Pile of first purchases for the trek, made back in June. All ultralight gear from Decathlon: -5C down sleeping bag, 4.5lb. 2-person tent, inflatable mattress, foam mattress, backpack, and heavy-duty trek pants.
I have been doing so much research over the past month about hiking, trekking, camping, backcountry skills, survival skills ... I am sure there are more subjects but my brain is drowing in information. These topics ping me with a thrill and they're rather fascinating! I am learning so much -- well, Armchair Professor-style learning in the beginning, but soon I will be putting my knowledge to use!
I've been watching these incredible YouTube videos about backcountry skills and backpacking/camping/trekking equipment. This is probably old hat to many trekkers and backpackers, but to me, it's all new! Mainly, I've been watching the videos produced by Paul Kirtley http://paulkirtley.co.uk (backcountry skills), Paul Messner (organizing backpack), and Fourdogstoveco (maximizing efficiency of esbit fuel tabs). I was in awe watching Kirtley created a huge spark and instant flame with his 12-inch knife and steel! Instant fire! Early Man would have been envious (probably evolved faster ... and possibly not into to selfish, greedy, idiots that currently rule many countries)... uh... way off topic!) He had a ROARING campfire in less than 5 minutes worthy off all marshmallows! With several feet of snow as a backdrop, he demonstrated how to create a base for the fire on frozen ground, sparking to flame the burn with birch bark and lichen, and deadpanning what should become one of the most famously hilarious quote of all time:
"Lichen festoons many of the trees here."
As he "festooned" the fire, first using small twigs, then stacking larger stems atop, a furious flame resulted. I was mesmerized by this on-screen roar, and imagined myself toasty warm on an alpine night in the mountains of Eastern Tibet: cooking, keeping warm, and soothed on solitary nights in the mountains!
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Cool new stove and pan set!
Toaks titanium wood stove and very small cooking pot with dual lid/fry pan. The pan will serve as my eating dish.
Dr. Bronner's liquid soap will be my all-around washing liquid: body, clothes, and dishes!
Pertaining to equipment: I am ATTEMPTING to travel light, with only a 15.9 kg./35 lb. pack, including 11.4 kg./25 lbs. of camp essentials, and 4.5 kg/.10 lbs. of consumables such as food, water, and stove fuel. Beside physical training, prepping for my move, getting all the documents required for a tourist visa, and in general, just trying to get organized -- this is my biggest challenge! Aaargh!
Below are some of the vlogs to which I've subscribed; super-helpful!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld3e01dP7CA&t=668s Paul Kirtley making fire! I will need other burn-starters as I don't think I will have access to birch or lichen on the Tibetan plateau, although there were some trees and lots of thornbushes!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieuYnO5GSIA See what all he stuffed into his 38L backpack!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO-92xtyvl8 He has two vids that demonstrate how to get a quick boil from Esbit tabs using various stove set ups. Very informative.