DiscoverThe Tim Ferriss Show#247: Cool Tools for Travel - Tim Ferriss and Kevin Kelly

#247: Cool Tools for Travel - Tim Ferriss and Kevin Kelly

Update: 2017-06-202


Kevin Kelly (@kevin2kelly) might be the real-life Most Interesting Man In The World. I've always wanted to travel with him, and we recently headed to Uzbekistan together. This episode covers some of our favorite travel tools. Kevin is Senior Maverick at Wired Magazine, which he co-founded in 1993. He also co-founded the All Species Foundation, a non-profit aimed at cataloging and identifying every living species on earth. In his spare time, he writes bestselling books, co-founded The Rosetta Project, which is building an archive of all documented human language, and serves on the board of The Long Now Foundation. As part of The Long Now Foundation, he's investigating how to revive and restore endangered or extinct species, including the Wooly Mammoth. His newest critically acclaimed book is The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future. As journalist David Pogue has said: 'Anyone can claim to be a prophet, a fortune teller, or a futurist, and plenty of people do. What makes Kevin Kelly different is that he's right...' This episode touches on a lot of cool stuff, and we had a blast recording it in the back of a car in the mountains. Enjoy! Show notes and links for this episode can be found at This podcast is brought to you by WordPress, my go-to platform for 24/7-supported, zero downtime blogging, writing online, creating websites -- everything! I love it to bits, and the lead developer, Matt Mullenweg, has appeared on this podcast many times. Whether for personal use or business, you're in good company with WordPress -- used by The New Yorker, Jay Z, FiveThirtyEight, TechCrunch, TED, CNN, and Time, just to name a few. A source at Google told me that WordPress offers 'the best out-of-the-box SEO imaginable,' which is probably why it runs nearly 30% of the Internet. Go to to get 15% off your website today! This podcast is also brought to you by TrunkClub. I hate shopping with a passion. And honestly, I'm not good at it, which means I end up looking like I'm colorblind or homeless. Enter TrunkClub, which provides you with your own personal stylist and makes it easier than ever to shop for clothes that look great on your body. Just go to and answer a few questions, and then you'll be sent a trunk full of awesome clothes. They base this on your sizes, preferences, etc. The trunk is then delivered free of charge both ways, so you only pay for clothes that you keep. If you keep none, it costs you nothing. To get started, check it out at

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I've found my favorite drills shoes from them bright green eyed like the color green and actually work I've had so many complements on the shoes and more people asking where I got any other pair of shoes I've ever had and more sure of keeping about I would say three quarters my box which I did not expect to do a good chunk of the com forward slash Tim and check out the the the boys and girls this is Tim Pearson welcome to episode of the Kim Parrish O word is my job to typically interview World Class performers from all different domains whether that be sports military business chess or otherwise to tease out routines habits et-cetera that you can apply and test in your own life this episode is a joint episode with Kevin Kelly my favorite people on the planet and say hi to him on Twitter at Kevin the number to Kelly or go to KK dot org see his writing among others one thousand True fans perhaps the essay I have recommended the most in the world to the most audiences that Kevin might be the real life most interesting man in the world he sports an Amish beard he built his own house he spends many months of the year traveling all over and I've always wanted to travel with him we recently had the chance to head to Uzbekistan together and I jumped at the opportunity this episode cover some of our favorite travel tools whose captain his senior maverick at wired magazine which he co founded nineteen eighty three he also co founded the All species Foundation a nonprofit aimed have logging in identifying every living species on Earth it's not a joke in his spare time he writes bestselling books co founded the resent a project which is building an archive of all documented human languages and serves on the board of The Long Now Foundation as part of the last he's investigating how to revive and restore endangered or extinct species including the woolly mammoth and a sewn up to par the last to be part of the auspices foundation we get the idea he's a busy busy dude and his newest critically acclaimed book is the inevitable that is the title subtitle understand that all technological forces that will shape our future as journalist David Pogue said of Kevin anyone can claim to be a prophet a fortune teller or futurist and plenty of people do what makes Kevin Kelly different is that he's right he is an impeccable track record so this episode covers quite a bit of cool stuff all very actionable I hope you guys enjoy it we had a blast recording in the back of a car in the mountains in I will let Kevin get to it this is also being simultaneously published on his Cool Tools podcast which you guys should check out you can find it at KK or enjoy the Mr GO hi this is Kevin Kelly and sitting in the back of a car crossing a mountain pass about two thousand meters in the attention mountains in the Uzbekistan is focused on is a central Asian country that's generally south of Russia the north of Afghanistan and mixed all the other stands like Kazakhstan Turkmenistan Tajikistan sitting next to me as we crossed the mountains is Tim Ferris legendary exporter and explain or of world class performances and we're going to do a joint recording is going to tell us about his favorite for Cool Tools will find out what he's up to lately Tim what do you tell us about your first cool tool ok the first cool tool sitting back here with bags around us bottles of water a bunch of different gadgets not just piled in my lap the first that I can talk about is actually in my other piece of luggage I don't have any checked luggage it is the Shack it that I roll up and travel with constantly it's from a brand called now an AAU I believe it's based in Portland and that you think of it is a pleaser or riding jacket but what makes it unique is the number of different factors a You can roll it up and throw it on the same black teacher and you look like you're ready for a business dinner or a formal or semi formal occasion so it saves me the trouble of packing a lot of colored shirts for instance there are cultures that that don't wrinkle but they do take up more space and save like to share so this now and it can be I have several different models at home weather resistant course is designed Pacific Northwest you'd expect that which comes in handy my first cool tool plenty of pockets but there are lapel seeking get away with murder you could wear in a light rain or you could wear it at a nice dinner and that it is an incredibly flexible piece of clothing when the hazards for me anyways if I try to rope a jacket I never quite get the wrinkles out so no iron shirts you can hang hot shower and it will dissipate how does this work in terms of and wrinkly it or do you just magically on me to this particular jacket as a number of features I think that the skies wrinkles and that there's also just the material science aspect the fabric blends that are used tend not to wrinkle number one number two it has folds and pockets and lapels that for whatever reason make any wrinkles less noticeable and then there's the color so if you want to avoid problems with wrinkles generally least my experience your darker clothing so that under light casting shadows cast across or beneath the wrinkle so this is a charcoal color jacket it's kind of like your typical suit jacket lead or is it more like outdoor jacket at the waist outs a typical dinner jacket length so it's not getting cut off doesn't show off the midriff this you're looking for that you're out of luck yeah you deal this year belt Iran buttons in the front so that said it's very lightweight and about the readers about how big it compresses into if you are to roll it up well and if you know how to roll up a jacket like that well you could actually go online and look at how to chew uniform is folded and if you roll it up well you're looking at it let's just say the the bottom three quarters meaning cover the very bottom fabric of a standard sized school backpacks or nothing about hikers backpack that's if if I'd estimate I would say were looking that I get down to about a role that is ten inches in length and amount of three to four inches in diameter that's very impressive I carry a lightweight down jacket that compresses into something very small but it is certainly not as fancy or were you know suitable for a dinner jacket like versus a couple other tips for folks and the by I'm by no is a hyper minimalist say Appalachian Trail hiker is like that but I also have for instance a synthetic because I don't want to lose the insulating ability if it gets wet I have a synthetic down fest that is also stuffed into this backpack which I can on top of that fancy looking jacket in the case that any more work that's brilliant that to really hack so he gets called the NOW jacket and a you know how okay it possibly cost him the error range that's for good cause I bought a long time ago it's in knots it's not cheap but then again if you're comparing it to dinner jacket or outdoor jacket it's not horribly expensive but saves in the one fifty to three fifty range but I guess that's a task so what else you have in your backpack which is stuff here in the back of our car into a bag of tricks I have a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and just to put this in perspective it is about the slightly larger than say a paperback book like a five by eight inch trim paperback book it is narrow enough that I will very often stick it into a journal to protected meaning it's it's pride that with the eight to ten paperback pages and hold a charge very very well so I use this often times if I had any issues my laptop I can compare it to my iPhone which is a larger sized iPhone and Galaxy iPhone or lean it against a glass of iced tea and I can get into writing to get done also I feel like taking a day trip but not taking this backpack which is one of my main piece of luggage and stuff full of stuff got heavy I can take we take the keyboard and my iPhone and head off to some coffeeshop say ten fifteen minutes away without caring all of my gear with me so eager to try to describe it will be further it's very very thin and very feel things made of aluminum and has kind of matte texture matte finish on it feels very velvety um and it's mostly charcoal color with white letters so this would serve as a keyboard with a phone and it been the keeper itself is pretty large in terms of your figures patience of those crappy that this really cool ya it's a great device I've had this now for I would say two years and I've never had a technical feel so as a form of backup I find it very cheap insurance because as you can see in person this is lightweight enough to get scoliosis for having this additional piece of gear I just stick it into a large format journal a magazine and I can travel with them yeah that's really cool and so it pairs up but blew through Bluetooth I imagine right that's right up to an iPad if you want to as well as phone to carry definitely a cold can this is a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and will put the exact model notes for everybody and next up we have these all travel together I've very rarely take these out of my backpack in this case this is Max Pure plug this silicone earplugs which unlike foam earplugs are not inserted into the ear canal and then left to expand these are effectively smeared over the opening and you have in all caps do not insert just cover your opening piece I found three swimmers in fact since they very waxy and almost look like Hindi some type of caramel but their white colored and I find them to block sound much more effectively than for any type of foam ear plug although there are some good ones on the market to be sure to use it this once or can they be or recycled third to last a little bit then you have to get grungy or what what's their use I definitely reuse these I would say that if I had to estimate I would say four to five nights and then they sae they start to lose their insurance because they get they get less tacky over time the most important feature benefit that I don't want to overlook is that as someone who tends to rotate from back side so I sleep on my back and on my side foam earplugs will very often to her to get pushed into your roll on your side that is not the case with these sell for side sleepers this these are real real cool tool because it allows you to sleep on your side well you have these earplugs and even to someone who kind of tosses and turns in my case I don't tend to wake up on my side but I'm constantly going on my side and foam earplugs awful way to who this is mostly just use for sleeping or could use these to use for other sorts of sound these these earplugs live in each of my back so I tend to travel so I have have redundant caches of earplugs one in this bag one of my other bag and the jacket mostly for sleeping mostly for sleeping or sitting on an airplane you're trying to read and just want to drown out the sound that you can use as well for sure or You're So vain what swimmers or misery ok so what's your oeuvre fourth cool for school too and I might might might go over slightly here and my fourth cool tool is a neck pillow and I I've tried many different neck pillows most of them are very uninspiring and even less effective for helping me sleep at this and I'll do my best your cable company believes the decision C A B E A U and as evolution pillow on the side you can see that it's compress down very nicely for the size of the capital of the small small caliber large grapefruit and you certainly can present more than the actual bag that comes that allows you to wrap it up and then press it down to smaller size and it is just very nice in essence memory foam neck pillow but also clips from what I've found is not only does that help me sleep from sitting upright but it's also very very helpful for getting to sleep when I'm laying prone whether it's on an airplane or even a hotel room if the pillows are of dubious quality do you have to inflate this was like coming here and blowing air into doors and self expanding itself expanding you think of it almost like a sponge like material you can compress down it hits him plates or say whether expanse automatically hit it with those Horseshoe shaped items or is it to so little can of wet seats behind your neck it is a Horseshoe shaped Horseshoe being hung around the back of your neck that is the shaping in Clinton the front and the design is such that there's a ridge that supports basically be a simple area the fact that the pace of the skull was very very ergonomic and that that sense it is most comfortable neck pillow that I found it so I am pretty light it's a little bulky but it's pretty lights it's it's light and as far as neck pillows go not very bulky at all but if you can have a neck pillow generally speaking in my experience at least it's going to be inflatable quite uncomfortable or you can end up with this type of compromise and this is the best I found right through it does you could pretty easily disappeared toward a pack I think it actually could and certainly if you wanted you could last this to the outside of a pack I haven't have enough space in my back so I included it lah ship or hang it on the outside okay i think i late to mean sometimes you have the privilege of flying first class and can lay down but other times if you're stuck in the economy then you really six CPC I do I do at least and the last thing I mentioned I want to ask you about half that you have it's very very different another app that I use a lot when I'm traveling and these are the home's walls called apnea trainer and I don't use it for its intended use so I have an off label use apnea trainer is used by people who are training for free diving and want to improve their breath hold times and their different types of tempos that you can use for different types of trainings is probably on a pre think there is the Happy Everything which would say the ratio of inhale hold exhale or inhale hold exhale hold C might have something like five seconds in ten seconds per twenty second hold ten second XL so it's one for two ratio and what I found is that my If I only have say five to ten minutes and I don't have time for my usual morning meditation which I like to do which is generally something like transcendental meditation twenty minutes that five to ten minutes or five minutes let's just say of breathing training with a voice that will count down for you is very much grounding for the rest of the day the kind of like a substitute to meditation because you focus on your breath but your focus on kind of holding your breath Duchess are reading that right and I would say it is meditation guided breathing meditation that has the side effect of performance that's meant if that's what you're going for and obviously I'm not a doctor on the internet so people who are listening especially you crazy haphazard mails I do not use this right before you go into the water and don't try to break any personal records holding your breath without very very qualified supervision because you can die with shallower blackouts other issues I use this just as a kick start my day for the worse your city maybe a position or something worse could happen to fall over that's right yeah on a hotel or hotel couch and the super cool good at that be a trainer what is the app that you have a new phone that earlier today so I have a little honey apple my iPhone Android is well schooled notice call my tracks and it what it does is it makes a GPS lock for our travel wherever you're going and it important thing is that does it without having to have cellular service somewhere because in these foreign countries I don't normally turn my cell phone service off but is still getting GPS signals and just with that information is enough to create a GPS a log of the journey in the event is to that is when you have a record of your journey you can input into Google Earth juice with kale and K and L format but more importantly if you have a camera that has a hawk soon as they all do these days you can synchronize your caulk to local time and you'll have a way to time stamp Jewett take your photograph so the software will look at the time stamp for particular photograph and then it'll show you the exact coordinates where the photograph was taken so I don't remember where was I when I took the photograph reduce import that into Lightroom or something and it's going to show me the geographical locations for every one of my photographs and the I found this fascinating and also begs the question for me let's just say you're an excursion through the Grand Canyon or going on an extended trip overseas is there a potential safety element where you could that data could be then came back to some type of service that can monitor your last known whereabouts if you go M I A which if you are developer of this app or know the developer would love to know the answer or something similar that's that's available but I thought that was a very very cool app that would be really cool if you could live stream basically your location to permit it interested parties ever and I would just have to imagine that there would be an app that did that somewhere yeah you'd think you'd think there must be one available somewhere and one one other cool tool that you have which is more common here that I would have expected but in retrospect I shouldn't be surprised it is very very hot here I can get very very hot and the sun is extremely powerful to the extent that we visited a solar furnace not long ago used to melt various objects that absurdly high temperatures few thousand degrees city great yeah exactly and you have well our guide as our steam guide as an umbrella smart move to create wherever he wants and you have an umbrella but you made a modification to umbrella yet so I just had an ordinary cheap Chinese Black really compact umbrella carrying my little camera bag all the time and I spray painted the top of it it's over so that reflects the light and it makes a cooler on the inside because just the black umbrella terms absorb that for read and back to her head having assumed were effective layer fences at least sixty percent of that packet to the sky is a lot cooler and there are versions of the sower bro there are extremely lightweight not as collapsible one to have made for hiking or escalates over dome if I'm not mistaken and there were only a few ounces and people out west if you claim even at high altitudes a lot of the long distance hikers now carry an umbrella portable shade and a walk along Hunter the shade she files them it really makes a huge difference when your back because you can work up a sweat in the hat doesn't blow your head to cool off but the umbrella to us yes that umbrella be since I since I landed on this trip and Kevin of it so much fun on strong with you for ages overseas and here we are so I'm glad that it came together thanks for your great cool tool reviews and where can people who never heard of Tim Ferris find what you're up to him by the way what are you up to next up next well I have Ted talk that should be coming out shortly very personal and fighting off the dark moments overcoming self doubt and so it's it's very personal journey through how to overcome some of those darker and even dangerous moments and I will search terrorists attacked the ethical Search Tim Ferris Ted talk they will build fine at least one potentially tooth including the new one and I'll be giving away a several hundred pages of my favorite stoic riding along with modern s is that I've added in and new artwork and the regional commissions illustrations and calligraphy all sorts of fun stuff will be giving all that away for free in three volumes called The Tao of Seneca people can just search the Tao of Seneca free book should be able to also find it and that should be available I would say
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#247: Cool Tools for Travel - Tim Ferriss and Kevin Kelly