I am using an small Acer Travelmate 313T since 2000 to store my digicam pics, digital maps, do route planing, fetching email via sat.phone etc.
No problems so far, but I don't use it while driving. To avoid overheating: don't operate it in a closed container.
I am storing it in my rucksack.
No problems so far with my Nikon Coolpix cameras.
To charge my egear I am using a small 12V DC to 220V AC converter.
I once used a PD-Drive (from the pre CD-RW times) and no promlems with it. But it is very important to keep dust out of it. On the long term that will me almost impossible, for 1 trip of up to some weeks it might possible.
I wouldn't bother with an extre CD writer after my good experiences so far.
Take an notebook with a huge HD and make 2 partititions. The secont partitition is only for a back up of important data. It is very rare that both part. will fail.
Another possibility: use a 2nd HD only for backup, stored at a different, safe plache.
Or use one of the mass storage devices for digigams.
Hope that helps. Yves
[This message has been edited by Yves (edited 05 November 2002).]