One Use Gear Problem Atakpame, Togo West Africa Saturday, April 28, 2007
Size matters, the normal backpacker I would estimate carries about 50 liters of items, I carry 80 and want to go to 100, or double the normal. The travelers are just too weak to carry 80 pounds or 40 Kilos a long distance, wheels that can be pulled over the ruts and gravel are the solution, but always made too heavy and big.
I see lots of cool gear; most is to me a joke and a great marketing of stupid items. Some are very good for certain uses, for example that camel pack water holder, may work very good for bike riders, and long day trekkers. I see it as just a waste of time for me, and they do not tell me how to clean, it is not designed for cleaning and sanitary, plus the taste of plastic is a problem. Humans need water, the world has water, and to walk into the desert for long periods is not a normal thing for people. I find that a Coca Cola bottle frozen is my best choice, but to carry three or four is a problem, then maybe a frozen water bag would be good, or better yet, a bag designed to carry four bottle in balance, balance is the problem.
What can I use the bag for, except for water? This bag and the small bag it has with it is too large. I am not going to use it for a shower. A bucket and a dipper is a much better use of water, a shower used three to five times the water than a dip shower. I have many uses for a bucket, clothe, shower, drinking water, and it very bad situations a toilet.
One-use-gear, I want ever piece of gear to be used for three and more uses.
Example: Mosquito net, a popular subject. 1. Mosquitoes. 2. Blanket 3. Clothesline in room. 4. The lines that hold the mosquito net I use for both a clothesline and to tie extra bags to my larger bag. 5. I hope to adapt my mosquito net to hang over doorways. I need a mosquito net for a door, so I can open the door and allow air in the room. My windows have screens, but there is no screen door.
Hammock - Sheet - Blanket - Hammock for sleeping - Towel sometimes - Bed
Dutch oven Cooker - Cooking - Container to protect very valuable and breakable items inside while traveling. - Hold water for drinking - Shield to protect candles from wind
Clothesline - Clothes - Rope for tieing - Hold Mosquito net - Used as a dresser, I put a clothesline in my room, so I can one dry my towel faster and not have it mildew in the bag. If I put the line outside, I forget or it is stolen. However, I use it to hang all my clothes up in the room on the line, I never have more than 2-3 real clothes hangers in a room, and the normal is zero. I can hang all the clothes up and keep the ants out of my clothes. - Hang lantern on line
Note: Anything you take outside the room to store, an umbrella, and a shirt on the line, a clothesline, loan your guidebook to a friend, any gear that leaves the room will be forgotten or lost. I do not take my gear outside the room and dry or store, I do not leave my shoes outside, and I keep everything in one box, called my room. When I want to leave, I pack everything in my bag and leave. If I loan my guidebook to a friend, I hand it to them, and sit around with them until they are done. If they want the guidebook, go to a copy machine and get them to pay to copy the pages, loaning a guidebook is a very dangerous misuse of information. It is irreplaceable here in Togo; I have no idea how to buy another Rough guide here in Togo.
I forgot and purchased online the Lonely Planet East Africa on Amazon.com, because I have always used the Lonely Planet. I have decided for Africa to change to the Roughguide, I want the Roughguide East Africa, how can I buy. Maybe, the only option is to find all the airports, Lome, Cotonou, Lagos,, Cameroon and visit all of them for a guidebook or the hope of buying a Roughguide. I can also visit all the Peace Corps office and try to get them to be friendly, some are, most are not. Actually two guidebooks would be great, Lonely and Rough and French one also, to find French girls. The weigh a ton, a book is heavy.
The most value commodity in the world is information.
One use gear, I look at all my gear and think, can I buy it in Togo, and how many uses do I have for the one item.
Then you have the multiple use items that are better purchased as many parts, the multiple uses cause problem. I guarantee you will lose small items, and if valuable, other travels will forget to return.
Multiple Use Items that need to be purchased as one use.:
Swiss Knife - Number one problem, people steal them. - Number two problem, the cost of the Knife should be under 10 US. - But the big problem is you cannot clean it easy from peanut butter and the knife blades are not long enough to cut a pineapple, the number one use for a knife by me.
I have a knife now, with a long cutting blade, 300 CFA, I lost my other one….
I lost my other one, if this was a Swiss knife, I would have lost my knife, fork, screwdriver, hammer maybe, toothpick and whatever other toys are on the knife.
I have a fork Screwdriver - both phillips and slotted for my computer back. No hammer Toothpicks
I have them all as separate items, when I forget one or lose one, I do not lost everything, only one.
Hennessey Hammock Tent - Note, I have never seen one up close. - I have a Hammock - I have a mosquito net - I have a rain poncho that is a tent
Combined as one unit these items are almost worthless, separated they are very valuable.
Poncho has many uses. - Protect my bag on top of bus in rain. - Walking in rain after bus ride - Blanket in room - Tent
This is all my thinking because I am dwelling on my cooking of foods. I need a stove, which is a multi use stove. - Cook with alcohol - Cook with 220 or 110 - 12 Volt Electric - Cook with wood and a small fan for super cooking in base
Then the thing needs to be the size of a very large mug, but maybe wider.
I can see the design in my head, but I would have trouble making. I am not sure how to do the 220 - 110 - 12 Volt cooking. Adapters are often bigger than the cookers.
Note, I type out this list to think, people read blogs to think or plan out gear, I need to adapt and change always. I dump a lot of gear, then buy again, most gear is not gear, it something they sell anywhere, special gear is difficult, it causes problems.
Nylon Poles for tent - I want or a wish, I need is strong. - To use to hit people and defense - To use for mosquito net - To add reinforcement in my bag - To prop up cooking things - To use as walking stick - To use to make my poncho into a tent
I do not have nylon poles, because the are difficult to buy in Togo, and they must be less than 22 inches long to fit in my bag, and weigh in total about three quarters pound and have a removable. - I said removable elastic rope inside, that keep them organized. I set up tents and mosquito nets in the dark.
Swiss Knife, Gear, West Africa Gear, Hammock, Tent, Mosquito Nets, Knives, Clotheline, Rope, Tie or Binding Items, Room Dresser, Clothes