Jan 30, 2011

The assault on Bomber Mountain - 2, pack the pack

Sweet mother...nature
I stood in the living room at 1:00 am and compared the chicken scratch checklist with the random globs of equipment littering the floor.  The pack was obese, but it appeared incapable of swallowing up all of this:
  • REI dome tent and tarp
  • Marmot goose down sleeping bag - rated to keep digits toasty down to 25 degrees, I'd soon discover I should've shelled out the extra $16 for a 10 degree bag
  • Self inflating sleeping pad - the term “self inflating” is wishful thinking here, unless "self" is referring to me, myself and my wind sacks
  • Katadyn water filter pump
  • JetBoil cooking stove, with a couple high altitude fuel canisters - this tightly engineered aluminum flame gets angry and boils water in two minutes
  • Eating utensils, including a bowl, cup, bamboo spatula and my favorite, a titanium spork
  • Mountain Gear synthetic hiking pants that convert to shorts with a couple of zips, sun-proof hiking shirt, double tighty whiteys, three pair of wool socks, base layer of glorified long johns, North Face fleece, nylon shell, hat and gloves, PJs and a couple of wicking tees
  • Danner hiking boots, sandals for the luxury spa and sauna walk to the quiet area behind the Pine trees where we'd dig holes in the soil and poop
  • Sun hat - I forgot to pick up a canvas brimmed hat, so I settled for a crusty straw mini-sombrero that sat rotting in a closet for years
  • Bahonka camera with spare batteries and digi-cards
  • 70 oz. Platypus hydration pack and 80 oz. water bladder to keep my bladder topped
  • Nalgene one liter bottle
  • Rubber snake (more on that later)
  • Flashlight and xenon miner’s lamp
  • Big Horns Mountain Range topographic map
  • Compass with thermometer
  • Leatherman tool to fight off wrathful rodents and to open indiscriminate bottles of wine with the integrated corkscrew
  • 60 pills to squelch an intestinal uprising
  • Glow sticks, hand warmers and a solar blanket apparently knitted from Reynolds Wrap
  • Greasy sunscreen that smelled like old lady - the sun torches at altitude
  • 88 cent rain poncho - this crappy little plastic tarp worked miracles in the rain
  • Toiler paper - I was curious what it was going to be like to open the bomb bay and drop a couple of biscuits down a mountain
  • “Cat hole” shovel to bury human scat
  • Sunglasses - you gotta look like a smooth mother in the bush
  • Kitchen soap and scrubber sponge
  • Waterless antibacterial hand soap
  • Microfiber towel
  • Binoculars
  • Travel size toothbrush, paste, mouthwash and deodorant - absent were shaving cream, razor, comb, hair gel, floss, mirror, toupee and a full jet bathtub
  • Night splint to coddle a foot injury
  • Carabiners - didn't really need them, but they looked nice in the store and felt right since we'd be roughing it and stuff
  • King James Bible
  • Notebook and pen
How in tarnation am I going to squash all this junk in the pack?  Quietly so not to stir Pigtails, I used my bony butt like a hydraulic ram to compress the contents and get all 40 pounds of camp squeezed inside.  With a grin for the small victory of making it all fit, I slumped into bed.  Five hours from now, we'd be heading west towards the mountains.  I couldn't wait! 
Sherpa, Fish and Beard Packs

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