Packing the Gear

Feb. 6, 2005 6:50 p.m.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

I travel with five cases of gear, about 400 pounds. Inside are videophones,
satellite phones, cameras, laptop computers and cables. The goal is to have enough gear to do a live shot from anywhere and to edit and feed reports, and to have backup of every item — If anything breaks to still be able to go up. That's the real challenge. Every trip something goes down. It can lead to a type of thinking where you focus a lot on back-ups. If my satellite phone goes down I have a second one. If that goes down I have a Thuraya. If Thurayas are confiscated or don't work in that area I have an Iridium — and you do that for each item. Sometimes one cable, one adaptor missing or lost can shut down your entire operation. You can be in Northern Afghanistan with great material and can't do a thing with it.

Before this trip to Saudi Arabia I went down to the basement and opened everything. On each case there were layers of duct tape, old labels from previous trips. I'd peel one off and there would be another one underneath. From the handwriting I could remember the cameraman and the trip, like peeling away strips of memory. A "Keep Out" written by Rudden, who got shrapnel in the hand in Karbala and kept filming. A "Harrigan" in the chicken scratch of Slim Fagen, who never missed a hit in three months in a country with no electricity. A "Case #1" from Running Man, who fed a cut spot from the Philippine jungle, hoping the generator would not run out of gas before it finished. I peeled them away and threw them out. The boxes were ready for a new trip.

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Hi, Mr. Harrigan

Your article about Venezuela is the best I have seen about my country. Most of the people North of the Mexican border do not know about the Venezuelan reality, and they are getting the web's (paid by Chavez) misinformation, especially from the European (mostly FRENCH) newspapers or the infamous

Here in Canada we barely read about Venezuela. I just have subscribed to FOX News with the hope to get some information about my country. Keep on going that way, it will help my country to get back on to the path of Democracy.


Dear Mr. Harrigan,

We would like to express our most sincere congratulations on the series of reports that you produced on Venezuela.

— RG

Dear Sir(s):

I am a Venezuelan citizen and want to say thank you because most of the time I feel that the world has forgotten Venezuela and can't see the dangerous President we have. Your reports Venezuela I, II, and III tell very much about our reality.

Thank you,

Muchas gracias por tan interesentes reportajes y sobre todo tan pegado a la realidad, Saludos y adelante, Jacobo

Hello Steven,

Brave and excellent work. Miracles sometimes do happen with guts.

Best regards,

Mr. Harrigan

Thanks so much for you excellent report on Venezuela. Please go ahead. Keep talking to the world about the dictatorship of Chavez.

— Manuel

Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.