Eggs. In my trusty Jetboil. On the windowsill of an Italian hostel.
Can I confess something? Some people have alcohol problems. Some are powerless in the record shop or the shoe department or at the makeup counter.
My problem is outdoor gear. I love the promise and possibility in every titanium cook set, multi-tool and ultra-light backpack.
I steer myself away from REI and Paragon and Eastern Mountain Sports like an addict avoiding the path that parades past the bar. These places are dangerous toy stores full of OOOO! LOOK AT THAT!
So yeah, it’s minimalist-travel inspiring and mentally soothing to read something like this Lightweight Tour Packing List. Thinking minimally helps my rational adult mind to tell the greedy inner child to just chill out already, but sometimes comfort or convenience is a great argument and the gearhead wins.
This’ll probably end up being a multi-post entry as we move along with the planning, but here’s the first:
Top-5 Toys I’m Already Intending to Bring on Our Big Bike Tour:
Jetboil Ask Jack. He knows how gaga I am over my Jetboil. We took the Jetboil to Italy and boiled eggs on the windowsill of our hostel. We took it to Mexico and I made my morning coffee with the French Press attachment. We took it to the Florida Keys and made very respectable fish stew. We took it to Montreal and I boiled hot cocoa all over the porch of our yurt. I’m aiming to get the pot support so we can do more than boiling, and I think the Sumo Companion Bowl Set might end up being fun for enjoying morning coffee with Dave and Lauren on this trip.
iPhone (with a European SIM) GPS! Selfies! Connection to the great internet oracle! Yes, I consider an iPhone to be necessary gear for 2014. I promise I won’t spend all my time on Twitter…
And if you’re going to bring a phone, this Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit ends up being totally justifiable based on its planet-friendly charging abilities, right?
Alien Bike Multitool. The kids these days are buying the Alien 2, but I got this little guy back when it was just the Alien. It’s over 12 years old now (retro!) and I rarely need it, thankfully, but it’s comforting to know it’s packed along for the ride for quick work on flats and wiggly parts.
Therm-a-rest Luxury Lite Cot Sleep is SUPER important to me. I’m not 20 anymore, and we’re not hiking into the wilderness, so my need for “Lite Luxury" sleeping wins over ultralight travel on this trip. Also, the last camping trip was on a Big Agnes air mattress, and I now realize that experience is not for me. Too wobbly. Too bumpy. Made me too lightheaded after blowing up the mattress.
(Not to be a brand loyalist, but if I do buy another sleeping pad, it’ll be a Therm-a-Rest, probably the ProLite Plus, which is thin, not wobbly and doesn’t make plastic noises when you roll around on it, which I did when I tested it over at REI last week.)