The things I carry with me

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Well, I finally got back on the road and am making good progress. I antiicpate being in Ashton tonight and then into Yellowstone by tomorrow evening. I have a number of road pics but this library won’t allow me to upload, so I’ll do that when I can.

My friend Sandy asks the following questions:

I have many prompts, many questions. Some are very basic. Like this: I keep wondering what it’s like to live day by day with only 50 pounds of “gear,” the same gear day after day, and such a mixed assortment of gear. Can you give us a listing of what you’re carrying? (e.g. nail clippers, shaving cream??)

I have a tent, a mini-stove and small bottle of fuel, a sack of food (oatmeal, tuna and chicken packets, easy to cook dinners, power bars, carb-fuel packs, 3 bottles of water plus a kamel-bak, 3 changes of clothes, a 4th shirt that’s not a biking shirt to wear “out”, a pair of zipper pants, a windbreaker, a thermal undershirt, a skull cap to wear under my helmet, a pair of hiking shoes, a hygiene bag that has my chamois towel and washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, nail clippers, deodorant (I was going to rough it and forgo this, but after a few days, I realized it was a necessity if I expect people to talk to me!). A really good first aid kit that has all kinds of neat stuff I hope I never have to use. Suntan lotion, moisturizer, insect repellent, an ultra-violet water purifier, a water filter and iodine pills, a mini am-fm radio, 3 pairs of riding gloves (one long-fingered which I’ve needed for the cold nights on the road), vitamins, prescriptions, multiple kinds of over the counter pain pills (Aleve, Motrin, etc.), a journal to write in, a folder full of news articles, a couple of student papers I need to read, a book (New Destinations), a GPS/PDA with wireless keyboard, a bag of AA and AAA batteries and wires for all other gadgets, cell phone, digital voice recorder, 2 mini usbs, a digital camera and mini cam recorder, solar powered batter charger, sleeping pad and sleeping bag, toilet paper, numerous forms of flashlights, headlights, a tool bag with spare parts, tools, tubes, a folding tire, a hunting knife, bear mace, 2 compasses, sunglasses, reading glasses, maps, pens, highlighters, a bandana, camp soap that works for everything (dishes, body, hair, etc.) , a trowel, business cards, postcards about my trip and ones I’ve picked up along the way, and lots of other small stuff.

And what do you find that you’ve used the most often thus far–that you can’t live without?

Tools, air pump, spare tubes.

What have you had to pick up along the way that you hadn’t anticipated needing or simply wanting?

What have you gotten rid of? I dumped a folding chair that my sleeping pad fit into and a replaced a small shovel with an even smaller trowel. I mail things home as soon as I can so I carry as little as possible. My bags feel a bit lighter than when I started, but maybe I’m just stronger.

What have you lost? A pair of sunglasses and a pair of reading glasses.

And what has broken or torn or become unusable? tubes. I’m very unhappy about the pda/gps and wireless keyboard. They are not entire useless, but almost so. I’m going to have to rethink things when I go thru Minnesota. I think I need to bring a pc with wireless capability, but I will have to give up other things to make room.