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What ways are you reducing your "Gear" outside of backpacking?
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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: What ways are you reducing your "Gear" outside of backpacking? on 11/05/2013 21:51:54 MST Print View

"Welcome to the Dark Side!"

Thanks, Ryan.

It was really my wife's preference, but I have admit it is easy to set things up. We have camped 14 days in the past 5 weeks in it already.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Overlanding!!! on 11/05/2013 22:32:37 MST Print View

"Oh, that is wicked. How does their subscription work when their demographic has no home address?"

Ah, patience young grasshopper.

Since you are embarking on a "homeless" existence for a while, perhaps I can provide some tips.

When I was in my late 40's and going through a divorce in the late 1990's, I decided to live a really simple life -- even though I had to pay alimony and child support. I knew I could do it, since I had done it in my early 20's. My house in Palm Springs was rented out and the tenants provided income for the mortgage.

I got a job which required 100% travel. Meaning each week I was at a client's location. My office was in Michigan and I worked throughout Arizona, California and sometimes other southwestern states. My company paid for hotel rooms during the week and I got a daily per diem to pay for food. So this meant I didn't really need to live anywhere, although most people would have lived in a house or apartment on weekends.

So I decided to live in my 8 foot tent trailer.

Note: This picture was taken around 2003, since it is connected to a 2003 Expedition.

I towed it to each city I worked in, usually living in a campground or BLM or USFS dispersed area during the week. If it was too far from my client to camp somewhere, I would stay in a hotel and just leave the camper in the hotel parking lot -- but this rarely happened. The only difficulty I had was when I submitted a campground receipt in lieu of a hotel receipt. But my boss was convinced I had taken too much LSD in my youth so he let it go through.

On weekends I would go backpacking or camping somewhere. All vacations and holidays entailed backpacking or camping too.

I quickly learned that you cannot live in the US without a mailing address, especially for banking and government ID's. So not wanting to be reliant on someone to use their address, I rented a private postal box in the Phoenix area, which was about the central point of my travels. If was away from Phoenix for a few weeks, I could just call the postal place and they would package up my mail and sent it General Delivery to somewhere I would be.

My pay was direct deposit. Even back then I could pay bills via Quicken and Bill Pay, so a paper check was a rare requirement.

All my possessions went into a storage unit in Arizona. My mechanics tools, whatever backpacking and camping gear not immediately needed, my stamp collection, vinyl records, books, and clothes not immediately needed. It was a pretty small storage unit and I was surprised that all my accumulated belongings of almost 50 years fit in it.

In the late 90's there was no broad band, the Internet was still in its infancy, and most companies used PROFS email. If you knew where to look, you could find pay phones with data ports. That is how I did my email each night -- on a 1200 baud pay phone. No coins were needed because my company email connection was an 800 number.

My home and business phone number was my cell phone. Back in those days cell phones were expensive, so I rarely used it. Most people in business relied on pagers and corporate dial-in voice mail systems, and that was my primary communication method along with PROFS.

On the rare occasion I had to fly to my Michigan office, I would just park my camper and truck at the airport.

And this is how I lived for two years. It was wonderful! And no one knew I lived nowhere. Probably couldn't have kept my job if the company knew. Even my family thought I lived somewhere.

But alas, I fell in love, got married, and the new wife required a real house to live in. I got the Palm Springs house from the divorce and moved back in it. And now I have "stuff." I like my stuff too.

It would be even easier to do today. But we still must have a physical mailing address, mainly because the government requires it for identification, income tax, social security, etc.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
max on 11/06/2013 01:12:21 MST Print View

I just want to say I enjoy max diltheys postings as he is getting ready for his next biking adventure. It especially makes reading a new thread more exciting. Gl.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Balance on 11/06/2013 01:39:39 MST Print View

Just like your weight/caloric intake. You need to to get to a comfortable level first, and then balance intake and burn-off.

The less you need to burn/sell/give away to keep the balance, the more money/time/energy you save.

Live light!

diego dean
Re: Life After Ultralight on 11/06/2013 08:01:27 MST Print View

If I dont here Max telling us at least once a month what a great and speedy writer he is, I start to get worried. Glad your doing ok there buddy:)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Bike Life on 11/06/2013 08:16:25 MST Print View

Thanks Mike! T-minus four days or so!

Nick, I've got kind of a similar work situation going for me right now.

My job pays me through Paypal. Since I'm still young, I've just been using my parent's address as my own for taxes and ID confirmation. I think digital nomadism is an exciting new prospect that hasn't been previously available to most people. T-Mobile just made their coverage global, and with any luck, Verizon will follow suite.

I make about $1,000/month. From that, some goes toward paying back my student loans which are a very manageable 20k, and the rest goes towards food, phone bill, and bus/train tickets. I've "lived" in four states in the past two months, and now I'm headed to the southwest, and I have a sneaking suspicion that'll be a gateway drug to a trip to Australia or New Zealand, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.

I'm self-sufficient, I have two and a half years of health insurance before that takes a bite out of my paycheck, and I'm building a resume for stable work later. I can't complain.

The idea of NOT owning property and living nomadic is really interesting. There's a lot of duality inherent in it. Success procured in a way which was once considered the realm of failure...

I can tell when I talk with my Dad about it, he's thinking "Well, eventually he'll see the light and buy a house." He's very supportive (the man is my best friend) but the idea is completely novel to him and doesn't at all mesh with the traditional ideas of building a life.

On top of that, hell, I might meet a girl and suddenly find myself completely, willingly, grounded.

We'll see. Life Nomadic is working right now, and I'm definitely fulfilled. It's nice to talk with people who can appreciate the draw of it, because telling people around you that you live and work from a bike procures images of panhandling and freight cars and missing teeth.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Overlanding!!! on 11/06/2013 08:17:28 MST Print View

a lot of people are fulltime in their RV

google "fulltimer RV" and you can get lots of info how to get mail and stuff

seems sort of claustrophobic to me. When I'm out for more than a week at a time I start getting ready to "go home".

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Small World on 11/06/2013 08:20:40 MST Print View

I'm the opposite of claustrophobic. I feel more at home in a 1 person tent than a big bedroom.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Overlanding!!! on 11/06/2013 09:13:15 MST Print View

"seems sort of claustrophobic to me. When I'm out for more than a week at a time I start getting ready to "go home"."

Jerry, it would seem so. Each year we do several trips of 1-2 weeks in our camper. During the day we are not in the camper, we are out hiking or doing other outdoor activities. We sleep in the camper, which is much larger and comfortable than a tent.

I wouldn't mind full timing in a RV. of course I would still go backpacking. But my wife wants a "real" house to return to after an extended trip.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Here's the Tarp Guy. on 11/06/2013 11:38:40 MST Print View

Well now I really want to visit Greenland.

I like the one gun analogy as well. Reminds me of an inteview of saw with Trey Anastasio of Phish. He was talking about an old guitar amp he still uses and mentions that he thinks it's more important to be familiar with your gear than to have really good gear.

"...rendering my 12-volt stuff obsolete for me, but they are too useful to throw away but hard to sell for much money."

That's the problem I seem to be running into after upgrading some of my backpacking gear. Since I can't sell a lot of the older stuff for much money I end up keeping it as loaner gear that nobody ever needs to borrow.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

My "One Gun" on 11/06/2013 11:43:00 MST Print View

I like the one-gun analogy too.

My bike is like that for me. It might be a steel-frame with wider tires and weigh 26lbs, but I'm so familiar with it after 6,000 miles that I end up controlling my ascents better than a lot of other riders on $5,000 Cervelos. I know what gear I need to be in by instinct now, and so I put both my shifters on "Friction." I just shift based on intuition and sound, rather than clicking into certain numbers. With so much commuting, the bike is an extension of my body. I feel more awkward walking...

Actually, this sounds stupid, but my bike has been disassembled in a box all week because my flight last weekend got cancelled and my train ticket isn't until this weekend. I'm starting to get depressed... Ha!

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Van Life. on 11/06/2013 13:17:37 MST Print View

When you're done being full-time Cycliste Maximillion...

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: My "One Gun" on 11/06/2013 14:05:28 MST Print View

I am sure we all have had our "one guns".

For me, it was an old North Face "Purple Haze" sleeping bag (with a first generation VersaTech shell!). It didn't have side block baffles so I could send all the down underneath me in the warm months, and shift it all back when it got cold. If it was too cold, I'd just bring an extra bag/quilt along. And with TNF's $25 cleaning/re-lofting program, I'd since sent it back to them twice over the years to have it filled to it's original specs.

The hard part about having a single gun, is knowing when it's time to let it go. I still have that 25 year old bag, and it still does exactly what it's supposed to do. I have lighter bags, but I have the greatest emotional attachment to that one. (sigh...)

And just like any tool, it is important to remember: "If my only tool's a hammer, everything looks like a nail."


(On a side note, that Versatech shell fabric still seems to work very well after 25 years. Since it is simply a tightly woven fabric and not a laminate or a membrane, it hasn't decayed whatsoever. It also looses very little down through the shell.)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
LESS gear??! Blasphmey! on 11/06/2013 15:00:14 MST Print View

I confess, I have acqquires more backpacking gear over the decades and I love it.

So now I have winter gear and 3 season gear.

And then there's "The Other Gear":

18.5 ft. kevlar sea kayak, PFD, spray skirts, 3 pr. paddles, & other gear

Cannondale bike with the lights, shoes, jacket, shorts, shirts and helmet

7 rifles - four of them with scopes

2 pistols

one shotgun

500 lb. gun safe

assorted hunting clothes

reloading equipment

2 pr. alpine skis

ski boots

4 pr. XC skis of various types & poles and boots for each type of skiing

2 pr. snowshoes

etc., etc.

Plus the car racks needed to cary these toys

"He who wears out the most toys wins."

Edited by Danepacker on 11/06/2013 15:05:09 MST.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: LESS gear??! Blasphmey! on 11/06/2013 15:14:38 MST Print View

As long as all that cool assed gear you have can go to eleven!



Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

#vanlife on 11/06/2013 15:39:22 MST Print View

So I just spent 2 hours scrolling through Van Life. Thanks for the link, Eugene. If anyone else is having as much fun daydreaming as I am, I also found this link:

Desert Dweller

Locale: Wild Wild West
Nomadic life partners on 11/06/2013 16:02:41 MST Print View

When I was "nomadic" people always told me I'd never find a man, (uh like I needed one?) and my reply was that the man I could love would be "out there" where I was, not in some damn bar or city....and sure enough I found him one day while I was working for the USFS. A helitack fire fighter. He had to follow me for two years before we got mind that was/is true love. And still is after 32 years....:-) now we bag peaks together and do over landing in remote areas of the west.
Max the gal who loves you will want to be with you, biking, hiking or whatever. Don't settle for less!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Nomadic life partners on 11/06/2013 16:27:06 MST Print View

"my reply was that the man I could love would be "out there" where I was, not in some damn bar or city....and sure enough I found him one day while I was working for the USFS.

"Max the gal who loves you will want to be with you, biking, hiking or whatever. Don't settle for less!"

Beautifully put and spot on. Advice well worth taking.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Ms. Right on 11/06/2013 16:35:31 MST Print View

I'll keep my eyes open...


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Ms. Right on 11/06/2013 16:59:28 MST Print View

"I'll keep my eyes open..."

There's a 50% chance she'll find you first. That's what happened to me. It always helps to have an extra pair of eyes scoping the field. ;0)