Gear that Stood the Test, or Not
Packing for a trip of indefinite length was certainly a challenge... What to bring???
Believe it or not, except for just a handful of items, during the past 3 years I've gone through four entire changes of wardrobe. Clothes just aren't designed to be worn day in and day out, and washed again and again, and again. I wore everything until it disintegrated, and then searched for some cheap, new item to replace it. And then repeated that cycle again 6-8 months later. Fortunately, that's pretty easy to do on the road if you average-sized.
The one item that stood with me every day and didn't give out 'til the last month were my shoes. These Salomon Amphibians are amazing! Comfy, lightweight, breathable, easy to get on and off in a country where no one wears shoes indoors + extraordinarily durable, they are the ideal shoes for travel. Very fortunate as good quality outdoors shoes are one thing that is actually quite difficult to replace on the road. If you're planning a trip, besides your pack, this will be your #1 item of concern, so chose wisely.
Speaking of packs - I loved my Lowe Alpine, and Darin dug his Arcteryx pack. Both are great picks, and so are many other well-made brands that REI carries. The trick is to try on the pack in the store, with weight, and wear it around for an hour while you're shopping to really get the feel for it before committing.
On the outs list for equipment were some of our electronic gear. I blew through two digital cameras - a Minolta and a Casio - that each died for unapparent reasons. On the other hand, Darin's digi - a Canon Powershot A620 - is a workhorse. Even after ten of thousands of photos it's still going strong. Consequently, I purchased a Canon Powershot A570 in Mumbai to replace my last casualty. Also on the electronic front, both of our 80GB I-pods have died or are on the fritz and need to be replaced. Both were brand new too when we left. That seems pretty par-for-the-course with those though, which is crazy to me considering that they're not cheap! We loved our Altec Lansing inMotion portable speakers for the I-pod though and couldn't have lived without them. A good pair of sound-blocking headphones would've been nice too for those long, loud bus rides.
Do you have any gear that's stood the test? We won't be going on a trip anytime soon, but next time...