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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Minimalist hiker & prepper

Since my divorce I have had to get rid of almost everything. And I don't plan on replacing most of it! I have realized that I had a lot of box's of stuff that never saw the light of day. Fortunately I had plenty of time to go through things before moving back to Idaho. I took a very close and long look at the gear I owned and decided that it was time for the frills, googaws and froofarras to go live with someone else. The folks from my church made out like bandits. And it makes me happy that those fine folks got first dibs. My friends Pam & Mark just moved to a home in the mountains east of Fresno and they got most of the "back to the country" type books and material. My friends Sheila and Luke got a lot of survival gear and books. My friend Richard got a lot of survival gear and knives. We all came out smiling.

I have kept 3 sheath knives, namely my BK9, Gerber Freeman and my Finnish Lauri. I also kept about a dozen folders of different size but some are old family heirlooms and part of my collection. As far as camping/hiking gear I kept a small tent, two tarps, a wool blanket, my Kelty backpack and air mattress, and a minimal amount of gear, mostly for cooking and water. I am practicing what I have preached and that is carry as much knowledge as you can learn in your head and you'll carry a lot less on your back. Pretty simple concept. Its so easy to fall into the possession "trap" and end up with a lot of things you will never use. Guilty, your honor. It feels good to be traveling lite!

Since my transportation is an old Toyota I really couldn't bring a lot of a stuff with me so I had to check and recheck each and every box I loaded. My priority was my camping gear and my tools. I always spent good money for good tools and bought the best. It paid off in the long run.I have a set of quality tools that will last me the rest of my days. The books really took a beating. I came with one box and that was a small one. I have the knowledge tucked away in my brain. The survival/preparedness books were fun to read but do I really need to keep them? No. I kept a few on wild edible plants and a couple of outdoors medicine books and my old copy of FM 21-76 (1992, Barnes & Noble edition). Of course I kept the book with my article about cordage that Marianne Barnes had published called "New & Different Materials for Weaving & Coiling". Its a great book about basketry that covers a lot of materials that can be used for such. Another is an old favorite I have owned for years called "Handicraft" by Lester Griswold from 1945. Its an old school craft book that covers a lot of different subjects such as leather, archery, metal working, cordage and rope work, etc, etc. Though I've sold almost all of my extensive mineral collection I did keep 3 or 4 good books on the subject. Again, its the priorities we set for what and how much we keep. Now, as for food storage, well, I just have to start over and I will be depending a lot on foraging and stocking up dried veggies and fruits so I don't consider that a big problem. Its only me and things such as a 25 pound bucket of rice will last a long time!

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