Friday, March 21, 2014

For me, it starts with a Pile

I am usually a list maker. But for a trip of this size and duration, a list won't do it. Too many little things get left behind. So I generally start with a pile.

I pick a spot, this time it will be in my office, and as I think about a piece of gear that I need to remember, it gets added to the pile. That started this week, and it is more difficult than you might think.

I don't put paddling gear in the pile. I am going to be paddling right up to about a week before departure, and so that gear will live in my car. But I will add camping gear, first aid, cooking, video and power, and boy do we have a lot of power gear on this trip.

I started with the Goal Zero Sherpa 50, and have added a largish solar panel, and believe it or not another sherpa 50. The sherpa is pretty much a large battery - though one of them has an AC inverter on it - but it is designed to charge from a wall outlet, or a solar panel. So far it has been pretty impressive, charging my DSLR in about the same time as the wall adapter, and only using 20% of its battery o do so. The real test will be how quickly it charges from the sun. Particularly since I have figured out a way to do this not he back of my boat while it will still be in a waterproof housing - I know this will effect efficiency but I need to protect the unit.

There are a handful of little things I need to purchase still. But they really are little things. Flares, some chemical light sticks, and a new OR Seattle sombrero. In the scheme of things that isn't much. Food will be done about a week before we leave, and "freshies' will be purchased in Anchorage. But the bags I use to pack the food are in the pile.

In about a month I will pack all the clothes that are going - once I don't need my drysuit to do my daily paddles. and that will get added to the pile. Whenever I plan these trips I feel like I won't need to buy much gear, but there is always a list of little things. Things that I missed last time, or just wanted. Three of us will be sharing my tent, which is nice because the parts will be spread out. But of course it is bad because three of us are sharing a tent. But it will go on the pile.

As we get closer to the departure date, the pile will grow. Then we will start packing the boats. Test packing to be precise. I think when I did the Inside trip I had already done packing practice, but I have fewer concerns this time. In part because the trip is shorter and in part because there may be a boat change coming. Details on that as we get closer. But right now, we are 64 days out!

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