Iridium 9505 Portable ($1,100--$1,400) iridium.com
In this era of crazy politics, it's reassuring to have a sat phone in the middle of nowhere. I used an older model when I did Avellano Towers. This one is resistant to water and dust and weighs less than a pound, and you can plug it right into a laptop.
Black Diamond Lighthouse ($369) bdel.com
A lot of other lightweight tents just use mesh fabrics. This one is made of a new fabric called Epic, which is breathable, waterproof and superlightweight. It doesn't have a fly, but the climate we'll be in is pretty dry. The great thing about this two-person tent is that, unlike mesh, it shields us from the dust and sand, and it weighs only three pounds.
Pacsafe Security Web--Large ($70) pacsafe.com
The Trans-Siberian Railroad is notorious for pickpockets and thieves. We'll use the chicken-wire-like fence to secure our packs when we're on trains or in crowded areas, where someone can slice a pack with a knife. Travelers get their stuff stolen on the train, and the ride from Moscow to the Siberian prison camp is a 2 1/2 day journey.