While my birthday may have passed, Christmas is just around the corner. Since I am out of topics to write about, and there is still a list of items I need for my trip, I figured I would post that list here so my family (and anyone else who feels so inclined) can shower me with gifts. Ok, maybe a shower of gifts would hurt, but you get the idea. If you are interested in purchasing any items on the list, please be specific – I have tried to list exact sizes where applicable, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. And while I have listed mostly single-source links, feel free to search around, as other stores may have better prices. (If family wants to use my REI number so I get extra credit for the purchase, contact me and I will forward you that number…) And now… let the shopping begin!
The following items are those I considered essential purchases for my hike. Translation: If you don’t buy it for me, I have to buy it myself. Hint, hint.
Big Agnes Double Z Long Sleeping Pad. No arguing it, I have tried it in the store, borrowed one and tried it in my family room, and LOVE this sleeping pad. Definitely need the LONG size, though.
Sleeping Bags. There are numerous sleeping bags I am considering, so in order of preference, they are:
- Nemo Nocturne 30 (30* bag, Long Size). I love everything about this bag… except the price tag. The peanut shape allows for good foot/leg movement, which is my biggest issue with mummy bags. I like this bag enough that if I have to buy my own sleeping bag, this is the one I will be buying, even if I can’t get a deal on it. (Fingers crossed for a good sale, though!)
- Sierra Design Backcountry Bed 3-season (30*, Long Size) This is more of a blanket system than a sleeping bag, but since I toss and turn and roll around in my sleep, this will probably strangle me a lot less than normal, tight-fighting mummy bags.
- Montbell Super Stretch Burrow Bag #3 (30* bag, Long Size)
- Sierra Design Backcountry Bed 2-season (40* bag, Long Size
- Montbell Super Stretch Burrow Bag #5 (40* bag, Long Size)
- REI Travel Sack Long. This will be my summer sleeping bag, as it is smaller, lighter, and well-built.
Rain jacket. I only need one, and both of those listed below will do the job well.
- Mountain Hardware Plasmic rain jacket (XL or XXL)
- Marmot Precip Jacket (XXL)
Leatherman Micra. Everyone needs a good knife. This is small and more than adequate for a backpacking trip.
Mini Towel (x2). I don’t really care about the color, since fashion is my sister’s thing, not mine. (Love you, Jen!)
Soap. Unscented, 2 fl ounces. Not that I will be bathing with a lot of frequency, but it would be nice to keep dishes and hands clean on occasion. Am guessing I will need a refill at some point in the trip, but I can order or buy that when I need it.
Sea to Summit Head Net. I hate bugs. This weighs next to nothing. Good compromise for those evenings in camp.
Sleeping Bag Liner. Either the Sea to Summit Reactor Mummy Bag liner,
The Sea to Summit Silk Liner. From what I can tell, there’s not a lot of difference in these, so whichever is easier to find is fine. If they make it in a “long”, I’ll take that, as I am taller than most normal-sized bags.
Exped Pillow. Medium size. Honestly, I probably won’t use this for my head much, as I can just throw some clothes in a stuff sack, but I like the flat shape of this pillow for my knee. And yes, my knee is more pampered than my head…
Nalgene Cantene. 96 ounce size. This will be used for the days I am at a campsite without reliable water sources, so that I have enough water for dinner, drinking, and whatnot.
Buffs. I am in no way claiming to be buff, but these are great for makeshift bandanas, work well as a pillow case, can be used as a washcloth, and help to buffer the wind and cold. I’d like two, actually.
Amazon.com Gift Certificate. There are a lot of books on my Wish List that I want to add to my Kindle before I go. I have a feeling I will do a lot of reading at the end of the day. And many of the equipment items on this list are on Amazon, as well.
The following items are those that are not critical to my trip’s success, but are definitely in the “I really want” category. There is still some research and debate going on about these, so if you decide upon something in this portion of the list, please let me know what your thoughts are, as I may have altered my choice.
Camera. I am undecided which one I want, but I know I want a new digital SLR camera. There are three Nikons I am looking at, which vary greatly in price, weight, and quality. I had hoped to obtain some level of sponsorship from a local camera shop, but they never responded to my inquiries. I am planning to stop in one last time before I give up hope for their assistance. Ultimately, this one may come down to the money available – while the more expensive one will withstand the rigors of the trail better, at least I won’t be wasting as much money with the cheaper model if (more like when… it’s not a very “solid” camera…) it breaks. I won’t list the actual cameras I am looking at, so if you want to contribute to this, just add a note that this is where you want it to go. And if I don’t have the funds for it, I suppose my cell phone or point and shoot camera will do, although the quality of my pics won’t be where I want it.
Cotton Carrier camera strap system. If I do end up buying a new camera, I am certain this will be the way I carry it. I have seen it in the store, and watched a few Youtube videos comparing this and some other carrier systems, and everything I have seen proves this is a great way to keep your camera accessible, but out of the way.
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp; 130 lumens version. I have the 90 lumens version, and it works fine, but I have never tried to night-hike with it. Also, the newer, more powerful headlamp has better power management, letting it last longer. Again, it would be nice to have, but it isn’t critical at this point.
Non-Trip Related Items
I have probably never discussed this, but another of my hobbies is fountain pens. I thoroughly enjoy using fountain pens while doing my journaling, when writing correspondence to friends (to those waiting a letter, I am sorry, I have been too busy to sit down and reply!), and really enjoy experimenting with all of the different ink colors. I have two pens, each with a different color of ink, on my desk at work, and a few more at home, and have grown so accustomed to writing with them that it feels a bit odd to write with a ballpoint anymore. I know these won’t go with me on my hike (too heavy and sometimes too finicky if not kept clean…which would be hard to do on the trail.) but I would like to add a few items to my collection.
As a side note, I highly recommend anyone interested in getting into fountain pens to check out Goulet Pens. Goulet Pens is an online store with a great selection, great prices, and the best customer service I have ever experienced. The owners create tons of informational and educational videos and post them to YouTube for everyone to enjoy, and are just an all-around great company to do business with. To be honest, the thought has crossed my mind that it would be fun to work for them once my hike is over… that’s how much I like this company.
Pilot Vanishing Point Pen. Black with Rhodium Accents, Extra-Fine. I love the functionality and sleek design of this pen. I have a feeling this pen will become my “everyday carry” pen.
Bottle of green ink. Noodlers Gruene Cactus is a great ink. I first tried it as a sample, and went through the small amount of ink provided very quickly. And for some reason, I really enjoy writing with green inks. Must be from all the Kermit the Frog shows I watched as a kid…
Pen Pouch. Every good pen needs to be protected, and this pouch does a great job. I have one already, with a different pen in it, and would like a second pouch, as I am almost always carrying more than one pen with me.
Orange Detroit Tigers hat. This one is probably for my family to purchase, since not too many others live in Michigan. Mom, it was at Meijer this summer, where they have all the sports clothing.
I also have a few magazines and “memberships” that are up for renewal, that if someone wanted to contribute towards, it would be greatly appreciated. I will refrain from listing the pertinent personal identification information here, but if interested in one of these, contact me and I will figure out what information you need.
- Woodturning Design magazine subscription renewal.
- American Woodturning Association membership renewal. Another hobby is wood turning – using a lathe to create bowls, pens, and the like. Unfortunately, living in an apartment, it’s hard to do this hobby much.
- HOG (Harley Owners Group) membership renewal. As long as I own a Harley, I will be a member of this organization. They produce a great map book every year, and offer outstanding motorcycle-specific roadside service. I don’t leave home without my membership card!
- MyRoadID account renewal. This company provides peace of mind. I wear a dogtag-style necklace that has a phone number and a personal identification number on it. In the event I am in an accident or otherwise am unable to talk to medical personnel, they can call the phone number and obtain my name, address, emergency contacts, allergies, medical history, etc. With all of the traveling I do with the motorcycle club, this little item just gives a little more security.
So there is my Santa List. Hopefully he overlooks most of this year and puts me on the “Nice” List…
If you have any comments, advice, or ANY TOPIC SUGGESTIONS, please use the comment box below or use the Contact Me page up top.
Until next time, remember to “Spin the Compass.”