Sunday, September 2, 2007

I'm packin' for Thailand!

So as I try to cram my Gregory z-55 full with more than enough stuff to travel through Thailand with for thirty days, I veer slightly off into freak out mode. Chances are I really don't need that U.V. sterilizer pen to purify my water. And that miniature solar charger probably isn't going to get much use. But these are very small things and there are much larger objects in my pack that are really holding up this process.

Well you see, I'm really just planning on doing a lot of shit. My digital SLR must go with me. Hell, I'm a photographer, that's half the reason why I'm going to Southeast Asia. So, the camera is coming with. But I am only bringing one 17-50mm lens to save room.

Snorkel Gear: Well, I am a diver. And I will dive when I'm there. Do I really need to bring a mask and snorkel? Remembering my previous trips to Mexico helps me draw my conclusion. Yes...sonofanitch; in the pack they go. I need to do something besides drink Mekong Whisky and ride elephants on my rest days.

Rest days, Dan? Really just what do you need rest from? You're heading out to live in a hut on a tropical beach. Why the hell would you possible need to "rest?!" One word my friends: climbing. A ten hour climbing session in a tropical climate has a tendency to take it out of you.

I am going to Thailand to climb. And not only is the gear required expensive (hence why I work at REI) , but it is also bulky. Obviously I streamlined my pack from it's typical bulky cragging status to one that just about any alpinist would nod at in approval, but the following items must come in order to properly send in Thailand:
  • harness
  • shoes
  • chalkbag
  • 10 quickdraws
  • personal anchor system
  • 4 locking biners
  • 2 slings
  • 2 non-locking biners
  • ATC w/ 1 large biner
  • 60 meter 10 mill rope w/ rope bag

You see folks, the rope is what is taking up so much room in the pack. That little blue & purple beast is going to be the death of me. Sure, I can rent one while I'm there. But let's think about that one for a sec. Sand, salt and tons of probable overuse & neglect makes for a very unsafe rope to climb on. The bolts your clipping are sketchy enough. I don't want to have to worry about my lifeline as well. I suppose I could just skip it all and go right for the deep water soloing. But to tell you the truth, I'm afraid of heights (or at least leaping from them). And jumping off the cliffside that I just scaled isn't as appealing as a slow & leisurely rappel. But I'm sure I'm gonna do it anyway. It does look rather bad-ass.

But I digress. Let's get back to the packing. As far as clothing goes. I'm bringing the following:

  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 pair quickdry cargo shorts
  • 1 pair surf shorts
  • 1 button down short sleeve shirt
  • 1 pair quickdry pants
  • 3 pairs ex-officio quickdry underwear
  • 1 pair of chacos
  • baseball hat
  • rain jacket

Hmm the rain jacket may have to say; however, may come in handy in Chiang Mai. We'll put that in the maybe pile. Here's a list of the other random pieces of importance that may or may not make it into the pack:

  • passport & photocopies of passport
  • solio solar charger (used more to charge ipod without the need of a docking station)
  • ipod
  • uv sterilizer pen
  • canon xt digital slr w/ 17-50 mm lens
  • packets of silicone beads (to keep electronics dry)
  • toiletries (malaria pills, antibiotics, nail clippers, sm. scissors, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, aleive, pepto, tums, wet wipes, monkey repellent, sunblock, jungle juice (bug spray), Dr Bronner's liquid soap) Who knew I was so high maintenance?
  • dive mask
  • snorkel
  • pack towel (never go anywhere without your towel)
  • sunglasses
  • guide book
  • deck of cards
  • a random tom robbins novel
  • very compressible daypack for just touring around with

Not too bad of a load really. I'll divvy the gear up between the two packs in attempt to get it all to carry-on size. From there, I am at the mercy of China-Air...

Just two more days to go!!

Later Folks!

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