling for photos aside from my camera kit and computer. This drive just gives me confidence that my photo backups are safe, and holds a ton of data, including movies and shows to watch on the road. It also saves room on my computer to keep it uncluttered and fast. With a 2m drop rating and 3 cable ports for fast data transfer, the Lacie rugged drive is a life saver.

11. Sauvage by Dior (
I'm not really a fragrant kind of guy, but I have to admit I really do like this one. It probably helps that I'm a Johnny Depp fan, and that the lid is magnetic (fancy, huh?), but this is what I'm wearing in 2016.

Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed reading, and can see why I'm loving these products. 

None of this post was sponsored, the links are just for you to find out more. 

Peace! JB.

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So, what do you think?