Thoughts on the gear list

Posted by Mack

Kevin Mackhere i am, i just finished reading jayme’s thoughts on the gear list. the more i talk about this with my counterpart, the more motivated i get. when jayme says “we went on a training ride” sometimes that may include a pound of rat on a stick and 8 beers, and we still hump it all the way home yelling and going about 45kph. honestly, even though i am not the strongest rider on the block, i think that i can handle this ride no problem, save the hills.

what concerns me is the issue of warmth and the sleeping situation. the warmth problem really isn’t one, it’s just that i resist buying sport specific clothing. example given; spandex with reflective sides. sure it works great but i am just too cheap, hands down. but why you say can i buy a $100 bivy bag but not $25 pants. well, i don’t know either, but i am sticking to my guns. just because i “blow” 100 bucks doesn’t mean that i should blow $125. get the picture? i’ll end up buying stuff on sale that has minnie mouse on it or something. fair enough, i guess that’s what i get for being a little cheap.

so, essentially, the clothes fiasco isn’t really a problem. what troubles me is the sleeping concerns. i like the idea of the tarp, it makes sense to me. one problem jayme hasn’t addressed is the speed factor. can we set up this tarp as quickly as we dream? yes, but with practice. honestly, bare bones camping is great for me. i hate carrying anything that i don’t need. and the truth is that you don’t need an $85 high speed stove and pillows. i understand that a canteen cup and little flame stick stove isn’t the best way to make fish and chips, but that’s not the point. the point is that i can get anything in a tin can, we stop in cities every night, plus we have mre’s. i told jayme that i need one good meal a day. that can be breakfast or dinner. i see no shortage of mom and pop 5am breakfast nooks. a huge plate of grits and an omelet will do me just fine until the granola bar lunch and can of dintymore beef stew dinner. i really am fine as long as i am full and reasonably warm.

once, in the marine corps, i had to sleep under the stars in 19-degree weather. i had no sleeping bag, and definitely no tent. it was terrible yes, but tolerable. mind you, i don’t want to tolerate this trip, but enjoy it. with my bivy and sleeping bag i am already two steps ahead of this terrible memory. i am happy with that, seriously. so even a tarp is extra. i would rather carry 4 pounds of chow i put in a doggy bag than 4 pounds of nylon and aluminum.

does this sound crazy? maybe, well yes i guess it does… but that’s not the point. the point is that i will be fine with the supplies that we have chosen. some old fart may need a 5-pound air mattress, but i don’t. i just want beef and potatoes. is that so difficult? i think not. i just want 300 feet of 550 cord in case i have an emergency. i want a map and water tablets, not a rain fly and a coleman stove.

i think that this adventure will be a successful one. just a couple thoughts on the way out… first, will we be as comfy as some folks when they camp? of course not. if that were the case, nobody would use a tarp or even consider one. let’s face it, right now we are the minority in this thought process. second, this is an expedition, just like capt lew and officer clark, remember that. and finally, nothing easy was ever worth doing. why choose the easy route when there is a challenge that waits over the next hill?

semper fi.

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