What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Sunday, August 29, 2010


So I headed out to spend my day yesterday in the Rhode Island branch of REI today.   They had a sale going on right now so it made sense to go today and walk up and down every isle to see what I needed.  I met three outstanding people (who happened to also work at REI as well!!) who were all extremely helpful - Dan, Nate, and Helga.  I spent the most time chatting with Dan as we went through the trip/what I'd need (I was there for over three hours...)  I purchased:

  • The SteriPen Classic - which I will take back and exchange for the 'Adventurer'.  The classic was on sale so I figured I'd go with it and do the research when I got home.
  • Camelbak 3 Liter bladder.  I now have a 2L and 3L.  They can fit into my pack together or seperately, so it gives me some versatility.
  • A cooking pot set-up.  They had the GSI Halulite that is basically one big pot (big in camping terms) and then some other bowls that all pack into the one pot.  It s really light as the pot is titanium and the bowls plastic.  I don't even have to take the whole thing either.    
  • I picked up some Sawyer permetherim insect repelant for clothing. You spray it on clothes and it should minimize insect issues.
  • A leatherman plier/knife /tool set.
  • A Petzl head lamp.  I am a bit sceptical with this one as I sacrificed some comfort for weight and a bit better light.  We'll see REI's 100% satisfaction guarantee makes it easy.  I will try it next thursday I think and if it doesn't sit right, I'll exchange it.  Worried about running with it and sweating - will it stay in place...  
  • I also got a little lantern type light by black diamond.
  • I finally got some body glide...
  • I also got some tiny little containers for spices or something of the sort, and a 2L dry sack for whatever ends up in it.  
It was a costly trip, but I got good deals on some stuff and then the things I wasn't certain about put on my registry:
  • Sleeping:  I got into the one Marmot sleeping bag I'd been looking at.  It was really warm, more than I'd want.  I tried out some sleeping mats but wasn't sure about using/carrying them, as well as cultural etiquette when sleeping at someone's house.  I also saw silk sleeping bag liners.  This seemed like a great option perhaps just in general.  If the sleeping bags are to warm (and $2-300) then maybe a $65 silk liner, with maybe some kind of bed pad type thing and another layer may be a more versatile way to use money and sleep well.  More for the same dollar.  We'll see, worth thinking about, but is it warm enough?  I just basically need a solid lightweight blanket!!  Any advice?  
  • Solar power:  hhhmmmmmm....  this one is gonna be tricky.  After speaking to both my fathers about the computer and wattage, it seems that the ones they have there just aren't enough.  I need more wattage and then they get pricey.  This is going to be tricky.  I can't spend $2-300 on some giant solar panel that I can't walk with.  I need to learn more and see what I can do.  But if I can't get a solar panel that is functional I might have to use just the phone and keyboard - if possible... 
  • I also found a nice pair of Nylon pants that zipper into shorts.  I just couldn't justify buying them yet though.  We'll see.  I have some other considerations for clothing and a lot of this.  I'll get that post written at some point here as well...  
Ok, so that was my day.  I can't say enough about the help I received today.  Dan had actually spent some time in Africa and had some good advice and pointers on what I'd be up to.  Like I said, good people.  

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