Technology Checklist for the Traveler

Technology checklist for the traveler

Have you ever been on an adventure and forgotten something important, like a phone charger? These days we all have smart phones; we all have a camera or two; however, it may be hard to know what is best to take when traveling?

That depends on how you are traveling: by car, plane, foot? International or domestic? Short-term or long-term?

Asking yourself these questions will help you with knowing what to pack. To get you started, we have rounded up some technology essentials for any type of travel, destination or type of traveller!

Check out our list and then let us know if we missed anything!

International power converter Depending on where you are traveling, the voltage may differ from your own country. Snag an international power converter to make charging hassle-free!

USB power strip – this makes sense if you have more than two USB devices you wish to charge.

Technology checklist for the traveler

Backup batteries with USB power - we constantly use our smartphones to take photos, shoot videos, post to social media, look up directions, and more. Making sure you have a way to charge these devices while you are exploring or hiking around is crucial, so take one or more backup batteries to charge your devices.

Technology checklist for travelers

A travel case for accessories – We suggest having something like a Dep Sleeve for a tablet and a Padu Pouch for organizing your cables. Our founder, Jake, uses about six Padu Pouches to keep his cables, external hard drives, and memory cards organized! Having your cables all in one place is super efficient and makes packing or locating them quite easy.

Tripod(s) – if you are traveling alone, your tripod can be your photographer! Depending on what type of camera you have, there are heavy-duty travel tripods for DSLR cameras, or smaller light-weight tripods for phones and smaller cameras.

Technology checklist for the traveler

Backup hard drive or Cloud storage Of course, you’ll want to backup the photos you take while traveling, right? In case your camera or computer gets stolen, be sure to take a backup hard drive with you, but make sure don’t carry it with you when you are out and about. Lock it up at your hotel/hostel, and backup as often as you are adding new photos.

Did we miss anything? What items do you absolutely have to pack no matter what? What have you regretted not packing on your travels? Share in the comments – we would love to know!

February 21, 2017 by Tribe Scribe

What To Pack for a Weekend Trip

Adventure Checklist 

Who doesn't enjoy a quick weekend trip? Often times, a two or three night getaway is just what the doctor ordered to refresh your mind and it’s always fun to experience a new place.  

It’s also easy to overpack or underpack when you are not going to be gone for long. So, we’ve made it easy, and broken things down into warm weather and cold weather packing!

Warm weather packing essentials

Warm Weather Checklist:


  1. T-shirts, tanks, and shorts. TIP: roll these guys up and stuff them inside your shoes to make for more packing room!
  2. Swimsuit of course! You never know when you might need one.
  3. Sandals + a couple pairs of comfortable shoes. If you’re taking a dressy outfit, be sure to snag a nice pair of shoes too.
  4. A light jacket - just in case. Some places can be nice and sunny during the day, and then get a bit chilly at night.


  1. Toiletries - you know what you need here! The only extra thing you might want to be sure and take is sunscreen. Just throw those puppies into a Padu Pouch and you’re set!
  2. Technology - cameras, computers, etc. and in addition to your normal chargers, we suggest having a backup battery which comes in super handy! Our phones can die so quickly when traveling because we are on them capturing our exciting adventures and sharing with friends and family.

Winter Packing Essentials

Cold Weather Checklist:

In addition to everything above, we also suggest the following for cold weather travel:


  1. Layers, layers, layers! You can always use more or less in cold weather - it all depends on just HOW cold it is!
  2. A winter coat.
  3. Wool socks to keep your toes nice and toasty.
  4. Beanie or other warm headgear - if you’re traveling somewhere windy, having warm ears is essential!
  5. GLOVES. Have you ever left your gloves at home? They are the difference between, “I am having so much fun!” and “Hey there pinky finger - I can’t feel you. Are you still there?”
  6. BOOTS! Or some form of second pair of shoes since walking through snow and puddles is super unpleasant :)


  1. Toiletries - hand lotion might be worth packing if you normally travel without it, because coldness can also mean dryness. Keep those hands nice and smooth! Same goes for lip balm!

Did we leave out anything you can’t leave home without? Comment and let us know!

February 14, 2017 by Tribe Scribe

Where Does Batik Come From?

Batik textiles

Textiles from our Indonesian and Ghanian collections use a printing method known as "batik." 

Today, the most common area where the batik method is used is in Java, Indonesia where Ethnotek sources Threads for the Indonesian collection. Batik is also prevalent in the Middle East, Africa, Malaysia, China, Thailand, the Philippines, and England.

There is speculation among experts about the true origin of batik, but mummies in Egypt have been discovered with etchings and patterns on the cloth used to wrap bodies.

The word, "batik," is Malayan (the written language of Indonesia and Malaysia) which means, "to write," or "to dot," and is part of the process of creating the designs and patterns you find on batik textiles. 

Batik literally means "to dot."

In Indonesia, batik was originally exclusive to royalty and designs and patterns signified the families who wore them - similar to a family crest! Batik was also a hobby of royal women. 

Many of the patterns you see in batik today still possess symbolic meaning to the wearer and are believed to bring about wealth, happiness, peace, or prosperity.  

Batik Threads

The process of batik is intricate and repetitive, using wax and dye to create the illuminating and beautiful designs on the textiles. Depending on where the actual method may differ (Ghana vs. Indonesia). Read more about the detailed batik process here

So there you have it! A peek into the history of how the artisans make the batik textiles on our Threads! 

February 07, 2017 by Tribe Scribe

How Do Other Cultures Celebrate Winter?

The Northern Hemisphere marks the first day of winter and happens between December 21st and 23rd at which time religious holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated in addition to cultural celebrations of the sun returning. The first day of winter is the longest night of the year, after which point the days grow longer and the nights are shorter. Because so many cultures base celebrations and festivities around the suns' energy, we had fun researching a few lesser-known celebrations to share with you. So grab some cocoa and learn something new with us! 

The Winter Solstice is when the sun is farthest away from the North Pole and is relevant in December to the Northern Hemisphere. (At the same time, it's the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere). Because of this, there are many celebrations for the start of winter and a new season. 

Winter Solstice

Yule is a Pagan tradition rooted in pre-medieval Nordic times and is a festival of the sun. The Yule Log is actually an entire tree that is lit from the remains of the previous years' Yule Log, and over the twelve days of Christmas, the tree is fed into the fire to celebrate light during the coldest and darkest time of the year. Feasts, merrymaking, and sacrifices are all part of the Yule tradition. 

Yule Celebration

Yalda is a Persian celebration of winter on the longest and darkest night - the Winter Solstice. Friends and family gather to eat, drink, and read poetry together. Red fruits are consumed, like Watermelons and Pomegranates, as their red color signifies the crimson glow of new life ahead of them. 


Inti Raymi is Quechua for "sun festival," and was the largest gathering of the year for the Incan Empire to celebrate the return of longer days, and specifically, the sun. Sacrifices, dances, and feasts were all part of celebrating Inti Raymi and a significant part of the festival was to light a new fire and extinguish all existing flames - including kitchen fires. Even though the Incan Empire has ended, the celebrations are still continued today. 

Inti Raymi

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival celebration that began on December 17th and was celebrated through December 23rd in honor of the Roman god, Saturn. Celebrations and sacrifices took place at The Temple of Saturn, followed by gift-exchanges, feasts, and drinking. 


Dongzhi Festival is a Chinese celebration, an literally translates to, "the arrival of winter."  The ancient philosophy of yin and yang play an important role in this tradition, as the beginning of longer days with more light is marked by the start of winter. Positive energy begins flowing again, and the natural balance of life takes place. Dumplings are traditionally eaten; family’s gather together, and some even make a pilgrimage to an ancient temple to worship. 

Dongzhi Festival

St. Lucia Day is a Norse holiday that celebrates the memory of St. Lucia who was a young girl, Lucy, that used to secretly bring food to persecuted people in Rome, and would wear candles on her head so she could carry everything. Fires are burned to ward off spirits during the longest night, and children continue the tradition of dressing up in white robes with a red sash around their waist. Crowns are made from Lingonberry branches, which are evergreen, to symbolize new life in winter and ginger cookies are handed out and carols are sung!

St. Lucia Day

We have just entered into winter, and many of these celebrations are currently taking place or have already happened.

How are you celebrating winter?

December 28, 2016 by Tribe Scribe

Shop Consciously: Support Brands Helping the Planet and People.

Shopping consciously is something that is incredibly important to us, not only as a brand but also as individuals. 

Even if you buy just one person a gift this year that is sustainability made, has a positive environmental impact, and well-being for others in mind, you are making a positive impact. Small changes matter! There is a shift happening in our world and as a collective species, humans are becoming more aware of their impact, and that is incredible! 

We've rounded up some brands and organizations we think are rad and also really hitting the nail on the head for being eco-friendly and conscious companies from the inside-out. 


1. Indosole is creating big waves by taking old and used tires and creating killer shoes and sandals. Providing Soles with Soul!

2. Teysha shares a similar vision to Ethnotek. They work with artisans in Guatemala that are creating beautiful textiles and applying them to their boots. Another cool thing: you can design your own!


3. Brush with Bamboo is a great little company who makes eco-friendly toothbrushes from bamboo! 

Brush with Bamboo

4. Base Project is another wonderful company partnering with artisans beginning in Namibia and spreading across the globe, by employing them to create bracelets made out of discarded plastic pipe.

The Base Project

5. Bureo is fighting pollution and waste by using fishing nets pulled from the ocean to make skateboards and sunglasses! We had a great time pairing up with them in our Kickstarter campaign!

Bureo Skateboards

6. Ten Tree is doing amazing things with their business model by planting ten trees for every product sold. How amazing is that?! 


7. Simply Straws is a glass straw company that provides a sustainable alternative to plastic in addition to donating a percentage of their profits to different organizations depending on which color straw you buy.

Simply Straws

8. Coala Tree helps limit their impact on the environment by using alternative and sustainable fibers in their clothing and gear and also actively donates a portion of their profits to different organizations. 


9. Yellow Leaf Hammocks has created a business relationship with artisans around the world to weave their hammocks. Purchases of each product help to continue creating the demand for the art of weaving!  

Yellow Leaf Hammocks

10. Krochet Kids is doing their part to fight poverty in countries by employing artisans to weave their beautiful products. The best part is seeing their signature on the tags of every product they make!

Krochet Kids


1. 5 Gyres is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that empowers action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure.

5 Gyres

2. 1% for the Planet builds, supports and activates an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. By doing this, it also helps you discover which brands are giving back to the planet.

1% For the Planet

3. Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of organizations, businesses, and thought leaders working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, and the environment.

Plastic Pollution Coalition

4. POW - Protect Our Winters is a passionate crew of diehards, professional athletes and industry brands mobilizing the outdoor sports community to lead the charge towards positive climate action. Specifically with regards to the impact on winter sports.

POW - Protect Our Winters

Have fun checking out these brands and organizations, and make sure to leave a comment with your own favorite conscious brands so we can learn more about them!

December 21, 2016 by Tribe Scribe

Limited Edition Artist Series Now Live

    An Interview with our featured Artist: Shay McAnally   

Can you tell us a bit about your background, where you draw inspiration from and how culture weaves into your work?

I am from far west Texas and I come from a family of cattleman, ranchers, and grew up horseback. Upon finding my first arrowhead in the sand hills as a child, I realized that there were people that lived here before me, and I found that amazing. Being so close to Mexico in the southwest, I was greatly influenced by the aesthetic of Mexican culture though never formally studying it.

It wasn’t until I checked out a book from the library about Mesoamerica and the Mayans that I could see the odd parallels between Mayan art and pictographs and my own personal artwork. It’s really almost as if just by living here, I was subconsciously influenced by something more. There is definitely an undertone of sci-fi and fantasy in my work. In particular, spaceships, or any other vessels of travel.

Can you describe your process?

My process is very straightforward; freehand pen and paper. As I become more subjective, I try to plan my attack a bit more, but usually just start doodling anyway. It really is all about the process as opposed to the finished piece, as most artists will tell you. You can get lost (or found) in the process. It’s kind of a soul cleanser, a meditation.

Can you talk about why you chose to collaborate with Ethnotek and share any closing thoughts?

I chose to collaborate with Ethnotek because I believe they are good people with great ideas, values and ideals that are definitely in line with my own. I believe in what they are doing and feel that we will see more and more of these types of businesses and collaborations.

The world is waking up to the fact that our passions and interests are much more fulfilling when they are shared in a common thread. So much more can be accomplished when the bottom line is love and respect.

The human tribe is at a rather pivotal crossroads right now. It is a time for deep cleansing of the mind and spirit. Doing away with the old archetypes that keep us from moving forward and embracing the light and truth we all have within ourselves is a start. Oh, and we gotta get outside more!

We hope you dig shay's work on our collaboration on this Limited Edition Artist series! And if any of you are artists or know anyone who might like to collaborate with us on our next Limited Edition reach out to content[at], we'd love to hear from you!

November 30, 2016 by Tribe Scribe

Mayan Gods & Spaceships in Texas: A Limited Edition Artist Series Collection is coming soon...

Hey Tribe!

We’ve got something exciting coming, just in time for the holidays!

If you remember in 2013, we partnered with Texas artist, Shay McAnally, and launched our first ever Artist Series Threads. 

We are immensely excited to announce that this year, we are doing the same thing! Shay has designed a fresh batch of Artist Series Threads, with a focus on the process of creativity, vibrant new colors, and ethereal themes.  Shay's work is inspired by southwest America and Mexican aesthetics as well as traditional Mayan and Mesoamerican folklore and art. You'll often times see undertones of sci-fi in Shay's work, particularity spaceships and other vessels of travel.

Just how “limited” is the collection? It will feature 6 unique Raja Packs plus their interchangeable front panels called Threads™, and only 20pcs of each will be available.

We will launch this Limited Edition line on December 1st, so be sure to sign up for our Inner Circle to be the first to know so you can snag a new Thread! We sold out in less than a week when we did this in 2013, so make sure you subscribe to be the first to know!

November 29, 2016 by Tribe Scribe

Viva con Agua!

 Water is one of the most important foundations for life on earth, that is why we’ve committed to doing our part to helping the Water Protectors in North Dakota and their work towards preserving clean water, and we are proud to announce that our Ethnotek team in Germany have joined forces with Viva con Agua to help bring water to those who need it most!

 Viva con Agua is a network of people and organizations committed to establishing access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation for all humans. Viva con Agua uses creative and joyful activities such as music and art festivals, to bring people together and raise awareness for the global issues involving water, sanitation and hygiene while simultaneously raise funds for water projects of their partner Welthungerhilfe (German Agro Action).

Ethnotek and Viva con Agua have collaborated on a collection of  backpacks, shoulder bags and Threads with hand-woven fabrics by master weaver Vankar Shamji and his family.


For each product of the Viva con Agua collection sold, Ethnotek donates 10% of the sales proceeds to help fund projects of Viva con Agua to help ensure people have clean drinking water.

Your Ethnotek purchases go above and beyond a single bag: you are helping to sustain the culture of our partnering artisans around the world while also aiding in the protection and right to have clean water for all!

Read more about Viva con Agua and their events

Check out the Viva con Agua collection on

November 19, 2016 by Tribe Scribe

#WaterisLife: Why Standing Rock Matters

Photo by Josue Rivas

By now you have probably heard about what’s happening at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota: an oil pipeline is being built over protected land and will also go under the MIssouri River, which is a source of water to over 18 million people, including the Native Americans who live on the Standing Rock Reservation. The construction also requires the desecration of sacred sites and burial grounds to the Sioux Tribe.

This is an incredibly important moment in the history and culture of Native Americans, the U.S. and the entire world. We have seen an incredible uprising in support and solidarity for the Standing Rock water protectors, not just in the U.S. but all around the world.

Over 200 Native American tribes have united together to oppose the pipeline in North Dakota. This is the first time since 1876 that Sioux Tribe leaders representing all Sioux groups have been present!

One of our tribe members, Shailene Woodley, has been actively supportive of Standing Rock from day one: she ran 2,000 miles with the Native American Youth to the Democratic National Convention back in August, has been able to share the voice and the mission of the Water Protectors, and has been brave enough to be at the front lines, which led to her arrest last month. Other notable figures like Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Josh Fox, Phoebe Dykstra, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Pharrell Williams have also joined the water protectors in North Dakota. Recently, the UN stepped in to ask the American Government to halt the pipeline and is also investigating human rights violations in the treatment of the water protectors.

Shailene Woodley at Standing Rock

Shailene Woodley with water protectors in August - and her Premji Pack! Photo: Josue Rivas

Tiffiny, our marketing manager, attended a solidarity walk last week through downtown Denver, CO with hundreds of water protectors, children, and people of all races who support clean water access and wanted to stand with Standing Rock.

Denver Stands with Standing Rock

Photo by Tiffiny Costello

Events like this are happening all across the nation, and people are joining together and standing with the water protectors.

So why should this matter to you?

  1. Clean water: the Missouri River is not just a watershed to the 9,000 souls living on the Standing Rock Reservation - it will affect 18 million people's’ drinking water if and when an inevitable oil leak occurs. This is a fight to provide clean water for generations to come.
  2. Cultural respect: the pipeline construction has required the desecration of sacred burial sites and ritual locations of the Sioux Tribe. How will the culture of the Native Americans in the U.S. continue if parts of their historical culture are being destroyed?
  3. It’s a chance for the U.S. to pivot towards renewable energy, rather than relying on fossil fuel exports.

If you are wanting to get involved but can’t make it to Standing Rock or don’t know how, we’ve outlined ways to help in our previous blog post and we will also be donating 25% of our sales to support the water protectors this month!

#WaterisLife #MniWiconi 

November 17, 2016 by Tribe Scribe

Sales for Solidarity

For the entire month of November, Ethnotek will donate 25% of net proceeds to the peaceful protectors of clean water at the Camp of Sacred Stones in North Dakota.

 A small Standing Rock Sioux site in North Dakota called the Sacred Stone Camp has been propelled into the national news narrative following their stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Due in part to independent media coverage of the ongoing standoff, the Sacred Stone camp has grown into a formidable opposition against the $3.8 billion, 1,200-mile long pipeline.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is leading the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. They have been joined by the largest tribal coalition in over 100 years in their stand against the pipeline. The coalition is also comprised of activists, allies, and environmentalists, collectively known as “water protectors,” at the Sacred Stone Camp, an encampment close to the location where the pipeline is planned to cross the Missouri River in North Dakota. According to the Sacred Stone camp website, they are opposing the pipeline because “the Dakota Access threatens everything from farming and drinking water to entire ecosystems, wildlife and food sources surrounding the Missouri.”

Yes, there are many facets to what the good fight is all about, (covered in detail by The Atlantic HERE), and it is becoming increasingly difficult to decipher fact from fiction based on what's being covered in the media, but the one clear story here is that we must protect clean water for our loved ones and future generations to come. We are water and without it, we don't exist. Our planet and our brothers and sisters who fight for her, need our support and we're happy to head the call. Lets help them!

This months proceed-share will go toward purchasing supplies for the peaceful protestors at The Sacred Stone Camp site in North Dakota. The winter months are coming and those brave souls on the ground need supplies to sustain them during this gathering for peace and preservation.

Swooping up a bag that supports artisans around the globe combined with a donation to support the cause at Standing Rock is something you can feel really good about.

Stay tuned throughout this month for awesome deals on Ethnotek bags, as well as some interesting blog posts about DAPL featuring guest writers on the ground.

Share your solidarity with standing rock by using these tags: #WaterIsLife#IStandWithStandingRock#NoDAPL and #RezpectOurWater.

Don't want to buy a bag, but still want to help? Here are some other great opportunities to show your support...

  1. Donate to support the Standing Rock Sioux at
  2. Donate items from the Sacred Stone Camp Supply List:
  3. Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme account:
  4. Support the youth-lead Rezpect Our Water group:


November 01, 2016 by Tribe Scribe