We have assimilated our gear. It isn’t pretty. That Need vs. Want has born it’s teeth and we have beaten it back with a trekking pole (REI brand, my Kommperdals are nice compared to those). So what have we ended up with?
REI Crestrail 48 liter backpack
Zissou sleeping bag
Z-lite (torso length) sleeping pad
20 liter food bag and line for bear baggin’
Sawyer Squeeze water filter
GSI Soloist pot
MSR Pocket Rocket stove
Some stuff sacks (water proof)
Sahara Pants (REI brand)
North Face (and fashionable in gray) fleece full zip top
Down jacket (REI brand, in metallic blue, to impress the ladies)
Darn Tuff socks (two pairs, one that smells, one to lose)
Dri-Ducks Rain Suit (because nobody can afford to be fashionable in the rain)
North Face beanie (covers those curly blonde locks just so)
Keen Targhees trail shoes (still doesn’t understand why we bought them one size larger at a size 10.5, he’ll be a size damnbig at the end of this).
Sleep stuff: REI and Under Armor top and pants, nice military issue socks (if they were good enough for me, your great grand pa, and our friends…).
Leatherman CS (stolen item, it belonged to me, he decided he liked it).
Osprey Atmos 65
Assorted stuff sacks
Some line/rope (to keep my food away from bears and to tie out the tent in high wind)
Sahara pants to hike in
Socks (Darn Tuff, two pair)
Salomon trail runners
Wind shirt (courtesy of my Mom, from Under Armor)
1/4 zip shirt (REI, nice and soft because I’ve had it forever and it’s been washed forever)
Capilene top (REI, had it forever, I’ll sleep in it)
Merino long underwear (sleeping in these)
Military socks (how long have I had these? forever… sleep in them).
Beanie from Arc’Tyrx
Marmot Sawtooth 15 degree (too hot for my metabolism, but I’m sure that will change)
RidgeRest pad (torso length, I might buy a Z-Lite later. We’ll see).
Aquamira (it’s what all the REAL MEN use to filter their water. See we don’t filter, we “treat” water. Filtering is for sissies).
Kommperdal trekking poles (to help hold up the tent)
Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Outfitter Tent (so spacious, so much real estate, what a bargain. Can’t wait to switch out to a hammock).
Tyvek ground cloth (for the tent)
Stakes (for the vampires, and the tent)
What we should both carry but somebody will probably forget so it is always my fault:
Repair kit- sil nylon patch fabric, duct tape, needle, fishing line (10 lb test), etc. etc.
First Aid Kit: Here is where things get weird. Bailey has decided we need a BOK. That is a “Blow Out Kit” for the uninitiated. For those truly uninitiated that means “Blow Out” as in “Oh Shit! I’ve Been Shot! Corpsman Up!” He wants to carry QuikClot, and hemostats. Like I said. He plans on going to med school. I do not, however, plan on hemorrhaging pints or even grams of blood. No first responder training situations on my part. That being said, if you are hiking the AT and happen to spring a leak, have a traumatic fracture, or receive a shrapnel/gunshot wound, Bailey has the means to not only stop the blood loss but reverse it (saline push, magnesium, etc.). Like I said SF medic on the trail. He also has a dental kit. I’m not going there, but just in case. Blisters? Damn a blister. That’s piddly ass shit. Fall down that mountain and crawl back up here with a real man injury, like a ripped up larynx. He can do trach tubes (use the Leatherman to cut a hole, stick a straw in it. Stop cryin’! Be a man damn you!).
Things left unsaid
The trail is a funny place. A sort of mix of the here and the now. Back in the day I went to Music Midtown, which went defunct, and then made a comeback (although with lesser punch). Michelle and I stood in the center of the park and turned from one stage where Better Than Ezra played to another where we heard The Barenaked Ladies. See what I mean? What about pot? Weed? Can I control a teenage boy around cannabis? I have no idea. He’s going to have to sleep in a tent with me. I’m sure I’ll know if he is growing it in there. What if he goes to the shelter to hang out with the hippies? Well you got me there. The better question would be “How will Bailey keep his father from toking.”
True story. I have a lung condition. Not asthma, but an actual diagnosed condition derived from the foreign land in southwest Asia. It comes from inhaling sand during helo landings and general operations. I’d love to smoke weed. But I doubt that I could. I’ll let you know if it happens. As far as my son goes? If he can get away with it, he will. No sense beating around the bush. Also, of all the things a teen can do smoking weed is not up there with any of the deadly ones. Sorry Bible Thumpers. You lose, but you already knew that didn’t you?
I used to have a writing assignment regarding marijuana when I was a teacher. One of my requirements, for the purposes of debate, was that at no point could a student use the case that “Corn is a plant, marijuana is a plant…”
Have a reason. Have a purpose. If you find it enhances your life… fine. But under no circumstances should the reason for consumption be “it exists”, because a great many things exist but I do not use them.
So if he can get away with it… Nope.
Have a reason.
Besides. Do you remember that episode of any 60’s show where the dad made his son, who was caught smoking, go through an entire pack? Just try and go through an ounce of Alabama Homegrown Marley Ragweed using rolling papers. I’ve seen it. I’ve smelled it. It ain’t pretty.