Trek 1000 Miles with Rugged Thunderbolt

Justin DeShields, a video producer, is best known for What Is West — a National Geographic series that documents his 1000-mile journey on foot and stand-up paddleboard down the Baja peninsula with his friend Bryan Morales.

My good friend Bryan Morales and I set off from San Diego on foot to traverse Mexico’s Baja Peninsula — a journey of 1000 miles. The trip to explore this isolated coast was made possible by a grant from National Geographic, with the goal of creating a five-part web series that challenged assumptions about Baja.

A lot of Americans view Baja California as either a hotbed for narco-terrorism or a destination for an all-inclusive vacation package. For What Is West, we carved our own path far outside of these stereotypes. What we found during our travels was a remnant of the mythic “West” that man has yet to spoil with roads and resorts.

But we’re not just adventurers: we’re documentary filmmakers and photographers. Armed with a MacBook Air, Canon EOS 6D DSLR, Sony HXR-NX70U video camera, GoPro, and two iPhones, we documented every step of our journey. Sharing this high-tech adventure with others is only possible thanks to the latest developments in lightweight adventure equipment and technology.

Along the remote desert coastline, we encountered as few as 50 people, most of whom were seasonal fisherman living in rural outposts without electricity. Our equipment was charged through a compact Goal Zero solar generator, which left us little time to transfer the large volume of data (often 60 GB per day) from our cameras to our drives. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drives were invaluable in these conditions: they’re bus-powered and have the versatility to handle USB 3.0 if Thunderbolt isn’t available. High-speed transfers are essential when the life of your battery is reliant on solar power.

In my previous work with National Geographic Television, LaCie was always the go-to provider for field drives. So when embarking on my latest National Geographic-funded project, LaCie was the obvious choice for dependable rugged drives. The Rugged Thunderbolt drives have proven to be essential to keeping our data safe in the most extreme environments — dust, wind, salt, and sand. If I go anywhere extreme, I bring a Rugged.

Learn more about What is West >