I was a lot more thoughtful about what I brought on the road with me this time around. Having done this before,I knew what I used and what I didn’t; what were essential items and what was superfluous.
Having known what would have been helpful to have, I did buy some new stuff. Usually it takes a little while of living with your gear to know what are the standout items. So far, though, there have been four things I have lived with and used in these last four days that have made everything so much better.
- REI Camp Folding Cot – my favorite thing so far! This was an impulse purchase at the REI Garage Sale right before I left Austin. I found it later in the day, which meant it had been marked down to $37 and was in perfect condition. I had never considered a cot before, but it has changed tent camping for me. With my 3.5” sleeping pad on top, it’s basically like a real bed. And to not have to get up from the ground every morning makes a HUGE difference for this 37-year-old body.
- Aeropress – I have no idea what I was thinking using a pour-over and thermos situation last time. This is absolutely the only way to make coffee for yourself in the outdoors.
- New cooking gear – I bought a GSI Halulite 3.2L pot, GSI Bugaboo 10” frying pan (both on the recommendation of Fresh Off The Grid – thanks y’all!), and a GSI Pinnacle Soloist backpacking set-up. All of these are super easy to clean, which makes cooking not such a pain in the ass. My favorite of the bunch, though, is the Pinnacle pot, which I mainly use for boiling water for coffee and heating up quick, one-pot meals.
- Bralettes from Target – it’s basically like not wearing anything and I will be living in these for the next four months.
As the weeks go on, I’m sure there will be more items that prove their utility, but these have made a significant impression in a short amount of time.