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The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents on 07/13/2010 13:22:43 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents on 07/13/2010 13:35:13 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing your story and gear lists. Very impressive and sounds like you had a blast.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents on 07/13/2010 15:44:37 MDT Print View

Could you elaborate on the "fake wallet"? sounds like an interesting study of human nature.

Gabe Joyes
(gabe_joyes) - F

Locale: Lander, WY
Awesome on 07/13/2010 15:53:28 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing!

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
The Fake Wallet on 07/13/2010 16:20:39 MDT Print View

Jon - In my back pants pocket, I carry a simple, thin wallet filled with about $10-15 in various currencies and a few "credit cards." The credit cards look real but are actually a collection of old cards from movie rentals, memberships, and credit card applications with our named scratched out. I keep enough money (including USD) in my wallet to satiate a thief, but the variety of currencies would make it appear like there is a lot of money without allowing for a quick conversion.

The idea is that my fake wallet makes an obvious target for pick-pocketers while keeping my real valuables safely hidden in my money belt and hidden zip pockets. Similarly, if I was ever held-up, I would happily hand over my fake wallet to satisfy the thief.

I got this idea from a friend who was robbed at gun point in San Jose, Costa Rica. It was her first day in the country, but luckily she had a fake wallet to hand over. Unfortunately, her friend who had been in the city for three months, lost her purse, which contained cash, credit cards, a passport, and camera.

We went through some really sketchy areas and very crowded markets throughout Latin America, but never lost a dime!

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
internet cafes vs. netbook? on 07/13/2010 16:42:59 MDT Print View

I'm not sure about availability, but did you guys consider taking advantage of internet cafes as opposed to carrying a netbook? If so, what was the decision making process that made you select bringing the netbook?

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
A Good Netbook Can Be Worth Its Weight In Gold on 07/13/2010 18:04:19 MDT Print View

Brian - Good question. Internet cafes were widely available and typically very cheap. Most hostels had a computer or three available for backpacker use for free or a small fee.

However, I would not travel for an extended time without the netbook. It was easily one of the most useful items that we brought, despite its weight.

Our netbook, with its 8-hour battery life, allowed us to make good use of our many, long bus rides. We could backup and edit photos, write emails (with Gmail Offline), watch movies, read books (PDFs), draft blog posts, and even write this article.

The vast majority of hostels had wifi, which meant we could use the internet at our convenience - free, no time limits and from the comfort of our room. Additionally, during the night I was able to upload all of my photos in full resolution for sharing and as a secondary backup.

Having the netbook therefore allowed us to spend less time at a computer desk while getting more done. We were actually very productive.

Most of the internet cafes and hostels provided very slow, poorly functioning computers. I can't tell you how many times I sat down at one of those, only to give up in frustration because the computer was on life support or the keyboard had sticky keys. Also, most hostels force time limits and curfews on computer usage, creating queues and sign-up sheets.

I might not have brought the netbook if I was traveling for a short time period or if I did not care to stay connected.

Edited by dannymilks on 07/13/2010 18:08:30 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents on 07/13/2010 18:50:05 MDT Print View

The fake wallet has long been a recommendation from travel sites when visiting locations with high risk of street theft.

William Johnson
Love it! on 07/13/2010 21:12:43 MDT Print View

Kristin and Danny,

One of the best reports I have read in a great while, and certainly a stellar addition to the BPL website.

Thank you for taking the time to let me travel along with you!

Love it. Looking forward to future parts.

Manuel Espejo
(manuel.espejo) - F

Locale: La Cuchilla de los Santa.
Colombia!!! on 07/13/2010 22:34:03 MDT Print View

Happy to read about some Thru-Hiker's adventures in my Country!!!

"Our tent works well on mountain peaks as well as tropical beaches. Tayrona National Park, Colombia."

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
Thanks for the Support on 07/14/2010 00:41:51 MDT Print View

Thank you all for the support and kind words. Initially, Kristin and I were a bit nervous in submitting this article. We have been reading BPL for years and so this was kind of a big deal. Plus, there are some really amazing athletes, gear makers, and gram counters in our BPL community. We can't compete with them!

While we might not have the lightest gear systems, we're pretty happy with our budget setup that allows us to travel and tackle most conditions. That being said, we do have a skin-out "life" base weight of less than 20 pounds.

Luz - we really enjoyed Colombia. We found it safe, friendly, and easy to travel around. We loved the huge variety of fruits and veggies! Colombia has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, but the international perception has been slow to adjust.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
fake wallet on 07/14/2010 03:07:50 MDT Print View

I am 100% for separating my cash, as to give robbers "enough" but not that much.

But i wouldnt do the fake card trick or give a false number, a few people have been killed for that.
Like 2 frenchs a few years ago in London because their aggressors tried the cards and killed the 2 guys after they discovered they were given false numbers.

Daryl Hawkins
Can't wait for Part 25 on 07/14/2010 03:30:44 MDT Print View

Truly awesome!

Don’t worry about what others may think or say. You’re doing something you enjoy. You’re living your own adventure. It’s yours and don’t ever let someone say otherwise.

When traveling as a couple....have a code word, like "Apple Pie" that when one says this phase to the other, both of you know that one senses that something doesn't feel right.

I'm a firm believer that if one walks or rides though the world armed with just their intellect and wit, they will do just fine!

Be Safe!


Edited by dlh62c on 07/14/2010 03:38:56 MDT.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Thanks for the Support on 07/14/2010 06:03:12 MDT Print View

this is a great article. Considering the awesome trip you just successfully completed who cares if people judge your gear. The reasoning behind your gear selection makes perfect sense!

Kerri Larkin
(Bumper) - MLife

Locale: Coffs Harbour
Sensational Report on 07/14/2010 06:25:34 MDT Print View

I tend to skim a lot of trip reports but yours grabbed me wiu it's combination of simple honest gear tips and stunning premise of a two year hike. Wow!

Thanks for telling such a good story


Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
2 year hike on 07/14/2010 07:35:47 MDT Print View

wow you guys are lucky

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
considerations on 07/14/2010 07:39:04 MDT Print View

as people who are spending 2 years on the trail, what other meals do you recommend?

Lucas Boyer
(jhawkwx) - MLife

Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
re: Life Baseweight on 07/14/2010 08:08:48 MDT Print View

Great read! Congratulations on ridding yourself of the anchors that hold many of us in place. I particularly like your point on your "life baseweight". Many of us on BPL are gear hoarders or are holding on to that 2 lb thermarest because we never know when we might need it....I keep telling my wife that we are going to have an estate sale and price everything at basement prices and donate what's left. Backpacking continually proves me wrong in my efforts to cling to those life keepsakes that I will never use. We just did a 10 day trip w/ the first 5 spent backpacking. Upon returning to the car, I was extremely cranky about having to dig through the trunk and sift out what I was looking for.(even though all I had fit in the trunk of a Honda Civic) Whereas, on the trail my kit is easily sorted in seconds. If you don't mind me asking, what kind of budget did you allocate for a trip like this?

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Re: The Global Test: One Gear List for Two Years and Five Continents on 07/14/2010 08:18:12 MDT Print View

"Our sarong can be used as a skirt or dress (for myself only, Danny passes)..." KILT?


John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Fantastic Read on 07/14/2010 10:22:44 MDT Print View

I'm really looking forward to more articles. I did a 9 month trip from South Africa to Egypt 12 years ago. You're article has flashed many forgotten memories. THANKS