Sunday, October 30, 2011

Less IS more. The final gear post.

Here are the last odds and ends that we had on the grand tour.  Frankly, its just not that much stuff.  And you know what?  Its great. Rarely were there times when we wished we had more stuff with us, and when those times occurred, we could almost always purchase whatever it is we needed.  Traveling light is 100% the way to go.
 
Victorinox Swiss Army Mountaineer Pocket Knife

This guy has come in handy innumerable times – not surprisingly, his highest and best (and most frequent) use is his corkscrew feature.  Mine is especially cool because it is engraved with my initials (thanks Danny!).  Just gotta remember to check him when you fly.
Joby Gorillapod Flexible Tripod (GP1-E1EN)
We don’t use this guy as much as we should, but when you want to set up a timer shot, Joby can snuggle your camera up into just about any position to get the shot.
Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp

We had two of these headlamps and they were great.  Lightweight, bright, and easy to use these were better than traditional flashlights.  Eventually, we lost both of them.  Story of our lives.
Ponchos

In Vientiene in the rainy season you need a good poncho.  Especially if you plan to ride a motorbike.  These were thick plastic and worked well.  They keep you much drier, much hotter, and much uglier than our rainjackets.

(But remember, ponchos aren't always that easy to get on.  Here Jesse poncho'd up, immediately before we went swimming).

Umbrellas

Bought in BsAs these guys have held up remarkably well after 10 months, I KNOW who can keep an umbrella for 10 months!, but of late they are falling apart.  We should not be carrying these in our luggage, but somehow can’t bring ourselves to thrown them away.  [JLM: We just got home, and they were the first things I tossed.  To be replaced with even crappier NYC street umbrellas].
Sunhats

When you chase the summer you need a good hat.  To keep cool, block harmful UV rays, and of course, look good.  We’ve had more than our fair share of hats and then promptly lose them.  These Tilly models were great while they lasted...
Sleep sacks
Not us.
And who are these guys, and why are they sleeping on the floor?

The sleepsack is like a thin, silk sleeping bag.  We have a double one (but no way could we both sleep in it, in that respect it's sized like a two-man tent), and a single one.  They are cool and comfy, but the version we bought has Velcro tabs supposedly to make it easier to get in and out of of, but we just find them scratchy, annoying, and usually wished they weren’t there.
Quick-dry shammy Towels



We bought these and used them less than 5 times.  The places we stay generally provide towels, and if they don’t, the showers are usually too gross for us to use anyway.  The one time we needed them, during the Annapurna trek, we forget them, but thankfully Ted & Sarah each had one (and ones larger than the hand towel size ones we bought) that they lent us.  When we did use them, it was good.
Stuff sack (AKA Compression sacks)

These should be mandatory.  As laundry bags, and dry(ish) bags (they are not 100% waterproof like the actual drybag, though you can get compression drybags), and for all around stuffing.  These bags can compress your stuff mightily, shrinking clothes, gifts, and other crushable items to nearly half their unstuffed size.  I wish we had bought more of these and earlier in the trip.
Laundry bag

Gotta keep the dirties away from the cleans.  This should have been a stuff sack, not just a regular bag. 
Drybag
 
This has been the one of the best things on the trip.  The dry bag regularly travels with us and protects all our electronics in the case of rain, on boat trips, and during Thai New Year (Songkran).  There is great assurance knowing your stuff will remain totally dry regardless of how wet everything else is.
Bag O’Health

Another great use for the packing cube is our bag O’health.  With a bit of everything he, thankfully, is rarely used.  We made our own working off the compenets of the one on Amazon, and put it, of course, in an eBags slim packing cube.
Toothbrush holders
Yeah, pretty ordinary, but they work.
These guys come in awfully handy as the bathrooms in our accommodations have not always had the cleanest looking shelves or counter-spaces.  Below are some alternative holders that we saw along the way....

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